Travel

How Much Does it Cost to Fly to Hawaii?

The cost of traveling to Hawaii depends on where you live, where you want to visit and what time of year you plan to fly. We broke down all of these variables and more to give you an idea of round-trip flight costs.

Round-trip flights to Hawaii from the continental U.S. range from as low as $400 to more than $2,000, with prices varying due to time of year, airport, airline and booking service. In economy class, round-trip tickets between most U.S. cities and Honolulu cost between $500 and $800. The best way to save on tickets is to travel off-peak and to book your trip two to three months in advance.

Cheapest Time to Fly to Hawaii

The most affordable dates to travel to Hawaii are during the "off-peak" months—that is, away from major U.S. holidays. For all travel purposes, the off-peak months are as follows: after the winter holiday season and before March; late summer and autumn before Thanksgiving; and late spring before schools let out for summer vacation. During peak months there are some pockets of affordability—early December, for example—but ticket prices spike hundreds of dollars around holidays like Christmas and Fourth of July.

2018 Airline Peak Dates
Feb. 24–April 8Spring Break, Easter
July 1–July 31Summer Vacation
Nov. 16–Nov. 26Thanksgiving
Dec. 19–Jan. 6, 2019Christmas and New Year's

During an off-peak month, you can expect to pay between $600 and $800 for an economy class round-trip to Hawaii from the East Coast or Midwest. From major West Coast cities, round-trips in the off-peak season tend to cost between $400 and $500. For comparison, round-trips to Hawaii during peak season can cost more than $1,000 from the West Coast and upward of $2,000 from the East Coast and Midwest. Car rentals and hotel bookings will also be much more expensive during peak season.

Regardless of when you choose to travel, it's advisable to book your tickets about two to three months in advance. Ticket prices tend to climb sixty days from travel dates and rapidly increase about two to three weeks out. Additionally, buyers who book their trips midweek and travel midweek (think Tuesday and Wednesday) tend to get better deals, as booking demand is higher closer to the weekend.

Cheapest Airport to Fly Into Hawaii

The cheapest flights to Hawaii generally land in Honolulu (HNL), the capital of Hawaii, or Kahului (OGG), on Maui. This is because it's cheapest to fly to and from the busiest airports in a region, and both HNL and OGG are accessible to the most popular vacation destinations on Hawaii. As seen in the table below, continental U.S. flight prices to Honolulu and Kahului are roughly similar, although off-peak flights from the East Coast tend to be slightly cheaper to HNL, the larger of the two airports.

RoutePrice
Off-PeakLA to Honolulu$450+
LA to Kahului$450+
NYC to Honolulu$550+
NYC to Kahului$650+
Peak SeasonLA to Honolulu$800+
LA to Kahului$860+
NYC to Honolulu$1100+
NYC to Kahului$1200+

Note: Quotes above were taken from an airline ticket aggregator in July 2018 and reflect the cheapest available round-trip tickets for an off-peak trip in early September 2018 and a peak season trip in late December 2018 through early January 2019.

If you're not set on a specific destination within the Hawaiian archipelago, you can use a flight search engine like Kayak to compare flight costs from your home airport to both Honolulu and Kahului to find the most budget- friendly round-trip. Both Honolulu, on Oahu island, and Kahului, on Maui, are either home to or surrounded by popular Hawaiian vacation spots.

Best and Worst Cities for Flying to Hawaii

To give you a better idea of Hawaii flight prices, we looked at the cost of roundtrip tickets to Honolulu from airports across the U.S. Using an online flight search engine, we compared only nonstop or one-stop trips for a set itinerary—Sept. 5 departure, Sept. 12 return—and identified the cheapest itinerary. (For the most accurate comparison, we disqualified itineraries that included more than one layover or that had a travel time greater than 15 hours.)

In general, major cities in the West offer the most affordable fares to Hawaii. In our search, we found that Alaska Airlines' Seattle to Honolulu roundtrip was the cheapest itinerary at $363. A close second was American Airlines' Salt Lake City to Honolulu route at $368. United's Portland to Honolulu was third cheapest at $372.

Graph of US Cities with Cheapest Roundtrips to Hawaii

The cheapest eligible roundtrip at 53 of the 60 major airports we surveyed was between $400 and $800. In general, cities with more expensive flights tended to be the farthest from Hawaii—e.g., Pittsburgh and Miami—or in low traffic areas, like Wichita, Kansas.

Graph of US Cities with Most Expensive Roundtrips to Hawaii

Below is a list of roundtrip flight prices to Hawaii by city. We included an airport from every state except Hawaii and Delaware, which doesn't have an airport offering flights to Honolulu. For larger states like California, Florida, New York and Texas, we looked at prices for a few of the major cities. Note that a backslash between airline names signifies that they tied for cheapest flight, while a plus sign between names means that the roundtrip is a "combined flight"—one airlines flies to Hawaii; the other flies back.

Northeast

Flight prices from the Northeast varied greatly depending on the origin. Within New York City, fares to Hawaii from the two airports differed by more than $200. However, this price difference shouldn't suggest that it's always cheaper to fly from JFK than LaGuardia—in this case, the variance can be attributed to an airline fare deal.

RankCityStatePriceAirlineLayovers
1New York City (JFK)New York$514JetBlue (Hawaiian)1
2AlbanyNew York$562United1
3Providence [1]Rhode Island$566United2
4NewarkNew Jersey$570Alaska1
5BostonMassachusetts$616United1
6BurlingtonVermont$730United1
7HartfordConnecticut$730United0
8PortlandMaine$730United1
9Manchester [2]New Hampshire$734United2
10New York City (LGA)New York$734United1
11BuffaloNew York$738Delta1
12PhiladelphiaPennsylvania$853American1

Midwest

Midwestern cities mostly ranked among the middle of the pack for Hawaii flight prices. As expected, the cheapest fare can be found from Detroit, which is a hub city for Delta Airlines. The highest price in this region was found in Wichita, Kansas at $824—an outlier due to the city's lower demand and smaller airport.

RankCityStatePriceAirlineLayovers
1DetroitMichigan$558Delta1
2IndianapolisIndiana$582American1
3OmahaNebraska$588American/United1
4Des MoinesIowa$592American/United1
5MinneapolisMinnesota$628Delta1
6ColumbusOhio$634United/American1
7Kansas CityMissouri$636Alaska1
8ChicagoIllinois$649Alaska1
9MilwaukeeWisconsin$682Delta/American/United1
10Sioux FallsSouth Dakota$686American/United1
11FargoNorth Dakota$694American/United1
12WichitaKansas$824United1

South

In our complete ranking, Dallas, Texas offered one of the most affordable nonstop flights in the country at $480. Houston, Texas also offered cheap fare, with Alaska Airlines offering a one-layover flight from $508. Interestingly, we found that the difference in Hawaii flight prices between North Carolina and South Carolina can differ by more than $300 on any given day—with Charleston's minimum price $562 and Charlotte's capping the region at $863.

RankCityStatePriceAirlineLayovers
1DallasTexas$480Alaska0
2HoustonTexas$508Alaska1
3Washington, D.C.District of Columbia$538Alaska1
4BaltimoreMaryland$560United/American/Alaska1
5Charleston, SCSouth Carolina$562United + Delta1
6AustinTexas$566American/United/Delta1
7NashvilleTennessee$572American/United/Delta1
8Oklahoma CityOklahoma$584American/United1
9New OrleansLouisiana$600United/American1
10OrlandoFlorida$616United/American1
11AtlantaGeorgia$660Alaska1
12BirminghamAlabama$694American1
13Charleston, WV [3]West Virginia$694United2
14JacksonMississippi$694American/United1
15Little RockArkansas$694United/American1
16TampaFlorida$699United/Alaska1
17JacksonvilleFlorida$730United/American1
18Virginia BeachVirginia$730United1
19MiamiFlorida$813American Airlines1
20CharlotteNorth Carolina$863American/Delta/United1

West

Flights from the West are by far the most affordable due to the region's proximity to Hawaii. Seattle had the cheapest round-trip fare price on this list, with Alaska Airlines offering nonstop service to Honolulu at $363. Flights from Salt Lake City and Portland also compete for afforability at $368 and $372, respectively, while California cities placed among the middle of the western region pack. It is possible that travelers from these origins, like LA and San Francisco, pay a slight premium on tickets.

RankCityStatePriceAirlineLayovers
1SeattleWashington$363Alaska0
2Salt Lake CityUtah$368American1
3PortlandOregon$372United1
4San DiegoCalifornia$416American1
5BoiseIdaho$426Alaska1
6SacramentoCalifornia$427Hawaiian0
7Los AngelesCalifornia$453United/American/Alaska/Hawaiian/Delta0
8San FranciscoCalifornia$457United/American/Alaska/Hawaiian/Delta0
9AlbuquerqueNew Mexico$468American/United1
10PhoenixArizona$476American1
11Las VegasNevada$486Alaska + United1
12AnchorageAlaska$508Alaska0
13DenverColorado$526Delta1
14BillingsMontana$660United + Alaska1
15Jackson HoleWyoming$674United1

[1][2][3] Limited or no one-layover options from these airports.

Best Airlines That Fly to Hawaii

In general, the best airline for you will depend on your itinerary, price range, desired comfort and tolerance for layovers. However, of the airlines that fly to Hawaii from the continental U.S.—Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines—there are a few that consistently provide the cheapest flights.

From the New York area, Hawaiian Airlines offers the best deal for affordability and convenience—a nonstop round-trip from JFK to HNL for $665. From the West Coast, flight prices between airlines are nearly identical when booking two to three months in advance. Note that the flight prices in the table below and table above were taken at different times, hence the difference in cheapest flight price. Airlines oftentimes change the price of the same ticket a few times on any given day.

AirlineCheapest LA to HNLCheapest NYC to HNLCoach Class Legroom [1]
Alaska$453
  • $552 (1 stop) [2]
32"-35"
American$453
  • $679 (2 stops)
  • $734 (1 stop)
31"-32"
Delta$453
  • $718 (1 stop)
30"-32"
Hawaiian$453
  • $665 (nonstop)
31"
Sun Country$445
31"-33"
United$453
  • $787 (nonstop)
31"

[1] Data points represent "seat pitch"—the distance from one seatback to another. [2] Includes long layover.

When flight prices are similar among airlines, or if price is less of a factor for you, it can be helpful to compare carriers on comfort and convenience. Consider whether you're willing to have one or two layovers, or if you'd prefer to fly nonstop. For example, only Hawaiian Airlines and United have direct flights from the New York area to Honolulu. You may also want to choose an airline based on their rewards incentives, especially if you're already a member of a frequent-flyer program.

If you're looking for the cheapest way to get to Hawaii—and willing to do some comparison shopping—the best option is to use a flight comparison tool like Momondo or Hopper. These services find the cheapest fares possible by searching airline websites and online travel agencies like Expedia and Priceline. Hopper, which is exclusively on mobile, also partners with airlines to offer exclusive deals.

How to Fly to Hawaii with Points

One way to reduce the cost of plane tickets is to redeem credit card rewards or airline loyalty miles that you've built up over time. If you're a member of a credit card rewards program, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, it's likely that your card issuer has at least one airline transfer partner that offers flights to Hawaii. For airline loyalty program members, be sure to check if your airline flies to Hawaii or allows miles transfers to an airline who does.

Below, we've included the points required to fly from the contiguous U.S. to Hawaii on the six main carriers. Note that point value varies between carriers, so fewer points needed to purchase a ticket does not necessarily mean a cheaper flight.

AirlinePoints to Fly CoachPoints to Fly First Class
Alaska [1]30,000–60,00080,000–160,000
American [2]45,00080,000
Delta41,000–54,000245,000
Hawaiian40,000–120,000160,000–260,000
Sun Country [3]49,500–77,00090,750–121,000
United22,500–45,00050,000–115,000

[1] [2] The high end represents points needed for refundable flights. [3] Based on estimated round-trip price range of $450 to $700 off-peak for economy and $825 to $1,100 for first class. For Hawaiian, 110 points = $1 off-peak, and 130 points = $1 during peak.

Once you've found an eligible airline to apply your miles, it's important to make sure that your travel schedule doesn't interfere with the airline's blackout dates—days when miles can't be redeemed for seats. You should also familiarize yourself with the airlines policies, restrictions and fees. For example, some will allow you to purchase awards flights with a combination of points and cash, while others only allow awards seats to be redeemed with points. In some cases, you can redeem points and miles for other vacation expenses like hotels and rental cars.

Yowana Wamala

Yowana is a Junior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in travel and rewards programs. He previously covered mortgages and banking for the website before graduating from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.