United Airlines launches
‘Mele Kalikimaka’ fares

United Airlines, which pioneered special Christmas fares to the mainland for Hawaii residents in 1984, has launched the 2003 version of its "Mele Kalikimaka" fares.

United Air Lines Round trips to the West Coast start as low as $404, plus fees and taxes.

But while there are many competitive fares in the West Coast market, the Christmas specials may have better advantages for travelers farther inland.

For example, a round trip from Honolulu to New York is $572 before about $30 in taxes and fees. Standard fares on that route can run well over $700.

United originally created the Hawaii-resident special to fill mainland-bound seats emptied by mainlanders staying in Hawaii for the holidays.

Available only to those who show evidence that they live in Hawaii, the specials require travel to start between Dec. 3 and Dec. 27, with return trips from Dec. 28 to Jan. 12.

United said its direct neighbor island links will help residents. Among its round-trip special fares are Maui-San Francisco for $446, Kauai-Las Vegas for $460 and Kona-Phoenix for $460, before fees and taxes.


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