Just as I get back from my wonderful two-week trip to Australia, I’m hit with some pretty bad news from American AAdvantage as I look to book a trip for next year to the land down under. Heading down to Hawaii I flew Qantas, but coming back I flew Hawaiian. While I enjoyed the experience, it wouldn’t necessarily be my preferred way of getting to and from Australia due to the lack of lie-flat seats.
Unfortunately, redeeming AAdvantage miles to and from Australia is about to get tricker.
Effective September 1, 2015, you’ll no longer be able to redeem AAdvantage miles between the Continental US and Hawaii.
Right now, to get from the mainland to Hawaii, it will cost you:
- 22,500 miles one-way in economy
- 37,500 miles one-way in business class
- 47,500 miles one-way in first class
While this will certainly impact those wishing to vacation in Hawaii itself, I’m also concerned for connections, since Hawaiian does have some decent connection opportunities from Honolulu to international destinations. While the seat isn’t the greatest, award availability is fairly good. Now, you’ll have to get yourself to Hawaii directly on American or Alaska, and then from there connect onto one of the onward Hawaiian flights. Unfortunately, American award availability directly to Hawaii is hit or miss, to be honest.
Here’s How to Best Work This
American and Alaska do offer several options to get to Hawaii, though not necessarily Honolulu. Your best bet will be to fly to an available island, then hop over to Honolulu on Hawaiian (that is allowed since it is inter-island) for your international departing flight.
All flights are operated by American unless otherwise noted.
- Kona to Los Angeles
- Kona to Phoenix
- Kona to Oakland (Alaska)
- Kona to San Jose (Alaska)
- Kahului to Dallas
- Kahului to Los Angeles
- Kahului to Oakland (Alaska)
- Kahului to Phoenix
- Kahului to Sacramento (Alaska)
- Kahului to San Jose (Alaska)
- Kahului to Seattle (Alaska)
- Honolulu to Dallas
- Honolulu to Los Angeles
- Honolulu to Oakland (Alaska)
- Honolulu to Phoenix
- Honolulu to San Jose (Alaska)
- Lihue to Los Angeles
- Lihue to Oakland (Alaska)
- Lihue to Phoenix
- Lihue to San Jose (Alaska)
What’s the Impact of Not Being Able to Use AAdvantage Miles to Hawaii from the Continental US?
- Reduced availability to get to Hawaii to make onward connections to international destinations. Often, non-stop premium routes have slim availability in premium cabins, so routing via Hawaii is a way to find additional seats (most times). Now, you’ll be forced to fly Alaska and American.
- Reduced availability to get to Hawaii for leisure travelers. Leisure travelers tend to save their miles for dream trips to Hawaii, and now that they won’t be able to fly over to Hawaiian, they’ll be looking for seats on American or Alaska.
Overall, this isn’t a good thing – more so for international connections in my opinion, though certainly domestic visits as well. I suspect Hawaiian itself ended this partnership on these routes, though I’m happy I’m still able to redeem miles to international destinations…for now.
If you’re looking to fly to Hawaii, or onward via Hawaii, I’d recommend booking awards now, before the September 1 ending date.
Will not being able to redeem AAdvantage miles between the continental US and Hawaii impact your travel plans or redemption opportunities?
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