Community Thoughts on Best Way to Hawaii using Miles/Points

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by mrx900, Feb 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. mrx900
    Original Member

    mrx900 Silver Member

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    Yesterday over coffee, a bunch of us point Gladiators almost killed each other over the best way to Hawaii using points. My Babylonian friend thought United had the best redemption (using the Mileage Plus VISA Card) + staying at the Hyatt using the Chase Hyatt card bonus points.

    I disagreed: I said use the US Airways 40,000 pts to fly and use the Chase Fairmont card to stay at the Fairmont Kea-Lani for 2 nights free.

    Before I feed him to the lions, what are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear them !
     
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  2. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    The best redemption depends entirely on who has the best flights for the least amount of points at the particular time you want to go (and to the particular island(s) you want to go to). The award chart may say one thing, but actual availability changes all the time. One airline may offer saver awards while another may offer only standard awards when you want to go. One airline may have room in whatever class you prefer, while another may not. And everything could very well change when you look for availability the next day.
    I recently booked my flights to Hawaii in F from CLT using US miles. But I looked at all my other miles (DL, UA, AA) before I made that determination. Had I chosen different dates or changed which islands I wanted to fly into and out of, I may have used other miles.
    Hotels are probably a different story as while availability does fluctuate, the number of points needed rarely does. But I won't comment further since I am not staying at any hotels during my month in Hawaii. :)
     
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  3. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    United and US Air are good choices. Alaska is also a good choice if you live in a gateway to them. For example I can get to Hawaii in Coach from STL for about 20k each way, maybe cheaper if I look more deeply. If you get the Alaska credit card for 25k on approval that does a lot toward getting you there. Or the Iceland Air deal or rolling over miles to that program, etc. If I had to book today I would do it on United or US Air because I have miles there but I've heard the US Air metal they use on that route is really doggy these days.
     
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  4. ijnk

    ijnk Silver Member

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    Well the cheapest ways miles-wise are 25k BA RT from the west coast or 30k KE RT from anywhere AS or HA flies. The KE option even allows a stopover when flying AS.
     
  5. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    BA award was the first thing that came to my mind - first because their award rate is low for Hawaii and second, you can get a whopping 100K miles with their CC. Here come the hungry lions. ;)
     
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  6. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    A mixture of both suggestions might yield a successful combination earning/redemption/itinerary. For both your Babylonian friend & SO to get 3 cards each:

    - 40K US Airways MC: 80K for flights on UA
    - 35K BoH Hawaiian Airlines Visa: for at least 3 nights at the The Hilton Waikiki, a Category 6 property.
    - Hyatt Visa from Chase: for a total of 4 nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai

    You can also get the 35K BoA Hawaiian Airlines card for your intra-Hawaii flights and/or to increase your nights at the Hilton Waikiki.
     
  7. Food Wine and Miles

    Food Wine and Miles Silver Member

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    Avios are a great deal if you're on the West Coast. Less so for those of us in the east.
     
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  8. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  9. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Good boarding area writeup, I agree with him. Even with a poor product it's Hawaii!
     
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  10. mapenn

    mapenn Silver Member

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    [quote="daninstl, post: 1862672, member: 43563"...For example I can get to Hawaii in Coach from STL for about 20k each way, maybe cheaper if I look more deeply.[/quote]
    Holy crap - I didn't realize that Alaska flew out of STL at all. Learn something new every day! Next churn......
     
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  11. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    While I see one man's view of the flights to Hawaii, it is not all that bad.

    - Hawaiian Airlines does serve you 'some' free food even in Coach. They have drink service 3 times during the flight.
    - Lei service can be purchased from the airline for about $20. So one does not have to arrive lei-less.
    - Complaining about the deficiencies of the in flight entertainment system is so pre-Apple-iDevices/Kindle days. I see all the young ones busy with their iXXX's and old ones busy reading on Kindle.
    - I always make a stop at the subway shop before I hit the airport for my flights to Hawaii. And I also take a can of planter's mixed nuts in my carry on, to go with my drinks.
    - Time-wise, it is the same as a coast to coast flight; only about 5 hours.

    So, have a couple of drinks (NO, they are not on me ;)) with cold nuts, eat your subway, then close your eyes and dream about the warm, sandy beaches (ignore the age/condition of the aircraft). If you feel like forking over $20, you will even have someone with a lei greet you when you get off that metal tube.
    -
     
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  12. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    This is a good question, but I think it also boils down to routes too. AS offers direct service from MCO-SAN, and then I can connect SAN to either HNL or OGG. That spreads out the flight times too if you're having to fly coach, so you're not doing 11 hours on 1 flight also.
     
  13. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Holy crap - I didn't realize that Alaska flew out of STL at all. Learn something new every day! Next churn......[/quote]
    So does frontier. You can earn some weird almost mile run deals on frontier out of STL because they hub most everything to DEN you can get some extra miles on trips from STL to Florida for example.

    Oh and along with normal credit card churning you can still get the BofA Alaska debit card with a small bonus which works well in Missouri as they have branches in this area.
     
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  14. mapenn

    mapenn Silver Member

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    Yep - I just churned the Frontier card last week. Was introduced to Frontier last summer when we flew my wife's folks from Spokane directly to Branson, MO. That was a sweet route - and actually cheaper than STL or Springfield, MO. Unfortunately, it looks like they are pulling out of Columbia airport, which is near us. Was hoping to hop on their Orlando flight with the family one of these days.
     
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  15. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Except the Alaska debit card appears to be vanishing, from what I've read. I just got the Alaska credit card myself, and was looking at the debit card too.
     
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  16. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Sweet. I really wish SGF and BKG would have just built one new airport halfway between instead of two airports. The routes would have been so much better.
    Columbia did just open up some new routes on AA to DFW and ORD. It seems like the timing of the flights is a little off but I do know they had some great deals on that new airport recently.
     
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  17. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I assume it's a matter of time. BofA seems to want me to sign up for so other card. I had the US air debit then switched to the Alaska debit when they shut US air down but hey I got 3,000 bonus miles on each card when I switched plus grand slam hits on the US air card "back in the good old days". It seems like a sorta easy 3,000 miles and even easier if you already have a BofA account.
     
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  18. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Agreed, using your BA Avios will cost you only 25K points + $21.80 per person. You will be flying economy with partner American Airlines (would cost you 35K miles if you were to redeem your AA miles instead). This fare will typically run you about $600, thus using your points will give you a redemption value of about 2.4 cents/point.
     
  19. yenmilepoint

    yenmilepoint Member

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    can you explain 35 k boh hawaiian airline visa: for 3 nights hilton waikiki. 35k is not enough? also 35 k for intra flight? how many per person? Thanks
     
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  20. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint, yenmilepoint! :)

    Sorry, that is outdated information as my above post was written on 2/16/2013, before Hilton had its massive devaluation. At the time, we were talking about two people applying for the Bank of Hawaii HA credit card which would yield 70K HA miles. Converting them to 140K HH points. The old chart for Hilton was 40K HH points per night-at a Category 6 property, and, hence, they needed 120K HH points for 3 nights at the The Hilton Waikiki, booked before the devaluation which took place 3/28/2013. Hilton announced the changes on 2/19/13, three days after I made the above post: http://boardingarea.com/viewfromthe...es-march-28-time-to-unload-my-hhonors-points/

    You can book HA super saver coach ticket at as low as 7,500 HA miles: http://www.hawaiianairlines.com/HawaiianMiles/Pages/book-award-flights.aspx

    BTW, I believe the BoH HA credit card sign up bonus offer is dead: http://boardingarea.com/onemileatatime/2013/06/15/aloha-to-the-hawaiian-airlines-visa-cards/

    see here also: http://hackmytrip.com/2013/06/is-the-hawaiian-airlines-credit-card-gone-for-good/
     
  21. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    No. None of those.

    BA Avios, of all things.... use 12.5k in Y, to position one way from LAX/SFO/SEA to HI. On AA's planes. Better than AA for this redemption. Then, back-end the trip with the $100 LIH-YEG misfiles to recoup a ton of UA miles, and use AAdvantage miles for your hotel - only 17k for the Hyatt Grand, an amazing deal I thought for my dates. In this way, using 12.5k BA miles recoups 9k UA miles with minimal cost.

    Staying at the all-night coffee shop on Kapahulu is the way to zero out the accom costs but Ms.Shark wasn't so excited by that concept....
     
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