Hawaii Travel Hack: Combine Alaska Airlines Companion Fare & Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket

Advertiser Disclosure: Travel with Grant is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Travel with Grant has financial relationships with many of the cards mentioned here, and is compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. Travel with Grant has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace. Advertiser partners include American Express, Bank of America, Barclaycard, Chase, Citibank, Discover, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Good morning everyone, happy Wednesday.  I am writing to you from the WiFi-connected Golden Gate Transit bus, heading to work in San Francisco.  I love Hawaii and I have written a few posts about traveling to Hawaii over the last few years.  Some of my favorite posts about Hawaii include:

Recently, I was trying to book a flight from Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii (LIH) to San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK).  I will show you how I used a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Companion Fare and Virgin America miles to book a Hawaiian Airlines award ticket.  But first, take a quick look at these route maps from Alaska Airlines and Virgin America.  Those 2 airlines offer lots of flights, but there are only a few routes to Hawaii, and not every major Hawaiian airport is served.

I compiled a table showing which airlines fly from which airports to the 4 most popular Hawaiian airports.  If you do not live in one of the departure cities listed on the left, hopefully you have Alaska Airlines or Virgin America flights to those airports.  You can get to Maui from 10 different cities, to Kona and Honolulu from 8 different cities, and to Lihue from only 5 different cities.

Not to worry, Hawaiian Airlines to the rescue!  Hawaiian Airlines and their smaller subsidiary (Ohana by Hawaiian) offer flights between all major Hawaiian airports.  If you can fly into Lihue (LIH), Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), or Kona (KOA), you can get to every other major Hawaiian airport with a short Hawaiian Airlines flight.  You can also use this method for getting flights home from some of the smaller, more expensive Hawaiian airports.

In my recent example, I wanted to go from Lihue (LIH) to San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK).  Nonstop one way flights on Alaska Airlines were priced at $700+ (this is next April during peak Spring Break travel time), but there were much cheaper flights from Honolulu (HNL) and Maui (OGG) to San Francisco on Virgin America with one way flights under $400.  For more information, please read Using the Alaska Airlines Credit Card Companion Fare (since that post was written, you can now use the companion fare for travel on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America).

Speaking of Hawaiian Airlines, you can use 3,000 Virgin America miles for a one way Hawaiian Airlines flight between any of the Hawaiian Islands.  For more information, please read Book Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket with Virgin America Miles.  You just need to find Hawaiian Airlines saver award space and call Virgin America’s partner booking department to book the award ticket.  The total price will be 3,000 Virgin America miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees.  There are no close in booking fees, partner booking fees, or phone booking fees.  The only downside is that Hawaiian Airlines only releases a few seats per flight to Virgin America, so even if you see Hawaiian Airlines saver award space, you may not be able to book it with Virgin America miles.

In my recent example, I found Hawaiian Airlines saver award space from Lihue (LIH) to Maui (OGG).  I called Virgin America and booked the flights for 3,000 Virgin America + $5.60 in taxes/fees.  The Hawaiian Airlines flights were going for $100+, so I got at least 3 cents per point (CPP) with my Virgin America miles.

Up next, I used a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Companion Fare to book a flight from Maui (OGG) to San Francisco (SFO) on Virgin America.  I saved $262.96 using the Companion Fare.  There were no saver Alaska Airlines award seats or cheaply priced Virgin America award seats available when I checked.

You should be able to use the same process to book flights to and from Hawaii, as long as you have access to a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Companion Fare and Virgin America miles.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Aloha everyone!

10 thoughts on “Hawaii Travel Hack: Combine Alaska Airlines Companion Fare & Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket

  1. James

    TIP – Search for interisland HA flights on AA.com, saver availability for partners shows there (at least it was for the days I looked when talking to a VX agent).

    Booked 3 interisland tickets LIH-OGG using VX miles. I confirmed that the charge would be 9,000 miles total. Of course, they charged 9,000 miles PER TICKET. after wasting an hour on the phone (had 2 agents tell me to call AS) and 2 days emailing with no success, finally called in and went directly to a supervisor who quickly fixed the problem. IME VX customer service just doesn’t care since their days are numbered.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yikes, that sounds like a big headache to fix the Virgin America tickets. Glad you finally got a supervisor who could help. I much prefer talking to Alaska Airlines reps than Virgin America reps. Enjoy your trip!

      Reply
  2. Ramzi

    I think your link to: “Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations” leads to “Delta KLM Hawaii 15.000”

    Reply
  3. Simon Klein

    Is it possible to codeshare the tickets so you do not have to pickup and drop off checked bags on your layover?

    Reply
  4. MSer

    Why not use Avios if flying econ? 25K r/t. Usually saver from Bay Area to one of the islands (typically HNL). Then tack on inter-island if going to LIH

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I checked for saver award space but there were no award seats on several of the popular routes. If only American Airlines and Alaska Airlines would open up saver award space. Life would be much simpler!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *