It's A Fare War! Today's The Day To Buy A Hawaii Flight

Sep 18, 2015
Who wants to spend Thanksgiving in Hawaii?

A good ol’ fashioned fare war has popped up – and the battleground is Hawaii.

What’s a fare war? It’s when one airline targets the routes of another (usually out of the second airline’s hubs) with much lower fares than the current going market. These are generally unadvertised and unannounced sales -- and they can pop up and go away in the same day.

After the recent round of airline consolidation, more than 80% of domestic routes are now concentrated between American, United, Delta and Southwest. As a result, airfare wars are now generally few and far between. Is it collusion? Who knows, although the DOJ is currently investigating.

But late this week, an airfare war has popped up in Hawaii.

On Thursday (Sept. 18), our deal experts noticed that American dropped one-stop fares to Honolulu for $488 roundtrip from Chicago, Denver, Houston and Cleveland. That price is $250-$400 off the going fare for this Hawaii itinerary. Why is that important? These four airports also happen to be United hubs -- and United has the only nonstop on the route.

Fares are good through the fall – including Thanksgiving.

On Friday (Sept. 19), our deal experts found more great Hawaii fares -- $488 one-stop flights to Honolulu on United from Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami and St. Louis? Those airports happen to be ones that American has a heavy presence in, especially as the US Airways merger finalized.

Is it a coincidence that American and United dropped fares from airports dominated by their competitor?

Maybe. But if it looks like an fare war, and smells like a fare war, it’s probably a fare war.

What’s a consumer to do? Jump on these fares, they won't last. Don’t wait for the truce flag, as these fares will go back up. Use the links below to fly your flight to Hawaii and book. (Remember, you have 24 hours to cancel in case the travel plans don’t come together.)

(Update: As of 1:55 p.m. on Sept. 22, the $488 roundtrip fares were still available from Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston & St. Louis. Prices from Philly, Charlotte, Dallas & Miami have gone up.)

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