Southwest Airlines' entry into the Hawaiian market has been a godsend for travelers from mainland United States as well as those from the Hawaii Islands. As a matter of fact, fares to Hawaii dropped nearly 20 percent in response to Southwest's arrival in the market. Just a couple of days ago on April 28, Southwest commenced its inaugural inter-island flight between Honolulu and Kahului (Maui). The carrier's other new inter-island Honolulu-Kona service is poised to launch on May 12.
Its newly launched inter-island service between Honolulu and Kahului (Maui) has been incredibly well-received by travelers. According to travelers who flew with Southwest, they were thrilled not just with the introductory low fares, but also with the stellar service provided by Southwest's incredibly welcoming crew. Some were also pleased they got to check their bags for free while others appreciated the free coffee and donuts they got to enjoy in-flight.
While the super cheap fares are not likely to stick around for long - they simply are not sustainable for the long run - the increased competition brought about by Southwest's entrance into the inter-island market should still make a positive difference to travelers who have had to deal with high prices set by Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines has long dominated the inter-island market, so much so that many travelers have been reluctant to travel frequently between the Hawaiian Islands.
That said, if you are going to be flying with Southwest on its inter-island Honolulu and Kahului (Maui) and soon-to-be-launched Honolulu-Kona service, keep in mind to avoid taking fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh plants, flowers, seeds, berries etc in your carry-on bags. You are also not allowed to bring most fresh fruits and vegetables as well as certain plants and flowers back to the mainland United States. You can learn more about full list of prohibited items here.
Traveling with pets? Pets - including service and emotional support animals - are allowed to travel with you onboard when you fly with Southwest between the Hawaiian Islands. The standard domestic policy and procedures must be adhered to when you travel with your pet, emotional support, or service animal between the Hawaiian Islands.