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Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?

Related reading for those interested in going to Hawaii:

Related DD Posts:
The Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)

Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old!

Related DDF Threads:
Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Kauai Master Thread
Maui Master Thread
Oahu Master Thread

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Want to know which miles to use to get to Hawaii? Here’s a summary of some of the options where you do not have to pay any fuel surcharges.

It’s definitely worth noting that it’s possible to fly to Hawaii for zero miles.

How so?

Say you are flying using 80K United miles to go from Newark to Tel Aviv or 90K AA miles to fly on El Al from JFK to Tel Aviv on September 1st and returning on October 15th. For the same mileage rate you can “stopover” in JFK or Newark on the way back home for as long as you want and then book the rest of your flight nonstop from JFK to Honolulu (on Hawaiian using AA miles) or nonstop from Newark to Honolulu on United. You have an entire year to fly that final NYC-HNL leg, so just make it for say March 1st, and you can always change the date on that leg for free as many times as you want, or you can always just throw that leg away as it didn’t cost you anything!

But that only gets you to Hawaii for free, right? Well, you can always book a one-way back home again using just 17.5K or 22.5K AA miles or 20K United miles. Or if you have another trip in the future, say to Buenos Aires, you can fly the return nonstop from Honolulu to JFK (on Hawaiian using AA miles) or nonstop to Newark on United, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then go onward to Buenos Aires for up to a year in the future and back to NYC for the same rate as just flying from NYC to Buenos Aires.

In fact due to quirks in the AA mileage scheme a ticket from Honolulu to London with a free stopover in Los Angeles or from Honolulu to Rio de Janeiro with a free stopover on NYC can be fewer miles (20K one-way during off-peak European or South American season) then just the Honolulu-Los Angeles flight (22.5K one-way during peak Hawaii season) as the peak seasons aren’t aligned.

At any rate, here ya’ go:

Round-trip rates, coach:
-American (SPG transfer partner): 35K off-peak (01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15), 45K peak. Travel on American, Alaska, or Hawaiian.
-Air Canada (AMEX transfer partner): 45K.  Travel on United or USAirways.
-Alaska (SPG transfer partner): 40K. Travel on Alaska.
-British Airways from NYC (AMEX, Chase, and SPG transfer partner): 50K. Travel on Alaska or American.
-BA from the West Coast: 25K. Travel on Alaska or American.
-Delta (AMEX and SPG transfer partner): 40K. Travel on Delta.
-Flying Blue (AMEX and SPG transfer partner): 35K. Travel on Delta.
-Hawaiian (AMEX and SPG transfer partne): 40K. Travel on Hawaiian.
-Korean (Chase): 30K. Travel on Alaska or Hawaiian.
-United (Chase transfer partner): 40K. Travel on Air Canada, United or USAirways.
-USAirways (SPG transfer partner): 40K. Travel on Air Canada, United or USAirways.

Round-trip rates, business:
-American: 75K. Travel on American, Alaska, or Hawaiian.
American flights between Chicago or Dallas and Hawaii have premium business seats.
-Air Canada: 80K.  Travel on United or USAirways.
-Alaska: 75K. Travel on Alaska.
-British Airways from NYC: 125K. Travel on American.
–British Airways from from the West Coast: 75K. Travel on Alaska or American.
-Delta: 75K (domestic business flights), 85K (BusinessElite flights). Travel on Delta.
Delta flights between Atlanta and Honolulu have premium business seats.
-Flying Blue: 70K. Travel on Delta.
-Hawaiian: 80K. Travel on Hawaiian.
-Korean, 60K. Travel on Alaska or Hawaiian.
-United: 80K. Travel on Air Canada, United or USAirways.
United flights between Houston, Newark, or Washington DC and Honolulu have premium business seats.
-USAirways: 70K. Travel on Air Canada, United or USAirways.

Round-trip rates, first:
3 cabin first class is only offered between JFK and Los Angeles or S. Fransisco, not all the way to Hawaii.
-American: 95K. Travel on American.
-Air Canada: 110K.  Travel on United.
-British Airways from NYC: 150K. Travel on American.
-British Airways from from the West Coast: 75K. Travel on American.
-United : 100K. Travel on United.
-USAirways: 70KTravel on United.

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53 Responses to “Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?”

  1. sky121 Says:
    1

    Can I book a one way tlv-phl- and then on to hnl?

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    @sky121:
    United officially only gives a free stopover and open jaws on a round-trip ticket.
    American allows a stopover at the North American gateway city even on one-ways.

    Either way, it will need to be booked over the phone.

    ReplyReply
  3. bochur Says:
    3

    @dan
    cant you do aa online by doing it as a multi city?

    ReplyReply
  4. Dan Says:
    4

    @bochur:
    It can work on aa.com and united.com, though often it doesn’t price it right or gives an error.
    And of course you can’t book El Al on aa.com-need to call.

    ReplyReply
  5. sara Says:
    5

    @Dan:

    Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  6. Dan Says:
    6

    I am coming from NY and either using SPG Transfer or my Chase Sapphire.
    1) I was looking to fly end of Dec around X-Mas but it looks like most flights for points reduced is booked. Any way to get around that?
    2) What airport do most people fly into? I have never been to Hawaii.

    ReplyReply
  7. steve Says:
    7

    Dan,

    Thanks for the great post!

    Some questions:

    If i’m flying one way on Elal using AA miles from TLV to LAX can I get a free flight to Hawaii?

    Also, Did you say Alaska is partners with BA? I know you could use AA miles on Alaska but can you use BA Avios to book on Alaska? If yes, how?

    ReplyReply
  8. Dan Says:
    8

    @Dan:
    1. Flight availability changes daily and opens up as it gets closer to the flight.
    For some tips on how to piece together availability even when the website doesn’t show anything: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=7249
    2. There are tons of airports on many different islands, each of which are very different from the next. You really have to do research beforehand to know which would fit you best! From the mainland you can fly into:
    Honolulu, Oahu: HNL
    Maui: OGG
    Kauai: LIH
    Kona, Big Island of Hawaii: KOA
    Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii: ITO
    Then there are secondary airports on those islands and other smaller islands you can fly to like Molokai and Lanai.
    More info here: http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/18475

    @steve:
    1. Yes.
    2. Yes. You need to call them to book, but you can search availability on aa.com before calling.

    ReplyReply
  9. sky121 Says:
    9

    Just to clarify if I am flying a roundtrip to TLV I can only get to Hawaii if I didn’t use a stopover in Europe. Is that correct?

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @sky121:
    You can do an open jaw in Europe (fly into Paris, leave from London, etc) and a stopover in NYC, and then fly onto HI later on.

    ReplyReply
  11. sky121 Says:
    11

    @Dan: Interesting. So it would have to be an open Jaw in Europe in order to use home as a stopover. Kinda narrows down some options there.
    Last q! 🙂 If I am flying using BA miles on BA metal to London can I add an AA segment on the way home?

    ReplyReply
  12. Dan Says:
    12

    @sky121:
    I’ve actually had success adding a 2nd stopover while in middle of flying an itinerary, but officially they won’t do that.

    There are never any stopovers or free segments when using BA miles, every segment is a separate charge.

    ReplyReply
  13. steve Says:
    13

    Dan,

    One follow up question:

    Is it the same amount of BA Avios to book a flight on Alaska as it would be to book the same flight on AA (using BA Avios) ?

    ReplyReply
  14. Dan Says:
    14

    @steve:
    Yes.

    ReplyReply
  15. Freddie Says:
    15

    Thanks Dan for this timely post. I discovered using this chart: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/mileageplus/awards/travel/awardTravel.aspx that for my upcoming trip mileage trip from New York to Amsterdam. I could save 2,500 miles per passenger by adding on a segment to any island in the Carribean.

    To note, the savings is only in economy. Business Class costs more from Europe to the Carribean than to US48. This was perfect for me because my return to NY is in economy, while my overnight outbound is in (lie-flat) Business Class.

    Total Cost per ticket was 77,500 miles (instead of 80,000)+ $40.92 per ticket. The real bonus is that I now have one way covered to Peurto Rico for Spring Break!

    ReplyReply
  16. AA+ Says:
    16

    Can I book a ticket from NYC to Hawaii on AA with a “stop-over” in LAX for a few days?

    ReplyReply
  17. Gay Says:
    17

    Dan
    I am sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about when flying to hawaii for free.
    Can you please explain clearly what flights I am booking.
    If JFK is a stop over where am I beginning and ending the flights?

    ReplyReply
  18. Miles Says:
    18

    Didn’t NYC to Hawaii used to be 35K? Is it 25K b/c each leg is a separate cost? If so, what is the ideal stop?

    Thanks Dan.

    ReplyReply
  19. Miles Says:
    19

    My question was using British Airways Miles/ Avios.

    ReplyReply
  20. joseph Says:
    20

    DAN – I thought the free stopover with AA can only be AA flights. You can book hawaiian air?? I.e. paris-jfk on AA and jfk-hnl on hawaiian??

    ReplyReply
  21. Dan Says:
    21

    @Freddie:
    Congrats!
    A negative 2,500 mile flight to Puerto Rico, that’s the way to do it!

    @AA+:
    On United this is definitely possible, I think on AA that only works on international itineraries.

    @Gay:
    For example from Tel Aviv to Honolulu with a stopover in JFK.

    @Miles:
    Every leg is a separate cost.
    It is 50K BA Avios to fly JFK to Hawaii via Los Angeles for example.

    @joseph:
    It’s good for any airline.

    ReplyReply
  22. Dave Says:
    22

    What’s the best aa sign up offer?

    ReplyReply
  23. Shmilfke Says:
    23

    Dan, when you say 80K, or 17.5K, which points currency are you referring to? Are they all equal?
    For example, if I have 60K Skymiles and 20K Starwoods, can I assume that I have the 80K you’re referring to?

    ReplyReply
  24. newbie Says:
    24

    Can this be done with international stops as well, for example JFK-London-TLV as JFK-London first leg then a stay of a few months in London after which the second leg London-TLV with a stay in Israel and then reverse with another few months in London? What is the best way to do this for the least miles?

    ReplyReply
  25. la Says:
    25

    With United when you say I have a year to complete the ticket is it a year from the ticketing or from the first flight? And if it was reissued on a free change prior to 21 days in advance does that extend it?

    ReplyReply
  26. robbie Says:
    26

    dan, i have some questions about a hawaii itinerary im about to book but i dont want to post them all here (long email). is there a way to email you?

    ReplyReply
  27. steven Says:
    27

    is there an identical chart to book a ticket to TLV from NYC?
    i need to book a round trip ticket and dont know which miles to use for best value

    ReplyReply
  28. Pyrate Baruch Says:
    28

    I called Korean Airlines today – it is 35k miles to Hawaii, not 30k miles.

    Also, you should be aware that regardless of whether you book a 1 way or round trip ticket, it is 35k miles. I wanted to transfer ultimate rewards points to Korean Air and book a 1 way ticket to Kona on Hawaiian, but it’s not worth blowing 35k ultimate rewards points for that.

    ReplyReply
  29. IH Says:
    29

    Hi- I just saw this & was wondering about a total different trip I booked using AA MILES.

    JFK to YVR (Vancouver)both Business class – 50k rountrip & First class 65k roundtrip.

    Is there anything I could have done or still do (flying in August) similar to what you decribe here for a third leg free on the return from Israel going JFK to Hawaii?

    Is there any third leg to somewhere I can get free?

    I would book it as there is no cost & then see If i can go within the year.

    Thanks for your help.

    ReplyReply
  30. IH Says:
    30

    follow up ? Is it same class of original ticket & what if it is more points to your new destination – meaning can I get a free one way to israel on my return from YVR TO jfk which is a base of 25k rountrip on cathay while elal is a base of 90 k rountrip.

    How does it all work?

    ReplyReply
  31. IH Says:
    31

    I thinkI got this now – you need to be exiting the north america (USA (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean) & then on the way back you get a free stopover say back in your US major airport & then bam you have a free one way to any where else in this North America continent.

    You have to book the trip the first 2 legs as one way awards – right?

    also if you do it business class – do you get the free last leg in the same class?

    thanks.

    ReplyReply
  32. Dan Says:
    32

    @newbie:
    American requires that the stopover be in North America, but that should work with most other airlines.

    @la:
    YMMV.

    @robbie:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/forums

    @steven:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/10371
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/15417

    @Pyrate Baruch:
    Incorrect, a nonstop Hawaiian flight like JFK-HNL-JFK is 30K. If you connect then it may be more.

    @IH:
    Every airline has different policies.
    For United there are no free stopovers within the US49+Canada but there are for everything else.

    The last leg is in the same class.

    ReplyReply
  33. IH Says:
    33

    not sure about your answer – I did aa points to vancouver with cathay pacific – is there anything I am leaving on the table??

    but this was actually a learning experience – I viewed the cathay trip in first class for 65k as a no brainer for a ticket that runs economy over $650-

    However now I realize it is way better to use 90k points to Israel as that effectively gets you to Israel & one leg of a major trip = if you subtract the 22.5 for one way hawaii- the jfk israel trip is only 67.5.

    I do want to experience cathay first class though 🙂

    ReplyReply
  34. Dan Says:
    34

    @IH:
    Sure, you could have gone to awesome Hong Kong and Vancouver and back to Vancouver all in Cathay First for just 70K more 😀

    Or you could have gone to South America or Europe in First and stopped over in NYC and then to Vancouver for 125K in first.

    But no stopovers on just a domestic ticket.

    ReplyReply
  35. IH Says:
    35

    I like the Israel Hawaii thing – next time its a business class from JFK to TLV for 135k & then a free one way from jfk to hawaii 🙂

    ReplyReply
  36. Pyrate Baruch Says:
    36

    @Pyrate Baruch:
    Incorrect, a nonstop Hawaiian flight like JFK-HNL-JFK is 30K. If you connect then it may be more.

    Dan – I hear you, but I called Korean Airlines today and spoke with two people. They both told me the same thing – 35k miles from JFK to KOA (Kona – Big Island) regardless of whether you fly 1 way or non stop. Also, I was poking around on the Korean Airlines website but didn’t see any way to book this fare online. If you are aware of a way to book it online, please let me know.

    Right now I have enough Hawaiian miles for 3 one way coach tickets and was looking for a way to book 1 more ticket on Hawaiian without paying $ for it. The nice thing about Hawaiian is that 40k miles gets you a rt non-stop flight from JFK to Honolulu (and a connecting flight to any other island).

    Thanks.

    PB

    ReplyReply
  37. Dan Says:
    37

    @Pyrate Baruch:
    Lol…you find me a nonstop from JFK to KOA and I’ll give you $1 million cash. There’s a reason I said JFK-HNL.

    You need to call to book Alaska/Hawaiian awards with Korean.

    ReplyReply
  38. Pyrate Baruch Says:
    38

    Dan – You owe me a cool million – I’m chartering you a non-stop flight from JFK to KOA. :O)

    As for the other comment – Korean won’t book me a 1 way ticket on Hawaiian – or rather, they will but will charge me the 35k miles for the rt ticket – so the cost would be 35k miles for a 1 way ticket from JFK to KOA. I just checked Alaska Airlines but they are showing no availability online for anything besides American First Class/Business Class at something like 95k miles. I have about 260k American miles right now and on American they want 90k rt pp in coach – not sure why, but maybe they haven’t opened up the availability yet for next year.

    Thanks.

    PB

    ReplyReply
  39. Dan Says:
    39

    @Pyrate Baruch:
    Har, har. Obviously I’m referring to a bookable Hawaiian or Alaskan commercial flight.
    Mind you that there is no nonstop commercial service from the east coast to any outer Hawaiian islands.

    Yes, Korean only allows round-trips. Same goes for lots of other airlines like Delta or USAirways, though you can use Flying Blue or United miles to fly one-way on those airlines.

    Availability opens up when they think they won’t sell out the plane, you’re looking too far ahead.

    ReplyReply
  40. Pyrate Baruch Says:
    40

    Dan:

    I figured it out. I was able to book 3 tickets to KOA using my Hawaiian miles (applied for the BOFA Hawaiian Airlines CC with the 35k miles promotion for spending 3k). Unfortunately, my wife didn’t receive the 35k and only received 10k miles (was approved only for the lower tier card and not the signature Visa). After all that, I had enough miles on Hawaiian for 3 one way tickets to Kona from JFK – 17.5k miles per person in coach. I was then able to book the same Hawaiian flight for the 4th person on Hawaiian through AA – at a cost of 22.5k miles.

    Now I have to decide whether to fly back using my United or AA miles (on either AA or Hawaiian).

    Hawaiian happens to be my favorite airline – they treat you really well and the Hawaiian miles program is great. Also, they are one of the few that fly direct to Honolulu, don’t charge more for that direct route, and have unrestricted availability through miles.

    And now, as I’m sure you know, there is Falafel in Paradise in Kona. :O)

    ReplyReply
  41. Pyrate Baruch Says:
    41

    By the way, I forgot to mention, I have been to the Big Island 3x already. I can do a very nice comprehensive review of different places to visit with GPS Coordinates. Please let me know if you would like me to post that.

    ReplyReply
  42. dave Says:
    42

    How does one book tickets on korean to hawaii it seems like they are 75k in business

    ReplyReply
  43. Dan Says:
    43

    @Pyrate Baruch:
    Absolutely, http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=1646

    @dave:

    Call Korean.

    ReplyReply
  44. dave Says:
    44

    do i need to transfer my points to korean first? I have an account but no miles in it

    ReplyReply
  45. DealsSeeker Says:
    45

    @Dan:
    I thought the open jaw has to be at the origin or destination. So it would seem that this itinerary would be allowed. Does this make sense to you Dan? Whose miles would I use? Thanks
    TLV – JFK stopover – HNL
    Return
    HNL – LON open jaw
    FR or BRU – TLV

    ReplyReply
  46. dave Says:
    46

    Can I book a one way lih-tlv and take the stop over and stay in jfk? How does one go abut doing this? Thanks for all your help

    ReplyReply
  47. Joshua Says:
    47

    Looking to book a trip for my family to Hawaii this summer. Have a number of UR points and looking at Korean airlines. As they do Hawaiian and Alaskan, those two airlines do not fly into Tampa, do the flights have to be on Hawaiian/Alaskan metal?

    ReplyReply
  48. Sara Kohn Says:
    48

    How do I go about booking a flight from JFK or EWR to TLV and then from TLV to JFKor EWR followed by a trip to LAX? This can be done online? Or do I need to call them? Please advise

    ReplyReply
  49. Eli Says:
    49

    Will this work with a one way ticket from talc to JFK using af miles direct on delta? Will I be able to add a leg?

    ReplyReply
  50. Avrohom Says:
    50

    Hi,
    I’ve got 175k UR points and 97k BA Avios and want to fly from BWI-TLV from 7/1-7/15 +/- 4 days. What is the most economical flight choice? Or, should I sell these points and pay cash for the flights(~$3100)?

    Thanks for your help.

    ReplyReply
  51. Dave Says:
    51

    Trying to book a flt to Hawaii with a possible stop over in LA at least one way around 6/19-6/22 What are your suggestions using SPG, AA or chase Ink points?

    ReplyReply
  52. Traveler Says:
    52

    Hi,

    I am trying to book flight from TLV-EWR in May. I would like to do a “stopover” in EWR and continue to Hawaii 3 months later in August. How do I go about doing that? Additionally, I have United, Delta ans SPG points- which do you suggest I should use?

    Many thanks!

    ReplyReply
  53. Esther Says:
    53

    @dan: I got a one way ticket to maui when you posted the deal. I need a one way ticket back to NYC. What is my best way? Which airlines? I have amex and spg miles but I don’t know how to use them. I am a total am haaretz with using mileage. Please help. So far we are walking home!

    ReplyReply

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