Hawaiian Inter-Island flights are a common occurrence on all of the islands. In fact, just as some people commute across mainland states to and from their jobs, many people in Hawaii actually commute daily from one Island to the other for work.
There was a time when a Hawaiian Inter-Island super ferry would transport people from locations such as Honolulu to Kahului, Maui. However, in 1999 a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that made it mandatory for the ferries to produce an Environmental Impact Report the ferry service stopped. There were many on the Islands that were torn by the ferry system. On one hand it was very convenient and on the other the environmental impact was unknown.
Today, inter-island travel is done mainly by airline. The major players in the inter-island airlines as of today are: Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, and Mokulele Airlines.
Hawaiian Airlines is the oldest of the group (and was actually called Inter-Island Airline at its inception in 1929) and owns about 85% of the inter-island transportation market share. However, all of the airlines that provide flights to the other islands are very professional and mostly affordable.
Depending on how far in advance you’re booking, the time of year you book, and whether you get a package or multi-flight deal, then inter-island flights can range from around $70 one-way all the way up to $200!
Tips to Avoid High Inter-Island Airline Costs
- Purchase Soon! As soon as possible! As soon as you have a hard date for a trip to another island then book the cheapest flight that you can find with any of the carriers.
- Be Flexible in Your Flight Times. Many people who are visiting the islands or who reside here tend to fly the most between Friday and Sunday (visiting family and friends and such). Also, the cheapest flights tend to be early morning or late night, but NOT ALWAYS. Look around.
- Don’t decide on one airline that you like the best. In many cases, the competing airlines run specials on weeks that the others do not in order to capture market share and customer base. Check out all of the airlines, all of the time.
- Carriers will sometimes charge you a lot of money for checked bags on inter-island flights. If you’re visiting another island for a day hike or camping trip then consider only packing a carry-on and truly roughing it. Or you can rent gear that you need on the host Island.