Flights from the West Coast to Hawaii on American or Alaska are 12,500 British Airways Avios + $5.60 in taxes each way.
This is a sweet spot because the number of Avios needed for an award is determined only by the distance and cabin of each flight. While other programs charge the same amount from New York to Hawaii as they do from California to Hawaii, Avios offers a significantly cheaper award if you start closer to Hawaii.
But sweet spots are useless if there is no award space. So how is award space on the 12,500 Avios flights to Hawaii?
Overall award space is very good on American Airlines’s Los Angeles and Phoenix routes within two weeks of departure. Award space is not as good on Alaska’s routes.
This post looks at award space for the next two weeks, which is a nice proxy for booking these routes within two weeks of departure year round. (Actually award space will be better most of the year, since we are in the peak season to travel to Hawaii right now. The exception is that award space is terrible even at the last minute around Christmas and New Year.)
American Airlines Flights
American flies from Los Angeles and Phoenix to Honolulu, Maui, Kona, and Kauai, for a total of eight routes.
You can search for award space on the routes on ba.com, though it is often quicker to search on aa.com and then to go to ba.com only for booking. If searching on aa.com, you need to find direct flights with “Economy MileSAAver” award space in order to pay 12,500 Avios on BA.com. (“Business/First MileSAAver” direct space can be booked for 37,500 Avios, and “AAnytime” space can’t be booked with Avios.)
Award space ranges from a low on the Los Angeles to Honolulu route (one day with award space in the next two weeks)…
…to a high on the Los Angeles to Kauai route, which has award space every day for the next two weeks.
Other routes are somewhere in the middle with the Los Angeles routes having more award space than the Phoenix routes.
Los Angeles to Maui: eight days in the next two weeks
Los Angeles to Kona: 12 days in the next two weeks Phoenix to Kona: five days in the next two weeks
Phoenix to Maui: five days in the next two weeks
Phoenix to Honolulu: two days in the next two weeks
Phoenix to Kauai: two days in the next two weeks
Alaska Airlines Flights
Alaska flies from seven cities on the West Coast plus Anchorage to the four major Hawaiian Islands for a total of 26 routes.
You can NOT search for Alaska award space on ba.com. I recommend searching on aa.com, then calling British Airways at 800-AIRWAYS to book. British Airways can book any Alaska Airlines award space on aa.com, and there is no phone fee for the booking.
Alaska Airlines award space at the last minute on its Hawaii routes is much worse than American Airlines award space.
There is a lot of space (10 days in the next two weeks) on the intriguing Anchorage to Honolulu route…
…but many routes have less. Seattle to Maui has three days with space in the next two weeks. San Diego to Kona has one day with space.
Many routes, like Oakland to Kona, had none.
For American Airlines flights, just note the date and route, and recreate the search on BA.com.
Award space will (should) match up.
For Alaska flights, note the date, cabin, and flight number before calling 800-AIRWAYS.
In all cases, you’ll pay 12,500 Avios + $5.60 per person per direction on these routes regardless of the price shown on aa.com.
Award space on the 12,500 Avios routes to Hawaii is decent within two weeks of departure, even in the peak of summer travel.
Award space is best on the Los Angeles/American Airlines routes, OK on the Phoenix/American Airlines routes, and hit-or-miss on the Alaska Airlines routes.