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With its breathtaking beaches, volcanic landscapes, and casual island vibe, Hawaii is one of the top dream vacation destinations for people across the United States and beyond. But for Californians hoping for an affordable Hawaiian getaway, scoring a cheap flight can be a challenge.

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly options for getting to Hawaii from California, here’s a quick answer: flying out of major airports like LAX and SFO during shoulder seasons, using budget airlines, and being flexible with your travel dates can help you find the cheapest fares. You may also want to consider alternatives like cruise ships.

Booking Regular Flights During Shoulder Seasons

If you’re looking for the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii from California, booking regular flights during shoulder seasons can be a great option. Shoulder seasons are the periods between peak and off-peak travel times, and they often offer lower airfare prices.

Fly mid-April to mid-June or September to mid-December

One way to take advantage of cheaper flights is to plan your trip to Hawaii during the shoulder seasons. Mid-April to mid-June and September to mid-December are generally considered shoulder seasons for travel to Hawaii. During these times, the demand for flights is lower, resulting in more affordable ticket prices.

Be flexible with your exact travel dates

Flexibility with your travel dates can also help you find cheaper flights to Hawaii. Try to avoid peak travel times, such as holidays and school breaks, as these tend to have higher ticket prices. Instead, consider traveling on weekdays or during less popular times of the month to save money on your airfare.

Depart from major airports like LAX, SFO, SAN, OAK

Departing from major airports like Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Diego International Airport (SAN), or Oakland International Airport (OAK) can increase your chances of finding cheaper flights to Hawaii. These airports often have more flight options and competitive prices due to the higher number of airlines operating from them.

Using Budget Airlines

If you’re looking for the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii from California, budget airlines are a great option to consider. These airlines offer affordable fares that can help you save money on your trip. Let’s take a look at some of the top budget airlines that operate flights between California and Hawaii.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is known for its low fares and excellent customer service. They offer direct flights from several California cities to Hawaii, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. With their no-frills approach, Southwest Airlines provides a cost-effective way to travel to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Plus, they often have special deals and promotions that can make your trip even more affordable.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air is another budget airline that offers flights from California to Hawaii. They operate flights from cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego to destinations like Honolulu and Maui. With their focus on low-cost travel, Allegiant Air provides an option for travelers who are looking to save money on their journey. It’s worth checking their website for any current deals or discounts that may be available.

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines is a budget-friendly airline that offers flights from California to Hawaii. They have routes from cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego to popular Hawaiian destinations. With their competitive fares and comfortable seating, Sun Country Airlines provides a great option for travelers on a budget. Be sure to keep an eye out for any special promotions or discounts that they may offer.

When using budget airlines, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be additional fees for things like baggage or seat selection. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the airline’s policies and factor in any additional costs when comparing fares. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to book your flights in advance to secure the best prices.

For more information on flights and fares, you can visit the official websites of these budget airlines:

By considering these budget airlines, you can find affordable options for your journey from California to Hawaii. So, start planning your trip and get ready to enjoy the beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands!

Trying Alternative Transportation

When it comes to finding the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii from California, thinking outside the box can save you a significant amount of money. Instead of relying solely on traditional methods like flights, consider exploring alternative transportation options that offer unique experiences and potential cost savings.

Cruise ships leaving from California ports

One option to consider is taking a cruise ship from a California port to Hawaii. Several cruise lines offer sailings from ports such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, providing a leisurely and affordable way to travel to the islands. Not only do these cruises offer a chance to relax and enjoy the journey, but they often include onboard amenities and activities to enhance your vacation experience. Plus, with a variety of departure dates and durations available, you can find a cruise that fits your schedule and budget.

According to a study conducted by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), cruises can be a cost-effective way to travel. The study found that when factoring in accommodation, meals, and entertainment, cruises can offer significant savings compared to traditional air travel. In addition, some cruise lines offer package deals that include flights to and from California, further reducing the overall cost of your trip.

Combination flight and cruise packages

If you prefer the speed and convenience of air travel but still want to explore the option of cruising, consider booking a combination flight and cruise package. Many travel agencies and online booking platforms offer bundled deals that include both your flight from California to Hawaii and a cruise once you arrive. These packages often provide discounted rates compared to booking each component separately.

By combining your flight and cruise into one package, you can save both time and money. Additionally, some packages may include additional perks such as hotel stays before or after your cruise, giving you the opportunity to explore California before embarking on your Hawaiian adventure.

When considering alternative transportation options, it’s important to do your research and compare prices. Websites like Cruise Critic and Kayak can help you explore different cruise options and compare prices to find the best deal. Remember to consider factors such as departure dates, duration, and onboard amenities when making your decision.

Booking Connecting Flights

When it comes to finding the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii from California, booking connecting flights can be a great option. By breaking up your journey into multiple legs, you have the opportunity to find better deals and potentially save money. Here are some tips to consider when booking your connecting flights:

Make OAK, SAN or LAX your connection airport

If you’re looking for affordable connecting flights to Hawaii, consider making Oakland (OAK), San Diego (SAN), or Los Angeles (LAX) your connection airport. These airports often have a wide range of flights to choose from, allowing you to find the best options for your budget. Plus, they are major hubs for many airlines, which means you may have more opportunities to find discounted fares.

Be open to longer layovers

When booking connecting flights, be open to longer layovers. While it may be tempting to choose the shortest layover time possible, opting for a longer layover can sometimes lead to significant savings. Use this extra time to explore the city or airport you’re connecting in, turning a layover into a mini adventure.

Check multiple airlines for best connection pricing

To find the cheapest connecting flights to Hawaii, don’t limit yourself to just one airline. Check multiple airlines and compare their prices. Sometimes, different airlines may offer better deals on specific routes or dates. Utilize online travel aggregators or search engines to easily compare prices and find the best options for your trip.

Remember, when booking connecting flights, it’s important to factor in the total cost, including any additional fees or baggage charges. Take the time to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of each airline before making your final decision.

Using Rewards Programs and Deals

Sign up for airline rewards programs

If you’re a frequent traveler, signing up for airline rewards programs can be a great way to save money on your trips to Hawaii. Many airlines offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or miles for every flight you take. These points can then be redeemed for free or discounted flights to your desired destination. By signing up for these programs, you’ll not only be able to earn points for future trips to Hawaii, but you’ll also receive exclusive offers and promotions that can help you save even more.

One popular airline rewards program is the MileagePlus program offered by United Airlines. By signing up for this program, you can earn miles every time you fly with United or their partner airlines. These miles can be used to book flights to Hawaii or any other destination served by United. Additionally, United often runs promotions where you can earn bonus miles for signing up or for reaching certain milestones, making it even easier to accumulate points for your trip.

Use travel deal sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights

Another great way to find affordable flights to Hawaii from California is by utilizing travel deal sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights. These websites specialize in finding and sharing the best flight deals available, including discounted fares to popular destinations like Hawaii. By signing up for their email newsletters or following them on social media, you’ll receive notifications whenever there’s a new deal available.

Scott’s Cheap Flights scours the internet for the best flight prices and shares them with their subscribers. They often find mistake fares or limited-time sales that can save you hundreds of dollars on your trip to Hawaii. So, if you’re flexible with your travel dates and don’t mind a bit of spontaneity, this can be a fantastic way to score a great deal on your flight.

Check airline social media for limited-time sales

Airlines often announce limited-time sales and promotions on their social media channels. By following airlines on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you can stay updated on these deals and snag a cheap flight to Hawaii. These sales usually have a limited number of seats available at discounted prices, so it’s important to act fast if you see a deal that suits your travel plans.

For example, Southwest Airlines often announces their flash sales on social media. These sales can offer significant discounts on flights to Hawaii from California, but they typically only last for a short period of time. By keeping an eye on their social media accounts, you can be one of the first to know about these sales and secure a great deal for your trip.


With some flexible planning and research using the tips above, scoring an affordable flight from California to Hawaii is definitely possible. Flying during shoulder seasons, leveraging budget airlines, considering alternative transportation, and taking advantage of rewards programs and travel deals could all potentially lower your costs. No matter what options you choose, you’ll soon be relaxing on those world-famous Hawaiian beaches without breaking the bank.

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