Today is a big day for Southwest! They’ve been talking about flying to Hawaii for awhile, although the government shutdown delayed them a few months. As of now, there is still no set date on when passengers will be able to book flights or when they will actually start taking off, but fingers crossed it is sooner than later! Despite the lack of information, we do know that Southwest is inching closer.
Southwest told USA Today that their first flight to Hawaii will actually be TODAY! Although you will not see any regular passengers on board. Instead, it will be filled with FAA representatives and the ETOPS team where they will prove that they can fly the long overwater flight with its two-engine Boing 737 jet. Assuming a successful day, this will make them one step closer to secure the ETOPS certification they need.
Southwest states that “Once we pass all phases of the ETOPS application process to the satisfaction of the FAA and receive our ETOPS authorization, we will announce further details of timing for selling and operating flights”. As of now, I assume we will be looking at an April timeframe—I know many families are hoping it comes through right in time for Spring break and Summer vacation!
I am really rooting for Southwest to come through as soon as possible! This will make the Southwest Companion Pass even more valuable! Being able to fly to Hawaii 2-for-1 is pretty awesome and will be a huge cost savings. I know many folks aren’t too keen to fly to Hawaii in economy, but I personally care more about the experience when I get there and can deal with whatever inexpensive flight that will get me there!
Fingers crossed the test flight today goes well. Will you be flying to Hawaii on Southwest this year?