United operates some flights on its San Francisco to Honolulu route with an internationally configured 777-200 with fully flat beds in first class but not business.
This three-cabin first option costs 50k each direction. United charges 40k each direction for its normal domestic first class product, a recliner with 7 more inches of leg room than coach.
This is a far better deal than 40k each way for a slightly bigger recliner in normal domestic first class.
50k United miles is the exact price of USA to Europe on a flat bed. The only European flights that will match the 10+ hours you can get on a bed to/from Hawaii would be to/from the west coast to Europe.
I also consider this a better deal than HNL-ORD-LGA for 37.5k American Airlines miles in first class on an angled lie flat for the Honolulu to Chicago leg.
How do you figure out if you’re getting a bed?
If any legs of an itinerary from the mainland to Hawaii are in three-cabin first class, the itinerary will price at 50k miles. If the itinerary is pricing at 40k miles, the whole thing is in recliners.
But just because the itinerary prices at 50k doesn’t mean the whole thing is in beds.
The beds between San Francisco and Honolulu are on 777-200 aircrafts. The aircraft is listed on the right side of the award.
But not all 777-200s have flat beds in first class. To determine if the one you’re eying does, click View Seats. The seat map should look like those above if the seats are beds. Recliner seats will show up as a square.
The San Francisco to JFK legs should be operated by a 757-200. Again click View Seats to double check whether you’re getting a bed.
You can get 10+ hours in a bed domestically to or from Hawaii if you route through JFK and San Francisco. That amount of bed time for 50k United miles isn’t mind-blowing, but doing it within the USA is a great option. Especially since ordinarily United charges 40k miles each way for its far-inferior, recliner-first-class product.
If you book these beds, be sure to drop me a mahalo in the comments. Also if you can find the pattern to which days SFO-HNL-SFO has the magic 777-200 with beds, let us know.