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Looking for a last-minute getaway to paradise that won’t break the bank? Right now, you can book round-trip tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii for under $300.

The steep discount is due to an airfare war between Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, which has resulted in slashed prices on flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and Oakland to Honolulu, Maui and Kauai from March through early June on each of the airlines.

Both airlines have midweek flights priced at just $298, as of the time of publication. If you want to travel on the weekend, that will set you back a bit more (around $358 round trip, which is still a lower than normal price). Keep in mind that on Alaska Airlines, the lowest fares are part of the “Saver” category, which does not include advance seat assignments. You can upgrade to the main cabin for $358.

The reduced fares only apply to flights out of California. If you want to fly from Boston to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines during the week of April 1, for example, you’re looking at $573.60 roundtrip. 

Similarly, a flight from Chicago to Maui during the same dates will cost you $741.67.

hawaii beach photo
Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

This may be just the beginning for more affordable flights to Hawaii.

Delta Airlines has also lowered its fares to the islands, and low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has now received FAA approval to begin flights to Hawaii for the first time. Southwest will begin selling tickets for flights from four California cities: Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento to Honolulu, Kahului on Maui, Kona, and Lihue on Kauai. They may also eventually offer service between islands.

The airline’s addition of service to Hawaii could make the cost of traveling to the popular vacation destination lower across the board, thanks to what is dubbed “the Southwest effect,” according to a University of Virginia study.

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Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

The only potential downside to cheaper flights to Hawaii? At least in Southwest’s case, the airline will not be adding more international flights for the time being in order to focus on the new service.

“Were it not for Hawaii, we would absolutely be adding some more international routes and augmenting some of our flying,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said during an earnings call in January 2019. “So it’s simply a matter of prioritization, and Hawaii, I think, deserves that kind of prioritization. It’s that big of an opportunity.”

Hawaii-bound travelers are likely to agree.

h/t: Insider


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