Combining Alaska and Hawaii onto One Trip This Summer for Only 40k Points

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Alaska Airlines flies a direct flight between Anchorage and Honolulu.

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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.

Possible Summer Trip for a Chicagoan

Possible Summer Trip for a Chicagoan

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:

  1. Between the mainland and Alaska
  2. Between Alaska and Hawaii
  3. 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.)

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There is some space between Honolulu and Anchorage also, if you want to do the trip clockwise.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Look closely for any flights operated by a 767-400ER with award space.

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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.

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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.

Recap

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.

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10 Responses to Combining Alaska and Hawaii onto One Trip This Summer for Only 40k Points

  1. Once again, you’re a genius.

  2. We appreciate your creativity n thanks for sharing

  3. It’s important to remember if redeeming Avios for Hawaii for 12,500 points from the west coast, the flight must be non-stop to qualify. This isn’t an issue if flying from SFO or LAX but for someone like myself who lives in SEA, many of the AA flights from SEA-HNL stop in SFO or LAX which does not qualify for the 12,500 Avios redemption.

    Luckily, AS flies non stop from SEA to HNL (and OGG/LIH) thus us Seattleites or those wishing to visit are covered. I have flown my family of four from SEA-HNL for 50K Avios and it is tremendous value. Hawaii is awesome.

  4. When searching aa.com, I see HNL-SJC one-way award for 17.5K, but provided by Hawaiian Air.

    Am I able to use 12,500 Avios -> AA to book this Hawaiian Air flight?

  5. Haha nvm…I should read the full linked post next time.

    Just saw “(If you are using Avios, you should have unchecked the Hawaiian Airlines box on the results screen since BA doesn’t partner with Hawaiian. They do partner with Alaska, but you have to call to book.)”

  6. Or if you have Alaska miles, you can book a one-way from Anchorage to Hawaii with a stopover in a west coast city for 20K miles total. For example, ANC-SEA (stop) -OGG for 20K miles + $5. Good option if you don’t want to do Alaska + Hawaii all at once. http://hackmytrip.com/2013/12/alaska-airlines-stopover-rule-domestic-awards/

  7. Any thoughts on whether this could be do-able for a family of four in August? I noticed that your examples above specifically specify “two award seats.”

    My family has a week in Maui booked for late August. We were planning on spending a few days on the West Coast before or after heading to HI, but it would be WAY cooler to spend some time in Alaska, instead.

  8. @Jim,

    As I noted in my post above, I have flown my family of four using the 25K r/t trip to Honolulu from SEA. Erroneously, I stated I did the family for 50K…my math is shaky at times. :)

    To answer your question, yes, it will work for a family of four. Theoretically, it shouldn’t matter how many seats one wants, as long as there is award availability it will qualify.

    West coast cities that fly direct to HNL are BLI, SEA, PDX, SFO and LAX to name a few.

  9. Thanks, @Nate! It’s funny, my wife and I have collected nearly 3 million miles over the past couple years, but aside from using our Southwest Companion Passes regularly, we are VERY green about how to actually redeem the points and miles for award space. I’ll give this a shot and post back how we make out…

    • @Jim,

      I’m happy to answer any other questions should they come up. In a couple of month’s I will be redeeming another 4 tix to Kauai for round two. Had such a great time last year were going back next year. Something magical about the Islands…especially Kauai.

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