Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines: Take your pick for an easy jaunt to the Aloha State from Oakland.
On clear days, you can almost see Diamond Head from Jack London Square. OK, no, from Alameda. OK, no, you can’t. But it’s a straight shot and easy flight across the sea.
From Oakland International Airport, Hawaiian Airlines operates daily nonstop flights to Honolulu, Maui-Kahului, and Kauai-Lihue. These flights include that almost-extinct in-air luxury: complimentary meals.
Alaska Airlines, which offers more nonstop flights year-round to Hawaii from the West Coast than any other airline, flies nonstop from Oakland to Honolulu, Kona (on the Big Island), Maui, and Kauai.
Southwest Airlines announced plans last year to start service to Hawaii this year, and chose Oakland as one of the few mainland airports in the program.
Hawaiian Airlines debuted its Oakland-Kauai flights last July, timing the debut to coincide with the 91st anniversary of the first-ever flight from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii. That flight, of course, began in Oakland.
At 6:29 a.m. on June 28, 1927, the Atlantic-Fokker C-2 Bird of Paradise left Oakland — whose airport had been chosen because its especially long runway could accommodate the heavy plane, which pilot Lester Maitland and navigator Albert Hegenberger landed safely in Kauai’s Wheeler Field 25 hours hence.
These days, the flight takes only five hours.