British Airways Avios are fantastic for short, direct, economy flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines because the number of Avios needed for an award is determined only by the distance and cabin of each flight.

One sweet spot with Avios that I’ve noted over and over is that flights from the west coast to Hawaii are 12,500 Avios + $5.60 in taxes each way.

  • From where do American Airlines and Alaska Airlines fly to in Hawaii?
  • How can you book these flights with Avios?
  • How can you get Avios?

American and Alaska all fly to the four major Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai. All of the flights below cost 12,500 Avios one way in economy.

Flights to Honolulu, Oahu

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

Flights to Kahului, Maui

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.43.59 PM

Flights to Lihue, Kauai

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.45.44 PM

Flights to Kona, Big Island

Alaska flights in red. American flight in blue and black.

Chart of Flights

Routes in bold are seasonal.

Searching and Booking

All these flights can be searched on aa.com.

  • If an Alaska Airlines flight shows up on aa.com, it can be booked with Avios.
  • If an American Airlines flight shows up on aa.com labeled MileSAAver, it can be booked with Avios. If the flight is labeled AAnytime, it cannot be booked with Avios.

American Airlines flights can be booked on ba.com. Alaska Airlines flights can only be booked with Avios by calling British Airways at 800-AIRWAYS.

Canceling Avios Awards

Feel free to book your Avios awards to Hawaii speculatively. The cancellation fee for Avios awards is supposed to be $40, but in practice, you are charged $40 OR the taxes you paid on the award, whichever is less.

That means you can cancel Avios awards to Hawaii and get back your Avios for only the cost of losing the $5.60 per person per direction in taxes.

Full info: Another Reason Miles Are Better than Cash: Free Cancellations

How to Get Avios

It’s easy to collect Avios as they transfer 1:1 from three of the four major transferrable point types: American Express Membership Rewards (Membership Rewards just improved the transfer rate recently), Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints.

To read more about cards that earn those types of points, check out our Top 10 Travel Credit List. Chase also issues a British Airways Visa that the 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to. You can earn up to a whopping 100k Avios via a tier sign up bonus, but don’t go running to apply just yet. Read the post linked above before doing so as this card is only good for a specific kind of spender/flyer.

Bottom Line

Redeeming Avios is a cheap and easy way to get to Hawaii. It’s often hard to find premium cabin award space to the islands–learn about it in our serious about who’s got the most to various islands–so transferring a few thousand Avios and sucking it up in economy is often your best bet.

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