Quirky Fares LAX to HNL

 
Old May 7, 08, 12:41 pm
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Quirky Fares LAX to HNL

I normally fly HA and UA (and formerly Aloha) from SAN to Hawaii. But, with the demise of Aloha and ATA, the fares are astronomical. I've been hunting for the best fares for our family spring break trip.

AA.com shows fares of $179 each way on some LAX to HNL flights (Jan through March 2009) and others jump to $708. The farthest out dates (as they come open) seem to start at $708, drop to $235 (and then I'm hoping later drop to $179).

We are hoping to plan a family trip for the first week of April 2009. Is there any pattern to fares as they are released by AA? It appears that I would be well served to wait a month or so after fares are released to see if they come down? Is that normally the best strategy? Thanks for your help.
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Old May 7, 08, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
Is there any pattern to fares as they are released by AA?
When the cheap fares on a given flight are all sold, the seats that remain are more expensive.
It appears that I would be well served to wait a month or so after fares are released to see if they come down?
www.yapta.com is a fairly good strategy, as is www.farecast.com.
Is that normally the best strategy?
Best strategy nowadays is when you find a fare you like, grab it fast before someone else does. It's very difficult to predict the absolute bottom of the price graph.
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Old May 7, 08, 1:15 pm
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I have watched these fares for the spring. When a date comes into range, the fare is very high. It tends to lower after 2-3 weeks and then another time or 2. The flights around New Years and Spring Break take the longest time to come down. For some prime flights, the fares are the last to come down.[especially the 330 pm LAX-HNL.
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Old May 7, 08, 1:34 pm
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With the exit of two carriers from the market, need for pricing restraint is lessened. The statistical models relied on by several of the analytical services will get weaker.

Since you're planning travel around a school break and a major holiday, you really shouldn't expect the lowest published fares - they may never become available. The airlines can do this a couple of ways: having published fares booking into fare buckets that never have inventory, or through limiting lowest fare codes to dates outside your travel window. I would suggest a tool like ITA Software to see how fares change if you flex your arrival and/or departure by a day. ITA also makes it easy to limit searches to certain times of day - because kids struggle with a 6AM flight or an after-midnight arrival.
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Old May 7, 08, 2:19 pm
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So What is a good Fare to HNL? (from ORD specifically). I have been watching the fares, and mostly are in the ~1500 range RT. Most connections are from LAX obviosuly, so if you know of dates where it is rela cheap from LAX, I can try those from ORD.

BTW, is Jan a good time for HNL?
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Old May 7, 08, 3:19 pm
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I was able to get DFW-HNL, returning HNL-ORD, for $750++ traveling in late May. That's a pretty decent fare, given that I was able to confirm the upgrade to A at the time of booking.*



(*Now the question is whether they'll let me swap out my eVIPs for complimentary EXP upgrades if there is X availability within 100 hours!)
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Old May 7, 08, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
(*Now the question is whether they'll let me swap out my eVIPs for complimentary EXP upgrades if there is X availability within 100 hours!)
Is that even possible, or was that a rhetorical remark? I am planning for next year and plan to confirm using miles, but if my travel pattern continues (which depends on projects), I will make EXP by then.

BTW, there is availability for a Jan weekend for 712+ tax from ORD. Tempting... I have never booked so far in advance. But if I make EXP there should be no change fee, right?
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Old May 7, 08, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by vrbaba View Post
Is that even possible, or was that a rhetorical remark? I am planning for next year and plan to confirm using miles, but if my travel pattern continues (which depends on projects), I will make EXP by then.

BTW, there is availability for a Jan weekend for 712+ tax from ORD. Tempting... I have never booked so far in advance. But if I make EXP there should be no change fee, right?

No; change fees (and fare differences) definitely still apply to PNRs where an EXP member is traveling. We are exempt from phone/CTO/airport ticketing and award claiming ("expedite") fees only.
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Old May 7, 08, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by vrbaba View Post
Is that even possible, or was that a rhetorical remark? I am planning for next year and plan to confirm using miles, but if my travel pattern continues (which depends on projects), I will make EXP by then.


Not sure. I seem to remember a discussion a while back in this forum. I imagine that AA would discourage it given that an eVIP is worth something to you (and to AA), whereas the domestic complimentary upgrades have no value.

I know that a lot of people say that Hawaii is a lousy use of eVIPs because you could use them for EZE-ORD-DEL or NRT-LAX-LHR and they would be worth MUCH, MUCH more. But, sadly, I don't always fly such routes, and eVIPs have an expiration date. I'm flying to Hawaii for a part-MR, part-vacation, and I want to be guaranteed my upgrade!
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Old May 7, 08, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
Not sure. I seem to remember a discussion a while back in this forum. I imagine that AA would discourage it given that an eVIP is worth something to you (and to AA), whereas the domestic complimentary upgrades have no value.

I know that a lot of people say that Hawaii is a lousy use of eVIPs because you could use them for EZE-ORD-DEL or NRT-LAX-LHR and they would be worth MUCH, MUCH more. But, sadly, I don't always fly such routes, and eVIPs have an expiration date. I'm flying to Hawaii for a part-MR, part-vacation, and I want to be guaranteed my upgrade!
If I am using miles (15k, right to HNL?), do the miles get deducted at the time of confirmation? That would mean AA needs to re-instate the miles, which just seems like a non-AA thing to do for free :P

Certainly miles are more valuable than eVIPs, but for 4k+ mile trip, eVIP is a good use if you dont do much intl travel.

Side question: Do miles only upgrade a segment, or an entire one-way itinerary?
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Old May 7, 08, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by vrbaba View Post
If I am using miles (15k, right to HNL?), do the miles get deducted at the time of confirmation? That would mean AA needs to re-instate the miles, which just seems like a non-AA thing to do for free :P
Yes, as soon as your upgrade clears, the miles will be deducted and you will need to pay the copay. Redepositing mileage costs $100, so it's not recommended if you can avoid it. EXPs have to pay the redeposit fee as well.

The advantage of eVIPs is that they have no expedite or redeposit fees.


Certainly miles are more valuable than eVIPs, but for 4k+ mile trip, eVIP is a good use if you dont do much intl travel.
I agree. Especially since the addition of the copay to Hawaii.


Side question: Do miles only upgrade a segment, or an entire one-way itinerary?
Mileage upgrades and eVIPs both allow you to upgrade one way up to three segments. Segments on AE or AX do not count toward the three (obviously).
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Old May 7, 08, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by vrbaba View Post
If I am using miles (15k, right to HNL?), do the miles get deducted at the time of confirmation? That would mean AA needs to re-instate the miles, which just seems like a non-AA thing to do for free :P
I believe that AA will also keep your co-pay if yo switch to another kind of upgrade. -- Suzanne
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Old May 7, 08, 7:53 pm
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With ATA and Aloha gone, there is a dearth of seats = high demand, lower supply. I suspect early planning may help. (And, slightly OT, the paid or award-ticketed ATA folks were left hanging out to dry by WN.)
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Old May 9, 08, 4:48 pm
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More Quirkiness

Playing around further with aa.com. If I ask for ticket prices on a consecutive saturday/sunday during March/April lax to hnl, I get $708 each way for every day. However, if I ask for ticket prices 8 days apart using the same saturdays and sundays that priced out at $708 each way, I can get those same days for $235 or even $179 each way.

Is this common? Any other AA.com tricks I should now? Thanks for any info.
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Old May 9, 08, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
Playing around further with aa.com. If I ask for ticket prices on a consecutive saturday/sunday during March/April lax to hnl, I get $708 each way for every day. However, if I ask for ticket prices 8 days apart using the same saturdays and sundays that priced out at $708 each way, I can get those same days for $235 or even $179 each way.

Is this common? Any other AA.com tricks I should now? Thanks for any info.
Are there minimum stay requirements associated with the fares you are seeing?
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