HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rivals have started to respond to Southwest Airlines’ formal entry into the Hawaii market Monday morning, and travelers stand to benefit.
Deals on Alaska and American Airlines between Hawaii airports and several mainland locations have begun to arise.
For example, on select flights in May, round-trip travel on Alaska Airlines between Honolulu and San Jose, California was available for $197. Travelers on American Airlines could find round-trips from Maui to Las Vegas from $274 and fares between Kona International and Los Angeles from $258.
Southwest launched ticket sales Monday with introductory rates from $29 for inter-island travel and $49 for mainland flights.
The airline’s first commercial flight in the Hawaii market will be from Oakland, California to Honolulu on March 17th.
Passengers on a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Honolulu from Phoenix say the news they got when they landed was eye popping.
"They came to all of our phones and starting binging. You could hear a ton of people there too. Oh look at that," said passenger and North Shore resident Hunter Hancock
"It's a very good deal. We paid 260 here and 250 back so it's a lot less," said passenger Daisy Figueroa.
Southwest is known for first come-first served seating unless you pay an extra fee.
Some travelers who've been on Southwest before say they like that.
"As far as me going on the planes enjoying the trip, they've been simple and they've been fun," said Hancock who arrives early for Southwest flights.
For others, no assigned seats is a deal breaker.
"I thought wow, maybe tickets will get cheaper. I still don't know if I'm going to fly Southwest. Maybe when it's cheap now, but in the long run," said traveler Emily Hancock.