Aloha! The nation’s longest domestic flight is back, and you can book with miles

Oct 21, 2020

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The nation’s longest domestic route is set to make a comeback.

That will come courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, which announced on Wednesday Oct 21 that it would resume nonstop service from its Honolulu hub to both Boston and New York-JFK.

Boston flights will begin Dec. 18, with Hawaiian offering two flights a week on an Airbus A330 wide-body jet. With that, Hawaiian will reclaim the title for having the longest domestic flight within the United States. The route covers 5,095 miles and flight time is listed at 11 hours, 35 minutes westbound and 9 hours, 30 minutes on the eastbound leg.

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To New York, Hawaiian will resume service on Dec. 15. The airline will fly three flights a week, also on an Airbus A330. The Honolulu-JFK nonstop clocks in at 4,983 miles and is scheduled for 11 hours, 20 minutes on the Hawaii-bound leg.

Hawaiian’s service will resume just in time for Christmas and the winter travel season, giving pent-up holiday-seekers more options to get to Hawaii just as the winter sets in across the U.S.

The move also comes as Hawaii slowly reopens to tourists. The state introduced a pre-travel testing option as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine beginning on Oct. 15 for incoming travelers.

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That’s helped Hawaii restart a flow of visitors that is vital to its tourism-heavy economy.

By the time the New York and Boston flights resume, Hawaiian says it will have restarted service to all 13 of its destinations on the U.S. mainland after flights to Long Beach, California, resume Dec. 15.

“We’re pleased with increased demand for travel to Hawai‘i, and we’re excited to once again offer our East Coast guests the convenience of our nonstop flights as we welcome them to the islands with new health and safety measures,” Brent Overbeek, Hawaiian’s senior vice president of revenue management and network planning, said in a statement.

Travelers looking to book a seat on the resumed routes will have several mileage options.

Flights can booked on Hawaiian Airlines flights via the carrier’s own HawaiianMiles program. The program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so it’s easy to get miles that way. But, the program uses dynamic pricing, so you can expect to pay 17,500 to 130,000 miles each way in main cabin and 40,000 to 130,000 miles each way in first class. Luckily, you can also redeem miles with several partner airlines to fly Hawaiian Airlines including Korean Air SkyPass, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and JetBlue TrueBlue.

Currently, there is ample award availability when booking with HawaiianMiles. A Wednesday evening spot-check showed nonstop flights from Boston and New York JFK to Honolulu in January and found lots of availability. For most dates, there were 30,000-point one-way awards to Hawaii in main cabin and 130,000 one-way awards for lie-flat first class.

Hawaiian Airlines JFK-HNL example
(Image courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)


Related: The best ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles

TPG writer Katie Genter contributed to this story. 

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