When should I buy tickets to Hawaii for travel on August 7?
May 11, 2006 12:01 PM   Subscribe

When should I buy tickets to Hawaii for travel on August 7?

I'm going to Kona from Hartford on August 7th. How far in advance should I buy tickets? My fiance is convinced that we have to buy now or we'll pay much more later. Will prices rise or fall as the date approaches? I've checked kayak.com, but prices are in the neighborhood of $900 and tend to have long layovers. Should I try to fly to Honolulu and then get a separate flight to Kona? Should I try priceline?
posted by indigo4963 to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii (12 answers total)
$219 -- Kona (Hawaii) from Boston (each way)
Source: United Airlines

I got this yesterday - can you fly from boston??
posted by beccaj at 12:17 PM on May 11, 2006

crap. Sorry. was for "last minute".
posted by beccaj at 12:19 PM on May 11, 2006

well .... it's a 3+ hour drive from my house. But I suppose it's a possibility. But it looks like that fare is for travel by June 8th. Still, gotta love those last minute deals!
posted by indigo4963 at 12:20 PM on May 11, 2006

You MAY be able to catch a sale. But it looks like LOTS of the flights have 2 stops etc...
For saving a few hundred dollars (between the two I am guessing) I would rather have pice of mind and have the tickets...I'm a big wait and seer when it comes to airline tickets and way more than often lose out.

When are you returning??
posted by beccaj at 12:26 PM on May 11, 2006

Continental has a non-stop from Newark to Honolulu. Then a short hop over to Kona (unless you want to overnight in Honolulu.) It's how I got to Maui from Waterbury. It was nice, so you should see if it is available.

Coming back I went Maui->Houston->Newark and that was a lot less pleasant. The Houston->Newark leg was a crummy hub-to-hub cattle flight, especially compared to the high-end Newark->Honolulu vacationer flight.
posted by smackfu at 12:29 PM on May 11, 2006

beccaj - returning Aug 17th. I think my fiance mirrors your thoughts about having tickets in hand.

smackfu - I'll look into Newark ... it's a bit of a drive, though.

what can I expect on the flight to Hawaii? Meals, entertainment?
posted by indigo4963 at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2006

This might be one of those rare instances where it's worth it to at least call a travel agent. Lots of tour groups go to Hawaii, and agents may know about discounted seats available on charter flights and similar tourist deals. Just a thought...
posted by j-dawg at 1:47 PM on May 11, 2006

Try Air to Hawaii. They have always had the best rates. I just bought a ticket from them that was half the price of than what was listed on the airlines website. Just watch out for the travel insurance. The default is for you to purchase it
posted by tirebouchon at 5:35 PM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm a Big Island native who's been traveling home for summer and winter for the last 6 years from Chicago and New York. I tend to book tickets 3 months in advance of the Winter holiday since prices have the potential to jump a lot near Christmas.

I've flown ATA almost exclusively for the last 4 years. Their service has been amazingly trouble-free for a discount carrier, and now they fly directly to Hilo (which is on the East side of the Big Island, and a reasonable alternative arrival destination to look at).

I'm not aware of any late summer sales running right now, I think ATA had one but I don't see it anymore. You should keep an eye on these three airlines for promotions:

Hawaiian Airlines (currently running promotional interisland flights)
Aloha Airlines

Also, I can recommend a travel agent based in Hilo who's handled flights for me if you send me an email. (On preview, holy wow airtohawaii.com looks like a nice source for promotional fares).
posted by onalark at 6:10 PM on May 11, 2006

Nobody's mentioned bidding for travel. They've got listings of what people bid and what priceline accepted for flights. There's also Better Bidding.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 7:25 PM on May 11, 2006

thanks for all the responses. I think I'll take beccaj's advice and have a ticket in hand. I'll check out those other sites for discount fares.
posted by indigo4963 at 12:18 PM on May 12, 2006

i'm taking the continental direct flight in july! i think amtrak makes stops at newark airport, so you could take the train if you don't want to drive (of course, depending on how much you trust amtrak...)
posted by armacy at 2:06 PM on May 17, 2006

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