Background:

I was planning to visit both Oahu Island and Maui on my trip to Hawaii. Last time I needed an Inter-Island flight was in 2016 and I flew on Hawaiian Airlines from Kona on the Big Island to Maui.

This time, Southwest Airlines has been added into the mix, and they have an Inter-Island service of their own. I had some flight credits from a previously cancelled Southwest flight, so I decided to use them. Originally, I booked this flight for $79, and it then dropped all the way to $39. I changed the flight as Southwest has no change fees, and now I have a $40 credit that expires a year after I booked the original flight.

Flight Details:

Southwest Flight 4594
Honolulu (HNL) to Kahului, Maui (OGG)
Aircraft: Boeing 737 MAX 8
Seat: 12A (Window)
Date of Flight: September 2021

Boarding:

Southwest has the free for all seating. With no assigned seats, you want to make sure you check in early to get a good boarding position. Or you can pay $15 or so for early bird check-in and get an A boarding group spot.

Since the flight was so short, and seemed like it was going to be an empty flight as I was in Hawaii during its off-season, I decided to take my chances at checking in right at the 24 hour mark and not paying for early bird check-in. I was traveling with my parents, and we ended up getting A54-56. Southwest’s open seating policy honestly stresses me out when the flight is gonna be packed, but sometimes it’s nice on an empty flight to just pick a random seat.

The flight ended up having 70 seats not booked out of the 175 capacity, so we ended up boarding and choosing a row together in row 12. The plane had a total of 30 rows.

The Flight:

We were actually on the ground longer than in the air! We actually didn’t take off until 30 minutes after leaving the gate due to some airport traffic, and arrived in Maui about 15 minutes late. From takeoff to the initial decent, was a whopping 14 minutes for this 117 mile flight.

The plane I was on was quite nice and new, having only been delivered back in 2019. I assume most of the Hawaii planes Southwest uses are newer and nicer, as they only use the new MAX 8’s and their 737-800s on the Hawaii routes. Their older 737-700s do not fly the Hawaii routes. A cool thing is that the MAX 8’s and 737-800’s have 32 inches of pitch as well, compared to the 31 inches of pitch on the older 737-700s. With the slim seats as well, the seat felt roomier than the seats on the 737-700 which I flew on in 2019

Southwest Airlines Interisland Hawaii

Seating

Southwest Airlines Interisland Hawaii

Seatback

Due to the short flight- there wasn’t any beverage/snack service which honestly was fine with me.

In-Flight Entertainment:

Sadly, Southwest doesn’t offer any in-seat power outlets or USB ports on any of its planes. So, if you’re flying a longer route, be sure that your devices are fully charged or travel with a portable battery pack to keep all your electronic devices charged up.

Southwest has WiFi, which is a flat $8, and it said it would be valid for 10 hours. For the short flight, I didn’t really need the WiFi, but if you were connecting on a longer flight to the mainland, it’s nice that you have 10 hours of WiFi and if you’re connecting to another flight, your Wi-Fi will still be valid. They also provide free texting, a selection of movies and live TV that you can stream to your device.

The Verdict:

Overall, Southwest was certainly not a bad way to island hop, especially on a plane that was only 2 years old! Hawaiian has the 717’s that I didn’t mind flying either back in 2016, but it’s always good to have some competition in the mix!

 

Have you flown on a Southwest Airlines Interisland Hawaii flight yet? Comment below!

 

Safe travels,

Ty


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