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This is the first installment of a series we are doing on Hawaiian Airlines for the folks who might have just signed up for the new Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Mastercards. In this post we look into award availability on Hawaiian’s Mainland routes, while in future posts we’ll be looking at how you can maximize various benefits of the cards and the HawaiianMiles program.
Last month, Barclaycard launched the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, which is loaded with a ton of new perks and benefits. In addition to a sign-up bonus of 35,000 miles for a spend of $1,000 within 90 days, the card gives you access to a discount of 5,000 miles off roundtrip economy awards from North America to Hawaii. This sign-up bonus means that a roundtrip economy award flight that normally costs 40,000 miles will only cost cardholders 35,000 miles.
According to the HawaiianMiles Service Center, once your Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard card is linked to your HawaiianMiles number, and you log on to the Hawaiian Airlines site, you’re automatically recognized as a cardholder and shown discounted award rates. What a regular HawaiianMiles member sees as a 20,000-mile award, a cardholder will see as a 17,500-mile award, and 35,000-mile roundtrips instead of 40,000 miles.
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the the airline’s actual award availability on flights to the Aloha State so that all you new cardholders (or those of you thinking about applying) can get a picture of the award availability and how you will be able to put those bonus miles to use.
We checked out Hawaiian’s route map and looked into schedules ranging from April – June (with some exceptions, where noted) in order to confirm award availability at the price of 40,000 miles + $5 – which would qualify for the 35,000-mile awards for Hawaiian Mastercard cardholders. Not all of Hawaiian’s US-Mainland destinations have award availability it seems, including a few seasonal routes from LA, and all award itineraries we were able to find (with the exception of San Jose flights) are nonstops to Honolulu, Oahu (HNL), Hawaii’s main hub.
Note that while booking through the site as a HawaiianMiles member, HawaiianMiles offers a great option called “See a monthly view of fares” that allows you to check out daily award amounts for an entire month at a time; just be sure to view prices by “Miles” rather than “Dollars.”
Each Hawaiian Airlines itinerary we researched is listed by point of mainland origin, destination name, daily frequency, and the amount of miles + cash required to redeem a roundtrip Coach Super Saver award.
Los Angeles – Honolulu, Oahu (LAX-HNL)
Hawaiian operates three daily flights on this route. Two are on the A330 and one is aboard the 767. We found tons of coach award availability at the 40,000-mile level for LAX-HNL between April and June.
Here was a sample itinerary in May, but there are tons of dates open throughout the spring and summer at the Super Saver level. Super Saver first class availability (80,000 miles roundtrip), though, was much more limited.
Los Angeles – Kahului, Maui (LAX-OGG)
This summer, Hawaiian is expanding its non-stop flights to various Hawaii airports from LAX. Starting May 2, Hawaiian will begin nonstop daily service between LAX-OGG (Kahului, Maui), and will add a second flight from June 30-September 8. However, the award price for this roundtrip itinerary ranges between 60,000-80,000 miles + $10. So there’s no Super Saver availability that we could find, but there is plain old Coach Saver availability. If you’re a cardholder, it’ll cost you 55,000 miles instead of 60,000 miles.
Los Angeles – Lihue, Kauai (LAX-LIH)
Los Angeles – Kona, Hawaii (LAX-KOA)
Two additional seasonal routes – LAX-LIH and LAX-KOA – will run from June 26 – September 19, four times a week apiece on the 767-300. Hawaiian does not seem to be releasing award availability on these flights at present, so you still have to connect through HNL for these destinations on award tickets. For the HNL-connecting versions of these routes, award availability at the the 40,000-mile award level appears only between September and the first week in February, but those awards are plentiful – so you still have options to get to either Kauai or the island of Hawaii.
Las Vegas – Honolulu, Oahu (LAX-LAS)
Hawaiian operates several flights on this route, all on the A330: once daily on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; three times daily on Wednesday and Friday; and twice daily on Saturday. Coach award availability at the 40,000-mile level for LAS-HNL is commonly found between April and May.
New York – Honolulu, Oahu (JFK-HNL)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route, aboard the A330. Be advised that award availability for this itinerary at anything below 30,000 HawaiianMiles per segment seems to be extremely limited. We were actually only able to find one itinerary between early April and late June that fits the 40,000-mile bill, and it requires spending a whopping three weeks in Hawaii, from June 6-27. (If you can pull off a trip like this, please know that you’re officially our travel heroes here at TPG.)
Award availability for JFK-HNL in April and May is common at the roundtrip Coach Saver level (pretty much what other airlines call “standard”) of 60,000 miles. Availability is far lower in June (the start of the West Coast high season), and then only at the roundtrip Coach Flex level of 80,000 miles. Throughout April and June, availability is common at the roundtrip First Class Flex level of 160,000 miles.
Oakland – Honolulu, Oahu (LAX-OAK)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route on the 767. Award availability for this roundtrip at the 40,000-mile level is plentiful in April, but far less so in May and June, when coach roundtrip awards generally range between 60,000-70,000 miles + $5.
There is also a daily OAK-OGG flight with pretty much matching award availability to the Honolulu flight, so if Maui is your final destination, definitely search for that instead.
Portland, Oregon – Honolulu, Oahu (PDX-HNL)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route, aboard the A330. Award availability at the 40,000-mile level for PDX-HNL is most likely between late May and early June.
Sacramento – Honolulu, Oahu (SMF-HNL)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop for this route, aboard the 767. This 40,000-mile award price for SMF-HNL is only available for several dates in April; in May and June, the award price rises.
San Francisco – Honolulu, Oahu (SFO-HNL)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route, aboard the A330. Award availability at the 40,000-mile level between SFO-HNL is scarce until late August. From that point through the first week in February, however, the above award price holds both steady and extremely available.
San Jose – Kahului, Maui (SJC-OGG)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route, aboard the 767. Coach roundtrip award availability for SJC-OGG at this level is frequent in April, occasional in May, and high in June.
Seattle – Honolulu, Oahu (SEA-HNL)
Hawaiian operates one daily nonstop on this route, aboard the A330. Award availability for SEA-HNL at the 40,000-mile level is high between May and the first week in June, but non-existent in April.
If you’re pining for palm trees, white sand and some ukelele tunes, now might be a great time to sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard or simply break out those HawaiianMiles and book a relatively cheap trip to Hawaii. Even if you haven’t gotten the new card, if you have a card that accrues Amex Membership Rewards points like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, or the Platinum Card from American Express (whose bonus just went up to 60,000 points), you can transfer them to Hawaiian at 1:1 and book your ticket that way.