If there’s one destination we hear people rave about over and over again, it’s Hawaii. That’s no surprise though. People spend years dreaming of a beach vacation on one of the Hawaiian islands where they can relax by the water, enjoy some great food and drink, and just get away from it all.
However, if you’ve seen the prices of cash tickets to Hawaii, you probably understand why people have to save up for this adventure. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can use miles and points to book your flights and save a ton of money.
Here, we’ll dive into the different economy and domestic first class award booking options you have. For those who want a lie-flat seat that you would find in an international business class cabin layout, we’ll talk about those options too.
(Going soon? See our super in-depth Hawaii travel guide for lots of insider ideas.)
Table of contents
- Best Programs to Book Award Flights to Hawaii
- How to Find Lie-Flat Business Class Seats
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- Best Programs to Book Award Flights to Hawaii
- How to Find Lie-Flat Business Class Seats
- Final Thoughts
Best Programs to Book Award Flights to Hawaii
Before we dig into each of the best options, it’s important to note that planning ahead when booking award flights to Hawaii can make your life much easier. Unsurprisingly, award space is not always readily available because so many people pay for cash tickets.
If there’s one thing that will make it even easier to book an award to Hawaii, though, it is schedule flexibility. As with all award bookings, being open to traveling on different dates or even different months can unlock some amazing opportunities.
Korean Air SkyPass
The Korean Air SkyPass program has competitive economy class and business class redemption rates on their SkyTeam partner Delta. While Chase Ultimate Rewards points no longer transfer to Korean, there are still a number of ways to earn SkyPass miles.
Book Awards With Korean Air SkyPass (Online/Phone Booking)
Korean Air SkyPass uses a region-based award chart for SkyTeam partner award bookings. Unlike many airlines, Korean Air considers all of the United States as a single region — including Hawaii. As a result, the redemption rates are quite reasonable on Delta, and much better than Delta’s own SkyMiles program.
You can search for award space on Korean Air’s website and book from there. Just make sure you select “SkyTeam Award” after selecting “Redeem Miles,” otherwise you won’t see the necessary city pairings.
If you don’t see award space when you run a search, double check on Air France’s site as it is generally the best place to search SkyTeam partners. You can call Korean Air to book if you find space on Air France.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that Korean SkyPass only allows round-trip bookings for SkyTeam awards…so if you only need a one-way award, this won’t be the program for you.
If you don’t have the required miles in your SkyPass account and you find award space, you can call Korean Air to put the award on hold so you have time to transfer points into your account.
Now let’s take a look at the round-trip SkyTeam award ticket mileage requirements when booking with Korean SkyPass.
|Class of Service||Delta Flights||Taxes/Fees|
|Economy||25,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
|Business||45,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
Unlike using Korean Air SkyPass to book award tickets on Delta to London, you won’t get hit with high fuel surcharges. In fact, you’ll only be responsible for $11.20 out of pocket.
Need help booking? Take a look at our step-by-step guide on booking Delta One with Korean SkyPass miles and you’ll be ready to book before you know it.
Korean Air also partners with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, which gives you 2 other great options to fly to Hawaii. The mileage requirement for these partners is a bit different than what is required for Delta flights though.
|Class of Service||Alaska and Hawaiian Flights||Taxes/Fees|
|Economy||30,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
|Business||60,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
The redemption rates above (round-trip) aren’t quite as good, but the ability to redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles for flights on Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines provides you with more nonstop routes from the continental 49 states (see below for details).
Unlike with Delta award flights, you will have to call Korean Air to book as their online search function only allows you to search for award space on SkyTeam partners. You can also use American Airlines‘ online search to find award space on Alaska Airlines.
Hot Tip: Check out some of the other fun ways you can redeem Korean Air SkyPass miles for award flights.
31 Nonstop Routes to Hawaii Bookable With Korean Air SkyPass Miles
Thanks to these 3 airline partners, there are tons of nonstop routes to several Hawaiian airports that can be booked with Korean Air SkyPass miles. First, let’s take a look at nonstop routes to Hawaii’s largest airport, Honolulu (HNL).
|Airports With Nonstop Delta Flights||Airports With Nonstop Alaska Airlines Flights||Airports With Nonstop Hawaiian Airlines Flights|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Anchorage (ANC)||Las Vegas (LAS)|
|Las Vegas (LAS) – seasonal||Bellingham (BLI) – seasonal||Long Beach (LGB) – starts May 31, 2018|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||Los Angeles (LAX) – starts April 25, 2018||Los Angeles (LAX)|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)||Oakland (OAK)||New York City (JFK)|
|New York City (JFK) – seasonal||Portland (PDX)||Oakland (OAK)|
|Portland (PDX)||Sacramento (SMF)||Phoenix (PHX)|
|Salt Lake City (SLC)||San Diego (SAN)||Portland (PDX)|
|San Francisco (SFO)||San Francisco (SFO) – starts April 25, 2018||Sacramento (SMF)|
|Seattle (SEA)||San José (SJC)||San Diego (SAN)|
|Seattle (SEA)||San Francisco (SFO)|
|San José (SJC)|
Earn More Korean Air SkyPass Miles
Korean Air used to partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards, but unfortunately, that’s no longer an option!
However, you can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Korean at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Korean miles bonus.
Recommended Marriott Cards
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points (terms apply). A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.|
Hot Tip: Check out some of our favorite ways to earn Korean Air SkyPass miles to ensure you have enough for your Hawaiian vacation.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Note: Flying Blue will announce new award prices for many routes in June 2018, stay tuned for updates.
Our second SkyTeam option for booking award flights to Hawaii is the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program. The redemption rates with Flying Blue aren’t quite as good as what Korean Air SkyPass provides, but there’s an important reason they might be the best option for you, which we’ll discuss here.
Book Awards With Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Online/Phone Booking)
Like Korean Air SkyPass, Air France/KLM Flying Blue can book award flights on SkyTeam partner Delta but also with their partner Alaska Airlines.
Unlike Korean Air though, Flying Blue does not have different redemption rates for these airlines. Take a look at the table below to see the round-trip economy class and business class redemption rates to Hawaii.
|Class of Service||Delta/Alaska Airlines Flights||Taxes/Fees|
|Economy||30,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
|Business||60,000 SkyPass miles||$11.20|
As you can see, Flying Blue requires 5,000 more miles to fly Delta than Korean Air SkyPass, but it has the same redemption rate for award flights on Alaska Airlines.
It’s easy to search for award space on Delta by using Air France’s online search. Once you find space, you can quickly complete the booking process online.
If you need to transfer points and are worried someone else might book the award space while you wait for your Flying Blue miles to post, you can call to put an award ticket on hold. Not all agents will be willing to do so, but if you find a friendly one it is possible.
Booking award tickets on Alaska Airlines is a little different. You won’t be able to find award space with Air France’s online search, so you’ll either need to call and ask an agent to search or use American Airlines’ site to search online. If you choose the latter, you then need to call Air France to complete the booking.
The biggest advantage Air France/KLM Flying Blue has over Korean Air SkyPass is the ability to book one-way award tickets at half the mileage cost.
If you can find award space on Delta or Alaska Airlines on the outbound flight but not on the dates you need to return, you could book a one-way award with Flying Blue and a one-way award on United Airlines or American Airlines with another program.
Hot Tip: The fun doesn’t stop with Hawaii. Check out some of the other amazing ways you can use Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles to see the world.
19 Nonstop Routes Bookable With Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles
As a partner of both Delta and Alaska Airlines, Air France/KLM Flying Blue can help you book any of 19 nonstop routes between the continental United States. You can even connect from your home airport to one that flies directly to Hawaii at no extra cost.
|Airports With Nonstop Delta Flights||Airports With Nonstop Alaska Airlines Flights|
|Atlanta (ATL)||Anchorage (ANC)|
|Las Vegas (LAS) – seasonal||Bellingham (BLI) – seasonal|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||Los Angeles (LAX) – starts April 25, 2018|
|Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)||Oakland (OAK)|
|New York City (JFK) – seasonal||Portland (PDX)|
|Portland (PDX)||Sacramento (SMF)|
|Salt Lake City (SLC)||San Diego (SAN)|
|San Francisco (SFO)||San Francisco (SFO) – starts April 25, 2018|
|Seattle (SEA)||San José (SJC)|
Earn More Flying Blue Miles
We already talked about Air France/KLM Flying Blue’s ability to book one-way award tickets, which is a nice advantage over Korean Air SkyPass. However, there is another big advantage that relates to earning Flying Blue miles.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Air France/KLM also partners with one of our favorite points programs, American Express Membership Rewards. There are plenty of credit card choices with Amex, and many have some great bonus categories to help you earn more points faster. Throw in a 1:1 transfer ratio and quick transfer time, and this is another great option to get your hands on more Flying Blue miles.
Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)
|The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year. |
Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
|American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). |
With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.
If you’re a business owner, we would recommend taking a look at the numerous American Express business cards that earn Amex points, as well as come with numerous travel benefits.
Also, though it might not be your first thought, you can earn Citi ThankYou points too and transfer them to your Air France/KLM Flying Blue account at a 1:1 ratio.
Hot Tip: Take a look at some of the other great ways you can earn more Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles for award flights.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
With Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, we have our best Star Alliance partner option for booking award flights to Hawaii on United Airlines. Sure, you could use United MileagePlus to book…but why would you, when you could save 10,000-20,000 points and utilize more transfer partners?
Book Awards With Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (Online)
Until recently, if you wanted to book an award flight with a partner of Singapore Airlines, you were required to call to book. For those who wanted to fly to Hawaii on United Airlines, you had to search for space online via Air Canada’s Aeroplan program and then provide the flight numbers and dates to an agent with Singapore Airlines.
Well, now you have a much better option as Singapore Airlines allows you to search for and book award flights with Star Alliance partners online. Considering this is the best option for booking United flights to Hawaii, this is a welcome development.
Let’s take a look at how many KrisFlyer miles you will need to book round-trip award flights on United:
|Class of Service||United Airlines Flights||Taxes/Fees|
|Economy||35,000 KrisFlyer miles||$11.60|
|Business||69,000 KrisFlyer miles||$11.60|
If you booked these same flights with United MileagePlus miles, you would need 45,000 miles for economy class and 80,000 miles for business class. Not only is using Singapore KrisFlyer miles a better deal, but they’re much easier to earn (see below).
Hot Tip: Looking for more awesome ways to use the Singapore KrisFlyer program? Check out some of the other great ways to use KrisFlyer miles.
7 Nonstop Routes Bookable With Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer doesn’t have multiple partners, which means your nonstop options are more limited than when using Korean Air SkyPass or Air France/KLM Flying Blue. That being said, the 7 routes operated by United Airlines are convenient for people across the United States.
|Airports With Nonstop United Flights to Hawaii|
|Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)||Newark (EWR)|
|Denver (DEN)||San Francisco (SFO)|
|Houston-International (IAH)||Washington-Dulles (IAD)|
|Los Angeles (LAX)|
Earn More Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
Like Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program partners with all 4 transferable points programs. So when it comes to earning the necessary points for a trip to Hawaii, this is by far the easiest of the Star Alliance programs to use.
The time it takes for transfers to process varies depending on the points you choose to transfer. Ultimate Rewards points often transfer within 24 hours, Membership Rewards points within a day or 2, and ThankYou Points within 2 days.
In conjunction with the competitive redemption rates to Hawaii, Singapore KrisFlyer is the go-to program for booking award flights on United Airlines.
Hot Tip: If you think you might book your next trip to Hawaii with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, check out some of our favorite ways to earn more KrisFlyer miles.
British Airways Executive Club (From the West Coast)
You might have noticed that we haven’t discussed how you can fly American Airlines to Hawaii. Well, British Airways Executive Club gives you just that option. Not only that, but you can also use British Airways Avios to book award flights on Alaska Airlines.
Book Awards With British Airways Executive Club (Online/Phone Booking)
Unlike the other options we have discussed, British Airways Executive Club uses a distance-based award chart, so the total number of Avios required to book an award flight will be determined by the distance you fly. As a result, nonstop flights are ideal if you want to maximize your points.
With this in mind, British Airways’ award chart provides a great option to book nonstop economy class award tickets from the West Coast to Hawaii on both American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
From many major West Coast airports, you can book a nonstop economy class award for 25,000 British Airways Avios round-trip. American Airlines would charge you 45,000 AAdvantage miles, and Alaska Airlines would charge you 40,000 Mileage Plan miles for the same flights!
If you want to search for award space on flights operated by American Airlines, you can search and book on the British Airways site. To book a flight on Alaska Airlines, you’ll need to search on American Airlines’ site then call British Airways. The phone agent will need your dates of travel and flight numbers to search the exact flights you found on American Airlines.
Hot Tip: Want some more British Airways sweet spot redemptions? Check out some of our favorite ways to redeem Avios for award flights.
12 Nonstop Routes Bookable With British Airways Executive Club
With a distance-based award chart, it’s particularly important to find award flights that are nonstop so you don’t have to use more miles and points.
Fortunately, there are 10 great nonstop options from the West Coast to Hawaii, so you can take advantage of this sweet spot in the British Airways Executive Club program.
Here are the 10 nonstop routes you can fly on Alaska Airlines:
|Airports With Nonstop Alaska Airlines Flights to Hawaii|
|Anchorage (ANC)||Sacramento (SMF)|
|Bellingham (BLI) – seasonal||San Diego (SAN)|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – starts April 25, 2018||San Francisco (SFO) – starts April 25, 2018|
|Oakland (OAK)||San José (SJC)|
|Portland (PDX)||Seattle (SEA)|
Additionally, there are also 2 nonstop routes from the West Coast on American Airlines. You can depart from either Los Angeles (LAX) or Phoenix (PHX) to one of 4 Hawaiian airports.
Earn More British Airways Avios
There are several options for earning British Airways Avios. You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Each of these programs transfers to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio, and both Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards transfer almost instantly.
Additionally, British Airways also has a co-branded credit card issued by Chase that earns Avios directly.
Hot Tip: Check out some of the other great ways you can earn plenty of British Airways Avios to use for your next award ticket to Hawaii.
We’ve focused on nonstop routes to Hawaii, but our bonus option has both nonstop routes and those with 1 connection. We’ve already talked about booking flights on United Airlines with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, but you can actually use KrisFlyer miles to book award tickets on Alaska Airlines as well.
Book Awards Tickets on Alaska Airlines with Singapore KrisFlyer (Phone Booking)
While Alaska Airlines isn’t a member of Star Alliance, it has an individual partnership with Singapore Airlines that can get you to Hawaii for even fewer miles and points. The award chart for flights on Alaska Airlines divides the United States into 5 zones.
From Zone 1, you can book a nonstop economy class flight from California, Oregon, or Washington for only 24,000 KrisFlyer miles round-trip. This is one of the cheapest round-trip awards to Hawaii, and you can even book a one-way award for half the cost at 12,000 miles.
If you aren’t on the West Coast, you’ll need a connecting flight on Alaska Airlines so the options are a bit more limited. However, if your home airport is served by Alaska Airlines, you could get a great deal.
Zone 2 is a particularly good deal if you’re okay with a connection since it only costs 23,000 KrisFlyer miles round-trip. It might seem odd, but if you have a connecting flight from one of the states in Zone 2, you can book the cheapest possible award to Hawaii.
These are the states in Zone 2:
|Singapore Airlines Zone 2 States|
Finally, you can also book round-trip economy awards from Zone 3 and Zone 5 for 25,000 KrisFlyer miles. Zone 5 includes nonstop flights from Anchorage (ANC), while Zone 3 awards will include a connection.
Zone 3 includes:
|Singapore Airlines Zone 3 States|
The remaining states are part of Zone 4; Singapore KrisFlyer’s award chart for flights on Alaska Airlines does not allow for award bookings to Hawaii from Zone 4.
Singapore Airlines’ online search does not include flights on Alaska Airlines, so you will have to call to book this award.
How to Find Lie-Flat Business Class Seats
If you want to fly to Hawaii in style, a lie-flat business class seat is the way to go. However, finding flights that have an international business class cabin layout isn’t always easy, so we’re going to simplify that process.
United Airlines Boeing 777, 767, and 757
If you use miles to fly Hawaii on United Airlines, there are several aircraft types that provide a lie-flat business class seat, including the Boeing 777, 767, and 757. The image above is from one of United’s Boeing 777s with lie-flat seats. In fact, all B777 and 767 aircraft have lie-flat business class seats.
If your flight on United is on a B757, make sure you check the seat map before booking. While a domestic first class recliner is certainly more comfortable than an economy class seat, a lie-flat seat is even better. United operates their B757 planes with both cabin layouts, so it’s important to know what you are booking before transferring points.
Fortunately, United Airlines offers quite a few flights with lie-flat business class seats. While business class award space to Hawaii is tough regardless of airline, United gives you a bit better chance.
Currently, you can find lie-flat seats on the following 6 routes:
|Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Denver (DEN)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Houston (IAH)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Newark (EWR)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|San Francisco (SFO)||Honolulu (HNL)|
Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 and Boeing 767
Delta operates several aircraft on its routes to Hawaii, but only 2 aircraft types offer lie-flat business class seats: their Airbus A330 and their Boeing 767. Their A330 has a reverse herringbone business class cabin layout that is one of the best ways to fly to Hawaii.
Unfortunately, you need to be careful if the flight you want to book is on a B767 as some of these aircraft do not have lie-flat seats. Fortunately, there is an easy way to tell without even looking at the seat map. If you see a bed symbol when you expand the details of a flight option, this means you will have a lie-flat seat in business class.
Delta provides lie-flat business class seats on 3 routes at this time:
- Atlanta to Honolulu
- Los Angeles to Honolulu
- Minneapolis to Honolulu (seasonal route right now)
Hot Tip: For more information on Delta, check out our in-depth review!
American Airlines Airbus A330, Boeing 777 and 767
American Airlines has lie-flat business class seats on all of their Airbus A330, Boeing 777, and Boeing 767 aircraft. Unlike with Delta, you won’t have to figure out whether their B767s have lie-flat seats or recliners.
When booking flights on American Airlines with British Airways, you won’t see a seat map in the search results, but you can quickly check the aircraft type. If you see any aircraft other than an A330, B777, or B767, you’ll know that the business class cabin does not have lie-flat seats.
At this time, the only route that American Airlines operates with lie-flat business class seats is from Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL). In the past, Los Angeles (LAX) has also had flights with lie-flat seats.
Your best bet for business class is actually from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), which has multiple flights with lie-flat seats per day. Using British Airways Avios won’t be a great way to book this flight, but you can use 63,000 Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles or 80,000 American AAdvantage miles for a round-trip business class award.
Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330
Some of Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbus A330s have lie-flat business class seats that have received great reviews. Obviously, if you find award space, you’ll want to know if you’ll have the opportunity to experience these seats.
Fortunately, Hawaiian Airlines makes it very easy to find out if you’ll have lie-flat seats in business class. While you may be calling Korean Air SkyPass to book, you can use Hawaiian Airlines’ site to see which fights have lie-flat seats.
You don’t even have to run an award search. Just search for a cash ticket, and under the first class column you’ll see a note that says “Lie-Flat Seats.” If it doesn’t have this note, the flight doesn’t offer lie-flat seats.
While finding saver level business class award space on Hawaiian Airlines can be very tough, there are lots of routes with lie-flat seats if you can find the space.
|Los Angeles (LAX)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Los Angeles (LAX)||Kahului (OGG)|
|New York City (JFK)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Oakland (OAK)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Portland (PDX)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|San Diego (SAN)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|San Francisco (SFO)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Seattle (SEA)||Honolulu (HNL)|
|Seattle (SEA)||Kahului (OGG)|
Whether you have Amex Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or Citi ThankYou Points you can book award flights to Hawaii. In fact, compared to other destinations, it requires significantly fewer points to do so, which makes it easier to bring a loved one or a friend.
If you’re hoping to book a business class award to Hawaii, we suggest using 45,000 Korean Air SkyPass miles (if you can book a round-trip ticket) to fly with Delta. If possible, find a route operated by an Airbus A330 or Boeing 767 with lie-flat seats for the best experience.
For the economy flyers out there, using 25,000 Korean Air SkyPass miles to book on Delta is a great move. If you live on the West Coast, don’t forget that 24,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles provide a redemption rate that is just a bit better when flying Alaska Airlines. Additionally, if your home airport is in Zone 2 (see the Bonus section above), 23,000 miles is enough for a round-trip economy award on Alaska Airlines.
As you can see, with miles and points, the question isn’t if you can go to Hawaii, but when to go! With this info in hand, you’ll be ready to book in no time. Just remember, for a popular destination like Hawaii, travel date flexibility and planning ahead goes a long way when searching for award space.
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