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