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Honeymoon to Hawaii - Advice on Best Airlines/Routes

Honeymoon to Hawaii - Advice on Best Airlines/Routes

Old Mar 12, 23, 6:36 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Michigan
Programs: Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 503
Honeymoon to Hawaii - Advice on Airlines/Routes for Seats in Business/First

Good Evening,

I'm starting to plan our honeymoon around October or November of this year (dates are somewhat flexible). We're hoping to go to Hawaii, possibly splitting our time between Oahu and Maui, originating in GRR (MI). We'd love to splurge and book a nice first class experience, and I'm wondering if anyone here has recommendations for airlines, routes, timing, positioning, etc. I know AA has some 787 availability out of DFW, and I've also read some good things about Hawaiian Airlines' first class product. However, I'm sure finding Saver availability will be difficult, if not impossible... Either way, booking this type of trip is well outside my norm and I'm hoping there's some experience here in these forums that could provide some assistance.

For reference, I have sizeable points balances in the following programs: Chase UR, AMEX MR, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and British Airways, in addition to Marriott (in the case of a points transfer).

Thanks in advance for any advice, it's very much appreciated!

Last edited by dajoip; Mar 12, 23 at 6:46 pm
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Old Mar 13, 23, 5:52 am
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: LAX
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,165
UA has much more service to Hawaii than AA and DL. Coming from where you are, it's almost certain that you'd end up on a widebody, so as long as you avoid UA's high density 777 with 28J or DL's 767-300 the hard product should be good. Well priced award availability on any route to Hawaii is likely to be 0.
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Old Mar 14, 23, 8:19 am
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM/MM, AA PlatPro, Hyatt Glob, HH Dia, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 16,412
We've been to Hawaii the past two years for Thanksgiving on Delta and are going this year at Christmas on Delta. If you have enough Membership Rewards points to make it work on Delta the secret is book the cheapest domestic first class/narrowbody tickets you can find within two or even four days of dates that work for you. When the inevitable schedule changes roll out some Saturday you can then change your flights, connections, and days (+/- 2 days for each schedule change) and get what you want.

For our trip this winter we booked tickets like this on both AA and DL, though with A A we're only booked in Premium Economy on a 787, and the online changes with AA do not work like they do with DL (AA's online system will only let me move a flight back two days, when I tried rebooking through Twitter, which some on FT report works well, they said the flight couldn't be changed at all because it's a WebSaver). The AA schedule change thread is full of HUCA advice, whereas the Delta online tool has worked well for me in similar situations. I booked the original DL tickets for this Christmas in early February and this last weekend they rolled out schedule changes and we're now confirmed in Delta One flights instead of our original domestic F narrowbody flights, no change in award price. Those rebookings all worked smoothly through the online change tool, took a few minutes for each direction (I booked them as two one-ways).

With the ability to cancel award tickets you really have no risk booking with your existing point balances, so if you see anything remotely attractive with AA, BA, or AS miles, I'd grab it and work on the details later. The sooner you grab it, the more likely there is to be a schedule change that may work in your favor (I am not as familiar with AS or BA and how generous schedule changes are in changing your flights though). Of course the same can not be said if you move Chase UR or AMEX MR points to a program, then they're stuck where you send them, but that's not terrible, just less flexible in the future if you don't use them now.
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