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Hawaiian Airlines Miles to the Pacific

There are limited redemptions with Hawaiian miles, and only two options for the Pacific. But I’d argue that using Hawaiian miles to/across the Pacific is the best use of Hawaiian miles.

This will be a relatively short post about:

1) Earning Hawaiian miles via the lesser known 50,000 mile card.

2) Using Hawaiian miles on Hawaiian.

and 3) Using Hawaiian miles on Virgin Australia.

 

Also, this is one piece of a series of posts on using miles to get to the Pacific – see Introduction to Using Miles to the South Pacific.

Earning Hawaiian Airlines Miles

Hawaiian 50k card

Here is the 50k card link.

The current public offer is 35,000 miles, so there’s no reason not to get the 50k card (if you save this link).

I actually got the link idea from Frequent Miler’s post on the Hawaiian card. Basically, you just go through the booking process for a flight on Hawaiian, and then on the payment screen it had a link to the 50k card. I just copied the right version of it.

This is essentially a Barclay card now, and barclay is generous about giving you a card as long as you don’t have the same one currently open.

 

Redeeming Miles

While there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to using Hawaiian Miles, there are actually a lot of Pacific related flights.

Obviously, Hawaiian Airlines itself is a flying option when redeeming their miles, and Hawaii itself is a Pacific island. So if you’re taking a Hawaiian flight at all, you’re on a Pacific flight.

 

Fly Hawaiian Airlines

The two big options in the Pacific are Pago Pago, Samoa (PPG) and Papeete, Tahiti (PPT).

Tahiti is super popular, but the more interesting option is Somoa!

Stefan of Rapid Travel Chai said “Samoa is a gem of South Pacific tourism“. And this is a guy who has been to 184 countries (of the 193 UN countries).

He said it in his post about how the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s is now an SPG hotel and only 7,000 points!

 

Award prices (in oneways)

  • North America to the South Pacific = 47.5k/87.5k
    • Hawaii to the South Pacific = 27.5k/47.5k
  • North America to Australia / New Zealand = 60k/105k

You would route through Hawaii, given that you’re flying on Hawaiian.

However, I realized that for the exact same price you could book a stopover in Hawaii essentially.

  • North America to Hawaii = 20k/40k
  • then, Hawaii to South Pacific = 27.5k/47.5k

Total, the two tickets = 47.5k/87.5k

Yet:

  • North America to South Pacific = 47.5k/87.5k

Which is to say, that if you want to book a flight using Hawaiian Miles on Hawaiian Airlines, you could book a flight to Somoa or Tahiti with a stop in Hawaii for the same price.

 

Fly to Hawaii

And by the way, 20k/40k isn’t a bad price for a flight to Hawaii!

One 50k credit card could get a person a roundtrip to Hawaii. Sounds like a good deal. If nothing else, if you’re going to Hawaii, consider the 50k Barclay card.

 

(Note: I don’t earn any commission for the card, I got the link off the Hawaiian booking process. I’m just glad to have more Barclay options. Although, if I was new to miles and points this is hardly the card I’d be going for… I’d get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve way before this.)

 

Fly Virgin Australia

Perhaps the best use of Hawaiian miles is to fly Virgin Australia from the US to Australia for 100,000 miles (it’s 200,000 in business class).

Virgin Australia doesn’t have fuel surcharges, and it has a great network around Australia.

And after all, 100k is two Hawaiian cards, and it’s not that much more than most other programs.

 

LAX to SYD, BNE, or MEL (then anywhere)

The problem is that they only have flights out of LAX and Hawaiian’s award chart says the flights have to be operated by Virgin.

Perhaps the other annoying thing is that you ‘d have to call Hawaiian for partner awards, but not a big deal.

 

Intra-Pacific flights on Virgin

One option using Hawaiian miles is to redeem for Virgin Australia flights that are under 4,000 miles roundtrip, and it costs 60k miles.

Pricing:

Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 2.00.12 PM

That means you could fly Sydney to Fiji roundtrip on Virgin for 60,000 Hawaiian Miles. This is higher than AA or United, but you could argue that it’s still a decent use of Hawaiian miles.

Most of the routes on the following picture are under 4,000 miles roundtrip:

Flights to APW, SYD to TBU, and MEL to NAN, are all above 4,000 miles roundtrip and would thus cost 100,000 miles. And it’s only bookable as a roundtrip.

I suppose if I was paying 60k already, I might as well pay 100k and start in the US!

 

Conclusion

The real reason I want to get the 50k card is to get to Somoa. If Rapid Travel Chai loves a place, I should go.

The card is 50k (and with Barclay (that’s a perk)), so it would take two cards to get a person to Somoa, but you could book a stopover in Hawaii.

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7 Comments

  1. I admit I am biased because I live in Hawaii but the Barclay’s/Hawaiian Airlines combo is much more valuable than many realize:

    The minimum for flights to the mainland is actually 17,500 when you have the credit card and are logged into your account.

    My favorite flight is the non-stop direct from Honolulu to New York round trip. Often costing around $1,000 it gives close to 3 cents a mile at 35,000, for a round trip economy.

    All flights but inter-island provide a meal for free. I believe the only U.S. carrier to do that.

    They don’t really have a layover/stopover except for inter-island. That means all flight are direct. I love this since I hate to fly.

    They have some destinations others don’t have direct. My favorite is Sacramento since I have to fly there because of family.

    From Hawaii it is only 27,500 to Tahiti in economy. 6 hour flight with no jet lag from time zone changes. Otherwise I have to fly to California to get there.

    Note: Hawaiian flies to American Samoa but not Samoa.

    It’s 7500 to fly on Hawaiian between islands. However you can fly for 5,000 American or 6,000 United miles on Hawaiian last time I checked.

    The Barclay card is really easy to get. It only has a $1,000 spend requirement to get your miles. Biggest negative is the $89 annual fee.

    So here is my all time favorite thing about Hawaiian miles. It is the single easiest transfer among members I have ever encountered in any program. You can send or receive miles to/from any other member at no cost as long as they have the Hawaiian credit card. My family in the mainland loans miles to each other all the time to come over. No breakage, ever. I get the card frequently for myself, my wife and two college age daughters and transfer between accounts as needed. Obviously you could take this much further with strangers etc., if you wanted to.

    Looking forward to Monday’s post. Since I have a family of five we rarely ever fly first class. However with the idea of a short/cheap flight in first and then a long, long leg for free in first might want to make me change my ways.

    With each card we get I try your links first. In two years I have done maybe 10 cards through them. I sure would like it if you find a way to get more links available. Again thanks for all the great work!

    Reply
  2. For those first two options to PPG and PPT, since they are on Hawaiian planes, probably aren’t worth upgrading to business, right? I believe I’ve read before Hawaiian business isn’t very good

    Reply
  3. @TimmyD – HA is upgrading to lie-flat business, but I don’t know the schedule or routes- guessing DavefromHawaii might be more familiar.

    Thanks for the post, I had just been thinking about what to do with my HA miles. Keep up the good work, always enjoy this site!

    Reply
  4. My wife and I have been in first/business class at least three times on Hawaiian. Seats are terrible! Normally I would never pay extra miles for it. Haven’t flown premium for a couple of years and have no experience with new seats. With that said, here is a crazy thing about Hawaiian. Sometimes first/business is cheaper than economy on the same flight.

    HNL to/from PPT is only once a week on Saturdays. You can only look at the cost in miles when you are logged in. Look at 7/15/17, HNL to PPT for 2 people. Economy is 55,000 miles and business is 47,500! I don’t know of anyone else who prices like this. In 2011 I did this very thing so I am sure it’s real.

    No flight experience to Samoa. Did Samoa and American Samoa by cruise ship. Limited experience but preferred American Samoa. More scenic and people were friendlier.

    Reply
  5. Great information Drew. I have been accumulating the miles on this Airline but haven’t used them yet. This post will come in handy int he future. Keep them coming!

    Reply
  6. I was just at Aggie Grey’s about three weeks ago- though I got there via cruise ship also ($0- no travel hacking involved when ya work there). PS that’s in Apia which is Samoa not American Samoa which is where Pago Pago is. It’s prolly cheap to get between the two though I have no idea what airline or boat would be involved.

    Apia (where AG’s is) is sorta crap though…not a ton to do. If you can get out to other parts of the island (pretty sure I saw car rental places) it’s supposed to be amazing. I walked from the terminal all the way up to Robert Louis Stevenson’s house and up the trail to his tomb on a big hill…really nice little hike. There are more trails there as well as a botanical garden. Then I blew my $10 budget for the day (hey, I hadn’t gotten paid yet) on a coffee and small sweet @ AG’s in order to get free wifi for an hour.

    Over in America Samoa the national park is supposed to be amazing and I hope I get there some day, unfortunately my cruise ship doesn’t go there

    Reply
    • PS I just uploaded some photos to my fb of Samoa (along with Fiji, Australia, and !Komodo Island!) if you guys want to see.

      Reply

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