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Get that Hawaiian vacation booked now, folks: Effective September 1, 2015, AAdvantage members will no longer be able to book awards between Hawaii and the continental US on Hawaiian Airlines. This comes directly from the horse’s mouth — otherwise known as the fine print on AA’s partner page for Hawaiian Airlines.
The two airlines will retain other aspects of their partnership, so you can still earn AAdvantage miles for travel on Hawaiian Airlines within the Hawaiian Islands and between Hawaii and Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Tahiti and Taiwan. You can also still redeem AAdvantage miles for travel on Hawaiian Airlines flights within Hawaii, and between Hawaii and those same countries, plus American Samoa.
As for why this change is being made, I agree with Gary Leff that AAdvantage is likely just looking to cut costs. As Gary put it, “Hawaiian is one of the handful of airlines you could redeem [for] on American’s website, so I’d guess it was an exceptionally common choice.”
You have a few months before this new policy goes into effect, so you could still book a trip (through early next summer) before September 1. American Airlines offers service from several US cities to four Hawaiian destinations, and the good news is that while this particular avenue is shutting down, there are plenty of other options for using points and miles to reach the Hawaiian Islands.
H/T: Mommy Points