I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.
Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines are both offering $397 roundtrip economy flights from San Jose and Oakland, California to Maui (non-stop). The majority of available travel dates span the end of August through mid November. The Flight Deal wrote about a cheap fare available just on on Hawaiian Airlines, but I now see flights on Alaska Airlines as well for the same low price.
If you read my series on award space to Hawaii, you’ll learn that it’s often very difficult to find any First Class saver level award space to the islands. Flights from the west coast aren’t super long anyways, so buy a cheap economy cash ticket and save your rewards for when you can redeem them for a higher value. Of course, before jumping at this deal, make sure you read The Cheapest Ways to Get to Hawaii and check on economy award space so you don’t pass up a better deal (for example, 25k Avios flying American or Alaska roundtrip in economy from many west coast cities).
- What city pairs are available?
- When are the cheap fares?
- Mileage Earning
- Baggage Allowance
- Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
Available City Pairs
You’ll find the the cheap fares ($397 roundtrip) between…
- San Jose, California <>Maui
- Oakland, California <> Maui
When are the cheap fares?
The easiest way to see the cheap fares is on Google Flights. Available dates for the low price span from the end of August through mid Nov. Departures are Sundays through Wednesdays, and returns are Mondays through Thursday.
I brought up this calendar of roundtrip prices between San Jose and Maui on Google Flights.
You can’t purchase tickets directly on Google Flights, but after choosing an outbound and return flight you will be given links to follow to buy on Hawaiian or Alaska’s website.
The Flight Deal also has instructions on how to view the $397 fares on ITA Matrix if you prefer that platform (a little slower, but you can get really specific with search queries).
You need to know the fare class when looking up how many redeemable miles cash flights earn, which you can find using ITA Matrix. The Hawaiian Airlines flight is fare class L, and the Alaska flight is fare class G.
If you fly Hawaiian Airlines and credit your butt-in-seat miles to Hawaiian, you’ll earn 100% of the miles flown. San Jose to Maui, for example, is a flight distance of 4,704 miles, so that’s how many Hawaiian miles you’d earn. Don’t think you’ll have a use for Hawaiian miles in the future? You’ll earn 50% of the miles flown crediting to Korean, Virgin Atlantic, or Virgin Australia, or 25% crediting to JetBlue.
Flying Alaska Airlines you’ll probably be best off crediting to Alaska’s own loyalty program, as you’ll earn 100% of the miles flown (and their miles are very valuable and useful for the majority of people).
To look at options crediting redeemable miles to other programs, check out wheretocredit.com.
If flying Hawaiian Airlines, you’ll get a free personal item and free carry on included in the ticket price, but any checked bags will cost extra (one checked bag up to 50 lbs will be $25).
If flying Alaska Airlines, you’ll also get a free personal item and a free carry on included in the ticket price, but have to pay for any checked bags (also $25 for one bag up to 50 lbs).
Best Way to Buy the Ticket
You should buy this ticket with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The card comes with 50,000 Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months. Arrival miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each toward any travel expense, so the bonus alone will more than cover this roundtrip to Iceland. Learn How to Redeem Arrival Miles.
With the Arrival Plus, you don’t even have to wait to meet the minimum spending requirement before you spend the miles. Open an Arrival Plus, put whatever cash tickets on the card you want now to help you meet the minimum spending requirement, and then redeem Arrival miles within 120 days to offset the charges.
Don’t have the Arrival Plus card? Put it on whatever card you have travel statement credits for, like the Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige. Don’t have any travel statements credits to earn? Check out the Best Credit Card to Buy Airfare if you’re concerned with earning more rewards. Check out our series on the travel protection benefits of popular rewards cards if you’re more concerned with travel insurance.
Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards
Hat Tip The Flight Deal