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Presidents' Day Week on Points

Presidents' Day Week on Points

Old Jul 17, 16, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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Presidents' Day Week on Points

Hi all--

I have a trip to the Big Island planned for the week of Presidents' Day (February 20)--my relatives have rented a timeshare near Kona. I will be flying from PHL to KOA. I have looked at American, United, Delta, and Alaska--not one of them has a single saver level seat in economy or first class right now for departure the weekend of 2/18-2/19 and return the weekend of 2/25-2/26. The cheapest award I can find from PHL-KOA is 90,000 United miles per ticket (I need two tickets for myself and my girlfriend). I have set up an Expertflyer account and scoured the airline websites for a month now without success.

Has anyone had success getting frequentl flyer awards to Hawaii on late February weekends? If so, how far in advance were you able to get them? I would appreciate some advice.
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Old Jul 18, 16, 7:30 am
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It is pretty difficult to get standard awards to Hawaii during that week. Not only is it President's Day, but Valentine's day also falls around the same time.

My parents normally leave for Hawaii around those dates, and the only way I could get them an award was to have them fly on a Wednesday.
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Old Jul 18, 16, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
It is pretty difficult to get standard awards to Hawaii during that week. Not only is it President's Day, but Valentine's day also falls around the same time.

My parents normally leave for Hawaii around those dates, and the only way I could get them an award was to have them fly on a Wednesday.
It's also school vacation week for many. We have traveled to Hawaii that week, 2 of the previous 3 years, and both times had to depart on previous Wednesday and return on a Thursday to get saver award tickets. If you check every day you might get lucky, but act fast if you see it, cause it may be gone next time you look.
My advise is to take an extra few days if you can. You will never say "that was too many days in Hawaii".
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Old Jul 18, 16, 12:17 pm
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I am aware of the school break week--my girlfriend is a teacher and that limits our date options significantly. I have looked at flying to one of the western US gateways (PHX, LAX, SFO, SEA) on Friday night 2/17 and staying overnight there before catching an early flight to KOA on 2/18. United has one saver level award on this overnight routing via SFO (overnight) and HNL but it costs 58K miles per ticket as it's partially in business class. How far in advance of a trip does award availability tend to peak? I'm willing to wait until Christmas to book in this case.
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Old Jul 18, 16, 1:30 pm
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I normally would pick up my parents awards around Aug/Sept - again for a Wed departure. I would not count on getting a saver anything on a weekend departure during that timeframe.

Your best bet may be to take the one you found and purchase another one.

Availability really doesn't peak - but if you're willing to chance it, saver awards are usually made more available the closer you get to the trip - as in a week or two before.

Also, keep in mind that you may depart on a Sat or Sunday, but you'll return home the next day... So if your girlfriend has to be at work on Monday, you must leave for home on Sat. It is very hard to get a flight to the East Coast that arrives same day - actually, it's almost impossible due to the time change.
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Old Jul 18, 16, 2:11 pm
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Check flying in and out of Hilo (ITO).
I was just able to find availability on United using Saver Awards @ 22.5k
PHL-ITO Saturday 02/18
ITO-PHL Friday 02/24 (arrive PHL Saturday)
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Old Jul 25, 16, 3:05 pm
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DH and I are flying to Maui around that time. We are using Korean air points. You can transfer UR points to Korean Air and fly Delta. They had quite a few options for flights. It did take a little more legwork - checking flight options and 2 phone calls.
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Old Jul 25, 16, 3:57 pm
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I already looked at the Korean Air/Delta option for Saturday-Saturday and they had nothing to any Hawaiian destination. Flying to Hilo on a United Saver Award has also disappeared. I have ExpertFlyer and will continue to look.

Has anyone had luck with Alaska Airlines getting to KOA at the saver level? I can get to and from Seattle on American saver-level awards and have a friend with whom I can spend the night there if need be.
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