How would you like to find a round trip flight to Hawaii for a measly $11? I’ll show you how I do it.
Want to travel to Hawaii, but think it’s expensive? Do you have good credit? Check. Do you live on the west coast? Check. Excellent! You are in perfect condition to have close to free flights to Hawaii as often as you’d like. I’m sure you’re asking yourself how this could be true? British Airways of course! Wait, what? How is British Airways going to get anyone from the mainland US to Hawaii when they don’t even fly that route? The answer is in their partners.
Something most people don’t know is that almost all major airlines have partner airlines that you can book flights on, using frequent flyer miles. We’re all in luck because British Airways has a partnership with Alaska Airlines. This partnership happens to allow you to fly to Hawaii using very few miles. The miles needed for British Airways partner flights are distance based, and Hawaii is conveniently located approximately 2,600 miles from any of the airports on the west coast.
According to British Airways’ miles award chart this distance is in their Zone 4. A round trip flight to Hawaii costs 25,000 (12,500 each way) and approximately five dollars in taxes, fees and carrier charges total. YES, you heard that right… TOTAL! Compare that to other carriers’ award prices and it is a pretty sweet deal. The next cheapest award flight to Hawaii is through American Airlines coming in at 35,000 miles round trip and that is only for their low season (Good luck finding a flight with award seats available). Most of the airlines charge around 40,000 miles round trip.
List of the departing cities you can fly from, to each island in Hawaii for only 25,000 miles per round trip:
Anchorage, Alaska (Oahu, Maui, Big Island)
Bellingham, Washington (Oahu, Maui)
Seattle, Washington (Oahu, Maui, Kauai)
Portland, Oregon (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
Oakland, California (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
San Jose, California (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai)
San Diego, California (Oahu, Maui, Kauai)
Bare with me, but for this deal you will have to put in a little effort. I hope that’s OK… You cannot currently book these Alaska Airlines flights on the British Airways website, but it’s honestly a pretty simple process. As a bonus you’ll get to talk to someone with a cool British accent. First, you can check the availability through American Airlines award booking. Any date that shows up in the light green should be available to book through British Airways, but you will want to make sure that the flight you have selected is non-stop. British Airways flights are per segment so to pay only 12,500 miles each way, the flights must be direct. In my experience, if you are just a little bit flexible, availability is great!
Calling British Airways
After you find your available dates, the last step of booking your flight is to call British Airways. To call the USA office, the phone number is 1-800-452-1201, then press 2 when prompted, and 1 again to book a flight. If you have the flight information you got from American Airlines, it makes the process very easy. You will tell the phone rep where you want to fly and on which dates and they will book the trip. There is an unlikely chance that they will try charging you for booking over the phone, but just make sure to ask them to waive this fee as your flight was not bookable online. They will gladly waive the fee.
Now that you are all booked, any more contact about your tickets or flight will be with Alaska Airlines. They will be able to look up your itinerary by Name or Alaska Airlines confirmation code. You may want to call Alaska Airlines just to make sure everything is set up with them correctly and to select your seats. On the day of your flight you will check in either at the Alaska Airlines counter or one of their automated machines.
Now that you know the process of using British Airways miles to book round trip flights from the west coast to Hawaii for only 25,000 miles, here are some different ways to accrue those miles. If you already have them you’re set. But if you don’t, there are many ways to get them. Here is where having good credit comes into play. If, and only if you have good credit you can sign up for certain credit cards which will give you large amounts of miles or other points as a signup bonus, which can be transferred to British Airways.
List of points that can be transferred to British Airways and some credit cards that offer sign up bonuses:
British Airways Miles:
Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Typical Signup Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3000 in first 3 months. Also 25,000 or 50,000 more miles after spending $10,000 or $20,000 within the first year.
American Express Membership Rewards:
Amex Business Gold Rewards
Typical Signup Bonus: 50,000 membership rewards after spending $5000 in first 3 months. Transfer ratio of 1:1 to BA miles. There are often bonuses for transferring membership rewards to BA where you will receive a better ratio than 1:1 when transferring. Note: This card requires you have a business (sole proprietorship works).
Chase Ultimate Rewards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Typical Signup Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4000 in first 3 months. Transfer ratio of 1:1 to BA miles.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG):
American Express Starwood Preferred Guest
Typical Signup Bonus: 30,000 SPG points after spending $5000 in first 6 months.
Transfer Ratio 20,000 to 25,000 BA miles.
These are just a few of the options of credit cards out there that you can sign up for to get British Airways miles and take your vacation to Hawaii. Remember that the credit card sign up bonuses are always changing, so make sure to search online to ensure you find the best offer available. Some good research tools are google, creditcards.com, and a blog I like to check Million Mile Secrets. Now that you have points and know how to use them to travel to Hawaii for next to nothing, all that’s left to do is relax on the beach.
See you in Hawaii. Aloha!
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