Southwest Airlines interisland service took flight on Sunday.
The first flight was from Kahului to Honolulu at 7 a.m.
Southwest flights leave Kahului for Honolulu at 7 a.m., 10:08 a.m., 1:50 p.m., and 5 p.m.
Flights leave Honolulu for Kahului at 8:30 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 3:25 p.m., and 7:05 p.m.
Passengers who departed Kahului for the inaugural day received Krispy Kreme donuts and passengers departing Honolulu were given Leonard’s bakery pastries.
Passengers were also greeted with music and hula at the gates.
For the majority of passengers, flying from Maui to Honolulu was a breeze.
“It was great, timely, they gave us free donuts, free coffee—seats were readily available and the flight time was quicker than I expected,” said Kihei resident William Arnold.
Southwest says the interisland aircraft has 175 seats.
“There was no assigned seating and everyone got in and off way faster than when I flew like say on Hawaiian Airlines,” said Maui resident Therese Manner.
She says inter-island travelers should be mindful that Southwest departs and arrives through mainland terminals on both Maui and Oahu.
That means no fruits or vegetables are allowed in your carry on.
“You have to be careful of what you carry on, they would not allow me to take any fruits,” she said.
Southwest said in a statement that they are aware of the situation and that they’re in discussion with the US Department of Agriculture for a solution.
However, each passenger can check two free bags so for now, the airline advises passengers to store fruits in there.
Another thing to be mindful of is the terminals Southwest takes off from. There are several airlines taking off from the same terminal which made for long TSA lines at the airport on Sunday.
Airport officials in Honolulu still recommend that passengers come three hours before their flight.
Manner also says it’s a long walk from the gate to baggage claim.
“If you don’t know the mainland terminal here on Oahu, which I don’t even know and I’m from here, but it is a walk—so you’re actually walking off the plane outside and it’s about a 10 minute walk to the baggage claim so that is something to think about,” she said.
Southwest employees were also advising passengers that it was a 10-minute walk to the gate after the TSA line.
Flights were not sold out today.
The next interisland service will be Honolulu to Kona. That takes off on May 12.