All the 12,500 Avios Awards to Hawaii

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British Airways Avios are fantastic for short, direct, economy flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines because the number of Avios needed for an award is determined only by the distance and cabin of each flight.

One sweet spot with Avios that I’ve noted over and over is that flights from the west coast to Hawaii are 12,500 Avios + $5.60 in taxes each way.

  • From where do American Airlines and Alaska Airlines fly to Hawaii?
  • How can you book these flights with Avios?
  • How much do the flights cost in First Class?
  • How can you get Avios?

American and Alaska all fly to the four major Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai.

Flights to Honolulu, Oahu

Alaska flights in red. American flights in blue and black.

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Flights to Kahului, Maui

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

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Flights to Lihue, Kauai

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

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Flights to Kona, Big Island

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

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Chart of Flights

 

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1: Seasonal Flight

Searching and Booking

All these flights can be searched on aa.com.

  • If an Alaska Airlines flight shows up on aa.com, it can be booked with Avios.
  • If an American Airlines flight shows up on aa.com labeled MileSAAver, it can be booked with Avios. If the flight is labeled AAnytime, it cannot be booked with Avios.

American Airlines flights can be booked on ba.com. Alaska Airlines flights can only be booked with Avios by calling British Airways at 800-AIRWAYS.

First Class

One drawback of Avios is that mid- and longhaul Business Class awards cost triple the price of economy awards, and First Class awards cost quadruple the price of economy awards.

All three airlines market their forward cabin on these routes as First Class, and British Airways charges quadruple the economy price, so all of the routes in this post cost 50,000 Avios one way in First Class. I think that’s a terrible deal, since all these routes merely feature recliner seats in First Class.

Canceling Avios Awards

Feel free to book your Avios awards to Hawaii speculatively. The cancellation fee for Avios awards is supposed to be $40, but in practice, you are charged $40 OR the taxes you paid on the award, whichever is less.

That means you can cancel Avios awards to Hawaii and get back your Avios for only the cost of losing the $5.60 per person per direction in taxes.

Full info: Another Reason Miles Are Better than Cash: Free Cancellations

Getting Avios

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to seven airlines’ miles, including British Airways Avios.Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 12.00.14 AM

The card earns 3 points per dollar on travel and dining expenses and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

After spending that $4,000 in the first three months, you will end up with at least 104,000 Ultimate Rewards–more if some of that $4,000 was spent on travel or dining. That’s enough for four roundtrips to Hawaii on these routes.

 

One final note on the Chase Sapphire Reserve: The card has a $450 annual fee due immediately. But in addition to the 100,000 bonus points, you get a $300 travel credit each calendar year: the first $300 in “travel” expenses you put on the card between now and December get refunded and the first $300 in “travel” expenses you put on the card after January of next year. That’s $600 you can use toward hotels, Airbnb, other flights, taxis, parking, car rentals, cruises, Uber, etc., etc. for the first $450 annual fee. That means you make $150 ($600 – $450 = $150) in the first 12 months you have the card. And you get the 100,000 bonus points. And you get free airport lounge access with the card. You can cancel the card any time in the next 12 months to avoid another $450 annual fee.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Good reminder of the use of Avios. However i cant find a single flight in October thats direct between PHX and any of those cities. Lots of Milesaver awards but all through another city.

    • US Airways isn’t great about releasing award space in general, but I find good success on their Hawaii routes much closer to departure, like the last two months, even the last few weeks or days.

  2. We are enjoying Hawaii right now! Jumped on the 40% bonus transfer from Amex to bring 4 of us on a last minute vacation. Southwest points for BWI to LAX + Avios for LAX to LIH + Travelzoo voucher and Marriott points = very cheap 10 days on Kauai.

    • Oops. Luckily it’s still the fee OR the taxes you paid, whichever is LESS. So the effective cancellation fees on these awards is still $5.60 per person per direction.

  3. […] I’d categorize this as a minor loss. Hawaiian has a nice route network to the west coast, but so do Alaska, American, and US Airways. All this cities will still have direct flights to Honolulu that you can book with American Airlines miles after September 1. (Of course, if you only want the direct flight, book it with Avios not American Airlines miles to save 5k to 10k miles each way.) […]

  4. […] I’d categorize this as a minor loss. Hawaiian has a nice route network to the west coast, but so do Alaska, American, and US Airways. All this cities will still have direct flights to Honolulu that you can book with American Airlines miles after September 1. (Of course, if you only want the direct flight, book it with Avios not American Airlines miles to save 5k to 10k miles each way.) […]

  5. Thank you for the simple to understand instructions on how to use Avios. I have been frustrated trying to figure out how to use them and was just looking at the possibility of using them on a Hawaii roundtrip. Your article couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

  6. […] I took a look at United award space from several cities in the center and east of the continental United States to the four major Hawaiian Islands. This award space can be booked very cheaply with Singapore miles, only 17,500 Singapore miles each way in economy and 30,000 Singapore miles each way in First Class. (Why didn’t I look from the Western US? Because it is better to use Avios from there.) […]

  7. […] That’s not by accident. Alaska Airlines altered the flight schedule and will alter the flight path to catch almost two minutes of the eclipse in flight after being alerted of the possibility by a veteran eclipse chaser. In fact over a dozen eclipse chasers got window seats on the flight for the rare opportunity. (Hopefully they booked it with 12,500 Avios one way!) […]

  8. I am looking to fly from LAX to Hawaii with my avios points (and booking a flight with American Airlines). Usually the cost of flights fluctuate depending on high/low season. If I am understanding this correctly, flights from the West Coast to Hawaii is 12,500 Avios + $5.60 in taxes each way, regardless of the time of the year? How far in advance should I book to have the best possibility that there are still good reward seats available? Thank you in advance.

    • I wouldn’t say “usually.” The price of AA awards to Hawaii fluctuates based on season, but that is actually UNUSUAL in the miles world. You do understand Avios correctly though. Any time AA releases MileSAAver award space, Avios can book LAX to Hawaii for 12,500 Avios one way. You should search whenever you know your dates for the trip. That gives you the best opportunity to score space.

      • Hi Scott,

        Thank you for the quick reply. 12500 Avios one way seems to be the price for the Economy MilesAAver seat. How many Avios points would it cost to book a Business/First Class MilesAAver seat? I might have to push my travel until June and most awards seats that are available are Business/First Class MilesAAver seats. When I spoke with an Avios rep he told me that those are also 12500 Avios one way – but perhaps he was mistaken?

  9. Hi Scott- I have an upcoming flight in coach this summer from LIH to LAX on AA using Avios. Even though I redeemed Avios for my economy ticket, can I pay to upgrade to first class?

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