Update June 24: United added this promo to its promo page. Book by July 6.
United is offering up to a 25% discount on roundtrip awards to Hawaii for travel this Summer and Fall!
United cardholders get a 25% discount and pay 33,750 United miles roundtrip to Hawaii. Non-cardholders get a 20% discount and pay 36,000 United miles roundtrip. Full price is 22,500 United miles one way in economy between Hawaii and the continental United States, Alaska, or Canada.
The sale is valid:
- for roundtrip or open jaw awards. One way awards and awards with a stopover are NOT discounted
- for awards booked by July 6, 2015
- between Hawaii and the mainland United States, Alaska, or Canada. The award can begin on the mainland or in Hawaii
- for travel in economy only
- for travel on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Travel on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays is at the normal price. The day that counts is the day of departure for the direction you’re flying (ie taking off on Thursday from Hawaii and landing Friday at home counts as discounted Thursday travel.)
- for travel between August 18 and December 15, 2015
- for travel on United only, NOT on Air Canada, Hawaiian Airlines, or Island Air
All of this information is culled from searches as United doesn’t advertise the sale anywhere.
If you book a roundtrip award with one direction meeting the sale conditions and one direction not meeting the conditions, you will get half the discount. For instance, if you fly during the sale period in United economy with the outbound on a Friday and return on a Monday, and you are not a cardholder, you will get a 10% discount instead of 20% (because the outbound is on a Friday.)
Cardholder vs. Non-Cardholder
I am a United Explorer cardholder, and united.com recognizes that as soon as I sign in. I searched before signing in for a roundtrip, and the prices were displaying at 18,000 miles each way.
Then I had to sign in to see the total price, which was automatically discounted a full 25% to 33,750 miles roundtrip.
Further searches once I was signed in showed a price of 16,875 miles each way as part of a roundtrip.
Open Jaws, Starting in Hawaii
I heartily recommend this strategy because 3-5 days is plenty for your first trip to each island. United serves Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai.
If you are in Hawaii already, you can also get the discount in this post for awards that start in Hawaii and fly to the mainland roundtrip.
If one way of your roundtrip qualifies for the sale price (Saver economy, right day of week, inside date range, United) but the other way doesn’t qualify, you’ll get the discount on the one direction.
For instance, here is a roundtrip with the outbound in First Class (no discount, 40k miles) and the return on a Monday in September in United Saver economy (discount, 16,875 miles for cardholders.)
The award priced at 56,875 miles for me, a cardholder, because the return is discounted. Full price would be 62,500 United miles.
Cheaper Awards than This United Sale
Even with the discount, there are cheaper awards to Hawaii than 33.75k or 36k miles roundtrip.
Singapore Airlines has access to all the same United Saver award space you see on united.com before signing in. For the same space, Singapore Airlines charges fewer miles to Hawaii than United. Singapore charges:
- 17,500 Singapore miles one way in United economy to Hawaii
- 30,000 Singapore miles one way in United First Class to Hawaii
United cardholders could book a slightly cheaper roundtrip award during this sale with United miles as long as they don’t mind flying an economy roundtrip on Monday through Thursday during the sale period. Otherwise Singapore awards are cheaper.
Singapore mile are a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi, AMEX, Chase, and SPG points. United miles are only a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase points.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card offers 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also earns 3x points on travel and gas and 2x points on dining and entertainment. ThankYou Points transfer to Singapore miles in about a day.
British Airways charges only 12,500 Avios each way on awards to Hawaii on American Airlines, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines direct flights.
While great for West Coasters, keep in mind that awards with even a single connection will cost 9,000 to 25,000 extra Avios roundtrip, and First Class awards are four times the price of economy awards!
Here are All the 12,500 Avios Awards to Hawaii.
Allegiant Air offers fares in the $300 roundtrip range pretty frequently from Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Honolulu. Here’s my experience flying from Los Angeles to Honolulu in one of their very cheap premium seats: Trip Report: Allegiant Airlines Giant Seat.
United cardholders can book roundtrips to Hawaii for the late Summer or Fall for 33,750 miles roundtrip. Non-cardholders can pay only 36,000 miles roundtrip. Those are 25% and 20% discounts off the normal 45,000 mile roundtrip price.
To get the discount, you must book a roundtrip Saver economy award on United flights between August 18 and December 15 with departures on Mondays through Thursdays.
This sale might not excite you if you live on the West Coast because Avios awards or if you’re accustomed to booking United flights to Hawaii in First Class with Singapore miles.
This unadvertised sale is very interesting to me. I assume it is a way to quietly offload some inventory that would otherwise go unsold while also testing how sensitive MileagePlus members are to award prices.
United has had unadvertised award sales before for international awards and also offers Explorer Card holders extra Saver economy award space as an unadvertised benefits. Long live blogs and forums for disseminating these secrets.
Hat Tip Dan’s Deals