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Maui on sale: $161 flights from the West Coast — and under $400 cross-country

Aug. 11, 2022
6 min read
surfboards lined up on Maui beach
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It's pretty much always a good time to travel to Hawaii, but sometimes flight deals make it even better.

New flight deals to Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) from American Airlines and United Airlines for this winter are reasons to pull that Hawaiian shirt out of the back of the closet and start dreaming of gentle waves and warm waters.

United's best new flight deals to Maui depart from San Franciso International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), with $161 round-trip specials that are too good to pass up.

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American's new budget offerings take off from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The rates, beginning at $373 and $313 respectively, are significantly below regular fares.

Read below to find out the details and the limitations of these flight deals.

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Deal basics

Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park in Hana, Maui. (Photo by Laszlo Podor/Getty Images)

Airlines: American, United.
Routes: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco to Kahului Airport.
How to book: Google Flights or directly through American and United.
Travel dates: November through February.
Book by: While discounted tickets are available.

Related: 29 hotels in Maui you can book with points

Sample flights

All routes included with these discounted fares arrive at Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG). The West Coast flights are nonstop, and the flights from Atlanta and Houston involve stopovers.

On United

The United fares are on its bare-bones Basic Economy class tickets, which cost extra for carry-on bags, seat assignments and checked bags. They also do not allow flight changes or upgrades. Still, if you're just packing a couple of swimsuits and a change of clothes in a small backpack that can fit under the seat in front of you, you can make this fare work for you.

Round-trip flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco to Maui begin at just $161. This is nearly half off the typical fares from these cities and $60 lower than the best deal on Southwest flying out of Oakland during this time period.

Decent flight departure times are actually still available on most days, so there's no need to wake up before sunrise (or even noon) to catch your flights.

A sample United flight in December from San Francisco shows the additional costs for flying this route on regular Economy (+$61) and Economy Plus (+$600).

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

A sample Los Angeles flight on United during the same early December time period costs an identical $161 for a round-trip ticket.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

On American

Amerian Airlines is offering airfare deals from selected cities to Maui in the late November to February timeframe. Two departure cities with notable deals are Houston and Atlanta. Both cities require connections to get to Maui on these fares.

Before you book a ticket, be sure to review the layover times to determine if they might be too long to be palatable, or potentially too short to switch planes if needed. The layover times and even stopover cities vary depending on the day, and can also dramatically affect the cost of the ticket, so shop wisely.

The cheapest sample flight from Houston to Maui is just $313, more than half off the typical fares on this route. This February date has one of the better overall travel times, but a number of choices are available beginning in late November.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

American is also offering good deals on flights from Atlanta to Maui. The $373 fare reverts back to prices above $1,000 in March, so if you're thinking about taking a trip to Hawaii from Atlanta, this winter would be a great time to do so. Of course, the fares are not available during peak holiday periods, but can still be purchased for a variety of dates.

(Screenshot from google.com/flights)

Related: You may need advance reservations for some Hawaii attractions

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Airline cards can always be a good call for earning status and rewards specific to those airlines, like the United Explorer Card or the Citi® AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

For more flexibility on how you can use the points, The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, for up to $500,000 of these purchases per calendar year.

The Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar spent on airfare, while the American Express® Gold Card earns 3 points per dollar spent on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel. Read this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Bottom line

Some terrific deals on flights to Maui this winter from select airports are now available. The ticket deals run for travel from late November to early February.

Round-trip fares at $161 from Los Angeles and San Francisco are about as good as you're going to see, so book quickly before the discounted tickets are sold out. Just be aware that these are for United's Basic Economy class, which doesn't allow for free regular-sized carry-on bags. So if you want to pack even a small rollaboard, you'll be paying an additional $60 for the round trip.

American's fares from Houston and Atlanta are also great deals in the $300 range, far below regular fares. Because of variable layover times on the tickets, look carefully at the itinerary before purchasing, or you may be spending 10 hours at LAX or hustling through the terminal to try to make a 40-minute connection.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases