Hotwire touts cut in fares for Maui travelers

Kahului has made the Hotwire Travel Savings Indicator for January, ranking fifth in the airfare category.

Honolulu and Kailua-Kona topped the air price category with fare drops of 15 percent from last January on Kahului’s price drop was 12 percent.

The average Hotwire airfare for the month was $512 for Kahului, $587 for Honolulu and $528 for Kailua-Kona.

“This month, beachgoers are in luck because Hawaii is the hottest deal market, with nearly every island seeing a considerable drop in airfare prices,” the news release from the discount travel site said. “As United, Hawaiian, Delta and Alaska airlines continue to compete for more passengers, each airline is offering more seats and better deals for visitors headed to the Aloha State.”

The Hotwire savings indicator features the top five cities in the U.S. where air, hotel and car rental rates have dropped the most as compared to the same time last year. The report is meant to help guide travelers to the best destinations for maximizing their travel dollars each month, the news release said.

Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, explained that the first couple of weeks in January are slow after the holiday rush.

“People are not as active because they have finished their holidays,” she said, adding that the airlines may be lowering their fares to “entice people to come earlier in January.”

The report does not say where on the Mainland the flights originate, but Vencl thought it was California.

Vencl said she did not believe the report of lower fares in January was tied to open airline seats. This report is consistent with a seasonal trend, with the survey taking into account those slow first two weeks of the month, she said.

It might be worrisome if there were more than one month of lower fares, she said.

The Hotwire Travel Savings Indicator runs results during the second week of each month, the news release said. Results are calculated by looking at Hotwire booking data for select regions in the current month and comparing prices in the current month against Hotwire prices in the same month in the prior year.

The airfare prices are average prices based on bookings across all seat classes.