By Evie Carrick
March 18, 2019

Travelers have long been awaiting the inaugural flight between California and the Hawaiian Islands on Southwest Airlines. The low-cost carrier received flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration in late February and started selling tickets on March 4 — with fares as low as $49 each way.

Credit: Courtesy of Southwest Airlines
Credit: Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

On Sunday, Southwest Airlines flew their first plane full of passengers to Hawaii. Southwest Flight 6808 made the 5.5 hour nonstop journey from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii, landing at 2 p.m. local time. The flight was welcomed by Hawaii Governor David Ige and Southwest Airlines President Tom Nealon.

From beginning to end, passengers on the inaugural flight received the Hawaiian treatment. Leis and in-flight hula dancing kicked off the trip, and travelers were the first to sample Southwest’s new snack selection for Hawaii flights. The snack pack will expand the airline’s offerings beyond the standard red bag of pretzels to include Wheat Thins, Welch's fruit snacks, Tic Tacs, and a white-cheddar cheese spread. Locally themed drinks on Southwest’s Hawaii flights will include Longboard Island Lager from Kona Brewing Company, Minute Maid pineapple orange juice, and Blue Chair Bay coconut spiced rum.

Credit: Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

To start, Southwest will only fly one flight each way daily between Oakland and Honolulu with a second flight set to begin March 24. Starting on April 7, Southwest will fly between Oakland and Maui and begin inter-island flights. In May, Southwest will start flying between San Jose and Honolulu, Maui, and Kona. Eventually, Southwest plans to fly nonstop to Hawaii from San Diego and Sacramento, with flights to the island of Kauai expected as well.