Hawaii Travel & Operational Differences
Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), certain plants, plant products, animals, and animal products will not be permitted when traveling to Hawaii. For a complete list of items not permitted, visit here.
All agricultural items must be declared on the Plants and Animals Declaration Form prior to arrival. Forms will be distributed and collected by Flight Attendants prior to landing in Hawaii. Declared agricultural items must be presented for inspection to a Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Plant Quarantine inspector in the baggage claim area. Most plants are permitted into Hawaii after inspection.
Southwest operates from the Mainland terminal in select Hawaii airports. In these instances, mainland agriculture regulations for carry-on bags will apply. Agriculture restricted items need to be placed in checked luggage.
Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, certain fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers are prohibited in carryon items when traveling between Hawaiian Islands. Examples of these carryon restrictions include but are not limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, berries of any kind, fresh flowers, plants or plants in soil, seeds, live insects, cotton or cotton bolls, and sugarcane.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits or restricts the transportation of many agricultural products from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, including most fresh fruits and vegetables and certain types of plants and flowers.
Please pay attention to airport signage to find an agriculture check station and complete an agriculture check prior to checking your bags and proceeding through TSA security. Find out what items are prohibited and/or allowed for transport back to the U.S. mainland here.
Pet Policy for Hawaii Travel
You cannot transport pets to or from Hawaii.
Trained Service Dog Policy for Hawaii Travel
Yes. No other animals are permitted on flights from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii. There are strict guidelines and specific procedures that must be completed before your service dog can be accepted into the state of Hawaii. Customers also must adhere to our procedures for accepting trained service dogs.
When transporting trained service animals to or from Hawaii, you’re responsible for full compliance with Hawaii’s laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to the transportation of animals, including all documentation requirements. Hawaii Department of Agriculture documentation requirements for trained service dogs must be verified with a Customer Service Agent at both your origin station and any connection city. The Customer Service Agent must verify:
- The date on your animal’s health certificate is within 14 days of the date of travel to Hawaii.
- Your animal’s health certificate is completed in English.
- Your animal’s health certificate includes the veterinarian contact information.
- Your animal’s health certificate includes rabies vaccination information.
If you’re traveling to any destination other than Honolulu, you must also obtain a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit.
All animals must be declared on the Plants and Animals Declaration Form. These forms will be distributed and collected by Flight Attendants prior to landing in Hawaii.
For more information, see the Animal Quarantine Information Page at https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/.
- Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and animals from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs, regardless of age or purpose, must comply with Hawaii’s import requirements.
- Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the only port of entry for all animals, unless a valid Neighbor Island Inspection Permit has been issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. This includes trained service dogs. Animals arriving without proper documentation may be quarantined for up to 120 days in Honolulu at the owner’s expense. Southwest Airlines is not responsible for any costs incurred should you arrive in Hawaii without proper health documentation.
- Upon arrival at Honolulu International Airport (HNL), a Customer Service Agent must complete a Shipmaster’s Declaration form and escort you with your trained service dog from the aircraft directly to the Airport Animal Quarantine Facility before allowing you and your animal into the baggage claim area to retrieve your checked bags.
- You should arrange for your trained service dog to arrive at the Airport Animal Quarantine Station at HNL Airport by 4:30 p.m. Normal inspection hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local Hawaii time. We suggest you allow sufficient time to complete the inspection process by arranging travel on a flight arriving by 3:30 p.m. Trained service dogs not arriving at the facility during normal inspection hours noted above will not be released from the airport the same day. Customers may alternatively request inspection in the terminal at HNL between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. local Hawaii time by notifying the Rabies Quarantine Branch seven (7) days or more before arrival.
- If an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) is traveling with a trained service dog, a person 18 years of age or older is responsible for completing the required documentation for presentation to the Airport Animal Quarantine Station upon arrival in Hawaii.
Southwest does not charge fees for you to bring your trained service dog onboard with you.
However, there are fees associated with the State of Hawaii Quarantine Program, and inspection hours and Quarantine Program Fees are subject to change at any time without notice. For more information, visit here or contact the Airport Animal Quarantine Station at (808) 837-8092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event of a delay that would result in your animal not being released from quarantine until the following day, we’ll rebook you on the next available flight.
If your flight from U.S. mainland to Hawaii is diverted to a Hawaii location other than your scheduled destination, a Customer Service Agent will meet your inbound flight and ensure your animal remains in the gate area until you have boarded the final flight to your destination.
Yes, if you’re traveling somewhere other than Honolulu. Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the only point of entry for dogs entering Hawaii unless a valid Neighbor Island Inspection Permit has been issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. For more information regarding a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit, go here.
If traveling to any other Hawaiian destination, a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit is required to fly an animal directly to an approved neighbor island airport. If you don’t have the permit at your departure airport, you must be rebooked to HNL. Animals that are denied entry will be transported to HNL for inspection or transported out-of-state at the owner’s expense.
Travel Experience for Hawaii Travel
Unaccompanied Minors (ages 5-11) and Young Travelers (ages 12-17) can fly on nonstop or direct flights to Hawaii. Young Travelers can also fly on connecting flights to Hawaii.
When checking an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) or Young Traveler (YT) in for travel, the parent/guardian must complete the Plants and Animals Declaration Form at the departure gate. A Gate Agent must verify that any UM/YT has a completed and signed Plants and Animals Declaration Form.
For additional information regarding Unaccompanied Minors and helpful tips, visit here.
For additional information regarding Young Travelers and helpful tips, visit here.
All flights between Hawaii and the U.S. are offering alcoholic beverages, as well as free sodas, juice, and coffee. You’ll also get an exclusive Hawaii snack bag. For passengers that require a full meal during travel, we highly recommend bringing these items onboard as food is not sold on Southwest flights.
Service onboard interisland flights varies. Flights between HNL-ITO and LIH-OGG offer alcoholic beverages, as well as free sodas, juice, and coffee. All other interisland routes feature water service only due to restrictions with total flight time.
We don’t have standard or USB plugs onboard, so if you smartphone, tablet, or laptop is running low on battery, we recommend getting a quick charge in the airport prior to boarding.
While charging currently is not available onboard, we have a plan to bring the next generation of Customer Experience in travel through more than two billion dollars in planned investments. Why? Because we’re the airline with Heart. New initiatives, including upgraded WiFi, in-seat power, and larger overhead bins, combined with recent enhancements, aim to transform your experience from booking to boarding and beyond. Learn more about the future here.
Our Inflight Entertainment Portal* features a flight tracker, arrival and connecting gate information, free movies, and access to Southwest.com at no charge. You can also enjoy free messaging1, free on-demand TV2, free Live TV2, free music2, and web browsing (with paid WiFi access) during your flight.
*Available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft. Limited-time offer. Where available.
For only $8 all day** (and free for our A-List Preferred Members) per device, you can access the internet, check your email, or post on social media. We accept all major forms of payment: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.
**Internet access for $8 a day, per device. In order to provide the best experience, we block access to certain high-bandwidth applications, websites, and video conferencing services, including, but not limited to, Netflix, HBO Max, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. In consideration of the public environment onboard, we also block potentially offensive online content.
1Only allows access to iMessage and WhatsApp (must be downloaded before the flight).
2Due to licensing restrictions, on WiFi-enabled flights, Free Live TV and iHeartRadio may not be available for the full duration of the flight.