One of the most common questions that I hear is about cheap flights to American Samoa. After looking online, people want to know if they even exist and if there is a way to get to American Samoa on a backpackers budget. The simple answer is not really. The complex answer is maybe.
If you are looking for the prices you are use to seeing in Asia with Air Asia and Cebu Pacific Air, you will be disappointed. The most expensive leg of travel between the mainland to American Samoa is from Hawaii. It is currently cheaper to fly from New York to Hawaii than from Hawaii to American Samoa. New York is three times as far as American Samoa.
One thing to note is that getting cheap flights to American Samoa is not the easiest thing to do.
Why Cheap flights don’t really exist
Hawaiian Airlines is the only airline with Boeing jets that can fly from Hawaii. They also seem to have a total monopoly on the route. No one can or will compete with them. As a result, they can charge whatever they want and people will just be forced to pay for it.
In theory, you would think the flights would be cheaper because you are traveling on a domestic flight from one airport to another within the United States. This is mere theory at this point. In many cases, traveling to the United States through Fiji might actually save you a little money.
The simple answer is they have to get a competitive airlines to come to American Samoa that will have a price war with Hawaiian. There has been talks of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. However, I do not see Southwest entering the market as they have even pulled out of the Hawaiian market since the discussions.
What are the options?
I would suggest trying to catch a good price on Fiji Airways to Apia’s Faleolo International Airport. You might also find a deal using Virgin Australia or Air New Zealand if coming from either Australia or New Zealand.
I have gotten a flight from Hawaii to Apia for $298 once but that was several years ago so don’t count on it now.
In reality, trying to game the specials or promos of the new airlines serving Apia is your own options for a cheaper flight to American Samoa. This is not the easiest task either.
My suggestion would be to set up a feed to check their websites daily for new specials, ping their pages on Facebook to find out when they post something new and always watch them on Twitter. It might seen like work but it is your own chance at saving a few hundred dollars traveling to the US territory.
Connecting to American Samoa
Once you land in Faleolo International Airport, you will just need to clear customs and check in for Inter Island Airways right in the terminal. They will make the short flight across to Pago Pago International Airport every few hours.
One thing to be mindful of is that this is a much smaller plane and you might have some luggage issues. They also make you stand on the scale to weigh you. They can only have so much weight on the plane at take off.
Another option, depending on what day you land, would be to take the ferry to American Samoa by Samoa Shipping Corporation.