British Airways Avios To Hawaii
As a “newbie” one of the hardest things to grasp is when to use certain points in certain situations. For that reason I always recommend trying to keep flexible points on hand that can grow in the hobby with you. As you become more comfortable with “exotic” programs, a lot of the time you can get a better deal. With flexible points you can start with the basic programs and expand into the more difficult ones.
Of course there are a few basic programs that work really well and should always be a mainstay. Last week I discussed some of the best programs for short haul redemptions. In that piece I talked about British Airways Avios which can represent a great value on flights under 650 miles. For example, my upcoming flight from Chicago to Green Bay was over $1,000 in cash or just 9,000 Avios!
Our Recent Maui Avios Booking
One of the other really sweet spots of the Avios program is from the West Coast of the United States to Hawaii. They partner with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, which means there are a ton of direct flights to Hawaii for 12,500 Avios. Among the cities you can fly to/from are Bellingham, Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego & Phoenix!
Flights from the West Coast can range from $500-$1,000 roundtrip to Hawaii depending on the season. For our upcoming trip, I booked us with ThankYou points on Alaska Airlines from Oakland to Maui so I could use a free upgrade, however I needed to get us back. Thankfully Avios came to the rescue.
Searching for Availability
To check for availability I used the American Airlines website. The AA website will not only show you available American Airlines flights, but it also shows Alaska Airlines flights as well. For our upcoming trip I determined an overnight flight back from Hawaii was our best option. We ultimately booked a flight on American from OGG-LAX aboard one of their newish 321 aircraft.
After verifying availability on the American Airlines website, I headed over to the BA site and searched for the flight. One of the nice things about the British Airways website is that it allows you to book a lap child online on U.S. domestic reservations. Just as I expected, the flight that had shown up on the AA site was also available to be booked with Avios. (Note: Alaska flights cannot be booked on the BA website. If you find an Alaska flight, you must call BA to book over the phone.)
British Airways charges 10% of the mileage total for a lap child, so baby Elizbaeth cost 1,250 extra points. All-in our total cost for 3 adults and a lap child on the one-way flight was 38,750 Avios + $16.80 in taxes. The same exact flight on American (which is actually the cheapest option) is $975 including all taxes and fees. A good redemption value of 2.47 cents per point!
After booking the flight, I wanted to add all of our frequent flyer numbers to the reservation and assign seats. To get the American Airlines confirmation, I used the Royal Jordanian site trick. Before long I had access to our AA reservation, added my MVP Gold Alaska number and assigned free Main Cabin Extra seating!
Since we live in Las Vegas, we do need to book an onward flight. Most likely we will fly Southwest from LAX-LAS for 1,751 points. We have a companion pass, so the four of us can fly for 3,502 points plus $16.80 more. We can also go on Virgin for ~3,600 points plus the same fees. Decisions decisions. Either way, using Avios plus tacking on the short flight from LAX-LAS is the cheapest and best redemption.
- Avios are great for West Coast to Hawaii Flights which cost only 12,500 points each-way in economy.
- Cities include Bellingham, Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego & Phoenix.
- Search for availability on the American Airlines website.
- Book on the British Airways website for American flights or call to book Alaska flights.
- Figure out onward connections with Avios or another program.
- On AA bookings, use the Royal Jordanian site to change frequent flyer numbers or get the American confirmation number.
Even when flights are on the cheaper side, Avios can be a fantastic value when traveling to Hawaii from the West Coast. If you are connecting from somewhere else, patching together an Avios booking with another award can also be a great idea as well. For us, this is the fourth time we have used Avios to/from Hawaii in the past couple of years. The value is simply tremendous.