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Will Southwest's entry into the inter-island market lower fares?

Will Southwest's entry into the inter-island market lower fares?

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Old Mar 28, 19, 1:26 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I think SWA will have decent loads but I think the biggest challenge by far for SWA will be when one of the planes goes mechanical - it won't be pretty and it will certainly make the evening news locally. Only UA and HA tend to be able to recover quickly from mechanical issues by virtue of the shear number of flights/seats they operate to be able to get you on another flight.
And it happened yesterday, actually two flights. WN 5700 cancelled and rescheduled for next day (today). WN 6569 departed 2 hours late; connecting flights to LAS, LAX and SLC were held in OAK. Other connecting paxs received hotel vouchers and spent the night in OAK.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:06 pm
  #62  
 
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With Southwest's announcement of Hilo service, this is starting to look like a serious effort to own the interisland market a few years out. Four flights a day aren't enough to compete for hardcore interisland business travelers, but it will work for a lot of purposes. I haven't done a lot of looking, but a quick scan shows some very cheap HA fares in response. That will cause HA some real pain over the kind of time horizon Southwest is presumably working on, and so far I haven't seen any competitive response from HA other than cheap fares. They may end up wishing they'd put a little more effort into earning local travelers' loyalty before this is done.
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Old May 16, 19, 5:27 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Booked and test-rebooked a few of the new segments KOA/OGG/HNL with a view of trying out the new interisland service and, so far, I'm really impressed. This might grow into a serious competitor. Most important: Really no change fees, even though I repeatedly rebooked the same segments. Flight schedule is convenient - there are only 4 flights/day, but these are scheduled exactly when you would want to travel. Booking website usability is first rate - IT guy here here - you can reschedule in seconds, the UI is fast, snappy, robust, no useless field entries required.

That said, I am not sure I like the way Southwest structures their fares. (They are simply adopting their existing West Coast pricing scheme.) There is too much of an emphasis on booking flights very early in order to score one of the "Wanna Get Away" fares, otherwise you face a brutal jump in price to the next tier up, with only minor benefits. (From interisland traveler point of view.) So I guess much of the possible impact on interisland fares would mostly come from frequent promotional "Wanna Get Aways".

Thanks everyone for the heads up regarding potential for delays due to mainland segments coming in late.

Last edited by Alex909; May 17, 19 at 9:46 am
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Old May 16, 19, 10:13 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
With Southwest's announcement of Hilo service, this is starting to look like a serious effort to own the interisland market a few years out. Four flights a day aren't enough to compete for hardcore interisland business travelers, but it will work for a lot of purposes. I haven't done a lot of looking, but a quick scan shows some very cheap HA fares in response. That will cause HA some real pain over the kind of time horizon Southwest is presumably working on, and so far I haven't seen any competitive response from HA other than cheap fares. They may end up wishing they'd put a little more effort into earning local travelers' loyalty before this is done.
Hilo surprises me because it's not really a tourist town. Heck, I've flown into Hilo several times because I was fond of Kapoho, but that area (which was the biggest tourist draw on the east side) is now under lava. So no one is going to stay in business flying tourists to Hilo. I guess the locals will be happy with cheaper flight to HNL, but something tells me that these folks aren't typical WN customers. I guess we'll see what happens.
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Old Yesterday, 11:29 am
  #65  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
I haven't done a lot of looking, but a quick scan shows some very cheap HA fares in response.
I recently compared prices on SWA and Hawaiian between OGG and HNL (there's a ton of flights every day on HA between OGG/HNL) using two browser windows side-by-side. The flights in direct competition time-wise with SWAs 4 daily flights showed the same exact fares overall, though the presentation is quite different .. final prices were identical when picking the cheapest fares but it's hard to see that on the initial flight selection screens. And of course, it doesn't factor in SWAs free bags. Other flights were normal HA pricing.

But now looking at Friday June 28, not seeing direct price competition on every flight. SWA has $39 fares on 3 of its 4 flights, HA only showing one flight 6:30pm with a $39 fare. HA has 27 flights that day from OGG to HNL. SWA has 4 flights, 3 with $39 fares, one with $59 fare. I guess YMMV.

Another data point, on July 9, SWA has $29 fares on all 4 flights. HA has only one flight with $29 fares (7:10pm departure).

I guess what I saw before is not true anymore .. only select flights, and not all, maybe one or two per day will match SWA's cheapest fares. overall, this needs more analysis as I only compared a few random dates today.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Yesterday at 11:58 am
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