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While writing yesterday’s post about United now allowing free Hawaii flights on awards, I had a separate idea about United miles and Hawaii flights that I didn’t want anyone to miss:

You can see four Hawaiian islands on a single award that costs 6,000 United miles and $5.60.

United charges 6,000 for intra-Hawaii flights on Hawaiian Airlines or Island Air.

This is Hawaiian’s route map. You can book mainline Hawaiian flights and Ohana by Hawaiian flights with United miles.

Island Air doesn’t add any unique routes.

On united.com if you search an intra-Hawaii itinerary, you’re offered tons of nonstop options, but you’re also offered tons of connecting options.

One Stop Itineraries

One stop intra-Hawaii itineraries I see on united.com tend to max out at about a seven hour layover. This is absolutely enough time to leave the airport and do one or two cool things on an island.

This award from Honolulu to Hilo would give you enough time on Maui to complete the Road to Hana.

There may be some awards with longer layovers. If you see them, put them in the comments. Unfortunately because of an October 2016 United award rule, if you called in to book a one way interisland award with a 23 hour layover on a different island, you would be charged two awards (12,000 miles.)

Two Stop Itineraries

United.com also offers some two-stop itineraries interisland.

The total layover times seem to be capped at around eight hours, so you could split that evenly and get around four hours on each island.

This award from Lihue to Kona has 3.5 hours on Oahu and 4 on Maui for 6,000 United miles + $5.60.

While this isn’t much time for each island, interisland flights are very low stress and the non-Honolulu airports are so dinky that you can usually get through security and to the gate in just a few minutes.

There is always the crowd in the comments that says, “Three days? 23 hours? 4 hours? No. No. No. You needs weeks (years!) (decades!) to properly enjoy [destination X.]” To them I preemptively retort: “That would be ideal, but the world is a big place and sometimes it’s better to experience more places for less time each than to experience one place for longer. To each, his own.”

Comments

If you know of any great excursions that can be done on a four or seven hour layover from a Hawaiian airport, let us know in the comments. Bonus points if you know of any that can be done without a rental car.

Here are some off the top of my head that can be done in seven hours with a rental car:

  • Kahului: Road to Hana
  • Hilo: Volcano National Park (active lava flow)
  • Honolulu: North Shore; South/East shore; Pearl Harbor
  • Kona: Manta Ray Night Dive

To/From Hawaii

From the mainland to Hawaii, this is THE post on your cheapest options with miles and cash.

Bottom Line

I’ve always been a proponent of 23 hour layovers, not as the only way to travel, but as part of a balanced travel “diet” that allows you to see a mix of places.

You can book up to three Hawaiian Airlines or Island Air flights on united.com for 6,000 miles and $5.60 total that allow you to briefly see a few islands in between your main islands.

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