Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   SW Air to Hawaii? (

RLUCIDO Nov 27th, 2006 12:58 PM

SW Air to Hawaii?
I'd appreciate comments on anyone who has flown SW Airlines to Hawaii? I understand that the leg from LAX to Hawaii is on "ATA". Is that AirTran? Is their style the same as SWA? Is the flight on SWA/ATA dreadful, given the lack of amenities.

I feel that the economy seats on most other airlines are more cramped than the seats on SWA, but still curious about particular comments anyone might give.


Dan Nov 27th, 2006 02:00 PM

These days, most US carriers are pretty similar. Southwest to Hawaii may not be my first choice but it won't be "dreadful." Besides, which amenities are you speaking of? Southwest still offers pillows, blankets, snacks, etc. Just no meals.

The Hawaii portion of the trip will be on ATA, American Trans Air. NOT the same as AirTran.

Dukey Nov 27th, 2006 02:16 PM

It all depends on what you think you can stand in return for a, hopefully, significantly cheaper fare. If you want to pay more for amenities then go ahead.

rjw_lgb_ca Nov 27th, 2006 02:25 PM

ATA Airlines has a codeshare agreement with Southwest Airlines, but they are essentially two different airlines. ATA, for one thing, flies Boeing 757s (long single-aisle planes) between certain cities, while Southwest flies 737s exclusively.

ATA's seat pitch looks very tight, so don't look for exceptional legroom. They offer meals for purchase on many LAX-HNL flights. I've heard nothing particularly negative about ATA's service, so if you can be a bit cramped for the long flight, you'll probably do just fine.

suze Nov 27th, 2006 02:39 PM

I'm not sure when this trip is but Hawaiian Air has been showing real cheap flights lately ($350 nonstop Seattle Honolulu for travel in January). If you haven't already, I'd really look around before committing to a flight, is my point.

Andrew Nov 27th, 2006 02:42 PM

I don't know where you are flying from, but I would check the Hawaiian Airlines website if they serve your city. I was surprised that their direct fares were considerably cheaper there vs. on Orbitz, for example. I just checked again: you can still get my fare for this coming week for $290 R/T (if you join the Hawaiian FF program you save $10 R/T, $10 off of $300 - free to join) vs $410 on Orbitz. In my case it's a direct flight, certainly not worth saving a few bucks to connect anywhere for that price.

iamq Nov 27th, 2006 04:00 PM

I've flown ATA to Hawaii before and it is fine for what it is: a cattle car. I'm considering flying their new Oak - Lihue route. $463 for a non-stop is VERY attractive. They are using 737s for that route, which should be interesting. Bring your own blanket, pillow, food etc, etc, etc...


holly Nov 27th, 2006 08:36 PM

We just did this (Oakland to Hilo). The bulkhead seats were fine for us. They do assign seats, unlike Southwest. They don't feed you, but you can purchase snacks (credit card only, though). You should bring plenty to munch on...or buy something after you pass through security. We got a great rate for a non-stop flight, so it worked for us. We got to watch two movies on the way over, so that killed a lot of time - only one on the return flight. The movie was really hard to see in bulkhead, or from any seats that were too close to a screen (although the kids didn't complain too much). It's a better idea to bring your own DVD player. I guess it depends on what you're used to. Just take it for the cheap flight that it is, and enjoy spending that extra money in Hawaii when you get there!

RLUCIDO Nov 28th, 2006 08:47 AM

Thanks for the info. I ask because I have 2 free tickets on SWA and, as they fly to Hawaii (via ATA at the moment) I thought I'd investigate.

I actually am pretty adverse to being in a "cattle car" for 5-6 hours. Not sure of time on the LAX-Hawaii leg. I'd be flying Houston to LAX for the first leg.

rjw_lgb_ca Nov 28th, 2006 09:33 AM

I must also disclose that my neighbor is a flight attendant for ATA, although she only works their charter services (and curiously has OAK as her homebase instead of LAX). FAs are usually great inside sources for industry news that might affect service (contract disputes etc.)-- and she's never had any complaints. The flight will most likely be cramped but the FAs will be pleasant. A small comfort, but....

traveler24 Nov 28th, 2006 12:18 PM

I was told by customer service SWA that I would have to use BOTH of my rapid rewards "free' round-trips for me to go from Oakland to Hawaii and rerurn to Oakland.. I know it sounds weird but she kept insisting!!!
Better check this out..

BeachGirl247 Nov 28th, 2006 12:27 PM

That is correct, traveler24.

I, too, was going to use my free rountrips/rapid rewards ticket for us to fly to Hawaii and it takes 4 coupons for one round-trip instead of the normal 2 coupon/voucher for one r/t flight. You can still use the 2 coupons for one way and pay for the other. That saves a little $$.

amwosu Nov 28th, 2006 01:28 PM

Yep. It "costs" twice as much in SWA rapid rewards to fly to Hawaiion ATA.

holly Nov 29th, 2006 07:03 PM

We had vouchers to use, too, but we actually couldn't use them since the flight is operated by ATA. The vouchers we received were from giving up our seats on an overbooked flight. The rate was so good, we decided to book it anyway and ended up using the vouchers to fly other family members home for the Christmas season instead.

wsoxrebel Dec 2nd, 2006 05:58 PM

I have a Companion Pass (I fly free whenever DH flies SW)

Will that work to fly to Hawaii?

JazzyChick Dec 2nd, 2006 07:38 PM

We flew ATA to Maui from Phoenix last December, and it was just fine (we booked through Travelocity). We don't expect much these days from airlines (given the nickel-and-diming they do to you for every little thing). But, hey, it got us there safely; we didn't receive bad service at all; and we'd fly them again to go to Maui anytime. Hard to beat SWA on any given day, though.

Austin Dec 3rd, 2006 03:59 AM

A friend told me the other day she found tix for Houston to Honolulu for $199 one way.

I just checked expedia and round trip from Houston is about $464. Must be a slow time in Hawaii - if there is such a thing?

suze Dec 3rd, 2006 07:49 AM

i don't know about slow, but tickets are cheap right now. ~$350 RT from Seattle for instance.

Shanghainese Dec 4th, 2006 09:26 AM

Holly: What time did you arrive in Hilo?

We have taken ATA from SFO to Honolulu, the flight was ok, but ...... flight was 4 hours late getting thru east coast blizzards and as soon as we boarded a small fire started out in the luggage compartment resulting in another 2 hours delay. I was almost DOA at midnight. They gave us free vouchers.

kcapuani Dec 4th, 2006 02:18 PM

wsoxrebel - Did you find out if the SWA Companion Pass is good to fly to Hawaii? I have one as well, and we were thinking about going to Hawaii next summer.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:56 PM.