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Old 11-25-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
disneyridleys
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Default Using different air carriers - is it too difficult?

Hey guys!
Okay, we are not flyers. We drive most of the time. This summer we are going to Aulani (yay!), but we cannot drive there (I looked into it - apparently my Sienna does not float).
So, I live in Houston, and we are the hub for United, but YIKES! - it's expensive to fly to Hawaii from here!
We have toyed with the idea of using Southwest to get out to LAX, then use Hawaiian airlines or another one to get from LAX to HNL. It will save us about $1000.
So, my question is, is it hard to fly in to an airport, grab your bags, re-check into a different airline and go through security and such all over again? There would be (in theory) a little less than 3 hours layover between the SW flight and the HA flight.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
kiapgh23e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyridleys View Post
Hey guys!
Okay, we are not flyers. We drive most of the time. This summer we are going to Aulani (yay!), but we cannot drive there (I looked into it - apparently my Sienna does not float).
So, I live in Houston, and we are the hub for United, but YIKES! - it's expensive to fly to Hawaii from here!
We have toyed with the idea of using Southwest to get out to LAX, then use Hawaiian airlines or another one to get from LAX to HNL. It will save us about $1000.
So, my question is, is it hard to fly in to an airport, grab your bags, re-check into a different airline and go through security and such all over again? There would be (in theory) a little less than 3 hours layover between the SW flight and the HA flight.

Any help would be appreciated!
Never have cut it that close with long type flights. If it were me, if time allowed, I would stay overnight at Lax and fly out fresh(ish) the next morning. Seems like too much rushing, and if there is a problem with the 1st flight, you might be screwed. Something like this I would stop and smell the roses on the way out. Way home, I dont care as much.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyridleys View Post
Hey guys!
Okay, we are not flyers. We drive most of the time. This summer we are going to Aulani (yay!), but we cannot drive there (I looked into it - apparently my Sienna does not float).
So, I live in Houston, and we are the hub for United, but YIKES! - it's expensive to fly to Hawaii from here!
We have toyed with the idea of using Southwest to get out to LAX, then use Hawaiian airlines or another one to get from LAX to HNL. It will save us about $1000.
So, my question is, is it hard to fly in to an airport, grab your bags, re-check into a different airline and go through security and such all over again? There would be (in theory) a little less than 3 hours layover between the SW flight and the HA flight.

Any help would be appreciated!
You would not have to grab your bags and go through security again, unless procedures at LAX are contrary to all airports around the world.

Even though you are flying with different airlines, you should be able to check your bags at Houston all the way to Honolulu. And when you disembark you would stay air side and just transfer to the new gate. You may have some kind of security to go through depending on the set-up, but flying back via Newark or Philly it's always been easy.

3 hours seems fine to me. We have transferred at Newark countless times flying from the UK to Orlando, when we really do have to collect bags and go through customs control and immigration and then through security again. We often have around 3 hours and it's been fine. I won't lie though, I always worry about it, even though it would be the airline who would find us new flights if we missed the connection.

As long as you book it as one trip, the airlines should not book you on flights with a shorter than recommended transfer time, as they would be the ones to find you alternative flights. Each airport will have their own recommended transfer times - never ignore them.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
vwlmom
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Whether or not you need to claim you luggage has to do with the airlines and interline agreements. If you are making your own connections (rather then selecting one) specifically using SW there's a very good chance you will need to recheck your luggage at LAX.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:16 PM   #5
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I'm also thinking that with SWA it may mean you have to get the bags. I actually didn't know that airlines would still check thru for transfers to other carriers. Used to do it years ago but for some reason had thought they stopped that but guess that is incorrect. But fairly certain that back in the day SWA meant you had to get the bags and transfer yourself.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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I donít believe SW will transfer, most likely you will have to get your bags and then go through security since bags are outside the gate area.
Best bet is to call SW and ask to get a definite answer.
If you have to get you baggage then check in for your flight, get TSA pre check. Itís worth it and good for five years.
I tend to agree with the first response about staying over night and heading out on the second half the next morning.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:36 PM   #7
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I think I would look into shipping my bags ahead and flying carry-on only if I were doing this itinerary
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:38 PM   #8
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Do you know that SW will start flying to Hawaii in 2018?

I don't know when in 2018, but sometime. I don't know when you're going, but it's worth looking into. That would be the best of both worlds check your bags straight through and pay SW fares.

I love Southwest!
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:56 PM   #9
littlelulu01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyridleys View Post
Hey guys!
Okay, we are not flyers. We drive most of the time. This summer we are going to Aulani (yay!), but we cannot drive there (I looked into it - apparently my Sienna does not float).
So, I live in Houston, and we are the hub for United, but YIKES! - it's expensive to fly to Hawaii from here!
We have toyed with the idea of using Southwest to get out to LAX, then use Hawaiian airlines or another one to get from LAX to HNL. It will save us about $1000.
So, my question is, is it hard to fly in to an airport, grab your bags, re-check into a different airline and go through security and such all over again? There would be (in theory) a little less than 3 hours layover between the SW flight and the HA flight.

Any help would be appreciated!
I would do just carry on. Hawaii isn’t a place where you need to dress up, pack bulky items.. liquids can be purchased once there. We only do carry on for Hawaii and it makes traveling so much less hassle.

LAX is not a fun airport. I don’t think you have time to get bags and recheck. Swa does not have a baggage agreement with other airlines so you will go through the security process again. I thought swa was starting Hawai flights soon? May want to check this out because that would be ideal to stay with same airline. If first flight delayed swa will still get you there if connection flight is swa. . If two separate airlines and you miss 2nd flight it’s on you so may end up much more expensive considering you could be facing last minute purchase of tickets from lax to hnl plus airport hotel, potential missing first night non refundable hotel...

Lax security can be a stressful and long process. Figure if you have to get a hotel for the night you can take that off the savings plus the stress of the whole process and a day of vacation wasted.

In all honesty I’d keep watching price and stick with Houston departure on one carrier. Have you checked Alaska Airlines? They have the bogo $119 fares with their visa and sign up bonus miles.

Another thing to look into is late night arrival to hnl. Many of the less expensive flights have a late night hnl arrival. You could potentially arrive a day early and get a hnl airport hotel with free airport shuttle. Then pick up car rental at airport following morning and save a day off car rental. You can check into Aulani following morning and enjoy the pool and Resort until your room is ready. Also can get Costco shopping for food out of the way and be all set up. I like to get Costco run out of the way first thing, assuming you have a villa with kitchen.

One more thing- don’t just look at lax as a connection city. Alaska Airlines flies direct from many west coast cities. Flight time from Seattle or even anchorage to hnl direct is only 6:20 vs lax to hnl at 6 hours. I just purchased daughter’s tickets from anchorage to hnl for 25k miles rt or less than $300 each rt from anchorage. Our tickets from Seattle to hnl were not much more. Alaska Airlines is I think the only carrier that allows companion fare from and to Alaska and Hawaii. Pdx is another airport to check out but less flights per day. Since we have kids in Alaska, we have the visa for everyone in the family. Each member of the family gets the $119 companion fare and we almost always use them for Hawaii. Husband and wife can each have one.

Last edited by littlelulu01; 11-25-2017 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:38 PM   #10
TexasChick
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We also live in Houston and have missed more connections than we can count because of airline/weather delays. We always plan at least a 4 hour layover. For our honeymoon, we had a 3.5 hour layover in Newark and missed the plane to Spain because we were grounded in Houston for hours while sitting in the tarmac due to ďoperational errorsĒ in Newark. It was a miserable experience on how we finally got there. Funny, I was looking at Hawaii flights last night. We are actually going to use up all of our United miles and cancel our club card because itís so hard to use the miles now, and we have developed a hatred for United for reasons too plentiful to post about here. I feel your pain on the expense. Flights to Hawaii are outrageous from here.

In summary, try to do a long connection, and you will probably have to grab your bags and recheck them because SWA isnít a member of any of the airline alliances. Just google it to see what people are saying about it. Good luck!
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