Booking the new BOS route with points?

Old Sep 18, 18, 7:58 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 22
Booking the new BOS route with points?

Hi all, I hope this is posted in the right place. Most of my travel has been Southwest-oriented, and I'd never really thought about a trip to Hawaii (other than maybe with Southwest!) before this new opportunity showed up. So...

I'm looking at booking a trip for four on the new Hawaiian airlines HNL-BOS route next year. I'd like to do it with points. I do not currently have any points with Hawaiian, but I do have a bit over 100k with United, which hopefully will continue to let me book Hawaiian fares.. (I also have some AAdvantage miles, which I think can be used within Hawaii..? Haven't researched that fully yet, nor do I have an itinerary within Hawaii yet)

I can pick up at least two credit cards to get miles where needed. One of them will almost certainly be an Ink Preferred, which will let me increase my United miles. One could be a Hawaiian Airlines card if that makes sense here.

If anyone could offer me some advice, I'd appreciate it. The trip will be during school vacation (looking out to February 2020), so I'm guessing it will be impossible to get the super-saver type fares..

Last edited by Jay103; Sep 18, 18 at 8:06 am
Jay103 is offline  
Old Sep 23, 18, 12:57 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: BOS
Programs: B6 Mosaic, UA Gold
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by Jay103 View Post
I'm looking at booking a trip for four on the new Hawaiian airlines HNL-BOS route next year. I'd like to do it with points. I do not currently have any points with Hawaiian, but I do have a bit over 100k with United, which hopefully will continue to let me book Hawaiian fares.. (I also have some AAdvantage miles, which I think can be used within Hawaii..? Haven't researched that fully yet, nor do I have an itinerary within Hawaii yet)

I can pick up at least two credit cards to get miles where needed. One of them will almost certainly be an Ink Preferred, which will let me increase my United miles. One could be a Hawaiian Airlines card if that makes sense here.

If anyone could offer me some advice, I'd appreciate it. The trip will be during school vacation (looking out to February 2020), so I'm guessing it will be impossible to get the super-saver type fares..
My thoughts/advice:
  1. If your kids can skip a couple days of school, go Thursday-Thursday/Friday. Saturday-Saturday Feb break will be very expensive both in $ and miles.
  2. Book the flights using cash as far in advance as possible, you may be able to get them for around $1k/ea. Yes, it is a lot of $$$ for 4 seats, but there's no guarantee there will be saver space available, and the tickets could be 80k+ for vacation week. I've just found that using miles for high demand times like Feb/April break is often hopeless. Also see #8 below.
  3. If you choose points/miles, leave the option open to connect in California. These days the connections are pretty painless and with kids I've found it can help to get them up and moving around, depending on age. And it can help with award availability.
  4. If you choose miles, definitely get an HA credit card- it allows you to share miles between accounts. This means that you and your spouse or even kids, depending on the age, can get credit cards and effectively pool miles via transfer.
  5. You can transfer miles in from Amex MR points, which allows you and your spouse/kids to transfer and pool. So maybe look around for a good Amex signup bonus. Consider getting the Amex platinum if the 100k bonus is available. This is probably a better option than amassing 200k+ HA miles; you can transfer MR to HA immediately if you need more than 160k HA miles
  6. You get a small miles discount for awards if you are a credit card holder
  7. There are two credit cards, I don't see any reason why you couldn't apply for both of them.
  8. If you and your spouse both have HA credit cards, it comes with a 50% off companion ticket in the first year. This would bring the cash tickets down to ~$3k.
  9. It sounds like you are aware of Chase's 5/24, but if not, google it, and keep it in mind when deciding whether to apply for two HA credit cards. I think the general wisdom is to get chase cards first (and business cards before personal) so make sure you are all set there.
  10. Go to Hawaii in early or late summer if you don't have any flexibility during the school year. It will be slightly cheaper than Feb/April break and slightly more availability. Late August is great because Boston area school doesn't start until after labor day, but everyone else in the country has been in school for a couple weeks.
  11. Consider two one-ways with miles- HA BOS-HNL, UA HNL-BOS
  12. United has very good cash prices BOS-HNL. You can go in July for $800/ea and there are often better prices to other islands, even in summer.
All that said, my strategy, if you can hit the spending requirement, would be to get 2x (Barclay, BOA) credit cards for you and your spouse. This should net you 200k HA miles which would be enough for 4 saver awards, which you might be able to get Thursday-Thursday of February vacation week. If you have or are able to get 40k MR to transfer in if needed, this should get you enough for 4 tickets. You'll want to be flexible about routing and departure city (e.g. HA51 from JFK) and keep a split carrier solution in mind.

To be honest, I think it's pretty unlikely that you'll pull this off just because you and a million other New Englanders are trying to go somewhere for Feb break, when award space will be scarce. But good luck!
joachimm is offline  
Old Sep 24, 18, 6:27 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 22
Thanks! Yeah, Feb (or April) break would be tough, but I might be able to swing a Thursday thing, which would help a lot, I know. Going at the end of August is a really interesting idea, though. I automatically want to go to a place with beaches during the winter, but August might make a lot of sense. I'll check out the bonuses available on Amex.. I'll only do this this if I can fly on miles, otherwise I'll probably wait 2-3 more years for the trip. It may just come down to waiting until tickets become available and then seeing if there's availability, and I can just try to have some flexible miles ready to go if needed (UR for United and I guess MR for Hawaiian).

Thanks again!
Jay103 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 18, 2:32 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SAN
Posts: 1,108
Originally Posted by joachimm View Post
would be to get 2x (Barclay, BOA) credit cards for you and your spouse.
Do you mean Bank of Hawaii? Bank of America hasn't issued the HawaiianMiles credit card for several years. And the Bank of Hawaii card is still issued by Barclaycard, it just has additional Bank of Hawaii branding to appear more local.
Hawaiian717 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 18, 3:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: BOS
Programs: B6 Mosaic, UA Gold
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by Hawaiian717 View Post
Do you mean Bank of Hawaii? Bank of America hasn't issued the HawaiianMiles credit card for several years. And the Bank of Hawaii card is still issued by Barclaycard, it just has additional Bank of Hawaii branding to appear more local.
Wow, yes, I meant Bank of Hawaii. Did not know it was issued by Barclaycard, thanks for correcting. Maybe time to start a new business so I can get the biz version, because I recently cancelled the Barclaycard version and I've read they don't allow applications within 6 months.
joachimm is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread