So you’ve finally decided to visit Hawaii for the first time or another return and you are researching and choosing the best flights to Hawaii for the best deals. But have you considered all the options?

Fares fluctuate so often when traveling to Hawaii that it’s difficult to know when to purchase tickets and at what time of the year that is ideal. Finding the lowest airfare to the islands is a combination of dedicated looking, a mix of luck, and knowing how to search for flights. Since flights will be your biggest budget expense for your vacation, take the time to research and book your flights with these tips offered below.

** Cheap flights to Hawaii are at an all time low know and if you are looking for deals, check out all the flight consolidators to book your flights, lodging, car rentals and tours.

Choosing the best flights to Hawaii

How to save on flights deals to Hawaii and interisland travel

Flying to Hawaii typically includes flying the the main hub at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) which is the gateway to Hawaii for the majority of U.S. and international travelers. From the Mainland USA, there are now direct flights going to Maui, Big Island and Kauai, the other islands that have direct routes from certain airports in the USA. You can easily check for flight deals with searching consolidators or the airline directly.

Here are some things to consider when booking a flight to Hawaii and saving some money on those typically expensive flights to the islands.

Finding cheapest flights to Hawaii some tips and ideas

Find the cheapest flights to Hawaii with these tips

  1. Sign up for email alerts from various website search engines that can give you an insight to the best timeframes to book and prices during those months
  2. Be Flexible – using the flight search engines monthly calendar will give you an insight to the cheapest times of the year to travel to Hawaii that you can take advantage of.
  3. Fly during the weekdays is always key for cheaper flight deals especially earlier in the week to mid week. Also target flying mid week to mid week timeframe.
  4. Fly during low season – For Hawaii that would be the months of April, May, September and October when there are no holidays and school vacation days so flights and other tourists expenses are typically cheaper on those months. There is also a small window of time after Thanksgiving and into the end of the 2nd week of December when flights are also cheaper due less bookings for travel.
  5. When you see a deal check it carefully for add-ons, extra layovers or hidden fees that you don’t see until you actually do the final booking. This might end up costing more or is inconvenient to your vacation time frame.
  6. Check out flights first to Oahu which is a major hub for the islands and you might land a better deal that you can also fly interisland with the savings from the initial flight
  7. When you are checking various sights clear your cookies or go incognito when you use different search engines.
  8. Check to see if you can get a better deal by looking for one way flights to your destination and back. Sometimes you can get a better deal than a round trip booking to the same location
  9. Check for alternate airport locations that you can easily get to that may have cheaper flights to Hawaii. This may result in better deals, but you do have to consider the extra drive time to get to that airport and if it is actually better with limited vacation time.
  10. When you actually see a good deal, go for it and book!

Fly to Oahu tips and how to get here cheaply

Most expensive months to fly to Hawaii

You should avoid the Thanksgiving, Christmas to New Years time frame and the winter months are all considered High Season. Also in Summer the months of Junei nto July is also the busy time frame so flights and everything else is expensive so you should avoid if you are looking for a cheaper flight and better prices for hotels, car rentals and tours.

Flying interisland and airlines that offer service

Flying interisland and saving on your flights

You’ll find that interisland flights are also expensive with limited carriers flying interisland to include Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, Ohana Air (operated by Hawaiian) and Mokuele Airlines which fly the smaller 9 seater passenger airplanes.  Most of the interisland flights connect with the main hub at Honolulu and onto the outer islands so there may be layovers involved if you fly from the outer islands to another outer island.

When you are looking for getting the best deals, consider all the same options as above and then search with each airline for the best flights directly since there are so few doing inter island service. It is possible on some interisland flights to fly direct from island to island without a layover in Honolulu. Check on each airlines search engine to check on that type of availability.

** the only interisland service by ferry offered is from Maui at Lahaina to Lanai at Manele Bay. From the ferry, you can also book tour packages and rental cars directly on the ferry service.

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Check out these other posts to visiting Hawaii

More inside tips on flying to Hawaii and around the islands

Flying to and around Hawaii can be a unique experience due to the island geography. Here are some inside tips to make your flights to and within Hawaii smoother and more enjoyable:

Flexible Booking:

  • Consider flexible travel dates to find better flight deals. Midweek flights are often cheaper than weekend flights.

Direct Flights:

  • Whenever possible, choose direct flights to Hawaii to save time and minimize layovers.

Choose the Right Island:

  • If you’re traveling to multiple Hawaiian islands, plan your flights efficiently. For example, you can fly into Honolulu on Oahu and then take inter-island flights to your other destinations.

Inter-Island Flights:

  • Inter-island flights are typically shorter but can fill up quickly, so book them in advance.
  • Airlines like Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Mokulele Airlines operate inter-island flights.

Arrival Airport:

  • If your final destination is not Oahu, check if there’s an airport closer to your destination, as it can save you time and reduce ground transportation costs.

Baggage Fees:

  • Be aware of baggage fees, especially on inter-island flights, as they can add up. Some airlines may offer discounted baggage fees when booking in advance.

TSA PreCheck:

  • Consider enrolling in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to expedite security checks at airports in Hawaii and when returning to the mainland.

Early Arrival:

  • Arrive at the airport early, as Hawaiian airports can get busy, and security lines can be long, especially during peak travel times.

Time Zone Adjustment:

  • Be prepared for a time zone adjustment when traveling to Hawaii, especially from the mainland. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) is typically 3-6 hours behind the U.S. mainland depending on the time of year.

Rental Cars:

  • If you plan to rent a car, book it in advance as rentals can be limited, especially during busy tourist seasons.

14. Flexible Plans:

  • Weather can affect inter-island flights, so have flexible plans in case your flight needs to be rescheduled due to adverse conditions.

With these tips, you can make the most of your flights to and within Hawaii, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travel experience in this beautiful paradise.

Check out these other posts to visiting Hawaii

A Hawaii travel guide primer to visiting the islands

Should you have a rental car in Hawaii

Best Beaches in Hawaii

Best places to visit for Sunrise and Sunsets in Hawaii

Fun and interesting facts about Hawaii

Popular dishes you need to try in Hawaii

Choosing the best flights to Hawaii oahu and outer islands

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  1. Cathy Sweeney

    Good tips. I have to admit that doing flight price comparisons is not one of my favorite travel activities, so this is helpful. Would love to be planning a Hawaii trip now. Hmmm… maybe soon.

    • emorata

      There are some fantastic flight deals now to Hawaii, might be a good time to reconsider.

  2. Carol Colborn

    This came just in time, thanks. The benefit of going to Hawaii is that we do not need to quarantine for two weeks after a trip there since it is part of the US. We are thinking of going to the Big Island…the only one I haven’t been to.

    • emorata

      Yes flights are at an all time low now and choosing the best flights to Hawaii is what you need to start doing now.

  3. Jeff & Crystal Bryant

    We have to admit that Hawaii is a place we would love to visit. At the same time, we have hesitations about such a lengthy journey by air. You have certainly taken away some of our excuses by showing us how you have been choosing the best flights to Hawaii. Perhaps now we will finally give it a try.

    • emorata

      Lots of good flight deals now to Hawaii and choosing the best flights to Hawaii makes a big difference in price, safety and comfort

  4. Doreen Pendgracs

    Well, it will be awhile before we’re allowed t travel to fly to Hawaii. But it is certainly on my wish List! Maui, as I haven’t been there in a long while. And Hilo, as there are lots of chocolate options in the area.

    • emorata

      Yes lots of chocolate options to be had in Hawaii and picking out the best flight helps in cementing the deal.


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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.