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.
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.
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.
$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)
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:
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.
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.
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?)
Does the Amex work for Mexico as well as domestic?
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.
Strange indeed that the Bay Area doesn't have many direct flights now; this has to improve over time. .
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).