Alaska Airlines flies a direct flight between Anchorage and Honolulu.
I love interesting routes from Hawaii–like the Island Hopper across the Pacific–since moving to Oahu, but I think this route has some cool possibilities for everyone, like one vacation that combines Alaska and Hawaii this summer.
Anchorage and Honolulu are 2,777 miles apart. This is a sweet spot on British Airways’ distance-based award chart. The approximately six hour flight costs only 12,500 British Airways Avios + $2.50 in taxes.
Combine a one way British Airways award between Alaska and Hawaii with a few other one way awards, and you can create a really cool triangle trip to see the 49th and 50th states for as little as 40k points.
What are the best awards to combine with the Alaska Airlines flight between Hawaii and Alaska? What is the award space on these routes? In what program, do you need to amass only 40k miles to take the whole trip?
Planning the Trip
Award space isn’t outstanding on any of the legs of the triangle for this planned award. We need to get:
- Between the mainland and Alaska
- Between Alaska and Hawaii
- Between Hawaii and the mainland
I always advocate starting the award search and the planning with the most difficult segment. In this case, it is the segment between Hawaii and Alaska.
The Anchorage <-> Honolulu route operates four days a week and is generally going for $358+ one way all summer.
This is the hardest route for award space, so any trip plan has to start with getting this segment and working off of it.
Award space is a little better from Anchorage to Honolulu than vice versa.
Searching Alaska Airlines Award Space
We will book the Alaska Airlines flight with British Airways Avios, but Alaska award space is not searchable on ba.com. Instead we will search on aa.com (here’s how).
Any Alaska space that appears on aa.com is bookable by calling British Airways at 800-AIRWAYS. Ignore the prices on aa.com. British Airways charges 12,500 Avios each way in economy and 37,500 in first.
Economy award space is available between Anchorage and Honolulu in late May and early June. As the summer wears on, the space becomes less frequent. (Green days represent days with two award seats between Anchorage and Honolulu for 12,500 Avios.)
There is some space between Honolulu and Anchorage also, if you want to do the trip clockwise.
Once you have a Hawaii <-> Alaska flight picked out (and preferably some alternate dates), move on to the flights between Alaska and the mainland.
Between Alaska and the Mainland
Prices vary widely for award flights between the mainland and Alaska.
- Frontier charges 10k miles each way for a Standard award. The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® is currently offering 40k bonus miles after spending $500 in the first 90 days.
- American charges 12,500 miles each way in economy and 25,000 miles each way in first class. American has access to its own flights and Alaska Airlines award space.
- United charges 17,500 miles each way in economy and 30,000 miles each way in first class.
- You can book any flight on any airline with Arrival miles from the Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases and get 1.14 cents of value per Arrival mile. The card is offering 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3k in the first three months.
My top choice between the mainland and Alaska would be to use 10k Frontier miles, and I talked about Frontier awards to Alaska at length yesterday.
I think an intriguing second choice would be to spend 25k American Airlines miles for a first class award. These are the days in late May and June with two first class award seats between Chicago and Anchorage.
You get almost 10 hours of domestic first class for only 25k miles. Sure the product isn’t like international first class, but that extra leg room could really come in handy for such a long trip.
Award space on United is abysmal even though United charges more than its competitors for Saver awards. Here’s San Francisco to Anchorage for two passengers. There are only three days in two months with Saver economy award space for two passengers.
Between the Mainland and Hawaii
The last leg to search is between the mainland and Hawaii. United has pretty good award space between Honolulu and San Francisco (with connections across the country) in June.
United charges 22,500 miles one way in economy and 40,000 in first class between Hawaii and the mainland.
Look closely for any flights operated by a 767-400ER with award space.
The plane features flat beds in first class, which is definitely worth 40,000 miles in my opinion. As a reminder, flat beds look like this on united.com when you click View Seats.
Don’t forget that you can book Saver–not Standard–United award space with the miles of any Star Alliance partner. Singapore Airlines miles are particularly attractive since Singapore charges only 17,500 miles one way in economy and 30k in first between the mainland and Hawaii.
Putting it All Together
Certainly the best award space I found on these routes would be in early June.
If you can piece together dates that work, you can put together a trip from your home airport to Alaska, Hawaii, and back for as little as 10k Frontier miles, 12,500 Avios, and 17,500 Singapore miles.
Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to all three programs, so you only need 40k Membership Rewards per person for this incredible trip!
Step up to first class on all of the routes–and possible get a flat bed on one United segment–for only 25k American Airlines miles, 37.5k Avios, and 30k Singapore miles.
Those are mileage balances well within everyone’s reach.
I’ve gotten excited about visiting Alaska since I discovered a direct flight between Honolulu and Anchorage. Mainlanders can use the flight to combine Hawaii and Alaska onto one awesome summer trip for as little as 40,000 Membership Rewards.