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Just booked airline WKORV 2009 trip

Troopers

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Hey everyone...it's been a while since I stopped by.

Just wanted to share that I booked my airline tickets to WKORV in March. We can't wait to return back to Maui.

Cheers.
 

LisaRex

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Congratulations!

Did you use your AMEX 2-for-1 certificates again? If so, what was the price difference between flying to HNL and then flying intraisland to OGG vs. booking to OGG direct?

Enquiriring minds want to know.
 

Troopers

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Congratulations!

Did you use your AMEX 2-for-1 certificates again? If so, what was the price difference between flying to HNL and then flying intraisland to OGG vs. booking to OGG direct?

Enquiriring minds want to know.
Thanks.

Yup, we're using the Amex Plat 2:1 deal. The flight came out to about $410 pp from SFO to HNL (on AA) and another $120 pp from HNL to OGG (on Hawaiian). Total came to a tad less than $550 pp. We're staying in HNL for several days at both ends of our WKORV trip (we also love HNL esp Waikiki). UAL from SFO direct to OGG was about $1200 and Hawaiian Air about $1000 from San Jose or Oakland.

Gotta love the Amex Plat.
 

kelela92

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Thanks.

Yup, we're using the Amex Plat 2:1 deal. The flight came out to about $410 pp from SFO to HNL (on AA) and another $120 pp from HNL to OGG (on Hawaiian). Total came to a tad less than $550 pp. We're staying in HNL for several days at both ends of our WKORV trip (we also love HNL esp Waikiki). UAL from SFO direct to OGG was about $1200 and Hawaiian Air about $1000 from San Jose or Oakland.

Gotta love the Amex Plat.

Was the Amex Plat used for airfare, or hotel? I'm trying to find "cheap" airfare to OGG right now. Kinda crazy that it's hovering around $750 for a direct flight.
 

jjlovecub

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Congratulations!

Did you use your AMEX 2-for-1 certificates again? If so, what was the price difference between flying to HNL and then flying intraisland to OGG vs. booking to OGG direct?

Enquiriring minds want to know.
What is the Amex 2-1 certificate?
 

Troopers

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Was the Amex Plat used for airfare, or hotel? I'm trying to find "cheap" airfare to OGG right now. Kinda crazy that it's hovering around $750 for a direct flight.
Airfare. The Amex Plat 2 for 1 does not allow you to fly into OGG, only HNL within the islands. Thus, my March 2009 trip to Maui requires a stop in HNL.
 

Ken555

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The flight came out to about $410 pp from SFO to HNL (on AA) and another $120 pp from HNL to OGG (on Hawaiian). Total came to a tad less than $550 pp. We're staying in HNL for several days at both ends of our WKORV trip (we also love HNL esp Waikiki). UAL from SFO direct to OGG was about $1200 and Hawaiian Air about $1000 from San Jose or Oakland.

Gotta love the Amex Plat.
Well... Isn't this a bit early to purchase flights for March?

I don't know your exact dates but I just took a quick look myself. And, we all know prices change by the minute. But.. I just found this:

3/6 - 3/13
Northwest @ $719 rt SFO-OGG
Hawaiian @ $722 rt OAK-OGG
Hawaiian @ $752 rt SFO-OGG
UAL @ $852 rt nonstop

Even with a savings of $170 per ticket (2 seats), this trip certainly pays for (most) of your AMEX annual dues! I look into this myself since several times a year I get the invitation for that card and I wonder if I'd really benefit by it...and then decline.

FWIW, this is on the FAQ for the AMEX:
$299 minimum fare if within the 48 United States, else $899 minimum fare for travel between most major airports in the 48 states and Honolulu or Anchorage. (Note: $699 minimum fare for fares between Honolulu and one of the following airports: LAX, LAS, PHX, SEA, SFO)


So the lowest it would be is $350 from the west coast, per ticket, using this promotion. Plus this amount does not include any taxes or fees, so it's really higher than that. Since you're on AA, I imagine you'll have to pay their bag fees when you get to the airport as well.

It also seems these tickets may not accrue frequent flyer mileage.

Interestingly, out of LAX on the same days Hawaiian is $592 and nonstops start at $847. And, JKF-OGG is only $956...
 

Troopers

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Well... Isn't this a bit early to purchase flights for March?

I don't know your exact dates but I just took a quick look myself. And, we all know prices change by the minute. But.. I just found this:

3/6 - 3/13
Northwest @ $719 rt SFO-OGG
Hawaiian @ $722 rt OAK-OGG
Hawaiian @ $752 rt SFO-OGG
UAL @ $852 rt nonstop

Even with a savings of $170 per ticket (2 seats), this trip certainly pays for (most) of your AMEX annual dues! I look into this myself since several times a year I get the invitation for that card and I wonder if I'd really benefit by it...and then decline.

FWIW, this is on the FAQ for the AMEX:
[/SIZE][/FONT]

So the lowest it would be is $350 from the west coast, per ticket, using this promotion. Plus this amount does not include any taxes or fees, so it's really higher than that. Since you're on AA, I imagine you'll have to pay their bag fees when you get to the airport as well.

It also seems these tickets may not accrue frequent flyer mileage.

Interestingly, out of LAX on the same days Hawaiian is $592 and nonstops start at $847. And, JKF-OGG is only $956...
Is it ever too early to book flights? I didn't think so but is there a more appropriate time?

I'll be at WKORV from 3/14 to 3/21 but arriving in HNL several days early and returning back from HNL several days after WKORV.

If I remember correctly from last year, the lowest cost to HNL from the west coast is about $375 pp after all fees and taxes.

The card didn't make a whole lot of sense when it was just my wife and I. Then we had kids and traveled with the grandparents. The savings on this one trip pays for the annual dues (6 tickets). My guess is that the card saves us between $1.2k and $1.7k each year.

The extra baggage fee and the inability to accrue FF miles is non issue considering the dollars I'm saving on this trip.

Also got to love the Amex Plat for the Fine Hotel & Resorts program (and SPG Gold membership...yeah I know everyone's got one but I've stayed 5 times at SPG hotels in last 2 yrs and been upgraded everytime).

Check out flyertalk if anyone is interested in the card.
 

Ken555

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Is it ever too early to book flights? I didn't think so but is there a more appropriate time?
This is an interesting question. I normally only purchase tickets 1-3 months prior to a known trip, as prices tend to fluctuate wildly at times and are lowest 30-45 days before the travel date. This year has been completely different, though, so it's worth considering a change.

I bought to Cancun for November back in April, and I think that's the earliest I've ever purchased. I paid $317.50 per ticket for a non-stop to Cancun - today's price is $402 for the same dates/flight. But friends and family have seen the opposite - they bought a couple of months ago (to a domestic destination) when oil prices were climbing daily and now the fares are much lower.

How early are others buying their tickets?

I'll be at WKORV from 3/14 to 3/21 but arriving in HNL several days early and returning back from HNL several days after WKORV.

If I remember correctly from last year, the lowest cost to HNL from the west coast is about $375 pp after all fees and taxes.
Yes, that's about the fare I recall from west coast to Hawaii. Kayak shows your dates (approx, with time in HNL on both ends) starting at $762pp.

The card didn't make a whole lot of sense when it was just my wife and I. Then we had kids and traveled with the grandparents. The savings on this one trip pays for the annual dues (6 tickets). My guess is that the card saves us between $1.2k and $1.7k each year.
Absolutely. Six seats savings definitely adds up and easily justifies the card.

The extra baggage fee and the inability to accrue FF miles is non issue considering the dollars I'm saving on this trip.
I certainly understand your perspective. However, at approx 2500 miles each way six tickets = 30,000 miles, which is almost enough for a free ticket to Hawaii. That would be a future savings of $750-ish (or approx $550 at your rate). BTW, you may still be eligible for miles - and I suggest you check with AA.

As for bags... assuming you only take one bag per person you'll spend another $180. And another $50 rt for a 2nd bag per person. I'm not up to date on which airlines are charging fees yet, but these are from AAs web site. Hawaiian doesn't charge for the first bag on the intra-island flights, but does charge the same as AA to the mainland. Of course, this fee doesn't matter as much, since it's applied regardless of coach seat fare (first class or business does not pay for bags).
 

Troopers

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I certainly understand your perspective. However, at approx 2500 miles each way six tickets = 30,000 miles, which is almost enough for a free ticket to Hawaii. That would be a future savings of $750-ish (or approx $550 at your rate). BTW, you may still be eligible for miles - and I suggest you check with AA.
The 30k miles towards a free ticket would be correct assuming one is able to receives miles from the others in the traveling group. I didn't think combining miles are allowed on most US airlines. Each person receives 5k miles which equates to about nothing. Otherwise, it requires 6 rt to Hawaii for almost one free ticket to Hawaii per person. I believe the "paying" ticket holder receives the miles but the "free" ticket holder does not...not sure, I better check with flyertalk.
 

LisaRex

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I usually book at 11 months out because at least one, if not all, of my tickets have been award tickets. For my trip this past July, I had enough miles for 3 of 4 award tickets. In order to guarantee that we could all sit together on the same itinerary, I went ahead and booked that fourth ticket at 11 months out as well and paid the exorbitant price of $1100 RT for coach/$1800 RT for coach/FC combination. However, I checked often and the price of those tickets NEVER went down. (Learning: Airfares, rental car rates, etc. peak in July. Avoid that month if you can.)

The AMEX 2-for-1 flights do, indeed, earn FF miles, but you cannot pick the airline nor can you dictate your itinerary (though some have reported that the agent worked with them to do so). AA seems to be the carrier of choice lately. And they only fly from mainland to HNL, so if you're headed to Maui, you have to add in the RT cost of that as well.

All things considered, I didn't find the Plat AMEX to be that great of a deal for me. However, with airfares now double what they used to be, and the cost of award tickets increasing, I may have to keep the AMEX option open when I go to book my 2010 trip to Maui.
 

Ken555

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Got an email today from Hawaiian Air

Coach fares start at $360* roundtrip. Book now for best availability.
 

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Next year (Sept/Oct) we would be going from SFO to LIH (Kauai-WPORV 2weeks) and then to OGG (Maui-WKORV 2 weeks) and then back to SFO. What are good approaches for doing this? (e.g. fly thru HNL, try and fly inter-island?)

We used our UA FF miles already for our last trip (Dec), and paid $560RT SFO-OGG on UA when we booked for this Nov. before the demise of Aloha.
 

Ken555

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Next year (Sept/Oct) we would be going from SFO to LIH (Kauai-WPORV 2weeks) and then to OGG (Maui-WKORV 2 weeks)
Just a month? Come on, you know you want to stay for two... :hysterical:

and then back to SFO. What are good approaches for doing this? (e.g. fly thru HNL, try and fly inter-island?)
Personally, I think it's way too early to consider buying a ticket. Unless you have more miles available on an airline (and it doesn't sound like it), I'd wait. Of course, if you use miles/points for a free flight then it's never too early to book.

And, I always prefer nonstops, assuming cost isn't that much more. From SFO you should be able to go direct to LIH and then return from OGG->SFO.
 

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I wish - however, we will be using our SPs in Europe for 3 weeks before HI (after 1 week decompression stop home).

How about from LIH to OGG?
 

dss

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I believe the only routing to OGG from LIH is going to connect in HNL, but this is from (older and probably faulty) memory. Unfortunately, they Bay area flight choices have dwindled with the demise of Aloha and ATA (and AA pulling three of their four Hawaii bound flights out of the market). Hawaiian has at least added OAK->HNL but getting non-stops to the outer Islands is now exclusively the domain of UA. It never used to be a "good mileage value" to me to burn miles to Hawaii but given the increase in fares from the west coast, it's all of a sudden a much better option. We burned through four FF tickets on UA to go nonstop to LIH for next years trip to WPORV. I try to avoid the Wiki Wiki shuttle at all costs but I have a feeling it's going to be unavoidable for most future trips unless by some miracle, Hawaii flight choices increase dramatically.

What is strange is that other parts of the west coast have seen an increase in flights to OGG such as Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, and (for a while), San Diego. Only the Bay Area has such limited choices to OGG which i'm hoping another airline such as Hawaiian realizes and picks up on the opportunity and adds OAK->OGG (or even SFO->OGG).
 

Ken555

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Strange indeed that the Bay Area doesn't have many direct flights now; this has to improve over time. Ironically, I just found (on a random search in Nov) US Airways with one stop in Phoenix rt to LIH for only $553 from SFO - but it's a long long flight (you could get to Europe in this amount of time!). Hawaiian still has the best routing for SFO/OAK it seems (@ $641). UA nonstop @ $889.

And yes, using miles to Hawaii is now a good redemption value.
 

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Ok I am really frustrated, I have been trying to get cheap airfare to Cancun from raleigh for the last few weeks and can't find much under 750. I am considering the amex plat because we have 4 of us going. Does the Amex work for Mexico as well as domestic?
 

Ken555

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Does the Amex work for Mexico as well as domestic?
Link to card details in an early post...go to the AMEX site for full details, but:

Domestic Companion Airfare Program — complimentary airfare
Enjoy your trip with a travel companion. When flying in the U.S., purchase a qualifying coach-class airfare on one of six major U.S. carriers, and receive complimentary airfare for a companion with the same itinerary as your own, up to four times a year.
 

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Strange indeed that the Bay Area doesn't have many direct flights now; this has to improve over time. .
United does have 3 daily nonstops from SFO to Maui daily( 5hr flight).

We just completed booking saver FF tickets on United for next summer -late July to Aug 9 (15 day trip).

We booked our outbound FF tickets online with the same day return booking initially. We just called this weekend were able to change the return ticket to the new date; United was supposed to charge a fee due to the phone call to change the flight dates, but they did not charge us anything :)
 

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We booked our outbound FF tickets online with the same day return booking initially. We just called this weekend were able to change the return ticket to the new date; United was supposed to charge a fee due to the phone call to change the flight dates, but they did not charge us anything :)
You should just be able to book the outbound award flight & then call back later to book the return. I have done this on AA in the past when I book the first award flight on the earliest day that booking is possible (330 days out).
 

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You should just be able to book the outbound award flight & then call back later to book the return. I have done this on AA in the past when I book the first award flight on the earliest day that booking is possible (330 days out).
AA allowed us also to hold the outbound tickets until the return became available; Since we were flying on United, they did not allow us to hold the outbound tickets at all. Moreover it costs money to book award tickets thru an agent.

We have switched our mileage to mainly United since AA abandoned the Bay area to Maui nonstops; United has 3 daily SFO-Maui nonstops next summer -- two 767's and a 777.
 

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Just booked my four AA FF tickets to Maui for July 18 - August 8, 2009 today! Even got exit row seats for everybody.
 
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