Dallas – Southwest Airlines (WN) announced it has now been granted access to pre-clear arrivals into Hawaii from its five California destinations. 

“Our value goes beyond our low fares with no surprise fees, and our industry-leading Customer Satisfaction. This Pre-Clear convenience recognizes that Customers are excited to begin enjoying Hawaii once they land, and this process will expedite their time in the airport, allowing them to begin their Hawaii experience more quickly,” said Tony Roach, Southwest Airlines Managing Director of Customer Experience.

What this means is that those travelers who are flying into the islands, have completed the Hawaii Safe Travels program, and show evidence to be in compliance with it will skip the screening once they land in Hawaii.

Passengers who uploaded a screenshot from an approved testing partner of a negative COVID-19 result taken within 72 hours of departure, required travel information, and completed the pre-departure health questionnaire will be eligible to participate in this program. Flyers will then be able to skip the airport screening when they land in Honolulu (Oahu) and Kahului (Maui). 

Southwest Airlines at Honolulu. Photo Courtesy: Ryan Pastorino

Second Airline in the Program

Southwest Airlines becomes the second airline approved for this program following Alaska Airlines (AS), which was the launch airline for the pre-clear Hawaii program back in December. The Hawaii Safe Travels program was launched in October to allow people visiting the airlines who can provide a negative COVID-19 result prior to leaving the mainland an exemption from the states required now 10-day (previously 14-day) quarantine upon arrival. 

Hawaii has been strict on its program partner choosings and will accept COVID-19 test results only from the list on the Hawaii Safe Travels site. WN was able to collaborate with CityHealth Urgent Care to offer appointments for rapid testing from five California locations for the cost of $20 with a guaranteed result within 48 hours from the time of collection.

Those locations are at the Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Long Beach airports along with one additional location in downtown San Francisco. 

Southwest and Hawaii

Since WN launched its Hawaii service back in 2019, it now offers 14 flights a day from five locations in California with the most recent addition being Long Beach to both Honolulu and Kahului, launched earlier this month. The airline also operates 24 interisland flights a day within the state of Hawaii.

The carrier currently uses its Boeing 737-800 aircraft on these routes and hopes to soon add the Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Featured image: Southwest Airlines at Honolulu. Photo Courtesy: Ryan Pastorino

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An aviation photojournalist based in Seattle, aka Boeing's back yard. Brandon is also a freight train engineer for his day job. Prior to that he spent five years working with a Seattle based airline. But his true love is still in aviation and always trying to get the best and most interesting shot possible. He started off his aviation photojournalist career with NYCAviation and AirlineReporter before eventually finding his way to the Airways team where he is the Northwest contributor. Brandon is also an accomplished sports photojournalist having shot MLS Cup, the NFL, NCAA college football, NASCAR races and world-famous soccer teams such as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.