As an island state, Hawaii has some of the strictest regulations in place for visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it has reopened and offered a pre-travel testing option for entry, many flights to the island have slowly resumed.
Round-trip flights to Hawaii from the continental U.S. range from as low as $250 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
Previously, the cheapest time to travel to Hawaii was during its off-peak months: after the winter holiday season, between the middle of April and late summer, and before Thanksgiving. When it came to Hawaii travel, there used to be clear peak and off-peak months where flight prices were much more predictable.
For 2021, the cheapest time to fly to Hawaii won't follow any trends from previous years, as the pandemic continues to affect the travel industry.
You can find some excellent flight deals to Hawaii scattered throughout 2021, except around holidays like the Fourth of July and Christmas. Car rentals and hotel bookings will also be much more expensive during peak season. June 2021 looks to be the most expensive month for Hawaii travel, although ticket prices can continue to fluctuate.
You can expect to pay around $350 to $900 for an economy class round trip to Hawaii from the East Coast or Midwest during an off-peak month. From major West Coast cities, round-trips in the off-peak season tend to cost between $160 and $500.
Regardless of when you choose to travel, you should book your tickets about two to three months in advance. Ticket prices will rapidly increase about two weeks out.
Cheapest airport to fly into Hawaii
The cheapest flights to Hawaii generally land in Honolulu at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii's capital, or at Kahului Airport (OGG), on Maui. This is because it's the 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 in Hawaii.
Continental U.S. flight prices to HNL and OGG are roughly similar, so it's worth comparing flights to both airports to find the best price.
|Off-peak flight (March 2021)||LAX to HNL||$163|
|LAX to OGG||$156|
|JFK to HNL||$335|
|JFK to OGG||$335|
|Peak flight (June 2021)||LAX to HNL||$279|
|LAX to OGG||$348|
|JFK to HNL||$473|
|JFK to OGG||$474|
If you're not set on a specific destination within Hawaii, you can use a flight search engine like Kayak to compare flight costs from your home airport to HNL and OGG airports 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 round-trip tickets to Honolulu from airports across the U.S. We sampled roughly 10 to 20 cities per region and selected airports from the top 100 U.S. airports in 2019. Using Google Flights and the Southwest Airlines website, we compared only nonstop or one-stop trips for a set itinerary — April 11 departure, April 17 return — and identified the cheapest itinerary. We disqualified itineraries that included more than one layover or that had a travel time greater than 15 hours for the most accurate comparison.
In general, major cities in the West offer the most affordable fares to Hawaii. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines offered nonstop, round-trip flights out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif. starting at just $247. A close second was Hawaiian's Portland to Honolulu nonstop route at $311. United's Las Vegas to Honolulu was the third cheapest at $353.
The cheapest eligible round trip at 53 of the 63 major airports we surveyed was between $400 and $800. In general, cities with more expensive flights tended to be the farthest from Hawaii or in low-traffic areas.
Flight prices from the Northeast varied greatly depending on the origin. You'll find the best deals out of the largest airports, such as New York City (JFK) and Boston (BOS), starting in the mid $500s. Prices are as high as $918 at smaller airports, such as in Burlington, Vt. (BTV).
Cheapest Northeast round-trip flights to Hawaii, April 11-17, 2021
|1||New York City (JFK)||New York||$556||JetBlue/Hawaiian||1|
|3||New York City (LGA)||New York||$644||American||1|
Compared to the Northeast, Midwestern cities offered affordable flights from a range of cities. You can find some of the best deals from the largest airports, such as St. Louis (STL) and Minneapolis (MSP).
Cheapest Midwest round-trip flights to Hawaii, April 11-17, 2021
|12||Sioux Falls||South Dakota||$770||American||1|
In our complete ranking, Dallas, Texas, offered one of the most affordable flights in the country at $416. Interestingly, the difference in Hawaii flight prices between North Carolina and South Carolina can differ by more than $300 on any given day — with Raleigh-Durham's minimum price $516 and Charleston capping the region at $906.
Cheapest round-trip flights from the South to Hawaii, April 11-17, 2021
|3 (tied)||Raleigh-Durham||North Carolina||$516||United||1|
|9||Washington, D.C.||District of Columbia||$675||Alaska||1|
Flights from the West will always be the most affordable due to the region's proximity to Hawaii. The four California airports had the cheapest airfares by far, with plenty of nonstop options from Alaska, American, Hawaiian and United. Flights from Portland were surprisingly affordable, too, starting at just $311 for a non-stop flight on Hawaiian. The more niche airports — such as Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) and Jackson Hole, Wyo. (JAC), had much more expensive flights — as high as $725 per round trip.
Cheapest round-trip flights from the West to Hawaii, April 11-17, 2021
|1||Los Angeles||California||$247-$248||United, Hawaiian, American, Alaska||0|
|1 (tied)||San Francisco||California||$247-$248||Alaska, Hawaiian, American||0|
|1 (tied)||San Diego||California||$247||Hawaiian||0|
|8||Salt Lake City||Utah||$438||American||1|
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, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines — there are a few that consistently provide the cheapest flights.
From the New York-New Jersey metro area, United Airlines offers the best deal — a round trip from Newark, N.J. (EWR) to Honolulu (HNL) with one layover for $338. From the West Coast, flight prices are as low as $163 on American Airlines and United Airlines — and are direct flights.
These flights were pulled from the least expensive flights from Feb. 16 to March 24, 2021 (with the exception of Sun Country Airlines, which does not resume their Hawaii service until June 2021). At the time of writing, these dates offered the cheapest flights during off-peak season and about two to three months in advance.
Cheapest LA to HNL
Cheapest NYC to HNL
|Sun Country Airlines||$279||N/A|
When flight prices are similar among airlines — or if the price is less of a factor for you — it can help 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. 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 are 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 you've built up over time. If you're a member of a credit card rewards program, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, your card issuer likely 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 that does.
Point value varies between carriers, so fewer points to purchase a ticket do not necessarily mean a cheaper flight.
Points to fly coach round trip
Points to fly first class round trip
|Delta Air Lines||18,500-114,000||81,500-200,000|
As Hawaii has opened up to tourists, many airlines have slowly resumed their flights to the island. There are a number of ways to book cheap flight deals to Hawaii through 2021, whether it's by flying from a particular destination or using your airline miles. While it's most affordable to fly from the West Coast across the board, you can find considerable deals from cities such as Dallas, St. Louis and New York City. It's worth checking multiple airports around your area, as flight prices can vary by hundreds of dollars.