Your eyes do not deceive you, dear reader.
Right now you can book a round trip ticket on Hawaiian Airlines, February 27 – March 6, nonstop from JFK to Honolulu, for $365.
That’s three hundred and sixty five dollars.
I’ve purchased tickets from New York to Wisconsin for prices like that. But Wisconsin is less than 2,000 miles away. Hawaii is almost exactly 10,000 miles from New York. If you buy this ticket you’re paying 3.65 cents per mile. (A $365 ticket to Madison would be around 20 cents per mile. Plus we’re talking Hawaii vs. Wisconsin in winter. No contest.)
This price war has been going on for a few months. We went to Hawaii in January, and bought our tickets in November, when they were in the $500-550 range. We thought that was a real bargain. Since our trip, I’ve been running the prices (because it’s hard not to want to go back). And I’ve witnessed them drop to around $470, then $430, even $420. Now they have broken the $400 barrier.
And it’s not just Hawaiian Airlines. American and United are currently at $397 for those dates, with Delta a distant (but still reasonable) fourth at $427.
On Kayak.com, the prices appear to remain in this range until the week of March 17, presumably because that’s a higher travel period (Spring Break!). But the way prices have been slashed, who knows, in a week or two maybe those dates will come cheap too. All I know is people aren’t buying seats, and the airlines seem desperate. Perhaps it’s because most New Yorkers would rather opt for a three hour flight to Puerto Rico or Jamaica, than a ten hour journey to Oahu. But everything’s negotiable, and considering Hawaii is in the U.S. (read: no time wasted at the airport), has predictably perfect weather, and will get you 10,000 airline miles, I’ll bet people will start thinking differently when they see these prices. For me it was worth every penny.