See Four Hawaiian Islands for 6,000 Miles


While writing yesterday’s post about United now allowing free Hawaii flights on awards, I had a separate idea about United miles and Hawaii flights that I didn’t want anyone to miss:

You can see four Hawaiian islands on a single award that costs 6,000 United miles and $5.60.

United charges 6,000 for intra-Hawaii flights on Hawaiian Airlines or Island Air.

This is Hawaiian’s route map. You can book mainline Hawaiian flights and Ohana by Hawaiian flights with United miles.

Island Air doesn’t add any unique routes.

On if you search an intra-Hawaii itinerary, you’re offered tons of nonstop options, but you’re also offered tons of connecting options.

One Stop Itineraries

One stop intra-Hawaii itineraries I see on tend to max out at about a seven hour layover. This is absolutely enough time to leave the airport and do one or two cool things on an island.

This award from Honolulu to Hilo would give you enough time on Maui to complete the Road to Hana.

There may be some awards with longer layovers. If you see them, put them in the comments. Unfortunately because of an October 2016 United award rule, if you called in to book a one way interisland award with a 23 hour layover on a different island, you would be charged two awards (12,000 miles.)

Two Stop Itineraries also offers some two-stop itineraries interisland.

The total layover times seem to be capped at around eight hours, so you could split that evenly and get around four hours on each island.

This award from Lihue to Kona has 3.5 hours on Oahu and 4 on Maui for 6,000 United miles + $5.60.

While this isn’t much time for each island, interisland flights are very low stress and the non-Honolulu airports are so dinky that you can usually get through security and to the gate in just a few minutes.

There is always the crowd in the comments that says, “Three days? 23 hours? 4 hours? No. No. No. You needs weeks (years!) (decades!) to properly enjoy [destination X.]” To them I preemptively retort: “That would be ideal, but the world is a big place and sometimes it’s better to experience more places for less time each than to experience one place for longer. To each, his own.”


If you know of any great excursions that can be done on a four or seven hour layover from a Hawaiian airport, let us know in the comments. Bonus points if you know of any that can be done without a rental car.

Here are some off the top of my head that can be done in seven hours with a rental car:

  • Kahului: Road to Hana
  • Hilo: Volcano National Park (active lava flow)
  • Honolulu: North Shore; South/East shore; Pearl Harbor
  • Kona: Manta Ray Night Dive

To/From Hawaii

From the mainland to Hawaii, this is THE post on your cheapest options with miles and cash.

Bottom Line

I’ve always been a proponent of 23 hour layovers, not as the only way to travel, but as part of a balanced travel “diet” that allows you to see a mix of places.

You can book up to three Hawaiian Airlines or Island Air flights on for 6,000 miles and $5.60 total that allow you to briefly see a few islands in between your main islands.

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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  1. Wow! I am surprised that nobody commented yet!
    First I thought this was crazy. Having been to Hawaii I would just chill with a 4 hour connection. Definitely would NOT go out when in Honolulu. 7 Hours in Maui for the Road to Hana is pure insanity. You need a full day, not to mention you will get stuck in traffic if you are unlucky. Talking about stressful a drive!

    I don’t want to be all negative and I understand why you posted this (other than the clickbait) so hopefully it will be useful for some. The 23 hour stopover is a real gem though…you could even make a series out of them. Couple of ideas from my past trips:

    ORD-PTY-LIM-CUZ with 24 hours to see the Panama Canal and Lima on your way to Machu Picchu
    ORD-HKG-BKK 24 hours for Hong Kong and potentially Bangkok on you way to somewhere in SE Asia

  2. It’s impossible to do Road to Hana in 7hr layover. You’ll probably need about 30-45 minutes on each end of the layover to get in/out of the airport itself, not to mention picking up/dropping off the car. If all driving conditions are optimal, and you make no stop anywhere, not even at the destination, you might be able to do it. If there’s any line, queue at any point during the drive and beyond the drive, let alone minor traffic, you’ll miss the connecting flight. Don’t risk it.

    Honolulu is an exception if you have 7hr layover. You can cover a few spots in the downtown area and may also take a dip. I did so for my SE Asia to US trip, connecting through HNL. Obviously I’d want more time, but it’s more possible to do than 7hr in Maui.

    • I think you can do Road to Hana on a seven hour layover, especially one later in the day because you can fly back to the airport from the end with no traffic in about 1.5 hours. Also, you can definitely do lots of the Road to Hana in seven hours and turn around before the end if it looks tight on time.

  3. YES !! U can do the “Road to Hana ” in 7 hrs I did whole island in 9 hrs on cruise ship tour ..Make sure the flt is on time like 8am (no traffic)then GO !! .GET an APP $10 hit Hana then turn back . Cruise couple did that was $70 total for 2 mine was $160 for one . U do things like this to SEE IF u want to go back like I do . .

    Hana was a Great Call by U on the Cruise ship 2 years ago .

    BEEN back to Hawaii 4x in 24 months.


  4. This will work even better (on Hawaii Air) for a stop between HNL and KOA like I did u can get there by 6am . Rent a JEEP ($64 so u can see) an APP then drive to Hana 2.2 Hrs then C the unreal Black sand beaches ect.. Then check out the west shores (late Flt.) or just GO onto ur next island low cost I will B doing this next Jan.
    Lots of Photos ,Waterfalls ect.

    Easy , Doable , Cheap

    Great Post !!!!

    • Thanks for the input. I agree that an early AM or mid-afternoon layover for Hana works better than the main mid-morning time everyone does the road to Hana. Also that black sand beach is called Waiʻanapanapa for those who want to see pictures.