Hawaii on Sale! But There’s a Catch

As a Hotel industry worker, I speak with travelers, airline employees and travel industry workers on a daily basis. From them I find out about bargains, discounts, places to visit and travel tips as well as places to avoid, rip-offs and scams. I use this knowledge to help others when I can.

A Travel Agent in Hawaii called to cancel a reservation and when I asked her how things were in Paradise, she sighed and told me Hawaii was no travel paradise anymore. With the high run-up in fuel costs, airlines had tacked on a fuel surcharge of get this: $240 per ticket! She said with ATA and Aloha Airlines out of business, prices have shot up because of limited flights and now the higher surcharges have made a round trip ticket to Hawaii or the mainland cost anywhere from $800 to $1000.00. Not counting the fees to take a bag with you either.

Ever curious, I checked. Sure enough, on the two main carriers to Hawaii from San Francisco, one was charging $920 round trip and the other wanted $980.00. There should be a trade-off however and I knew that would come in the form of lower hotel charges. Sure enough, I checked a major Third Party site to see if hotels were slashing fares and on page one, almost 1/3rd of the hotels had lowered rates anywhere from 20 -35{56e94487539310e8c611ec1a332f28059d6b4b561a913cf06d6420f600d8537b}. If you avoided Third Party sites and called hotels directly, others were offering accommodations with the 3rd or 4th night FREE. On a six day stay, even in a $400 per night room this would save you $800.00. Of course $400 per night is not a cheap hotel by any means and I am sure off the beach motels are far cheaper but the savings is not going to be $400 TOTAL either.

So the bottom line is it appears to be bargain time on Waikiki – but the offset is the higher fares required to enjoy it. For most people, the trade-off is not cost effective and perhaps the only people finding bargains are those with free miles to burn or people who earned discount coupons or free flight coupons. For them, Paradise still exists in midsummer – something unheard of in years past. Could be the time to shout SURFS UP and look for bargains in Hawaii at the last minute!

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