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Hawaiian Airlines Will Add Basic Economy in 2019

Hawaiian Airlines will become the latest airline to add basic economy fares, joining a now widespread trend in the airline industry.

The airline plans to debut the new ticketing class in 2019, according to Hawaii news station KHOU. The class will be called Main Cabin Basic, and like other airlines’ basic economy tickets will be a stripped-down version of regular economy. According to KHOU, Hawaiian’s version will include seats assigned after check-in, no ticket changes or standby, and no eligibility for bonus miles (though travelers can earn regular Hawaiian miles). Main Cabin Basic customers will also board last.

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Hawaiian says travelers will be able to bring standard carry-on bags. United is the only airline that currently does not allow basic economy travelers to bring a full-sized carry-on.

Other airlines offering basic economy fares include JetBlue, United, Delta, and American.

Big Things Ahead?

2019 is shaping up to be a big year for Hawaiian. The airline recently announced new nonstop service from Boston (the longest nonstop flight in the U.S.). The introduction of Main Cabin Basic could open the Hawaiian market to customers who previously balked at the price.

Of course, that depends on … the price. Fares to Hawaii have been relatively low lately, but rising fuel prices may start pressuring those fares upward. Still, with the impending debut of Southwest’s long-anticipated service to Hawaii, and the addition of Main Cabin Basic, flights to the islands may remain competitive for the foreseeable future.

Readers, does all the buzz around Hawaii have you considering a trip next year?

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By Carl Unger

Contributing Editor Carl Unger believes that every trip is worth taking. He loves an extended trip to Europe as much as he enjoys exploring the towns and landscape near home. Basically, you'll find him wherever there is good food, fresh air, and plenty of stories to bring home.

Carl has been writing for SmarterTravel since 2005. His travel writing has also appeared on USA Today and the Boston travel guide.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "It's not revolutionary, but a small Moleskine notebook is my one travel must-have. It's great for noting things you want to remember and it takes up hardly any space in your bag."

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