Home Points & Miles My New Hawaii Award Pipe Dream

My New Hawaii Award Pipe Dream

by joeheg

Hawaii. Tropical paradise but still a part of the United States. It’s also an enigma for those trying to get there using points and miles. While airlines often charge a premium to get to the islands, they’ll still fly domestic configured planes across the Pacific Ocean. It’s worth a ton of miles to pay for a recliner seat from the west coast to Honolulu?

Since we live in Florida, it’s a trek to get from our home to Hawaii. For our 10th anniversary trip, we flew from MCO-SEA-HNL and even though we were in Alaska First Class the whole way, that was one long day of flying.

So there was no one happier than me to see the announcement that Hawaiian Airlines was going to start flying non-stop from HNL-MCO with one of their new A330s in 2021. These are their aircraft that feature lie-flat seats in first class.

How important is a lie-flat seat from MCO-HNL?

Our flight I just booked from Tokyo to San Francisco clocks in at 9 hours 30 min.

Here’s the flight from MCO-HNL.

I’d try anything I could to fly in a comfortable seat across the Pacific to Japan so why should I want less to fly from home to Hawaii? Now that’s possible, how can I use miles to get on that Hawaiian flight?

Award tickets are available with Hawaiian Airlines miles.

130,000 for a one-way First Class ticket from MCO-HNL. That’s more miles than I paid for a First Class ticket from NRT-SFO on ANA where we’re going to get caviar and Krug. Sure I can transfer points from Membership Rewards to Hawaiian Airlines at 1:1 but is that the best way to book a Hawaiian Airlines flight?

Besides using Hawaiian Miles, other airlines partner with Hawaiian Airlines. JAL, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and China Airlines all allow you to use their miles to book Hawaiian flights. Those aren’t much help to me but there’s one more airline that partners with Hawaiian that is of interest. JetBlue.

Now the JetBlue TrueBlue program goes under the radar for most people because it’s a fixed value program. That means rewards are linked to the cash price of a ticket for JetBlue redemptions. Sure, you can get some outsized value if you book a Mint class ticket, but that’s the best you can hope for.

That is, unless you are looking to book partner airlines where they publish award charts, like the one for Hawaiian Airlines.

Um, does that say that Hawaii to the East Coast in business class for 70,000 points??????????

JetBlue TrueBlue just offered me 60,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 on the JetBlue Plus card I already have. Not to mention the 100,000 points they recently offered to new applicants

Unfortunately, to book an award flight on Hawaiian Airlines with JetBlue miles, you have to call JetBlue. I can’t confirm that any of these flights are available since the dates I’m looking at in 2022 aren’t available yet.

But with JetBlue TrueBlue being a transfer partner with American Express, Capital One, Citi and Chase, it’s not hard to accumulate points that you can use with JetBlue.

If I’m able to book our non-stop flights from MCO to HNL in Hawaiian Airlines First Class seats for 70,000 JetBlue points each way, it might be my best award booking ever.

However, that’s one big BUT until I see if it’s possible. However, it doesn’t hurt to dream.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Trung January 15, 2021 - 7:05 pm

I’m pretty sure it’s 40k first class with hawaiian miles for saver awards. It’s published on their website. The 130k was for the first class 2 awards. Jetblue won’t have access to the 130k awards as far as I know.

HChris January 15, 2021 - 7:27 pm

I’m not trying to be negative, but it would’ve been more accurate if you would’ve showed flight times (Tokyo-SFO and Orlando-Hawaii) in the same direction. Once you turn that into eastwards direction from SFO to Tokyo you’re looking at 11.5 hours. Nevertheless, I understood what you were trying to say… Hawaii is really really far away from Florida.

Johnson January 16, 2021 - 12:10 am

You couldn’t have called JetBlue and tried to make some trial bookings to test out this theory?? Hmmm…

DaninMCI January 16, 2021 - 7:58 am

Basically you are describing why people go to the Caribbean instead 🙂

Ed P. January 16, 2021 - 9:21 am

45K AA miles for lie flat seat to Hawaii seems a better deal. Plenty of availability.

James Verge April 2, 2021 - 10:51 pm

I tried to use my Jetblue miles to book Hawaiian business class from East coast to Hawaii. I have plenty of points but there was not one seat available on any flight on any date let alone four so my family could all fly. Turns out they only allow you to book code D flights for award travel but that doesn’t exist. I asked JetBlue how they could publish an award chart that can’t ever be used. My complaint was escalated but I dont know if anything came out of it since I stopped planning my trip.due to the pandemic. I’d love to hear if anyone is successful booking a business class trip on Hawaiian using Jetblue points.

Anthony Zoeller August 9, 2021 - 12:55 am

I’ve been looking at the same exact flight to redeem. Any updates on whether it works?

Tim December 15, 2021 - 9:24 pm

Any updates if this worked??!

joeheg December 16, 2021 - 9:34 pm

I wasn’t able to find availability. Don’t know why an award is published if it’s never available. I ended up using 30K Hawaiian Miles for a seat in economy class.


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