How to Get Cheap Flights to Hawaii

A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Cheap Flights to Hawaii Out of Any US City

Hawaii Image

About Us

Hi there, we’re Firefly List and we’re obsessed with finding cheap flights.

We have a newsletter that alerts members of insane cheap flight deals out of their departure city so

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Otherwise, here’s all the information we use to find cheap flights to Hawaii!

What do Cheap Flights to Hawaii look like?

In general, flight prices to Hawaii will change according to varying factors including seasonal demand changes (peak season / low season) as well as depend greatly on departure city.

With that in consideration a “good deal” to Hawaii will change depending on what city you’re flying out of as well as if you land a direct or non-stop flight.

While not all U.S hubs have direct flights into Hawaii, many do and there’s a good chance you can pick up either a non-stop flight or a connection to any of the Hawaiian islands.


Good Hawaii Deals from West Coast Departure Hubs:

On the West Coast of the U.S, a good round trip deal to Hawaii is anywhere from $250 up to $450 depending on seasonal changes.

A recent cheap flight alert we sent out for San Francisco (SFO) to Kailua-Kona was in the low $200’s round trip.


Good Hawaii Deals from Central and Eastern Hubs:

For central and eastern states, there’s less probability that you’ll find a direct route so a good round trip deal to Hawaii can be anywhere from $350 to $550 depending on seasonal changes. 

That said you can sometimes snag extreme deal fares or error fares to Hawaii.

A recent flight we sent out of Denver (DEN) to Hawaii was only $274 round trip with bags included.

When and How to Buy Cheap Flights to Hawaii

Seeing as though flight prices to Hawaii are heavily dependent on seasonal travel traffic variation to the islands, what are the best months to score a great deal?

We’ve found early Fall (September – October) and early Winter (January – mid February) as the best times to book cheap flights to Hawaii. A general rule of thumb here is that you want to start looking at potential bookings at least two months back. So if you’re aiming for a September vacation, start looking at flights to Hawaii around July & August. 

The earlier the better, but nothing more than 6 months in advance. 

In terms of the search, we highly recommend using Google Flights. It’s our primary mode of hunting down incredible deals and we wrote up a comprehensive guide to using Google Flights to find the best cheap flight deals.

Using Flight OTA's to Book Cheap Flights to Hawaii

Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s) like Kayak, Expedia, or Travelocity can be extremely helpful when finding and booking cheap flights to Hawaii especially when it comes to booking full packages with car and hotel rentals. However, OTA’s often come with significant drawbacks that should be noted. Using an OTA is like going through an intermediary with all your bookings. If ever any problems arise with the flight, you’ll be dealing with the OTA to resolve issues.

Alternatively, booking directly with the airlines that service the route generally offers more flexibility and less headaches if problems arise.

We recommend using flight aggregators like Google Flights to do the searching. You won’t actually book the flights with these services, only locate the flights and then book on the airlines website or through an OTA if you wish.


Some lesser known flight aggregators we love:

Momondo, SkyScanner, GreatEscape

Timing a Cheap Flight to Hawaii

More often than not, the biggest factor to landing an incredible deal to Hawaii is not low season/high season variability but actually the more granular dates within the seasons. You’ll be able to find the best flight deals by being extremely flexible on your date range preferences. 

The majority of the deeply discounted flights tend to depart on weekdays often Tuesday – Thursday, and return the same time the following week.

Avoid Mondays and Fridays as this is when a vast majority of business travel occurs, and we’re not wearing suits on the beach.

What Hawaiian Islands to Visit

Flight prices will be somewhat dependent on what Hawaiian Island you plan to visit. While each island has their own perks, airlines generally provide routes to specific islands within their domain territory.

Here’s some unique features of each island if you haven’t yet decided!



Island of O'ahu - Honolulu

The island of O’ahu is home to Hawaii’s capital city – Honolulu. If you end up choosing O’ahu as your island of choice, you’ll be flying into and out of Honolulu’s main airport, HNL. The island has more of a city vibe than any of the other Hawaiian Islands but with that comes more places to eat, nightlife, ect. While it’s O’ahu is definitely the most urban of the bunch, there’s still many beaches and plenty of opportunity to venture outside the cities of O’ahu.


All of Hawaii’s islands are gorgeous but if you’re looking to immerse yourself in more natural beauty, we’d suggest one of the other islands.


Hawaii Island (The Big Island)

Hawaii Big Island

The Island of Hawaii, sometimes referred to as the Big Island, because, well it’s big, has a lot to offer.

If you’re flying into Hawaii’s main island, you’ll likely be flying into and out of Kailua-Kona (KOA) or Hilo, the islands largest city.

The main Island has something for everyone including active volcanos for excellent hiking and exploring. The north end of Hawaii’s Big Island has some great beaches and snorkeling as well. The island is also home to many sites of interest like Pearl Harbor and the active volcanos – Mauna Loa and Kilauea, each of which played an active role in the formation of the Islands.



Island of Kauai - Hawaii

The island of Kauai is most often noted as the most scenic and breathtaking Island. If hiking is high on your list, Kauai, should be the front runner. The island comes complementary with gorgeous waterfalls, paddle boarding adventures, and great hikes. That said, Kauai is often noted as having the worst snorkeling of the bunch, so if snorkeling or diving is an important activity, but you also want scenic hikes, we recommend Maui, or the big island.



Island of Maui - Hawaii

The island of Maui was formed by two large volcanoes that formed vast canyons throughout the island. For that reason, Maui is sometimes referred to as the canyon island. If you’re looking for long, vast stretches of beaches, Maui is your island. Phenomenal snorkeling and scuba co-exists with Maui as well as some fantastic hikes.


If budget isn’t an issue, try spending a few days on a couple different islands. You’ll find domestic flights between islands through Hawaiian Air are very affordable and far less expensive than separate trips.


What Airlines fly Direct to Hawaii?

The 4 primary Hawaiian hubs for U.S mainlanders are Honolulu (HNL), Kauai (LIH), Kailua-Kona (KOA), and Kahului (OGG). If you’re visiting Hawaii, you’ll very likely be flying into and out of one of these airports. 

The following are all the airlines that provide direct flights to Hawaii.

Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaskan Airlines

What Airlines fly Direct to the Island of O'ahu, Honolulu (HNL)?


Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP), Seattle (SEA), Salt Lake City (SLC), Atlanta (ATL), New York City (JFK), Detroit (DTW)


Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Denver (DEN), Houston (HNL), Chicago (ORD), Newark / New York City (EWR), Washington D.C (IAD)

American Airlines

Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), Dallas (DFW), Chicago (ORD)

Hawaiian Airlines

Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), San Jose (SJC), Sacramento (SMF), Portland (PDF)

Alaskan Airlines

Anchorage (ANC), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDF)

What Airlines fly Direct to the Island of Kauai (LIH)?

Alaskan Airlines

 San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDF)

United Airlines: 

Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Denver (DEN)

American Airlines

Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX)

What Airlines fly Direct to the Big Island, Kailua-Kona (KOA)?

Alaskan Airlines

San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDF)


Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA)

United Airlines: 

Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Denver (DEN)

American Airlines

Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), Dallas (DFW)

What Airlines fly Direct to the Island of Maui, Kahului (OGG)?

Alaskan Airlines

 San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDF)


Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), Salt Lake City (SLC)

American Airlines

Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), Dallas (DFW)

United Airlines: 

Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Denver (DEN), Chicago (ORD)

How Long is the Flight to Hawaii?

Los Angeles (LAX): 5 Hours 30 Minutes

San Francisco (SFO): 5 Hours 30 Minutes

Seattle (SEA): 5 Hours 50 Minutes

San Jose (SJC): 5 Hours 50 Minutes

Oakland (OAK): 5 Hours 50 Minutes

Portland (PDX): 6 Hours

Anchorage (ACH): 6 Hours 

Phoenix (PHX): 6 Hours

Salt Lake City (SLC): 7 Hours

Denver (DEN): 7 Hours 20 Minutes

Dallas (DFW): 8 Hours 30 Minutes

Atlanta (ATL): 8 Hours 30 Minutes

Chicago (ORD): 9 Hours 30 Minutes

New York City / Newark (JFK / EWR): 11 Hours

Washington D.C (IAD): 11 Hours


For more on long flight durations check out our Guide on Long Haul Flights.


What did you think?

We hope you got benefit out of our cheap flights to Hawaii guide. 

The best advice here is to be flexible and patient. Cheap flights to Hawaii exist but often times the crazy deals are bought up quick and don’t last too long.


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