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American Airlines has a great promotional award price to Hawaii this fall of only 15,000 miles each way in economy if you book by September 13 and fly September 11 to December 17.

Waikiki, December 2012

American has several services to Hawaii.

  • Honolulu <-> Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago
  • Kahului <-> Dallas and Los Angeles
  • Kona <-> Los Angeles
  • Lihue <-> Los Angeles

How good is this deal? Are there currently better deals to Hawaii? How is award space?

The normal miles price in economy this time of year is 17,500 miles, so this represents a 14% discount.

The discounted miles price only applies to American Airlines-operated flights, not flights operated by Hawaiian or Alaska. Itineraries including those airlines will cost 17,500 American Airlines miles as usual.

Taxes on awards from the US to Hawaii are capped at $10 per roundtrip.

The 15k miles is a one way price that appears normally on That means you can fly the award one way or roundtrip for 30k. Or you can mix and match your cabins. You can fly one way in economy for 15k and return in domestic first class for 37.5k, making the roundtrip price 52.5k miles.

While this is a nice discount, there are still cheaper ways for some folks t0 get to Hawaii. See The Cheapest Ways to get to Hawaii.

Two alternatives in particular are Avios awards and cash tickets.

If you live somewhere that Alaska Airlines serves with direct flights to Hawaii, you can book those flights for 12,500 British Airways Avios + $2.50 per person. The same is true if you fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii on American Airlines, booking the ticket with Avios.

Or if you live somewhere Allegiant Air serves with direct flights to Hawaii, you may be better off purchasing a ticket on those flights with cash and saving your miles for more expensive flights.

And don’t forget that you can get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®and use its $400 sign up bonus for any flight on any airline at any time, so it would be the card to get in order to take a free Allegiant flight to Hawaii. See my full review of the card.

Award Space

Award space is excellent in economy class this fall on American Airlines flights to Hawaii, which is probably the reason for the discounted awards in the first place. I did a sample search in September for Chicago to Honolulu roundtrip. (Note that if you book an award less than 21 days before departure, you have to pay a $75 per ticket fee.)

September Chicago to Honolulu
September/October Honolulu to Chicago
One more stop than I’d like but 30k AA miles + $10 is pretty good!

Getting the Miles

The 50,000 mile American Airlines card just resurfaced, so I’ve added it to my Best Citi Credit Cards page.

If you’ve gotten that card recently, you can pick up the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and/or the business version (These offers have expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses). Starpoints transfer 1:1 to American Airlines miles, and 20k Starpoints transfer to 25k AA miles.

The once-a-year 30k Starpoint bonus offer on the personal and business cards ends Tuesday. Getting both and hitting the minimum spending requirements would net 70k Starpoints, which would transfer to 85k AA miles, just short of three roundtrips to Hawaii for your family.

Full Terms and Conditions

*This award special is valid for travel on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines between Hawaii and the U.S. or Canada, excluding Alaska and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for MileSAAver Off-peak Economy Class award. Award inventory is subject to seat availability and capacity controls, and seats for award travel may not be available on all flights. Standard AAdvantage award travel terms and conditions apply. AAdvantage flight awards are subject to, and the passenger is responsible for, the September 11th Security Fee, applicable departure taxes, federal inspection fees, passenger facility charges and any other taxes and fees imposed by a government entity (U.S. or foreign), as well as any carrier imposed fees or surcharges. View complete details on award reservations. View complete details about the AAdvantage program.

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