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Booking Award or $$ Trip to Hawaii - What are the best options?

Booking Award or $$ Trip to Hawaii - What are the best options?

Old Jul 24, 18, 11:27 pm
  #16  
 
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My advice is to pay cash for IAH-LAX-OGG for $400 each, waitlist the upgrades (using miles & copay) and hope for the best but don't expect it (at all) to come through. Itinerary: https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=...;sp:.USD.79978

On the way back, use 130k miles for 2 anytime awards OGG-DFW-IAH (so you get the lie-flat on the 772), but set expertflyer alerts for saver awards. If a set of saver seats comes available, put them on hold online immediately, then call to cancel your 130k seats and rebook for 80k, gaining 50k back. There are 40k seats on, for example, November 8, but it sounds like you have particular dates in mind, and that (as you must know) comes at a price.

Apart from all the above, consider transferring 60k SPG to Marriott so that you have 270k Marriott, and then buying a Cat 1-5 Marriott travel package with those points -- that would get you 120k AA now which you can't get after Aug 1. See the threads on the SPG and Marriott boards for more. Lots of speculation on what will happen with the hotel component of those travel packages, but bottom line, the AA transfer price is going way up in a week and transferring 270k for 120k AA is better than what you'll get next week even setting aside the added bonus of a 7-night hotel cert (or whatever we get as equivalent).

That would give you 190K AA, which is plenty to cover the miles/copay upgrades for the way out, plus the anytime seats on the way back, plus more for next time.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:30 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
My advice is to pay cash for IAH-LAX-OGG for $400 each, waitlist the upgrades (using miles & copay) and hope for the best but don't expect it (at all) to come through. Itinerary: https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=...;sp:.USD.79978

On the way back, use 130k miles for 2 anytime awards OGG-DFW-IAH (so you get the lie-flat on the 772), but set expertflyer alerts for saver awards. If a set of saver seats comes available, put them on hold online immediately, then call to cancel your 130k seats and rebook for 80k, gaining 50k back. There are 40k seats on, for example, November 8, but it sounds like you have particular dates in mind, and that (as you must know) comes at a price.

Apart from all the above, consider transferring 60k SPG to Marriott so that you have 270k Marriott, and then buying a Cat 1-5 Marriott travel package with those points -- that would get you 120k AA now which you can't get after Aug 1. See the threads on the SPG and Marriott boards for more. Lots of speculation on what will happen with the hotel component of those travel packages, but bottom line, the AA transfer price is going way up in a week and transferring 270k for 120k AA is better than what you'll get next week even setting aside the added bonus of a 7-night hotel cert (or whatever we get as equivalent).

That would give you 190K AA, which is plenty to cover the miles/copay upgrades for the way out, plus the anytime seats on the way back, plus more for next time.
Sadly that 5 hour layover alone will kill the IAH-LAX-OGG for me. Normally I might not care and hang out in a lounge - but when you have a baby it just isn't fun anymore trying to entertain them and such.

As far as dates - I am actually somewhat open. The main thing is that my Marriott voucher is set for dates October 26 -> November 2nd. I am willing to arrive slightly earlier or slightly later and fill that time in with another hotel. The only deal is it that it cant be BOTH earlier and later - because we don't want to have to switch hotels multiple times with all our stuff. Heck, at this point I'd be willing to buy another marriott voucher and spend an entire extra week - just a matter of allocating the days to line up with good flights.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 10:43 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Have you checked AS? Their economy seats to Hawaii from the West Coast are some of the lowest prices available, possible to find a "friend" in the FT coupon forum who will share Guest Gold Upgrades, good for first class.
Or OP if AA PLT, get a status match to MVP Gold on Alaska. I did that a few months ago and got 4 one way (confirmed) upgrades to first for DFW-SEA (roundtrip for 2) for a cruise.
It only took a few days after my request to get the status. The upgrades are electronic.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 10:44 am
  #19  
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<redacted>

He will need 4.. The GGUs upgrades are only one way, and there are 2 people going

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 26, 18 at 12:17 pm Reason: Redacted previously deleted post content
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Old Jul 25, 18, 11:59 am
  #20  
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[<redacted>

Recommending that the OP visit coupon connection isn't really that helpful as the OP does not seem to be eligible for CC as he does not have the requisite number of contributive posts.
Eligible active members (two basic criteria are 180 days of being a FlyerTalk member and having 180 or more contributive posts) will be able to see The Coupon Connection in their FlyerTalk Forums list under the Community title. If you can not see this Forum, you are ineligible to participate in it.
The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 26, 18 at 12:16 pm Reason: Redacted previously deleted post content
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Old Jul 25, 18, 12:05 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by s0me0nesmind1 View Post
Trying to understand expert flyer a bit - using it for the first time, but it's looking to me like all the auto upgrades are taken... which is a shame. Checked surrounding dates as well.
Did you set an alert? I had some luck last summer getting "C" space for 2 from DFW-OGG on AA, but I had an ExpertFlyer alert set and phoned in a few minutes after it went off. Best of luck to you.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 11:57 pm
  #22  
 
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Just a thought for an alternative approach -- fly to HNL -- a lot more options typically. Then pay for the hop over to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 12:15 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska View Post
Recommending that the OP visit coupon connection isn't really that helpful as the OP does not seem to be eligible for CC as he does not have the requisite number of contributive posts.

The Coupon Connection and related issues (master thread)
But, if he is PLT or above he can do an AS match and get 4 upgrade credits when the match happens.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 12:06 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
But, if he is PLT or above he can do an AS match and get 4 upgrade credits when the match happens.
I don't think I questioned that post or advice.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 12:22 pm
  #25  
 
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Has anyone flown KOA to LAX? I'm curious about the equipment. My booking indicates its a 32B which if understand correctly is the 321 transcon configuration w/ 3 class of service. However, the seat map also on AA shows 2 class (I'm in I) with 16 standard recliner I seats. Seatguru also indicates that flight AA 246 will be the 32B...

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 26, 18, 3:21 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by PDXAA View Post
Has anyone flown KOA to LAX? I'm curious about the equipment. My booking indicates its a 32B which if understand correctly is the 321 transcon configuration w/ 3 class of service. However, the seat map also on AA shows 2 class (I'm in I) with 16 standard recliner I seats. Seatguru also indicates that flight AA 246 will be the 32B...

Thanks in advance!


It is a LAA two class 321 with IFE and recliner seats.

EDIT: The above is just for fun, not a jab at you asking. But seatguru is useless and seems to keep getting worse.

Last edited by Antarius; Jul 26, 18 at 3:26 pm
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Old Aug 3, 18, 10:48 am
  #27  
 
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Can't upgrade Award Tickets

Originally Posted by s0me0nesmind1 View Post
1) Buy coach - and hope for an upgrade. I I can use my Amex MR (1 spg per 3 MR) in combination with my Starwood (20,000 spg per 25,000 miles) to transfer over the miles needed - which would be roughly 80,000 miles with the 70,000 I already have.
No one mentioned this, but if you book Economy Mileage Awards, you CANNOT upgrade them... not with Stickers/500-mile upgrades, not with Miles+Copay, and not with Systemwides, unless you are CK or EXP. Since you're only Platinum, an Economy Award means you're flying in Economy. If you want First Class, you either need to purchase the ticket in Economy and hope for an upgrade, or spend the miles for a First Class Award.

Set your "C" space alerts for flights, as inventories change all the time. The annual subscription to ExpertFlyer pays for itself if you're able to secure First Class on flights you want because of those alerts.

Maui is beautiful... enjoy!
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Old Sep 15, 18, 3:37 pm
  #28  
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Wanted to post an update since everyone here gave me some good advice overall - I appreciate everyone's comments. Were looking at ~11 days - October 22 - November 2.

Below is a breakdown of my flight booking:
1) Matched my Delta Platinum status to Alaska Air. Received MVP Gold 75k which includes free upgrades
2) Signed up for the Alaska Air credit card from BOA - immediately spent the required $1000+ on an insurance renewal
3) Waited a month for the bonus to post with statement close - which gave me my companion ticket
4) Booked a flight using MVP Gold 75k upgrade and the companion pass - immediately got upgraded to first for the flight there with the wife. Yay! On the waitlist to get upgraded on the flight home. In the meantime though since I'm 75k I have platinum economy upgraded seats atleast.
5) So I still have the miles to use and the guest upgrades that I can use on a future flight. Very nice overall.

For hotels, I'm planning to stay 4 nights in the Ritz Carlton - followed by using a 7-day Marriott voucher on Wailea Beach Resort. I figured mixing it up with hotels on different sides of the island could be a good way to mix it up, no?

Now with that said, I have a couple new questions

1) What are my chances of getting upgraded for the flight home? Currently I see 4 available first class seats (that can be purchased outright for ~$1.5k) for OGG -> SEA, and plenty (6+ first class seats) for SEA -> IAH.
2) Should we rent a car? It would be convenient with having our kid with us where we can strap in and leave the car seat... HOWEVER, it looks REALLY expensive IMO. I'm looking at $500-650 for just the rental - add on top of that $30 PER NIGHT for a parking fee at each hotel. Overall I estimate $1000. Should we just use taxi's / ubers? Would appreciate any input from others that have traveled to Hawaii.
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Old Sep 16, 18, 5:31 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Maui isn't the place to go if you're pinching pennies. Worrying about a car parking fee, etc.
I'd rent the car and not worry about it, just enjoy the flexibility it'll give you. It's a LONG uber from Ritz to Wailea.
If you have to pay to get out and see anything in an uber it's going to add up anyway. There's nothing up by the Ritz and in 4 days you're going to want to have left a few times to explore that part of Maui
11 days on Maui and no trip to Hana? You need a car for that for SURE.
Can't speak to your upgrade chances. Enjoy Maui..
wrp96 and AANYC1981 like this.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 6:34 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by s0me0nesmind1 View Post
Wanted to post an update since everyone here gave me some good advice overall - I appreciate everyone's comments. Were looking at ~11 days - October 22 - November 2.

Below is a breakdown of my flight booking:
1) Matched my Delta Platinum status to Alaska Air. Received MVP Gold 75k which includes free upgrades
2) Signed up for the Alaska Air credit card from BOA - immediately spent the required $1000+ on an insurance renewal
3) Waited a month for the bonus to post with statement close - which gave me my companion ticket
4) Booked a flight using MVP Gold 75k upgrade and the companion pass - immediately got upgraded to first for the flight there with the wife. Yay! On the waitlist to get upgraded on the flight home. In the meantime though since I'm 75k I have platinum economy upgraded seats atleast.
5) So I still have the miles to use and the guest upgrades that I can use on a future flight. Very nice overall.

For hotels, I'm planning to stay 4 nights in the Ritz Carlton - followed by using a 7-day Marriott voucher on Wailea Beach Resort. I figured mixing it up with hotels on different sides of the island could be a good way to mix it up, no?

Now with that said, I have a couple new questions

1) What are my chances of getting upgraded for the flight home? Currently I see 4 available first class seats (that can be purchased outright for ~$1.5k) for OGG -> SEA, and plenty (6+ first class seats) for SEA -> IAH.
2) Should we rent a car? It would be convenient with having our kid with us where we can strap in and leave the car seat... HOWEVER, it looks REALLY expensive IMO. I'm looking at $500-650 for just the rental - add on top of that $30 PER NIGHT for a parking fee at each hotel. Overall I estimate $1000. Should we just use taxi's / ubers? Would appreciate any input from others that have traveled to Hawaii.
Congrats on the match from Delta. My wife and I are going Nov 11-18 so we are going to miss you. We are renting a jeep from Hertz because we want to experience "the road to hana" and plan on stopping at many waterfalls along the way. If you're not paying for a car, you'll have to pay for Uber's which may not be as convenient. Luckily I have enough Hertz points to use so I was good there. Lastly, if you haven't already you need to book now for a spot at Big Mama's Fish House. https://www.mamasfishhouse.com/ It is a tourist spot but hey you are a tourist.

Enjoy and malaho!
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