On Tuesday, Alaska Airlines announced that it would begin direct service from Alaska's largest city of Anchorage to Kona, Hawaii, in November 2012 and continuing over the winter.
Kona, located on Hawaii's "Big Island," is already a popular tourist destination, and it joins Honolulu as a destination available for direct flights from Anchorage. The service looks to capitalize on those seeking a respite from Alaska's harsh winter, with seasonal service that lasts from November until April.
Kona is known for its coffee products and rich history. That history includes a perhaps morbid tie to Alaska as the place where Captain James Cook -- renowned English explorer for whom Alaska's Cook Inlet is named -- met his death at the hands of Hawaiian natives on the shore of the island's Kealakekua Bay in 1779.
But visitors to and residents of the island are probably much friendlier nowadays. So if you're interested in going to Kona this winter, the introduction of the new route comes with a $249 one-way introductory fare, as well. That's if you book by June 14 (That's this Thursday, by the way), traveling between Nov. 10 and Dec. 23.
Additionally, there are special fares from other Alaska destinations as part of this week's Club 49 specials available only to Alaskans. That includes a $299 fare from Bethel, Nome, Fairbanks and Juneau to Kona. A quick fare search revealed that those discounts are for pretty limited travel windows, though, so exercise caution when booking.
You can price your fares at Alaska Airlines.