Southwest, the double-edged sword
Southwest Airlines coming to Hawaii is like the second coming to many. Champagne corks were metaphorically bursting all over the 50th state when Southwest announced their March 17 inaugural schedule of flights between San Francisco and Honolulu for as low as $49 one way on select flights.
The good news: cheap flights! The bad news: our already stressed tourism industry which brings on overstressed statewide infrastructures will be even more stressed.
The Garden Island is already experiencing record tourism, which effects everything from standstill traffic jams, long lines at the grocery stores and walk-in clinics. My latest pet peeve is even my favorite spot to bike and walk my dog, the beautiful Eastside pedestrian/bike trail, is now like a human highway with bicycle rentals. It’s no longer the peaceful/meditative experience it once was.
The great news: cheap flights; the bad news: even more visitors will saturate our islands, further stressing our roads, sewage systems, and other crucial infrastructures which can barely accommodate the 70,000-plus residents currently residing here, with these inexpensive airfares.
I am delighted travel will finally be affordable. I am saddened and depressed that Hawaii will never be what it was, but then again that’s the price we pay for “progress?”
Therefore, on the bright side, like The Mamas and Papas song of the ‘60s says, “So if you’re going to San Francisco, make sure to wear some flowers in your hair!”
I guess you call it a double-edged sword.
James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapaa