December 3, 2023

Travel Hawaii

It's Your Travel Hawaii

West Maui Reopens October 8: Gaffes Lead to Deals

On Friday, Hawaii’s governor finally put a stake in the sand and set October 8 as the day visitors to West Maui may return. But there’s more to follow, and expect travel deals to start immediately. Alaska Airlines is the first one out of the chute.

Press release clarifies missteps and widely wavering reopening dates.

“West Maui communities of Kā‘anapali, Nāpili, Honokōwai, and Kapalua will fully reopen on Sunday, October 8, two months after the August 8 wildfires that destroyed Lahaina…Hawaii residents and visitors are encouraged to make travel plans to Maui.”

Governor Green said, “Beginning October 8, all travel restrictions will end, and West Maui will be open to visitors again, so people from Hawaii and around the world can resume travel to this special place and help it begin to recover economically. This difficult decision is meant to bring hope for recovery to the families and businesses on Maui that have been so deeply affected in every way by the disaster.”

This follows a week of befuddled messages and frustration at the hands of the state.

Earlier this week, the governor could not decide exactly what date was appropriate for officially reopening West Maui, weighing all considerations. We say officially because West Maui has never actually been closed.

The state first asked that visitors not go to West Maui until October 17. Then, other dates that went as far out as December 1 were floated. But clearly, the businesses and workers in West Maui were having no part of that, and to avoid a revolt, the state did yet another about-face and moved the date to October 8.

It has been exhausting for all concerned, and we’ll cut the state some slack due to the disaster, although how Hawaii manages such things, as seen when trying to reopen post-Covid, is abysmal.

Even as the governor did the about face on opening dates, it caught the Maui mayor off-guard. Apparently, he was not a part of the decision-making that led to the reversal.

Widespread sales start now to mark a return to Maui.

Those of you awaiting a return to Maui can expect ubiquitous airfare and accommodation sales for the period from October 8 until November, or even beyond until the holidays begin mid-December.

Longtime Hawaii loyalist Alaska Airlines has come out first with a sale for the return to Maui. We received notification of that late Friday from Daniel Chun, Alaska Airlines Regional VP – Hawaii.

Alaska Airlines’ $99 airfares are available from Los Angeles to Maui and San Jose to Maui when traveling from October 8 through November 15. Seattle starts at $129 each way, San Diego $149 each way and Portland $169 each way.

The last chance to book online is September 11. Travel dates are October 8 to November 15. Go to Alaska Airlines for more information and book soon.

Those are the basic economy prices, and the regular economy is an additional $40. We would also not be surprised to see those dates extended.

Other airlines will follow this sale, so stay tuned for those. As of this evening, Hawaiian Airlines had not updated its website.

Maui accommodations will see major discounts this fall.

West Maui and, in fact, all Maui accommodations will be on sale for fall travel. We expect to regularly see discounts of up to 25% announced. Stay tuned for more.

Are you ready to return to West Maui and Maui in general this fall?