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Category Archive for 'Hawaii'

United Lowers The Price Of Hawaii Awards!

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Related:

55K Miles For Signing Up For A United Explorer Card; On Expanded Awards, Excursionist Perks, And Why The United Card Is My Favorite Airline Mileage Card

The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands


Until today United has always charged 6K miles per Hawaii interisland leg.

The meant that if you booked an award from Newark to Maui via Honolulu you would pay:
-22.5K miles coach or 40K miles first from Newark to Honolulu
-6K miles coach from Honolulu to Maui
-6K miles coach from Maui to Honolulu
-22.5K miles coach or 40K miles first from Honolulu to Newark.

The round-trip award would be 57K miles in coach or 92K miles in first.

Singapore Airlines only charges 17.5K miles in coach or 30K miles in first to fly one-way on United between the US49 and Hawaii.
With the ability to transfer AMEX, Chase, Citi and Starwood points to Singapore, that was the way to go unless United only offered expanded XN saver award availability to Hawaii on your desired flights, which requires having a United credit card and using United miles.

However Singapore can’t redeem for travel on interisland flights, and separate tickets typically meant having to recheck baggage in Honolulu. That’s not much fun as Honolulu is a horrendous airport for rechecking baggage as you need to bring your bags to the interisland terminal to do that. Still, it was worthwhile to do the price differential.

However United has stopped charging extra for interisland legs! This makes the value proposition of using United miles to Hawaii much greater.

Plus you can even tag on a 3rd interisland leg as a free excursionist perk!

Just use the multi-city award search on United.com to piece it together. For example:

hnl4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you can visit 2 Hawaiian Islands on one trip with 3 interisland flights for just 45K miles in coach:

hnl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or visit 2 Hawaiian Islands on one trip with 3 interisland flights for just 80K miles in first:

hnl1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that’s the Aloha spirit!

If only we could get United to bring back their Halfway to Hawaii in-flight contest…

HT: AJK, via DDF

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Even With Delta’s Flash Sale To Hawaii, There’s A Far Better Way To Book; Wide Open Availability To Fly Nonstop From JFK To Honolulu For 12.5K Miles!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands


Delta eliminated their award charts last year, though I saved screenshots of all of them.

And yet they frequently have award sales, such as this one for travel to Hawaii if you book today and travel between 1/9-3/13 or 4/12-5/23.

The sale reveals that the regular saver award prices are exactly what they are in the screenshots from last year.

Round-trip saver level 1 award rates to Hawaii:
-Coach awards are still normally 45K and are on sale for 35K.
-Comfort+ awards are normally 65K and are on sale for 50K. (This “class” of service didn’t exist last year.)
-First class awards are still normally 80K and are on sale for 60K.
-Delta One lie-flat first class awards are still normally 100K and are on sale for 75K.

That’s a good deal if you have Delta miles to burn.
But if you’re transferring points you should consider transferring Chase points to Korean at a 1:1 ratio.

They consider Hawaii to be part of domestic US, so you can fly round-trip between the US and Hawaii for just 25K miles in coach or 45K miles in first or Delta One class!

Korean is famous for having the best first class award space in the industry, but they also have an excellent Skyteam award chart.

If you open a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you would have enough miles for 4 round-trip tickets to Hawaii in addition to $300 to spend on hotels, car rentals, etc.

The catch is that Korean can only book Delta level 1 saver award space. Delta has 5 levels of award space. However Delta level 1 saver award space has become far better of late, much better than American for example.

Unlike in the Caribbean, there is no local Zika transmission in Hawaii.

Delta flies nonstop between JFK and Honolulu between 12/17/16-3/25/17, though the flight doesn’t operate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in 2017.

Level 1 saver award space on the route is incredible. Here’s a search made on Delta.com for 8 passengers nonstop from JFK to Honolulu for example. The 17.5K dates are the dates with level 1 saver award space that are on sale today, tomorrow they will go back to 22.5K each way. However Korean can always book those dates for just 12.5K miles each way!

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Delta One first class lie-flat class saver award space is nearly impossible to find. Last week DDF member “high end hobo” posted on DDF’s rare award space thread that there was nonstop Delta One level 1 saver award space from JFK to Honolulu for a perfect 8 night stay in paradise, but DDFers snapped those up for just 45K Korean miles round-trip!

You need to call Korean to book award travel on Delta at 800-438-5000.

The best part about using Korean miles is that you can cancel and redeposit partner awards without paying any penalty! If you book with Delta miles the change or cancellation fee is $150 per person!

Korean miles also allow for 2 free stopovers compared to none if you book with Delta miles.

Korean also has great rates to Hawaii on Alaska or Hawaiian.

It’s also worth noting that Delta level 2 award space is also on sale and these can’t be booked with Korean miles. There’s a good amount of level 2 space from JFK to Honolulu in Delta One lie flat first class for 52.5K Delta miles each way. According to last year’s screenshot the regular level 2 award space for Delta One is 65K miles each way.

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Will you be booking travel to paradise? Hit the comments!

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20% Off United Awards To Hawaii

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands

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20% Off United Awards To Hawaii

The promotion is currently bookable on United.com.

-Book by 11/05
-Travel 10/19-03/03
-Blackout dates: 11/20-12/03, 12/16-01/05.

-Award travel on United from the US49/Canada to Hawaii is normally 45K miles round-trip.
With this discount it will be 36K miles if both dates fall within the promotion or 40.5K if one date falls within the promotion and one date is not within the dates of the promotion.
-Travel only valid on United.
-Travel only valid in coach.
-Valid on round-trip or on open-jaw (e.g. Newark-Kauai/Maui-Los Angeles) awards.
-Not valid on one-way awards.
-Not valid on stopover awards.

HT: Marco Polo, via DDF

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2 Months Left To Use American Miles To Book Hawaiian Airlines Awards Between The Continental US And Hawaii

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Update: Tomorrow is the last day to use AA miles to book travel on Hawaiian between the US48  and Hawaii.

Originally posted on 06/22:

Related posts:
-The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands

-20%-25% Off United Awards To Hawaii
—————————————————————————————————–
American announced over the weekend that 08/31 will be the last day to use American miles to book award on Hawaiian Airlines between the US mainland and Hawaii.

That was always USAirways’ policy and it brings the new USAirways’ run AA into their old policy. Other airlines like Delta and United have the same policy of allowing redemptions for Hawaiian intra-island flights, but not for flights between the US mainland and Hawaii.

You’ll still be able to fly on American or Alaska between the US mainland and Hawaii.

And you’ll still be able to use 5K AA miles for intra-Hawaii flights on Hawaiian (though those don’t come with free checked baggage as a DansDeals corporate booking would. For a Hawaiian ticket with 2 free checked bags per person and free standby on earlier flights you can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies on intra-island flights.)

But it hurts as Hawaiian has good award availability to Hawaii and they have nonstop flights from JFK to Honolulu.

Nonstop award availability on Hawaiian nonstop from JFK to Honolulu:

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And on the return as well:

hnl5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American charges 17.5K miles to fly in coach to Hawaii during off-peak travel dates (01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15) and 22.5K during peak season.

2 ironic things about that.

1. JFK to Honolulu is a longer flight than Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.  Yet it costs 61% less than it in miles:

45K miles for PHL-TLV on a 10:55 flight:

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17.5K miles for JFK-HNL off-peak on a 11:15 flight:

hnl1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Hawaii off-peak isn’t aligned with the off peak dates for other regions (South America Region 2: March 1 – May 31, August 16 – November 30. Europe: October – May 15. Asia Region 1: October – April 30) and other regions overrule the peak Hawaii dates.

Which leads to situations where Honolulu-JFK costs 22.5K:

hnl3

 

 

 

 

 

But Honolulu-Paris (via JFK…) costs just 20K:

hnl4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same goes for travel to South American and Asia.  That was far more useful before American stealthily eliminated stopovers on awards, but there are still some uses for that.

Luckily for those looking to travel on Hawaiian there’s another way.  Korean charges just 30K miles in coach or 60K miles in first class to fly round-trip on Hawaiian Airlines between the US mainland and Hawaii.

Korean charges the same rate to fly on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii and they charge even less to fly on Delta to Hawaii, just 25K in coach or 45K in first round-trip, though Delta availability is tough to come by.

You can transfer Chase points instantly to Korean at a 1:1 ratio or Starwood Starpoints to Korean at a 20K:25K ratio.

If you’re based on the west coast, the best value to Hawaii is with BA Avios at just 12.5K Avios each way on American or Alaska, though you need to call BA to book travel on Alaska to Hawaii.

Perhaps the biggest loss here is that we’ll lose AA.com’s excellent calendar award search to find Hawaiian award flights, which corresponded to what Korean phone agents are able to book.

At any rate, if you are wanting to use AA miles on Hawaiian you’ll have until 08/31/15 to book travel through 07/26/16.

HT: Emkay, via DDF

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20%-25% Off United Awards To Hawaii

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Update 2: Today is the last day to book travel with this promotion.

Update: United has finally gotten around to publishing the rules for this award discount.  The rules are pretty much exactly what I figured out via brute force, but there are some blackout dates that I didn’t notice:
-Blackout dates for travel from the U.S. or Canada to Hawaii: November 19 through November 22, 2015.
-Blackout dates for travel from Hawaii to the U.S. or Canada: November 27 through November 30, 2015.

-Discounted award tickets must be booked by July 6th.
———————————————————————-
Originally posted on 06/18:

Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands

I couldn’t find an offer page for this award, so I manually tested things out to come up with these rules.

The promotion is currently bookable on United.com. I do not know how long the promotion will last.

There is a 25% discount that is only available to Chase United cardholders and United elite members. Non-cardholders get 20% off.  Cardholders also always get significantly expanded saver and standard award availability, free checked baggage, and priority boarding. Cardholders with elite status are also eligible for upgrades on award tickets.

-Award travel on United from the US49/Canada to Hawaii is normally 45K miles round-trip.
With this discount it will be 33,750 miles for United cardholders or elites (36K for non-cardholders) if both dates fall within the promotion or 39,375 miles (40.5K for non-cardholders) if one date falls within the promotion and one date is not within the dates of the promotion.
-Travel valid on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.  (Booking on Sunday, Friday, or Saturday for one direction will increase the cost from 33,750 to 39,375 for United cardholders/elites or from 36K to 40.5K for non-cardholders)
-Travel between 08/18-12/15 (Booking before or after these dates for one direction will increase the cost from 33,750 to 39,375 for United cardholders/elites or from 36K to 40.5K for non-cardholders)
-Travel only valid on United.
-Travel only valid in coach.
-Valid on round-trip or on open-jaw (e.g. Newark-Kauai/Maui-Los Angeles) awards.
-Not valid on one-way awards.
-Not valid on stopover awards.

HT: ah, via DDF

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Fly Nonstop From JFK To Honolulu For Just 25K Chase/Korean Points! Plus: Links To Everything You Need To Know About Hawaii

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Delta operates a seasonal nonstop flight between JFK and Honolulu during December/January and there’s a surprising amount of saver award space given Delta’s stinginess with saver awards.

It would cost 45K Delta miles for a round-trip flight, however Skyteam partner Korean only charges 25K Korean Skypass miles for the same round-trip flight, a veritable bargain for an $800 flight.  Korean also charges just 45K miles in first class, but there isn’t any availability in first.

Of course partner airlines can only book saver award (level 1) availability and Delta pulled all of the award charts from their site. However you can find saved copies of Delta’s award charts in this post and they confirm that level 1 award space between the US and Hawaii is 22.5K miles each way, so any date that shows 22.5K will be bookable by partner airlines as well.

I’ll do the homework for you:
From JFK to Honolulu every date from January 4-January 16 has at least 9 saver award seats besides for January 11.
From Honolulu to JFK there are at least 9 saver awards seats on December 21 as well as every date from January 12-16.

I called Korean at 800-438-5000 to confirm that they saw the same award availability. The first agent insisted on having the Skypass team call me back within 24 hours and that there was no way to talk to a Skypass agent today. So I HUCAd and the 2nd agent wanted to do the same but I insisted on waiting for a Skypass agent (“it will be a long hold time sir”) and within 30 seconds an agent confirmed that they did see the award space and that it was just 25,000 miles round-trip.

Korean doesn’t just have bargain awards to Hawaii on Delta, they also have great deals on Hawaiian and Alaska as well from 30K miles round-trip.  Hawaiian also operates a year-round nonstop from JFK to Honolulu. You can search both Alaska and Hawaiian award space on AA.com where there is a button to toggle after searching for an award to show nonstop flights only.

Points from Chase cards like the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus (which currently has a 60K signup bonus offer) transfer instantly to Korean.

Want to read more about Hawaii?  My love affair with Hawaii started exactly 9 years ago when I posted and grabbed a deal paying just $87 for airfare and hotel.  Since then I’ve been lucky enough to spend several months between the stunning islands, which each offer a unique and wonderful experience.  You can’t go wrong with any of them, there are just 2 things is to be careful of.

1. Don’t get stuck in Honolulu. I’ve heard from too many people who spent an entire week and never left the city limits.  That’s just a shame, they may as well have gone to Miami Beach.  While I prefer The Big Island, Kauai, and Maui to Oahu, there is still plenty to see and experience on Oahu as long as you leave Honolulu behind.
2. Don’t try to “do” several islands in a week. If you just have 4-7 days of vacation then you should stick to one island. There will be plenty to do to keep you busy and it will allow for some time to relax. There’s no need to add the stress of interisland travel just for the sake of “doing” another island. With 9 days or more to play with, it does make sense to experience more than 1 island.

As for which island is best, read on and decide for yourself!  If you ask 5 people you’ll probably get 6 different answers 😀

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai

Trip reports and posts on Hawaii:
-Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi (2014)
-Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth (2014)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)
-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)

DDF forum threads:
Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread
Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Links to trip reports from other DDF members.

HT: EJB, via DDF

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Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi

Friday, April 4th, 2014

-Find dozens of trip notes like this one by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

This is a long trip report but my philosophy on trip reports is to write everything on a destination in one shot as opposed to dragging it out into dozens of annoying installments. I’m always open to suggestions though, so sound off in the comments!
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Continued from Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth

Preface:

It’s not much of a secret that I have a bit of a love affair with the Hawaiian islands.

$87 was the cost for my hotel and airfare on my first trip in 2006. I’ve been back 5 times since.

In this post I’ve included activities and pictures from 5 trips to Maui.

Why go back to the same place so many times? I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many far-flung corners of the world but there’s no place where I’m in as good of a place of mind as Hawaii.  The air is fresh, the people friendly, the water warm, the scenery extraordinary, and last but not least as a US state it has nearly all of the creature comforts of being back home.  You can really appreciate our wondrous world when in Hawaii.

I’m a big Kauai fan. My wife is a Maui girl. It’s arguments like this that are easy to solve, we go to both!  We got back from Kauai and Maui in February, it was our first big trip since Talia was born. Talia was 4.5 months at the start of this trip and Rafi was 2.5 years old.

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More on the trip after the jump…

(more…)

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Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

-Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

This is a long trip report but my philosophy on trip reports is to write everything on a destination in one shot as opposed to dragging it out into dozens of annoying installments. I’m always open to suggestions and criticisms though, so sound off in the comments. Posts like these take days to write so your feedback is appreciated!   
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It’s not much of a secret that I have a bit of a love affair with the Hawaiian islands.

$87 was the cost for my hotel and airfare on my first trip in 2006. I’ve been back 5 times since.

In this post I’ve included activities and pictures from 5 trips to Kauai.

Why go back to the same place so many times? I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many far-flung corners of the world but there’s no place where I’m in as good of a place of mind as Hawaii.  The air is fresh, the people friendly, the water warm, the scenery extraordinary, and last but not least as a US state it has nearly all of the creature comforts of being back home.  You can really appreciate our wondrous world when in Hawaii.

We got back from Kauai and Maui 2 weeks ago, it was our first big trip since Talia was born. Talia was 4.5 months at the start of this trip and Rafi was 2.5 years old.

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More on the trip after the jump…
(more…)

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DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler. Part 4: Kauai And Other General Tips.

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Per request I’ve added some pictures to this roundup.  Your feedback is always appreciated! Have another city you’d like to see covered like this? Hit the comments!

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai

Related posts:
Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?
DansMeals: Los Angeles For The Kosher Traveler

Previous trip reports with pictures:
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
The Hawaiian Islands (2011)
Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
And one of these days I really ought to write up a trip report on Maui and The Big Island.

DDF forum 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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The 2nd most popular destination that people booked with the Delta glitch was Hawaii. More details can be found via the trip reports above, but this will give a quick overview of the options.

If you’re flying to Hawaii in coach on the Delta glitch with your family you should look into the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express which gets a free checked bag (a $50 round-trip value per person per trip) for up to 9 people on an itinerary with the primary cardholder!

The revealed series of books are absolutely required reading if you are going to Hawaii. They read like a novel and are unlike any other guidebook you’ve seen before. They have great recommendations for everything there is to do on the islands, from private beaches to the best hikes. It’ll be the best money you spend on your entire trip:
Oahu Revealed
Big Island of Hawaii Revealed
Maui Revealed
Kauai Revealed

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Some other general tips:

-If you’re going to a beach with an infant invest in something like this pop-up tent where you’ll be able to keep them out of the sun.

If you still don’t know which islands to hit up:

Oahu for a plethora of museums, aquariums, water parks, nightlife, and Pearl Harbor.  Oahu is very kid-friendly.  It’s also the only island with a daily minyan and a shabbos minyan within walking distance of tons of hotels.  Plus kosher food is readily available.

Maui‘s nickname is Maui No Ka Oi, or Maui is the best. It definitely has a nice mix of things to do for everyone and is a good balance between Oahu and Kauai. Great snorkeling, a plethora of water activities everywhere, lots of shopping, the best whale watching boats, and it’s not overly touristy like Oahu and not as remote as Kauai. And the road to Hana is the stuff dreams are made of.  There is a Monday and Thursday minyan, but nothing for shabbos.  Shabbos food can be ordered locally though and the Hyatt Regency stocks kosher food.

-The Big Island of Hawaii has incredible snorkeling, diving, and beaches on the west, stunning beauty and waterfalls in Waipio Valley, sunsets you’ll never forget up Mauna Kea, raw beauty on the south coast, and volcanoes erupting in the southeast along with volcanically heated hot springs.  There is usually a shabbos minyan and locally make kosher food.

Kauai is just stunning, perhaps there are less activities than can be found on Maui and Oahu and the greenery makes up for it.  You may be able to get a minyan if you stay in Princeville up north.  The Grand Hyatt stocks food from Oahu Kosher though it may be cheaper to just order it yourself from Oahu.

There’s incredible hiking on every island.

Of course there’s also Molokai and Lanai. Molokai is preserved as Hawaii was before tourists changed it. You’ll want to rent a condo here. Lanai is nearly entirely owned by Larry Ellison and he’d be more than happy to put you up at one of the two Four Seasons hotels on his island.

Most hotels will have an Inncom thermostat. These have motion sensors if you open or close a balcony, so unless you block the motion sensor you can’t open and close a balcony door on shabbos.
If you do leave the balcony open for shabbos you won’t have A/C in the room, as that turns off when the balcony is open., even if the balcony is just slightly cracked open.
VIP mode allows A/C to get colder than normally allowed and it runs even if the balcony is open.
-While you are holding “display”
-Press “off”, then
-Press “Up” arrow
-Then release “display”

Please read Part 1/Oahu for tips on interisland flights, how much time to spend on an island, bringing kosher food from home, ordering kosher food from Oahu, gear that you’ll want in Hawaii, and whether you may have to keep 2 days of shabbos. See Part 2/Big Island of Hawaii for more kosher food options for Kauai as well.

Having your own snorkeling gear and Tabi’s is really great, more on that in part 1 as well.
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Kauai: A stunningly beautiful island that’s less touristy than Maui and Oahu.

Kosher traveler info:

-Chabad of Kauai has just recently started having Shabbos morning prayers at the Princeville community Center at 4334 Emmalani Drive Princeville, HI 96722. While most weeks there is not yet a minyan, recently more tourists have been staying nearby so hopefully in the near future there will be a more consistent minyan.
On some weeks there are communal meals available, email them at jewishkauai@gmail.com for more info.

-The Grand Hyatt Kauai has a kosher menu with food supplied from Oahu Kosher that you can order from their restaurants or from room service with advance notice.

-Costco (Lihue), WalMart (Lihue), Times (Lihue), and Safeway (Kapaa) have kosher groceries.
See Chabad of Kauai’s site for more detailed info.

Cars:

There are some places on Kauai where having a 4WD can come in handy such as in Waimea Canyon and Polihale.  While a 4WD isn’t needed, it can definitely be worth renting for a day. Besides for that, if you can fit into a convertible that is definitely the car of choice.

Chabad of Hawaii has passed on a corporate rate for rentals at Enterprise or National in Hawaii that provides better rates, waives underage fees, and waives different location drop-off fees.
The company name is Hawaii Kosher Weddings. The contract number is XZ36016 and the pin is HAW

You can also bid for car rentals on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune!

Buy gas at Costco where it’s cheaper than at most stations on the islands.

Hotels:

The north side of Kauai (Princeville area) is lush and beautiful but that comes at a cost: it’s also rainier and buggier.  Usually the rain is brief and shouldn’t disturb your trip. The south side (Poipu area) is less lush and drier and closer to Waimea Canyon.  If you’re driving down to the Poipu resort area you’ll go through a tree tunnel that is pretty neat.

There’s no road that circumnavigates Kauai. Polihale Beach on the west coast and Ke’e Beach on the north coast may only be several miles apart, but you’ll need to drive across the entire island to go from one to the other.

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If you’re traveling with a family in Hawaii it’s definitely worth looking into renting a private home or condo from sites like VRBO , Home Away , or airbnb.
Before I was married I got $150 tickets for my family to go to Hawaii and we stayed at a great condo in Poipu found on VRBO.

You can also bid for hotels on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune!

-The S. Regis Princeville Resort is an SPG category 7 property (30-35K Starpoints per night or 24-28K points per night on a 5 night redemption). This is by far the most luxurious hotel on the island and the views from the rooms are simply  unparalleled. Beware that most rooms have no balconies. The setting however is breathtaking with the ocean crashing on the cliffs below and the waterfall-filled mountains in the background. There are several hot tubs and pools and butler service on the beach as well as in the suites.  They even give kids free S. Regis branded plush animal upon checkin! Chabad is 1.2-2 miles away depending on how you walk there.

S. Regis view from the room:

S. Regis lobby:

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-The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas is an SPG category 6 property (20-25K Starpoints per night or 16K-20K points per night on a 5 night redemption). The villas come with full kitchens and other nice amenities not found in normal hotels. Chabad is just 0.6 miles away.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns 10K bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15K bonus Starpoints for $5,000 in 6 months which would give you a total of 30,000 Starpoints.

-The Grand Hyatt Kauai in Poipu is a category 6 hotel (25K Hyatt or Chase points/night or 12.5K points+$150 per night).  This is an excellent south shore property with countless pools, beautiful grounds, and exotic birds.  It’s a great place to be if you never plan on leaving the hotel grounds, but that would be absolutely criminal.

Grand Hyatt Kauai:

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-The Sheraton Kauai Resort in Poipu is an SPG category 5 property (12K-16K Starpoints per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night reservation).

-The Marriott Kauai Lagoons in Lihue is a Marriott category 7 property (35K Chase or Marriott points per night or 28K per night on a 5 night reservation).

-The Kaua’i Marriott Resort in Poipu is a Marriott category 7 property (35K Chase or Marriott points per night or 28K per night on a 5 night reservation).

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 40,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points for spending $3,000 plus 5,000 points for adding a free additional user.  It offers 2.14 points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses and has no foreign exchange fees. The Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold each earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months, offer up to 5 points per dollar spent, have no foreign exchange fees, and come with free lounge passes. Chase points can transfer into Hyatt or Marriott points instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you or your spouse holds a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Card card.  Chase also has a Hyatt card which gives 2 free nights for spending $1,000 though the bonus categories on the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink are generally much more lucrative than the Hyatt card.  Bear in mind that Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire and are transferable while the Hyatt nights must be completed within 1 year and are officially non-transferrable.

Activities:
Drive north. The scenic drive past Hanalei Valley on one lane bridges is just stunning. Don’t miss the wet and the dry caves along the way, regardless of whether Puff the Magic Dragon is around.
-Take a helicopter ride. They’re not cheap, but it will be the highlight of your trip. The interior of Kauai is stunning but it’s extremely remote. The only way to see places like Waialeale, the rainiest place on this planet, is from the air. A helicopter ride will take you over the “Jurassic Park” falls and the jaw-dropping Na Pali coast. Some helicopter tours even land at Jurassic Park falls and allow you to hike into them. Other tours will whisk you away to the forbidden island of Niihau.
I’ve flown on Blue Hawaiian twice, once before marriage and again on our honeymoon. The first time it was raining but that made the waterfalls and Waialeale really look incredible. The second time it was dry which made for better lines of sight, but less impressive waterfalls. You can’t go wrong either way but definitely try to get seats in the front row.
-Waimea Canyon is nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, drive up slowly and take in the beautiful and changing scenery with the canyon on one side, and the sheer cliffs of Na Pali on the other. Come here early in the day before the clouds set in and block the views. Bring a sweater!
-The hiking up in Waimea Canyon is second to none. Stop in the visitors center for hike suggestions and maps. If you’re up for an all day hike that is a real treat try the Nu’alolo/Awa’awapuhi grand loop hike for indelible views of Na Pali that you will always reminisce about.
Note that it is much warmer at the lower Na Pali side of this hike than it is at the beginning of the hike due to the change in elevation.
The scenery from this hike is way too unbelievable to describe, but the hike is 11 miles long and has to be started before 10am to finish it before 5pm.  I’m not crazy about La Britue meals, but it was really cool to have a hot lunch hours away from civilization while overlooking Na Pali.

You may have to hang tight for some parts of the Nu’alolo/Awa’awapuhi grand loop hike:

But the views will stay with you for a lifetime:


Not too worry, there are plenty of shorter and easier hikes up here and all around Kauai, see Kauai revealed for more!
-If you have a 4WD vehicle with 4-low and are feeling brave then don’t miss Miloli Ridge Road which will open up to the a truly stunning view of Na Pali. You can also take the paved Makaha Ridge road in any car, but the end is blocked off by a government building. Just before the building though we found a place to pull over and take in a partial view of Na Pali.
With a 4WD in Kauai you can also access several other trailheads inaccessible with other cars and you can drive on the sand dunes of Polihale.
-Kayak to Fern Grotto and hike to Secret Falls. You can rent a kayak from Kamokila Hawaiian Village across from Opaekaa Falls.

Kayak, hike, and head right on into the falls:

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-Polihale Beach: The waves make it dangerous for swimming (though Queen’s Pond offers a respite) but the west coast of Kauai has miles and miles of empty beaches.  Calmer beaches to swim in can be found elsewhere.

The sunset from anywhere on the west coast of Kauai is sure to be awesome:


-You can drive right up to Wailua Falls.
-Queen’s Bath in Princeville is supposed to be stunning, though I haven’t made it there yet.
-Snorkeling and diving are must-dos in Hawaii.
-We went on a boat tour of Na Pali that left from the South shore in the winter time. The entire boat was covered in vomit. The good news was that I paid with my Starwood AMEX and won the chargeback on a trip that never should have happened. Stick to summertime tours that leave from the north shore. Or see Na Pali from the air or on foot.
-Other activity ideas: ATV, zipline, horseback riding, powered hang-gliding, golf, etc.
-Find a local fruit stand or farmers market and skip the grocery stores.  The fruit in Hawaii is just amazing, don’t leave without trying locally grown Maui Gold Pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, mango, lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, etc.  They just taste so much better in Hawaii and they’re much cheaper at farmers markets.  Beware that you can’t bring any fruit home with you besides for Pineapple or Coconut.
-Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention the most famous and scenic hike in the Hawaiian Islands, Kalalau Trail. You can hike the first couple miles as a day trip, but you need camping permits to do the whole trail. Allow a couple nights and be sure that you’re prepared for the hike of a lifetime!  It’s definitely on my bucket list, though I think I should have crossed this one off before having kids…

And don’t forget to relax too ;)

Have more tips? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

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DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler. Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai

Related posts:
Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?
DansMeals: Los Angeles For The Kosher Traveler

Previous trip reports with pictures:
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
The Hawaiian Islands (2011)
And one of these days I really ought to write up a trip report on Maui and The Big Island.

DDF forum 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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The 2nd most popular destination that people booked with the Delta glitch was Hawaii.  There’s more detail that can be found via the trip reports above, but this will give a quick overview of the options.

If you’re flying to Hawaii in coach on Delta glitch with your family you should look into the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express which gets a free checked bag (a $50 round-trip value per person per trip) for up to 9 people on an itinerary with the primary cardholder!

There are 4 major Hawaiian islands. I’ll cover them each separately. Hawaii is paradise defined and one of my favorite places in the world.

It’s not just the pretty beaches and incredible snorkeling, it’s the refreshingly pure air, hiking, waterfalls, volcanoes…ahh. Just be sure to also leave some time to relax!

Best of all, as a US state, you have all of the conveniences of being back home, though it can take a long time to fly there from the east coast.  Your phone works without any roaming fees.

I’ve been lucky enough to make it to Hawaii 5 times:
-In March 2006 I flew to Oahu for 2 days as part of a glitch that included flights and hotels for $87.
-In January 2008 I got $150 United tickets for the family to Hawaii. We spent a week on Maui and a week in Kauai. My parents rented condos in both places for the family.
-In December 2008 Mimi and I spent nearly a month in Hawaii with a week on each island before topping it off with a Shabbos in LA on the way home. We nabbed the Sheraton Waikiki for dirt cheap on Priceline, stayed at the Hyatt Regency Maui and Grand Hyatt Kauai on faster free nights, and had a treehouse on the Big Island via VRBO.
-In December 2009 we went back for 2 nights at the Westin Moana Surfrider Waikiki, a week at the Hyatt Regency Maui, and a week at the Grand Hyatt Kauai on faster free nights once again. This time Hyatt was actually paying me thousands of miles for every free stay.
-In December 2011 we flew with 5 month old Rafi and stayed for a week at the S. Regis Princeville thanks to Starwood free resort nights and a week at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui thanks to lifetime Platinum free suites.
For the last 3 trips we flew Continental BusinessFirst using miles.

Fair warning: The Huffington Post (Disclaimer: This article has non-tznius pictures) says that Hawaii will ruin your life . They’re not far off, it’s kind of like how flying internationally in business or first will class will do the same to you!

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The revealed series of books are absolutely required reading if you are going to Hawaii. They read like a novel and are unlike any other guidebook you’ve seen before. It’ll be the best money you spend on your entire trip:
Oahu Revealed
Big Island of Hawaii Revealed
Maui Revealed
Kauai Revealed

Interisland Flights:

You can use miles to island-hop. United charges 5,000 for a one-way flight on Hawaiian or IslandAir.  They even allow a free stopover on a round-trip so you can fly Oahu-Kauai-Maui-Oahu for just 10,000 miles.

There is a DansDeals corporate account for Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to take 2 free bags per person, a $34 value per flight. It also gives free standby on earlier flights. You can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies.

Be sure to allow plenty of time to change terminals in Honolulu and beware that you may have to recheck your luggage in Honolulu. Though, always ask your originating airline to check your bags through to your final destination. Bring a copy of your interisland itinerary to allow them to attempt to do so.

How long should you spend on a single island? The bare minimum is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

Bringing kosher food:

Food that is in a deep-freeze will remain frozen upon arrival in Hawaii.  Mimi cooked a month’s worth of food in about 2 days for our honeymoon and we brought it all frozen.  We had each hotel freeze the food for the next islands.  Or save the time and buy ready made double sealed travel meals from places like Pomegranate.

You can even bring a double sealed meal onto the plane and have a flight attendant heat it up for you.

Call your hotel beforehand to arrange for an extra fridge and to place extra food in their freezers.
Hotels can heat up double-wrapped food for varying fees. Or bring along your own burner or buy a cheap toaster oven or grill on the island to do it yourself.

Shelf stable La Briute meals may not be great but they’re nice to have a pinch on a long outing like on the Road to Hana on Maui or during an all-day hike.

Gear:

WalMart sells inexpensive Tabi shoes which are shoes that have a grippy bottom that are great for hiking in stream and waterfalls. They also sell snorkeling gear if the idea of renting old gear grosses you out.

You will sunburn much faster in Hawaii due to its southern location than back home, buy and apply plenty of sunscreen.

If you have a mustache then you’ll want vaseline to stop your snorkel mask from leaking.

Cars:

You’ll definitely want a car on any island to explore its beauty. There’s no need for a 4WD on Oahu and Maui, the ideal car there is a convertible.

On the Big Island you’ll definitely want something with 4WD, more on that in the next installment.

Most of Kauai can be explored in a regular car though a 4WD may be helpful, more on that later as well.

Chabad of Hawaii has passed on a corporate rate for rentals at Enterprise or National in Hawaii that provides better rates, waives underage fees, and waives different location drop-off fees.
The company name is Hawaii Kosher Weddings. The contract number is XZ36016 and the pin is HAW

You can also bid for car rentals on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune!

Buy gas at Costco where’s it’s cheaper than at most stations on the islands.

Shabbos:

Some Rabbinical authorities hold that you must keep 2 days of Shabbos in Hawaii as the exact location of the halachic international dateline is a matter of debate. Be sure to discuss this with your Rabbi before traveling to Hawaii. If you will keep 2 days remember to discuss all potential ramifications regarding candlelighting, warming up food, etc.
The local communities on each island only keep shabbos on Saturday. Consider yourself lucky if you are able to hear the pilpul from Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz on the subject, a truly fascinating topic.

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Oahu: Home to Hawaii’s only major city, Honolulu.
Oahu gets a bad rep from people who stay in concrete Honolulu the whole time. The key is leaving the city behind!

Kosher traveler info:

-Chabad of Honolulu is located at 410 Atkinson Drive, adjacent to the Ala Moana Hotel. It has the only daily minyan in all of the Hawaiian islands. There is daily shacharis at 8:30 and mincha/maariv can be arranged for someone who needs to say kaddish. There is a minyan every shabbos and you can join communal meals on Friday night and Shabbos day. The cost for both meals is $70 for adults and $45 for kids and reservations should be made beforehand.

-Yudi Weinbaum lives on Oahu and runs Oahu Kosher, a delivery food service. Orders for Oahu deliveries must be made the day before and orders for other island must be made 48 hours in advance.
Deliveries to Waikiki are $10. Deliveries to Honolulu airport are $30. Shipments via refrigerated cargo for pickup at other Hawaiian airports is about $75 for a box of 10 meals.

-Grocery stores carry the same kosher items you find back home. In Honoulu there is Safeway, Whole Foods, Costco, WalMart, and Sam’s Club. Costco in Hawaii Kai has kosher cold cuts, frozen salmon, empire chicken, etc. Costco prices are very close to prices back home though prices at other stores can be double what it is on the mainland.

-Chabad of Honolulu sells Hawaiian kipot for $8, a neat gift.  If you wear it in Hawaii everyone will want to know where you got it from.

Hotels:

-Most hotels are located in Waikiki. If you’re traveling with a family in Hawaii it’s definitely worth looking into renting a private home or condo from sites like VRBO , Home Away , or airbnb.

-Chabad is located adjacent to the Ala Moana hotel, call Chabad directly for specially discounted rates there at 808-735-8161 or email them at info@chabadofhawaii.com

You can also request the Chabad rate when calling the Hawaii Prince or at the Modern Honolulu. Both are located within half a mile of Chabad.

You can also bid for hotels on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune.

-The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort costs about 50K Hilton points per night (20K Starpoints transfers into 25K Virgin Atlantic which transfers into 50K Hilton points. 25K AMEX points with the current Hilton transfer bonus or 25K Chase or AMEX points transfers into 25K Virgin Atlantic which transfers into 50K Hilton points) Chabad is 0.7 miles away.

-The Sheraton Waikiki is an SPG category 5 property (12K-16K Starpoints per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night reservation). Chabad is 1.2 miles away. Beware for shabbos that most stairwells here had motion activated lights, though when we stayed here 5 years ago there was one service stairwell that didn’t.

-The Royal Hawaiian is neighbors with the Sheraton and is part of the SPG luxury collection and is a category 6 property (20-25K Starpoints per night or 16K-20K points per night on a 5 night redemption). It’s a highly regarded hotel also known as the pink palace of the Pacific. Chabad is 1.2 miles away. People who have stayed here did not have shabbos issues.

-The Westin Moana Surfrider is an SPG category 6 property (20-25K Starpoints per night or 16K-20K points per night on a 5 night redemption). Chabad is 1.4 miles away. Beware for shabbos that stairwells here have motion activated lights. There are a few rooms that can be accessed from interior stairwells, so make those arrangements in advance if needed. This hotel did give us an absolutely incredible suite upgrade when we stayed here several years ago.

-The Hyatt Place Waikiki is a category 3 hotel (12K Hyatt or Chase points or 6K points+$75 per night). Chabad is 1.8 miles away.

-The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort is a category 5 hotel (18K Hyatt or Chase points per night if you lock it in by 01/06, otherwise 20K points/night or 10K points+$125 per night). Chabad is 1.5 miles away.

-Turtle Bay Resort is a North Shore hotel far away from the city hustle and bustle.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns 10K bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15K bonus Starpoints for $5,000 in 6 months which would give you a total of 30,000 Starpoints.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 40,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points for spending $3,000 plus 5,000 points for adding a free additional user.  It offers 2.14 points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses and has no foreign exchange fees. The Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold each earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months, offer up to 5 points per dollar spent, have no foreign exchange fees, and come with free lounge passes. Chase points can transfer into Hyatt points instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you or your spouse holds a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Card card.  Chase also has a Hyatt card which gives 2 free nights for spending $1,000 though the bonus categories on the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink are generally much more lucrative than the Hyatt card.  Bear in mind that Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire and are transferable while the Hyatt nights must be completed within 1 year and are officially non-transferrable.

Activities:
-Venture out of touristy and overcrowded Honolulu, there are plenty of stunning views, private beaches, and fantastic hikes on Oahu but you need to leave the city behind and explore.
Hike Diamond Head, Manoa Falls, or dozens of other hikes that you can read about in Oahu Revealed.
Snorkel at crowded but beautiful Hanauma Bay or find your own secluded spot.
-Drive the stunning H3.
-Watch surfers wipeout on the Banzai Pipeline.
Kayaking to a “sunken island” off the leeward (east) coast is very neat (See Oahu revealed for full info on this and many other activities)
Jetskiing up north on wild waves is a real treat.
-If you go to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial, go early. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Be there at 8am and you won’t have to wait around for hours. Also don’t bring any bags with you.
-Kids may enjoy the Dole Plantation.
-Count how many ABC stores are in Waikiki 😀
-Helicopter tours are breathtaking, but they are better taken on other islands if possible.

Have more tips? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

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United: Flights To Honolulu From $404 Round Trip

Monday, October 14th, 2013

-Bookable on Orbitz with full mileage earning and free cancellations until 10pm CT the day after you book or directly from the airline.

– Earn 3 MR points per dollar with American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card or 2.14 UR points per dollar with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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More info in this post on Delta’s cheap fares to Hawaii from Denver, Houston, Newark, and Washington DC.

As predicted earlier today, United has matched with cheap Hawaii fares from Delta’s hubs:

Minneapolis-Honolulu: $404.80
Salt Lake City-Honolulu: $407.80
Atlanta-Honolulu: $419.86
Detroit-Honolulu: $497.80

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Delta: Flights To Honolulu From $406 Round Trip

Monday, October 14th, 2013

-Bookable on Orbitz with full mileage earning and free cancellations until 10pm CT the day after you book or directly from the airline.

– Earn 3 MR points per dollar with American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card or 2.14 UR points per dollar with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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Houston-Honolulu: $406.30
Denver-Honolulu: $407.80
Newark-Honolulu: $421.37
Washington DC-Honolulu: $498.80

Fares are valid on most flights from now through end of scheduling!
Sample valid dates for EWR-HNL:
-10/20-10/27
-11/10-11/17
-12/11-12/18
-01/19-01/26
-02/02-02-09
-03/10-03/17
-04/30-04/07
-05/20-05/27
-06/10-06/17
-07/22-07/29
-08/17-08/24

Read about using ITA Software to use their awesome month-long calendar search to help find dates with cheap flights.

I’ve been around the world and there’s truly no place like Hawaii.  I’ve been there 5 times (including a 4 week honeymoon on 4 islands) since the $87 mistake airfare+hotel deal back in 2006.  Of course if you go all the way there and just stay in the touristy city of Honolulu the whole time you may as well go to South Beach and save yourself the long flight.  While Oahu does have beautiful sights, it’s the neighbor islands that are each a true gem in their own unique way.
Besides for being stunningly beautiful, the little things are great as well. As a US state your money and cell phone work just like at home. Car rentals are easy and are the same as renting on the mainland. And all of the kosher food you buy at Costco, Walmart, and Whole Foods can be found in Hawaii as well. Sure prices are higher, but that’s the price of paradise.

I have a Hawaiian Airlines corporate account for DansDeals, and booking through the corporate portal entitles you to 2 free checked bags and free standby.  If you’re interested you can email me (dan at dansdeals.com) with your name, date of birth, and when you want to travel (you can check fares on Hawaiian.com).  There is a $5 per person booking fee for each inter-island flight.

I usually recommend spending 5-7 days on an island. Less than 4 on an island would be too short and if you have more than 8 days you should explore another island.

Want to tag on a flight to Hawaii for free with an international award ticket? American for example allows you to book a one-way flight from Tel Aviv to JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then fly from JFK to Alaska, Hawaii, LA, Miami, etc. for the same 45,000 miles as just the Tel Aviv-JFK flight.  The travel date of the “trailing” flight can even be changed for free.  The reverse works as well.  Fly back from Hawaii to JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then fly from JFK to Tel Aviv for just 45,000 miles.

Related DD Posts:
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)

-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-The Hawaiian Islands (2011)

Related DDF Destination 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

HT: jmansour and TFD.

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Andaz Maui At Wailea Now Open

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

After several delays Hyatt finally opened the Andaz Maui At Wailea last night.

Starwood and Hyatt have the most reasonable award redemption rates on the beautiful island of Maui. The Sheraton Maui and Westin Maui go for 12K points per night or 9.6K Starpoints per night if you stay for 5 nights.  They also offer cash and point options where you can save half your points by supplementing cash. The Hyatt Regency Maui goes for 22K points per night and they even carry kosher food in their restaurants and give diamond elites a wonderful free kosher breakfast.

But those hotels are located in West Maui where beaches, snorkeling, and swimming are good but just can’t compare to South Maui. In South Maui there is the Grand Wailea, if you have the asinine 70K-95K Hilton points per night that the lackluster property commands. South Maui also has the Fairmont Kea Lani, which is great for lifetime Fairmont Platinums and will get even better thanks to the Willow Stream Spa opening there.

But the modern Andaz Wailea is a real treat for point addicts. Wailea is a beautiful, well-manicured area with awesome beaches and snorkeling. South Maui is also less windy than West Maui and has better weather.

And the Andaz brand is great. I love the Andaz 5th Avenue, it’s easily my favorite hotel in NYC (though I can’t wait for the Park Hyatt NYC to open in 2014!) Andaz hotels have a modern feel and the free minibar and WiFi is always nice as well.

I looked up the night of January 26th for a random mid-winter rate.
-A 2 Queen garden room is $589+tax=$668. Or use 22,000 points for a value of 3.04 cents per point.
-Perhaps the real value is in the Andaz Suite which have a living room, 2 balconies, and an ocean view. The rate for that room is $1,219+tax=$1,383. Or use 33,000 points for a value of 4.19 cents per point. You do need a stay for at least 3 nights to redeem for a suite.

The great thing about Hyatt is that the most any of their luxury hotels can charge is 22,000 points per night for a standard room and just 33,000 points per night for a suite, so there are great values at the high-end.  And as long as a standard room or suite is for sale then you can book it with points-no blackouts or capacity controls.

You can earn Hyatt points via the Hyatt Visa though you will earn more points per dollar thanks to superior bonus categories on Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Ink Bold, and Ink Cash. You or your spouse will need the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus to actually convert the Chase points to Hyatt (or any other airline or hotel). Points convert instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

Chabad of Maui (run by the ultra-friendly Schustermans) can point you to where to find kosher food on Maui.

I’ve been to Maui 4 times though I’ve yet to write a trip report about it. Perhaps it’s time?

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American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

-Book by 09/13
-Travel between 09/11/13-12/17/13
-This is only valid for travel on American, so this won’t work on Hawaiian’s nonstop flight from JFK to Honolulu.
-You can also book one-way travel for 15K so say you want to fly on El Al from Tel Aviv to NYC for 45K American miles you can just book Tel Aviv to JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then book NYC-Hawaii for the same 45K miles. Then you just need 15K miles to get home (unless you go home for free by tagging it onto a future trip to Tel Aviv for example with a stopover in NYC).
-American serves Oahu via Honolulu (HNL), Kauai via Lihue (LIH), Maui via Kahului (OGG), and the Big Island via Kona (KOA).

aa9

 

West coast people should bear in mind that it will be cheaper to use their BA Avios as it’s only 25,000 Avios from the west coast to Hawaii on American (bookable on BA.com) or on Alaska (searchable on aa.com but bookable only by calling BA).
Plus you can transfer points from AMEX MR (1:1), Chase UR (1:1), and Starwood (20:25) to BA but only Starwood transfers to American (20:25 ratio).

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Fly Nonstop Between JFK And Honolulu For Just $382 Round-Trip With Tax!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Update: You can now fly from JFK to the major neighboring islands via Honolulu (HNL) for just $394 round-trip with tax!  This includes flights to Lihue on the island of Kauai (LIH), Kahului on the island of Maui (OGG), Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii (ITO), and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii (KOA).

Related DD Posts:
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)

-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)

Related DDF Destination 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

————————————————————

The great $382 fare is bookable directly from Hawaiian for travel between JFK and Honolulu (on the island of Oahu) during December.  Flights in January and February are $424.

I’ve been around the world and there’s truly no place like Hawaii.  I’ve been there 5 times (including a 4 week honeymoon on 4 islands) since the $87 mistake airfare+hotel deal back in 2006.  Of course if you go all the way there and just stay in the touristy city of Honolulu the whole time you may as well go to South Beach and save yourself the long flight.  While Oahu does have some beautiful sights, it’s the neighbor islands that are each a true gem in their own unique way.

Here is a calendar of available dates in either direction (Click to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a Hawaiian Airlines corporate account for DansDeals, and booking through the corporate portal entitles you to 2 free checked bags.  Checked bags are normally $25 for the 1st bag and $35 for the 2nd bag.  If you’re interested you can email me (dan at dansdeals.com) with your name, date of birth, and when you want to travel (you can check fares on Hawaiian.com).  There is a $15 per person booking fee for flights between the mainland US48 and Hawaii and a $10 per person booking fee for inter-island flights.

Follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com! You can even opt-in to get a text message (and choose which hours of the night not to bother you) whenever DansDeals.com is updated!

HT: YCW

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Grand Hyatt Kauai Limited Time Sale!

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Related reading for those interested in going to Hawaii:

Related DD Posts:
-Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?
-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
—————————————————-
www.hyatt.com

The Grand Hyatt Kauai, one of my favorite resorts on one of my favorite places in the world, is having a pretty nice sale.

Daily rates from now through 10/31 are just $299 and from 11/01 through 12/23 are just $279.  After that rates go back up to the standard $459 per night.

Tax adds 13.42% and there is also a $25/day resort fee, making the $279 rate become $341.44 all-in.  The normal $459 rate is $545.60 all-in, so this is a savings of more than $200 per night.

Of course you can also stay free with no blackout dates, no tax, and no resort fees with award nights by opening a card like Chase Hyatt, which gives 2 free nights worldwide for spending $1 and Platinum elite status which gives you room upgrades and free internet. Plus if you already have Hyatt elite status (or are elite with another chain to match to Hyatt) you also get suite upgrades when you apply for the card.
Of course you can also stay for free with Ultimate Rewards points from Chase cards such as Sapphire Preferred Visa, Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard, Freedom Visa, Freedom Mastercard, Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Ink Classic, or Ink Cash.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai is a top-tier category 6 hotel, and would require 22,000 points per night in a standard room or 33,000 points per night in a suite. Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly to anyone’s Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio.

HT: momo, via DDF

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Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

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

—————————————————-
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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Hawaii Gets An LCC!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Hawaii hasn’t had a LCC (low cost carrier) offering service to the mainland since the demise of ATA. It’s a market that Airtran, Jetblue, and Southwest have completely ignored.

Allegiant, an LCC that specializes in flying from obscure airports, has announced that they will soon serve Honolulu and Maui!

“Allegiant will offer introductory fares as low as $159 each way, including all taxes and fees, from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to/from:
-Bellingham, Wash. — begins November 15 with fares as low as $159 each way
-Eugene, Ore. — begins November 17 with fares as low as $179 each way
-Santa Maria, Calif. — begins November 17 with fares as low as $199 each way
-Stockton, Calif. — begins November 18 with fares as low as $199 each way

Allegiant will offer introductory fares as low as $199 each way, includingall taxes and fees, from Kahului Airport (OGG) to:
-Bellingham, Wash. — begins November 14 with fares as low as $199 each way”

HT: aussiebochur, via DDF

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The Hawaiian Islands.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Related DD Posts:
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

So you booked tickets to one of my favorite places in the world with the ongoing Continental award availability glitch.  Your cell phone and money will work the same as back home and there’s Costco and Walmart on every island, so you won’t starve, but if you keep kosher you’ll probably be bringing a lot of food in your suitcases.  Not to worry though, anything that’s frozen will stay frozen in the belly of a plane, so it will still be frozen when you get to Hawaii.  You can’t bring most fruits into or out of Hawaii.

Where do you go from here?

It would be criminal to go all the way to Hawaii and stay on Oahu. I recommend spending about 5 days on an island. It’s not worth island hopping to be on an island for less than 4 days except if you want to do a 1 night trip to the Big Island to see the volcano.

The first thing you need to do is buy the “revealed” book for your island. They read like thriller novels and have great pictures and trip ideas.

Oahu Revealed
Maui Revealed
The Big Island Revealed
Kauai Revealed

The main 4 islands are:
Oahu: The center of the population base and capital city Honolulu. Most tourists go to a hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, but frankly you may as well go to a beach in Florida. There are definitely nice places to check out in Oahu, but most people just stay around Waikiki and complain afterward. Pearl Harbor is on Oahu.
Highlights: Hiking Diamond Head, watching the surfers on the North Shore’s killer waves. Kayaking on the leeward (east) coast. The only island with a Chabad House within walking distance of a resort area (Waikiki).
Lowlights: Extremely touristy and overcrowded in Honolulu.
DD stars: 3.5/5.

Maui: A beautiful island with great weather in the Windward (west coast) major resort areas (Ka’anapali in West Maui and Wailea in South Maui) and in Kihei (South Maui) where affordable condos are available for rent. A convertible is perfect for the road to Hana.
Highlights: The road to Hana (waterfalls and hiking), sunrise on Haleakala, Nakalele Blowhole/Olivine Pools, whale watching boat tours in the winter, browsing the shops in downtown Lahaina at night, beaches from Wailea and further south.
Lowlights: Still feels touristy and built-up.
DD stars: 4.5/5.

Kauai: A lush green isle with jaw-dropping scenery, most of it inaccessible without flying over it, hiking to it or having a 4WD vehicle. The weather (in the winter at least) is much better on the south side than the north side.
Highlights: Waimea Canyon, taking a helicopter your over the entire island, Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, snorkeling at Poipu Beach, kayaking the Wailua River to secret falls, Polihale Beach. Grand Hyatt Kauai. Much less touristy feel than Maui and Oahu. Being the last Jew in the world to take in shabbos.
Lowlights: Traffic around Kapa’a and Lihue. Rainy and buggy on the north shore.
DD stars: 4.75/5.

Hawaii, aka The Big Island: A massive island with active volcanoes. A 4WD vehicle here is essential.
Highlights: Volcanoes erupting, hiking through past eruptions, dipping in volcanically heated hot springs, sunset on Mauna Kea, seeing Waipio Valley, Hilo Wednesday market, watching crazy people jump off South Point, diving with Manta Rays at night. Much less touristy feel than Maui and Oahu.
Lowlights: The least green/beautiful of the islands due to the black lava everywhere, Long drives to get places, Vog (Volcanic Smog) for sensitive breathers, less hotel point options (1 mediocre Starwood, no Hyatts) than the other islands.
DD stars: 4/5.

Other visitable islands include Lanai and Molokai off the Maui coast, but I have never made it to those islands (no free hotels!). Kahoolawe and Ni’ihau are generally inaccessible short of chartering your own helicopter for a couple thousand dollars.
———————————————————————
You can book interisland tickets on Hawaiian or IslandAir for 5,000 miles per one-way with AA, Continental, or United or 10,000 miles for a round-trip with Delta or USAirways. You may be able to pull off a 3 flights for 10,000 miles on Continental by use of a stopover if you find a good agent.
Availability can be hard to find though for the times you want.

Airports are as follows:
Oahu: Honolulu (HNL)
Maui: Kahului (OGG). IslandAir also flies to Kapalua (JHM) in West Maui.
Kauai: Lihue (LIH)
Big Island: Windward (Resort westside coast): Kona (KOA)
Big Island: Leeward (Volcano eastside coast): Hilo (ITO)

The best airline is Hawaiian. They are the traditional Hawaiian airline and fly a modern Boeing 717 fleet with a 2-3 seat configuration. The route map is interesting. For example you can fly nonstop from Kauai to Maui, but not from Maui to Kauai. Most flights go through Honolulu, though there are nonstop flights from Maui to Kona and Hilo.
You will earn miles on any mainland carrier you want for the Hawaiian flight.
Baggage fees are $17 per bag for the first 2 bags and $25 thereafter.

I have a corporate account with Hawaiian and can book you in exchange for a $6 per one-way ticket booking fee if you would like, which will save you up to $34 in bag fees per person.. Just email me to book, dan at dansdeals.com
As a corporate traveler you get 2 free checked bags and free standby travel!

IslandAir flies to the smaller islands and secondary airports and they also connect Maui and Kauai better than Hawaiian.
They fly rickety propeller planes though, so you’ll have to decide if the nonstop flight is worth it.
Baggage fees are $15 for the first bag, $30 for the 2nd bag, and $35 thereafter.

Go Airlines flies smaller jets primarily on routes competing with Hawaiian. Don’t tell the locals you flew Go though as they hate them for killing off beloved Aloha Airlines. A better reason to dislike them is their spotty on-time and cancellation record and that they don’t interline baggage or take/earn miles from the mainland airlines.
Baggage fees are $15 for the first bag, $17 for the 2nd bag, and $25 thereafter.

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Hawaiian Introductory Fare: JFK-Honolulu Nonstop For $445 Round-Trip Including Taxes!

Also: A Short Lesson On Adding Free Award Tickets To Hawaii Onto International Trips…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Bookable on Orbitz (with full mileage earning, free cancellations until 10pm CT the day after you book, and price assurance refunds)

Continental finally has some competition in the NYC-Hawaii market.  Currently the only nonstop service is from Continental’s fortress hub in Newark to Honolulu.  Continental has longed charged exhobinant pricing on the route and is very stingy with mileage availability, especially in BusinessFirst class.

Effective 06/05 Hawaiian starts flying nonstop from JFK to Honolulu. The schedule is a bit different than what Continental offers, as Hawaiian has more planes at their disposal in Hawaii than Continental does and doesn’t need to turnaround the same plane.

Hawaiian:
JFK-HNL: 10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
HNL-JFK: 03:05 PM – 06:55 AM (next day)

Continental:
EWR-HNL: 12:35pm-5:15pm
HNL-EWR: 7:25pm-11:05am (next day)

A sample valid date for the $445 intro sale is 06/12-06/19.

While Hawaiian Airlines is partners with Continental/United, Delta, and USAirways, you can only use the miles on those carriers for Hawaiian interisland flights, not for mainland flights.
However AA does allow you to use AAdvantage miles on Hawaiian Airlines flights to the mainland. (You do not however earn AA miles for Hawaiian Airlines mainland flights) The rates are as follows:
Coach (01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15): 17,500 miles each way
Coach (03/09-08/21 and 12/16-01/11): 22,500 miles each way
Business: 37,500 miles each way.

Of course the real quirky part about AA miles is that you can redeem a ticket all the way from Argentina or Brazil to Hawaii for:
Coach (03/01-05/31 and 08/16-11/30): 20,000 miles each way
Coach (06/01-08/15 and 12/01-02/29): 30,000 miles each way
Business: 50,000 miles each way

Or from Europe to Hawaii for:
Coach (10/15-05/15): 20,000 miles each way
Coach (05/16-10/14): 30,000 miles each way
Business: 50,000 miles each way

Why does that matter? Well first of all I just think it’s funny that they’ll sell a ticket from Buenos Aires to Honolulu for less than Los Angeles to Honolulu depending on the time of the year.

But more importantly let’s say you are going to Argentina. AA allows for a free stopover at the UA gateway city on international awards. So you can book say Buenos Aires to JFK on 03/01 and then “stopover” in JFK for as long as you want and then book JFK-Honolulu say on November 15th on Hawaiian. The total cost for that whole one-way Buenos Aires-JFK-Honolulu ticket is just 20,000 miles!

You could then book a return ticket to JFK or you get get even more creative and book a ticket from Honolulu to Paris with a stopover in JFK for just 20,000 miles! So fly November 30th back from Honolulu to JFK, “stopover” in JFK until May 1st and then on May 1st fly from JFK to Paris. The total cost for that whole one-way Honolulu-JFK-Paris ticket is just 20,000 miles!

But wait you say, how in the world am I supposed to know when I want to Paris in so long from now?
Simple, there are free date changes on tickets booked with AA miles 🙂

Don’t want to travel internationally twice? Add on the free Hawaii leg to the beginning or end or an international trip as described above and then buy the ticket the other way for just $222 with this great intro fare!  Your total added cost will be just $222 and you may even save some miles by booking in combo with an international ticket!

It’s worth noting that this isn’t just good for Hawaii. You can do the same thing for any other domestic ticket. Fly from an international city to NYC and then book a free flight anytime later on to any other US or Canadian city (LA, Anchorage, Chicago, Miami, etc, etc) later on.

HT: aussiebochur, via DDF

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HOT!!! Grand Hyatt Kauai For As Low As $180+ Per Night!!!

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Update: Now $235+ or $210+ with a new account.

Related Posts:
Kauai Trip Notes
Chase Hyatt Visa Signature Card: Get 2 Free Nights At Any Hyatt Worldwide!

Jetsetter Offer Linky

-Book by 07/10.

-Travel between 08/20-12/23.

Kauai is probably my favorite place to vacation in the world…I went there 3 times in 3 years but haven’t been back in nearly 2 years and am aching for a return trip.   It’s just a beautiful, serene island, not (yet) overrun with touristy kitsch like fellow Hawaiian islands Oahu and Maui have been.  The Grand Hyatt Kauai is a fabulous hotel with seemingly endless number of pools and lagoons with hidden caves tucked behind the waterfalls, waterslides, and hot tubs scattered all over the beautiful property.  It’s located in the sunny southern half of the island right near the incredible Poipu Beach with world-class snorkeling. And just a short drive up breathtaking Waimea Canyon with it’s incredible hiking as well as the miles and miles long and often deserted Polihale Beach.

The hotel just finished an extensive renovation earlier this year.

Parking, tennis courts, wifi, phone calls, and spa/fitness center access are all free.  When I was there last they even had free scuba lessons in their lagoon! Diamond members also have free access to the Grand Club.

This is one of the best rates I’ve ever seen for the Grand Hyatt Kauai.  It’s just $205 plus tax per night.  Open a new Jetsetter account and you’ll get $25 off your first purchase, dropping the price down to just $180 plus tax.  (The hotel shouldn’t have any problem combining multiple reservations so you don’t have to switch rooms…) Tax adds just $32 per night and that includes the mandatory $25 resort fee that is normally collected at the property in addition to the Hyatt.com rate on all paid stays (Hyatt waives the resort fee on all award stays)

You can fly on all the major airlines directly from the mainland into Lihue, Kauai or with an easy connection via Honolulu.  AA charges 35K miles during off-peak periods and most of the others charge 40K.
BA will book you for 35K miles on AA year-round with no fuel surcharges. Until 07/31,you can transfer just 24K AMEX points into 36K BA Miles!

HT: businessmachine, via the DansDeals Forums

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Delta: Honolulu On Sale!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Bookable on Orbitz (with full mileage earning, free cancellations within 24 hours, and price assurance refunds) or directly from Delta.

Fares are valid to or from Honolulu.
Sample date that worked for all cities: 01/10/11-01/17/11
Memphis: $386 round-trip with tax.
Cincinnati: $389 round-trip with tax.
Chicago: $391 round-trip with tax.
Denver: $391 round-trip with tax.
Detroit: $391 round-trip with tax.

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Hawaii Trip Notes: Part 2, Kauai.

Monday, December 21st, 2009

You too can travel the world for free! Head over to the Dansdeals Forums and start strategizing now! Or just open up your own Starwood AMEX to start earning to the most valuable and flexible travel currency around!  Or open up a Hyatt Visa to earn 2 free nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai!

Related:
Shaloha Folks!
Hawaii Trip Notes: Part 1, Oahu.

-There are 4 main Islands in the state of Hawaii: Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawaii.  Oahu is by far the most populated with the capital of Honolulu and touristy.  If you are going to Hawaii you need a minimum of 5 days on any Island, but a week is ideal.  In order of importance my opinion would be Kauai, Maui, the Big Island, and finally Oahu.

-We just finished an amazing week on Kauai.  Kauai is just incredible, my favorite Hawaiian island. It’s hard not to gush about it. The air is deliciously fresh with greenery abound. It’s just a stunningly beautiful island without any of the touristy kitsch that permeates Oahu and to a lesser degree Maui. From the depths of Waimea Canyon to the sheer and awe-inspiring cliffs of Na Pali it’s hard to not lose your breath…

-We stocked up on some of our kosher favorites in Whole Foods in Oahu before flying to Kauai. Got some ZenSoy Chocolate/Vanilla pudding ($3.99 vs. $2.99 in Cleveland), Corn and bean salsa ($3.69 vs. $2.99 in Cleveland), Whale Tales corn chips (never seen these in Cleveland), and Fat free soy milk ($5.69 vs. $3.29 in Cleveland)

-Groceries and gas are generally insanely expensive in Hawaii.  Except at Costco.  I confirmed on a number of items that Costco’s prices here are the same as on the mainland.  Even on frozen and refrigerated items like frozen salmon and Tropicana Orange Juice that can be double the price at other stores.

-Also before we left Oahu I picked up some of the great Aloha Hawaiian Kippot from Chabad of Honolulu. If you’ve never seen them they have double sided aloha prints in a myriad of unique designs and colors. They are great to wear around (you’ll get tons of compliments!) or to bring back instead of some tacky wooden gift. They’re $8 and help support the great work of Chabad of Honolulu.

-On our way to Honolulu we flew on Continental which allowed 70 pound bags, but from Honolulu to Kauai on Hawaiian we were only allowed 50 pound bags…which is where Skycaps come in handy 😉

-A convertible is definitely the way to go in Kauai!

-Tabi’s are awesome! I’d never heard of them before reading about them in the Hawaiin guidebooks.  They are a Polynesian hybrid of a beach shoe/boot with felt bottoms that grip onto slippery rocks.  They are perfect for hiking on slippery trails or for the beach.  Walmart in Hawaii sells them for $15-$20.

-This past week we stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai down in dry and sunny Poipu. How awesome is Kauai? You have to go through a “tree tunnel” just to get down to Poipu! Anyway the hotel is absolutely incredible. When you walk in the lobby there is an open wall where you can see straight to the Ocean.  There are dozens of pools, hot tubs, and lagoons that never seem to end. Exotic landscaping, talking parrots, and tons of free entertainment. You could literally spend a week here without leaving the hotel and never be bored for a minute…but that would be a crying shame.

-The Grand Hyatt put us in a ground floor suite when we arrived.  It was nice but I didn’t care for it.  There was no balcony, no ocean view, and no cell phone reception.  They let me take a look at a few other suites and I settled on a 1,400 square foot beauty with a separate living room, dining room, bedroom with walk-in closet, a bathroom with a jacuzzi and separate shower room, a 40 foot ocean-view balcony, 3 LCD TV’s, 4 phones…Total cost: $0.

-At 4am on Tuesday morning the Hotel fire alarm system malfunctioned.  It told everyone to evacuate the building.  After we left we were told it was a mistake, but they couldn’t get the alarm turned off for half an hour.  In the morning they sent out an apology letter offering everyone a $50 resort credit.  I don’t think so! I negotiated a more fair response with a manager over the phone, 18,000 Hyatt points (enough points for a free night at any Hyatt) and a $100 resort credit…which bought a nice pair of Naot’s for my wife!

-Wi-fi for 2 computers for the week came out to $200…waived of course for Hyatt elite members.

-The resort fee ($18/day) was waived as it was an award stay. Parking was free.

-The hotel offers a daily Scuba lesson in their expansive saltwater lagoon for free!

-They have these great sized Heinz ketchup packets at the self-service bar by the pool.  You know those regular Heinz packets that you need to open 7 of to cover your burger? Well 1 of these babies and your burger is covered!  Why haven’t I seen these anywhere else???

-We brought some self-heating La Briute meals with us (Cheese Ravioli and Meatballs and Spaghetti). These flavors are actually pretty good, and it’s great to have a nice piping hot meal in middle of a long hike!

-We were able to freeze the food that we needed for Maui upon arrival and get an extra fridge in the room for our food for the week in the hotel.

-Times Supermarket carries a complete line of Jelly Belly products and confections, including some super fresh candy corn! Yum!

-On Wednesday night we went to the “Tiki-Torch” menorah lighting at Chabad of Kauai which was nice. Rabbi Goldman brought down Zvi Bielski, the son of “Defiance” World War 2 hero Zus Bielski. At Chabad I ate the only Latke that I would have all Chanukah long!

-It hit me when we brought in Shabbos at the Hyatt that we were among the last Jews in the world to bring in Shabbos. With Kauai being the westernmost part of populated Hawaii and with sunset at 6pm local time/4am GMT and us being located further west than the local jewish community I think it’s entirely plausible that we were the absolute last people in the world to bring in Shabbos…kind’ve cool!

Some of the activities I’ve done on Kauai on this and past trips (5/5 = must do , 0/5= don’t bother):

-A Helicopter tour of Kauai with Blue Hawaiian (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 134), as recommended by the Kauai Revealed book. This trip is AWESOME!!! They have first class helicopters with comfy seats, 2 way noise canceling headphones, and huge windows for incredible views. The biggest problem with Kauai is that so much of it is inaccessible. With a helicopter tour you can go right up to sights that seem impossible…into the canyon, over Na Pali, and it ends of with Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on earth with some 500 inches of annual rainfall and dozens of waterfalls gushing down: 5/5

-Kayaked to Fern Grotto and Secret Falls (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 163). Both sites are very impressive! It is a little tricky to dock at Fern Grotto and to actually find the beautiful Secret Falls with its swimmable pool…but well worth it. We started from Hawaiian Village where it’s just a short 5-10 minute kayak to either site. We ran out of time and couldn’t find Secret Falls before they closed, but they let us come back a couple days later and try again for free-and we made it! Bring Off or you will get eaten alive. : 4.5/5

-Polihale Beach (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 88). 13 miles of uninterrupted and deserted beaches in the remote westernmost part of the United States. It’s mostly unswimmable in the winter due to waves up to 25 feet tell. However standing in Queen’s Pond where the massive waves are taken down by the reef just feet in front of you makes for a surreal experience. Watching the sunset over the “forbidden island” of Niihau at Polihale is breathtaking: 4.5/5

-Snorkeling at Poipu Beach (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 112). I snorkeled right on top of a green sea turtle that was bigger than me! Monk seals often park themselves at this beach which is just a few minutes from the Hyatt. 4.5/5

-12 Mile Hike in Waimea Canyon Nualolo/Awaawapuhi loop (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 144). I’m not sure what I was thinking here. This hike included half a mile of altitude change, some very scary cliffs (don’t make a false step or it’s miles till the next one!) and was way too strenuous for my taste. The views of Na Pali were shockingly beautiful (which is why I did the hike in the first place) but I was nice and sore for a day or 2 after this hike.  If you do this hike don’t forget lots of water-I went through 4 liters myself easily: 2/5

-4WD Miloli Ridge Road (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 196) Stunning view of Na Pali without the 12 mile hike. 4WD car is required though…4/5

-Liko Kauai Cruise of Na Pali. (Kauai Revealed, Pg. 168) These are supposed to be great in the calm summer seas…don’t bother in the winter. It was so nauseating that half the boat was throwing up. There are better ways to see Na Pali than this. 0/5.

If nothing else, just drive around Kauai, there is beauty everywhere. The drive up to the quaint North Shore with its 1 lane bridges and into Waimea Canyon is just awesome.

We’re off to Maui now…catch ‘ya later! Oh, and thanks for all of the comments on the last trip notes posting!

Waimea Canyon

Na Pali, from a helicopter

Sunset at Kekaha Beach

Na Pali, from a helicopter

Hanalei Lookout

Mt. Waialeale, from a helicopter

Grand Hyatt Suite Living Room

Grand Hyatt Suite Dining Room

Grand Hyatt Suite Bathroom

Grand Hyatt Suite Balcony View

Pools At Grand Hyatt Kauai

Menorah on balcony

Grand Hyatt Suite Balcony View

Na Pali, from Waimea Canyon loop hike.

Na Pali, from Waimea Canyon loop hike.

Waimea Canyon loop hike.

Na Pali, from Waimea Canyon loop hike.

Menorah Lighting at Chabad of Kauai

Grand Hyatt Kauai Restaurant

Grand Hyatt Kauai

Pools At Grand Hyatt Kauai

Message left at Polihale

Sunset at Polihale

Sunset at Polihale (Background: Ni’ihau)

Grand Hyatt Suite Balcony View

Wild Peacock

Secret Falls Kayak/Hike

Secret Falls (Partial view)

Monk Seal Tanning At Poipu Beach

Sunset at Polihale

Sunset at Polihale

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Hawaii Trip Notes: Part 1, Oahu.

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

-Taking a 2 week trip to Hawaii as a religious Jew sure is far from easy. My dear wife spent a good couple days making all of the food for the trip in advance. We then froze the food to get it to be rock hard.

-I did my share as well as well-arranging every trip detail and constantly being on the lookout for Continental First class and BusinessFirst seats to Hawaii (Only fair after my wife slaved over a stove for that long!). It paid off-each of our flights were confirmed in First or BusinessFirst. I locked in the 75K mileage rate before it went up to 80K in October. I love that Continental now gives free date and routing changes on award tickets! It makes planning mileage tickets so much easier!

-Forum member agug was extremely kind and hooked me up with a free room at the Sheraton at the Cleveland airport (Starwood Category 2).  With the mercury clocking in at 10 degrees on Thursday night we were able to leave the food in a suitcase in the car without worry. By staying at the airport we were able to roll out of bed at 5am and get right onto the 6am flight.

-Continental’s BusinessFirst on the Houston-Honolulu leg was great.  It’s not lie-flat (although it will be within a couple years), but it’s probably as good as it gets for flights to Hawaii.  A nice luxuriously wide seat, with plenty of legroom, a footrest, and a personal LCD.  We got a kosher lunch and pre-arrival snack.  Neither were great, although the chocolate mousse dessert was quite good-it was so rich I was able to make it last for hours!  The flight attendants were excellent, some of the best I’ve ever had!

-Anyone even thinking about going to Hawaii must read the “Revealed” series of guidebooks. These are guidebooks like you’ve never seen before.  They are funny, easy to read, detailed, full of great tips, and unbiased straight-talk reviews.  It would be criminal to visit any Hawaiian Island without the appropriate book!  I only wish the author would create more books like this for other places!

-We’re staying at the absolutely gorgeous Westin Moana Surfrider in Honolulu for 2 nights.  One night was with my Platinum free weekend night, the other with a Starwood category 5 free night redemption. They TOTALLY hooked us up! A 17th floor corner suite complete with 2 large oceanfront balconies, a massive living room that has a dining room table, an empty fridge and pantry, a murphy bed in the wall, a couch, chairs for 7, a flat-screen, and a work desk.  The bathroom is all marble and the toilet, um, I’ll let you see it for yourself but I haven’t seen one of those since I was in Japan!  The hotel also sent up a fantastic fruit tray and 4 bottles of water.

-Parking at the hotel is a confiscatory $33/day.  I found $15 parking across the street.  No-brainer there.

-The food arrived in Honolulu frozen solid.  We took out the food we needed until Sunday and sent the rest of the suitcase of food to the hotel freezer.

-While the hotel is great and I’d highly recommend it, it’s far from ideal for sabbath observing Jews. The stairs have sensors that turn on the lights when you enter the stairwell which meant we’d be spending Shabbos in the room.  Mind you, this room was not a bad room to be stuck in!  The air conditioning unit turns off when you open the balcony, but I got an engineer to override that “feature” (he said the sensors for the stairs were not able to be turned off).  The toilet had to unplugged-good thing we noticed it before shabbos or it would’ve been quite unpleasant!

-The Whole Foods in Honolulu has tons of great kosher food, but prices are 10%-50% higher than on the mainland.  Regular grocery store prices can be 25%-80% higher than the mainland, but buying things on sale with a Safeway discount card helps.  Costco’s prices on the other hand are pretty much in line with the mainland and is a great place to stock up.

-My opinion is that Oahu is too overcrowded and touristy.  While there are nice places and fun things to do on the island, the other islands just offer so much more that there is no compelling reason to spend more than a couple days in Oahu.  There’s relatively little of the awesome greenery, hiking, active volcanoes, and serene waterfalls that the other islands offer.

Previously on Oahu I’ve done the following activities (5/5 = must do , 0/5= don’t bother):

-Jet-skied insane waves near the Banzai Pipeline (Now this was exhilarating!): 4/5

-Kayaked to a “sunken island” (So cool to be able to walk in the ocean after kayaking for an hour): 3.5/5

-Walking down the Waikiki Boardwalk, checking out the stores and people (and a lot of them sure are interesting): 3.5/5

-Snorkeled Hanauma Bay (More exciting snorkeling is free on other islands): 3.5/5

-Watch surfers battle 15 foot waves at Banzai (Worth a stop during the winter if you’re at the north shore): 3/5

-Driven the H3 (Some of the best scenery on Oahu): 3/5

-Hiked to Manoa Falls (Pretty falls, nicer ones on other islands that are easier to get to): 2.5/5

-Climbed Diamond Head mountain (Nice view, but not much nicer than a Ocean view room balcony!: 2/5

-Visited Pearl Harbor (I’m pretty sure I was the only non-Japanese person there…weird): 2/5

-Visited the Dole Plantation (Cute store, with great kosher Hawaiian microwavable kettle corn, but not much else worth spending the money on).: 1/5

-Anyway now we’re off to my personal favorite, the Island of Kauai!

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The flight attendant even offered to take our pic!

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Kosher Lunch (appetizer and dessert)

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Kosher Lunch (entrée)

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Kosher snack

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Partial view of living room

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Partial view of bathroom

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Toilet controls…

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Living room balcony

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Hotel fruit tray

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Getting ready for Shabbos

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View from the balcony

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View from the balcony, from left, Sheraton Waikiki (Starwood Cat. 5), Royal Hawaiian (Starwood Cat. 6), and Outrigger Waikiki.

-Agree/Disagree with any of my opinions? Let’s hear it in the comments!

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Advance Notice-USAirways: $289 RT Including All Tax From Atlanta, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, Or Salt Lake City To Honolulu!

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Update 2: DEAD!

Update-12:25pm: The fare is now bookable, but seats can be quite hard to find.

Here are some sample dates:

MSP-HNL: 07/09-07/22.

SLC-HNL: 05/12-05/20.

USAirways just filed a $229+ fare, which is about $285 with tax from nearly all of Delta’s and Northwest’s hubs to Honolulu!

Tickets should be bookable very soon on usairways.com!

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Continental: Los Angeles To/From Honolulu For $235 Round Trip Including All Taxes!!!

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

www.continental.com

Valid for travel through 06/07/09 with a 3 day or Saturday night minimum stay.

Don’t forget to register for double elite-qualifying miles!

Also Continental has a nonstop flight from Newark to Honolulu for just $438 round trip including all taxes but travel must be completed by 05/19.

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Guaranteed $43 Interisland Fares On Hawaiian Airlines!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Hawaiian is offering guaranteed $43 fares on nonstop interisland flights in Hawaii.  It’s valid as long as there’s a single open seat on the flight!

While some interisland flights (say Honolulu, Oahu-Lihue, Kauai) can be had for as little as $27 at times, other flights (like Lihue, Kauai-Kahului, Maui or Kahului, Maui-Kona, Hawaii) can be much more.

The $43 fares book in “X” fare class so miles can be earned on most US Mainland airlines.

It’s valid for flights between 03/02-05/15.

Registration is required by 03/11.

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Airfare Deals: Hawaii Hub War Edition!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

All fares are for round-trip prices and include all taxes.  Fares have limited amounts of seats available per flight. All fares are valid in either direction. Fares are subject to change at anytime. Links listed are for researching valid dates only. Book directly from the airline or from priceline to avoid booking fees.

United started off this morning by filing cheap Hawaii fares to/from AA’s hubs, and AA retaliated this afternoon!

Chicago-Honolulu: $362 On AA

Washington DC-Honolulu: $368 On AA

Denver-Honolulu: $373 On AA

S. Louis-Honolulu: $391 On United

Miami-Honolulu: $389 On United

Dallas-Honolulu: $394 On United

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Chicago To/From Honolulu For Just $383 Round Trip Incuding All Taxes! Dates Valid Through End Of Scheduling!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

All fares are for round-trip prices and include all taxes.  Fares have limited amounts of seats available per flight.  All domestic fares are valid in either direction.  Fares are subject to change at anytime. Links listed are for researching valid dates only. Book directly from the airline or from priceline to avoid booking fees.

Chicago-Honolulu: $383 On AA

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Continental Hawaii Sale!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Offer Linky

East coast fares start at just $199/each way!

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Newark To Honolulu Nonstop On Continental For $437 RT!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

This is a great price for the only nonstop flights to Hawaii from the NYC area.  It cuts the 15 hour journey to paradise down to 10 hours.  Best of all Continental still provides free meals (and even kosher ones on longer domestic flights if you ask for it) in coach on domestic flights.  I flew from Chicago-Honolulu nonstop earlier this year on United and all they had was some junk food available for purchase!

Bookable now on Continental.com or priceline.com.
(It’s actually slightly cheaper on priceline as they round down and don’t charge a booking fee, but if you are shooting for elite status you’ll want to book direct from continental.com in order to earn 100% EQM’s)

Travel on Continental must start no later than 02/08/09.

AA also has a simalar fare out of Newark that is valid though the end of their schedule.

As always there are blackout days and seats are limited on any given day.

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It’s Raining Hawaii Deals!!! Denver To/From Honolulu On AA For Just $276 Round Trip Including All Taxes!!! Dates Valid Through End Of Scheduling!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

If you have at least 2 passengers see below for how to get hotel rooms with your tickets for an additional $34 per person.

This fare is now bookable on AA.com

Use AA.com’s excellent “price and schedule” search to find $110 dates.

Sample valid dates: 11/13-11/18.

The base fare on this is just $110 each way plus tax!

Fare rules: Valid for travel any day of the week with 7 day advance purchase through end of scheduling.  A 3 night minimum stay in Honolulu is required. Seats must be available in “Q” class to get the fare, and therefore dates within the period of validity are subject to sell out quickly!

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SIZZLING!!! 2 ROUND TRIP TICKETS LOS ANGELES-HONOLULU AND 5 NIGHTS HOTEL FOR $276/PERSON INCLUDING ALL TAXES!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Update 2: DEAD!

Update: This deal will also work originating in Denver for $310 per person. Follow the same method for DEN-HNL as outlined for LAX-HNL below.

This deal was sent to all of our dansdeals.com facebook group members. Join the 679 people already registered on the Dansdeals.com facebook group to automatically receive similar alerts!

Related: LAX-HNL for $242.

Note: This deal requires 2 passengers flying together!

Instructions:

Step 1: Go to Orbitz

Step 2: Click on the “vacation packages” tab.

Step 3: Search for a 5 night trip for LAX-HNL for 2 people. A sample trip that definitely works is 11/13-11/18 on AA or Delta.

Step 4: Click on “Sort packages by lowest price“.

Step 5: Click on “I have a promotion code.”

Step 6: Enter code:  5HAWAII250

Step 7: The cheapest hotel should be the “Castle Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki”  The price should say $401 per person.

Step 8: Click on the $401 price.  On the next page it will give you the discount for the coupon, making the price just $276 per person for the tickets and the hotel!!!

Fare rules: Valid for travel any day of the week with 7 day advance purchase through 12/13/08. A 3 night minimum stay in Honolulu is required.  Even dates within the period of validity are subject to sell out quickly!

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HURRY! Maui On Sale!

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Maui is a true paradise, and it comes with all the conveniences of never leaving the country!
Fair warning: You may never want to leave!
Average fares to Maui are over $700.
Best availability appears to be on United.

Related helpful threads from the friendly folks over at dansdeals.com/forums:
Going to Maui!
To good to be true? (5 nights at the westin maui)
What Do You Do For Kosher Food While Traveling?
United Vouchers for sale.

Sample Round Trip fares, including taxes:
Seattle To/From Maui For $416 RT
Chicago To/From Maui For $437 RT
S. Louis To/From Maui For $437 RT
Detroit To/From Maui For $444 RT
Cleveland To/From Maui For $446 RT
Miami To/From Maui For $452 RT

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Honolulu On Sale!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Delta Tickets: Get an automatic 5% cash rebate on your AMEX statement and double miles by using the Delta business Amex.
Get an automatic 3% cash rebate on your AMEX statement by using a Starwood or Jetblue business amex…

Apply for a first year fee-free Delta Consumer AMEX or Delta Business AMEX and get 20,000 (when applying for the base card) or 25,000 miles (when applying together with 2 additional fee-free cardholders) for each card!


Tickets to Honolulu have been insanely expensive ($800 and up) since the demise of Aloha and ATA.  Delta has finally launched the first nationwide sale to paradise since then.

Fares are valid with a 7 day advance purchase and a 3 night minimum stay. Travel must be completed by 10/27/08.

Seats are limited, try using Delta.com’s +/- 1 day search for the best results.

Here are some sample round-trip fares on Delta, by origin city, including all taxes:

Seattle: $397

Houston: $409

Denver: $423

Newark: $427

Minneapolis: $430

Kansas City: $437

Chicago: $445

Cleveland: $451

Baltimore: $456

NYC (LGA/JFK): $459

Here is the full list of cities.

Continental has already responded with a $440 fare from Cincinnati and a $499 fare from Atlanta…

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Last Call For Hawaii!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

All of the Hawaii fares (Continental: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Charlotte-Honolulu. United: Newark or Houston-Honolulu or Kauai) have been pulled as of the 10:00am feed.

That means that depending on the booking site there are only a matter of hours remaining to book a ticket to one of the most beautiful places on earth for less than $300! (The new lowest price for Houston-Kauai will be over $900!)

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Continental Strikes Back…Against USAirways?

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Update: DEAD!

United filed a cheap Hawaii fare this morning from Continental’s hubs, and Continental has responded by filing a cheap fare from USAirways’ hubs.
Doesn’t make sense to me either, (preparing for a United/USAir merger?) but I’ll take it anyway!

Pittsburgh-Honolulu is $219+ RT
Philadelphia-Honolulu is $251+ RT
Charlotte-Honolulu is $261+ RT

Taxes will add about $45 depending on the routing.

All fares are now bookable for travel from 08/08 through 03/09. There is a 3 day minimum stay counting from time of departure. There seems to be good availability and all fares were available for the sample dates that I checked of 09/09/08-09/16/08 and 01/13/08-01/20/08 at continental.com

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SMOKING HOT!!!! Newark Or Houston To/From Honolulu Or Kauai For $257+ RT On United!!!

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Update: DEAD!

This deal was sent to all of our dansdeals.com facebook group members. Join the Dansdeals.com facebook group to receive similar alerts.

Try using the flexible search on Travelocity to find valid dates.
Valid for travel though 02/09.
Sample valid trips currently bookable on United.com:
Newark (EWR)-Kauai (LIH) from 09/02/08-09/09/08 for $272 including all taxes.
Houston (IAH)-Honolulu(HNL) from 01/20/09-01/27/09 for $287 including all taxes.

From Newark you should easily be able to get over 10K elite qualifying miles with this fare. You generally need to earn a minimum of 25K elite qualifying miles in a calender year to earn elite status.

If we’re lucky this will set off a response from Continental to set off a new, long-awaited round of hub-war fares to Hawaii! For you Chicago and DC folks-Stay tuned!

HT: Yossi.

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ATA FlightBank: A Great Deal For Mainland-Yearning Hawaiians Or Californians With Too Much Vacation Time!

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

ATA has a pretty sweet deal for frequent travelers between the west coast and Hawaii.
You can purchase flight credits for trips to/from:
-Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland, Los Angeles, or Ontario, CA.
-And Maui, Honolulu, Kona, Lihue, or Hilo, Hawaii.
You must prepay for flight credits.
The cost per credit ranges between $8.64 and $11 depending on how many credits that you buy.
The minimum purchase is 150 credits for $1,650. The maximum is 700 credits for $6,049.
One-way flights start at 10 credits and go up depending on the day and season.

You can book travel with as little as 4 hours advance purchase-as long as there is a seat on the plane it is yours!

If you need to cancel booked travel-just do it at least 24 hours prior to flight time and there are no cancellation fees!

The only catch is that the credits can only be used by yourself and must be used within 12 months from the date of purchase!

FlightBank Details Linky

FlightBank T’s And C’s Linky

Travel Calendar Linky

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