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Old May 19, 17, 5:54 pm   #1
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Best way to use UR points to fly LAX to Hawaii?

Hello all,

Any help would be much appreciated because I'm a bit of a reward points rookie. I have been gathering up points for a couple of years, and now have a LOT of them. In the past 1-2 years I've been trying to use them but we haven't done too much travelling and I don't want to waste them on 1:1 ratio. I was waiting for a nice flight and maybe hotel stay.

We decided to do a few days in Hawaii. Pretty flexible in terms of dates, but ideally within June or July.

So, I was excited to use my many UR points to get it done... and so far it's not looking good. I can go and book through the UR portal - but that's a waste.. I'm better off converting to $$ and booking from anywhere, so I have more options. I then called up British Airways, because they're partnered with a few airlines and I know I can convert my points to BA points... but I was told that they have 0 availability for ANY days within June, July, or even August. I almost thought that the guy was kidding. I started by asking for Honolulu, but then proceeded to say ANY Hawaii airport. Nothing.

Any advice? I would like to get the flights (maybe even first class if it's a good deal) and then maybe hotels, though I know that the points don't go as far for hotel stays..

Let me know what you think.

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old May 19, 17, 7:21 pm   #2
  
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Check American's website for award availability in the Saver level. If it's available you should be able to book it with BA Avios for 25k round trip . Otherwise check United's website and see if they have Saver level availability. You can book with Singapore miles for 35k round trip. Another option is to check Delta for the lowest level availability and book with Korean miles for 25k round trip. Also you can mix and match with one ways depending on availability.
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Old May 19, 17, 7:21 pm   #3
  
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Book Delta flights using Korean Airline miles. If you can find space on Delta for 45,000 miles RT, you should be able to book it with 25,000 Korean miles transferred from UR. You'd want to confirm that KE sees the same flights available before transferring any points. You will probably also need to go through their process of proving you are family members so you can book flights for the rest of your family using your miles.

I've done this twice now, and it saves a ton of points. Looks like there is plenty of space if you are willing to go mid August or so.
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Old May 20, 17, 12:57 am   #4
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Thank you so much both! Do I need to "call" Korean or Singapore or BA to use those points? Online it seems like none of them show availability (but I was not able to search through Singapore because it didn't show any Hawaiian airports among destinations, so it probably doesn't let you search among their partners).

Also, it looks like August is probably out of the picture, so we're looking into June/July -- I was able to find a lot of point options on Delta and United - but for way too many points (I would be much better off point cash for them instead). That's the part that I'm missing I guess.. The way I see it, if I was able to buy coach tickets for $500 then I would like to be able to get those for 30k points or so.. Alternatively if I need to pay 60k points then it's cheaper to convert 50k points to $ and pay cash.

On that same logic, why would Delta even offer a 60k one-way ticket when the equivalent in cash is about $250? Would anyone go for that?

My understanding is that it comes down to availability.. maybe you can buy 60k point one way tickets on any day... but there are some days where there may be availability for a 25k roundtrip or a 60k first class roundtrip! And that's all great, but are points a bit way too restricting?

It is high season, but it sounds a bit far fetched that I cannot find a good point ticket from LAX to any Hawaii airport within any days of June or July..

Or I may be doing it wrong of course -- my hope is that I am! I have so many points that I've been saving thinking that I will use them to their full potential but I'm starting to think that maybe there is no such thing unless if you're flying off season to obscure destinations..

Thanks again everyone!
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Old May 20, 17, 2:59 am   #5
  
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Old May 20, 17, 10:15 am   #6
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DL has numerous seats @ 45K >HNL and return. You can use KE to book these. Set up an acct. online and then you'll need to call and send proof that family member really is a family member. After that gets settled call to make rez. If they show cheap seats then transfer UR>KE & book the DL flts.

Read post #3 here: Using SkyMiles on SkyTeam & Other Partners Master Thread
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Old May 20, 17, 10:35 am   #7
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Thank you both.

garykung -- I included all of the details in my first post. I have a few hundred thousand points, but the idea is that I want to utilize the wisely so that they stretch further than their dollar equivalent.

philemer - Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely try that. I wasn't able to find many at 45k but I did find a few at 55k so that could be the way to go.

Another question -- I found a good rate on first class through Virgin America which would be awesome. Is there any way to utilize that?? I know they partnered with Alaskan.. and that neither airline is an official partner, but is there a connection through another partner I could utilize?
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Old May 20, 17, 11:43 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paralemo View Post
Thank you both.

garykung -- I included all of the details in my first post. I have a few hundred thousand points, but the idea is that I want to utilize the wisely so that they stretch further than their dollar equivalent.

philemer - Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely try that. I wasn't able to find many at 45k but I did find a few at 55k so that could be the way to go.

Another question -- I found a good rate on first class through Virgin America which would be awesome. Is there any way to utilize that?? I know they partnered with Alaskan.. and that neither airline is an official partner, but is there a connection through another partner I could utilize?
55K will not work using KE. You must find the lowest rate on DL. Please review the thread on the DL forum I linked to.
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Old May 20, 17, 2:09 pm   #9
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I'm seeing a few days in June and July (more in August) when AA has two SAAver seats available on the LAX-LIH (Kauai) nonstop. Those seats should be bookable at ba.com for just 12.5K Avios each. You'd have to check aa.com to see if SAAver seats are available from LIH to LAX on any dates that would work for you.

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Old May 20, 17, 2:15 pm   #10
  
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Old May 20, 17, 5:33 pm   #11
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garykung View Post


Flying to Hawaii on an A320? Thanks but no thanks.
From the West Coast to HI, there are relatively few widebodies plying the skies versus narrowbodies, when you account for the majors + HA + AS + VX. HA is the most reliable user of A330s, but barring SFO flights, you're going to still get the (very) old recliners. If I am going to cross the Pacific in a recliner, I would much rather get VX's 55" pitch over HA's 45" or 38"-ish on the majors' F.

Compared with most FT users, I am unusually agnostic and carefree about wide- versus narrowbody so long as I am happy with the hard/soft product. Then again, I cut my flying teeth on transatlantics JFK-EDI on DL's 757s.
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Old Yesterday, 3:44 am   #12
  
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Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
From the West Coast to HI, there are relatively few widebodies plying the skies versus narrowbodies, when you account for the majors + HA + AS + VX.
Not true. Just UA alone, most of its HNL flights are operated by B772. HA's A330s are considered widebody.

If you have to count, the number of widebodies should be about the same as narrowbodies.
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Old Yesterday, 11:19 am   #13
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Garykung - I put the airport on the title of the thread. It's LAX. I'm sure that you can use a million points for a trip to Hawaii, so you're right.. But I would only use them if I'm getting great savings (ie. 30% discount versus the dollar equivalent). With that in mind a few hundred thousand points should be enough.

Philemer and guv1976 thanks both.. Looks like I'm getting somewhere. I may have to book it aas 2x one ways rather than a roubdtrip.

Is there any way to book Virgin America with my points?
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Old Yesterday, 3:20 pm   #14
  
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Old Yesterday, 3:49 pm   #15
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paralemo View Post
Is there any way to book Virgin America with my points?
Yes, you can transfer to Singapore Airlines (SQ) and redeem through their program (Krisflyer) for flights operated by various partner airline including Virgin America. The redemption chart is here:

https://www.singaporeair.com/saar5/p...Awardchart.pdf

Do NOT transfer until you have verified that award seats are available through Krisflyer for your route on your date.
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