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MRP Trip from DC to Maui: What Airline?

CMF

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Hi, I'm planning on booking a MRP travel package (2013) from the DC area to Maui and I've have not done this before. I would like to know what is the process for selecting an airline. I hope to avoid asking each airline how many points/miles it cost to get to Maui and then call Marriott to find out how many MRPs it would take to get the airline points/miles.

Thanks for the help.

Charles
 

KathyPet

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I am going to use United for my example since they are the big boy in town from IAD. All of the airlines have similair type information on their web sites.
On the United web sites go to Mileage Plus from the menu bar at the top and then select Use Miles. Then select Travel Airline awards from the next page. This page gives you lots of options to play with. THere are lots of options for getting a flight (saver awards, standard awards, awards plus cash). If you want to see the mileage charts scroll to the bottom and the link is there. Right now coach saver awards are 20,000 miles ONE WAY per person, standard awards are 40,000 miles in coach. Business class will be either 40,000 miles one way per person using saver awards or 80,000 points PP standard awards.
 

Swice

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Forget the "cheap" FF seats

Ignore the "cheap/super saver" points charts for Hawaii.

You'll never get those seats.

We traded into Hawaii last July (using Myrtle Beach) and I started looking for airfare/FF seats exactly 10-months in advance. US Airways was 90,000 a seat (the day the flight schedule was posted and the post costs never sent down). United and Delta was a little less (75,000 if I recall correctly). I ended up using American for (60,000 per ticket) by begging and borrowing every single American Express point I could transfer. Luckily, I had transferred some Marriott points over to American before they discontinued their partnership.
 

BocaBoy

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Ignore the "cheap/super saver" points charts for Hawaii.

You'll never get those seats.

We traded into Hawaii last July (using Myrtle Beach) and I started looking for airfare/FF seats exactly 10-months in advance. US Airways was 90,000 a seat (the day the flight schedule was posted and the post costs never sent down). United and Delta was a little less (75,000 if I recall correctly). I ended up using American for (60,000 per ticket) by begging and borrowing every single American Express point I could transfer. Luckily, I had transferred some Marriott points over to American before they discontinued their partnership.
We go to Hawaii once or twice a year and I have ALWAYS (without exception) gotten the "cheap/super saver" seats in first class. Occasionally I have to make two plane changes instead of one, or adjust our travel dates by a day or two. Coach seats are even easier. United and American are both relatively easy, Delta not so much. Perhaps it is where we are traveling from that accounts for our success and your inability to get what you want. Also, we most often travel in January/February (high season) but not in the summer (another high season). Perhaps fewer FF seats are made available in the summer.
 
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CMF

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Are United, American, and Delta, the big three to research? Historically, do you get more bang for MRP with one airline than another? My presumption is that the more points I use for the airlines the less points I'll have for the hotel certificate.

Thanks for the help.

Charles
 

Lansdowne

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We live in No. Va and fly United out of Dulles. We go to Hawaii every other year - avoid going through Denver it feels like you on a plane for several days. Coming back take the redeye and stop in San Francisco - breaks up the trip nicely.

Enjoy.
 

SueDonJ

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Are United, American, and Delta, the big three to research? Historically, do you get more bang for MRP with one airline than another? My presumption is that the more points I use for the airlines the less points I'll have for the hotel certificate.

Thanks for the help.

Charles

Charles, as of July, 2010, Marriott is no longer affiliated with American Airlines so you can't convert MRPs or travel packages to American seats.

From what I've read on TUG it's best to figure out roughly where/when you'd like to travel and then begin your search by checking out each of the airlines to see what kind of availability they have for award seats (you'll need to be registered in each airline's frequent flyer award program.) Generally the calendars open up at or near the 330-days-out mark. Once you find available seats and know how many miles you'll need, and how many days you want to stay in which hotel, then you can figure out which travel package* suits that need and call your Marriott Elite line for help with the booking. They'll be able to book the hotel availability on points and process the transfer of miles in to the airline program that you specify. As soon as the miles show up in your airline account you can book the award seats. I've read that some people are able to call the airline and ask them to put a hold on seats while the transfer is being processed, but I don't know the details - if it was me, I'd call and ask and hope for the best.

* This link should take you to the 7-day Travel Packages available to all Marriott Rewards members.

* This link should take you to the sign-in page of your my-vacationclub.com account, after which it should take you to the 5-day Travel Packages available only to MVCI owners.

I'm sure there are other nuances that folks will come along and tell you about to help you get what you want. Good luck!

{eta} I just noticed at the bottom of the page for the 5-day Travel Packages there is a "Redeeming Travel Package Rewards & Reward Delivery Information" link with some basics about processing:

Marriott Hotel Rewards
To redeem for a Hotel, Air & Car Package reward:
Contact the airline you will use as your carrier. (You must be a member of their frequent flyer program.) Inquire about the number of miles needed to travel from departure location to your destination and remember to take into account the number of people traveling in your party.

Once you know the number of miles needed, call 1-800-MARRIOTT to make your hotel reservation. Make sure to inform the reservation agent that you are using a Travel Package Reward.

After your reservation is confirmed, you can complete the reward order over the phone or order online.

Reward Delivery Information
Hotel certificate will be issued electronically and will be available at the hotel upon check-in.

Airline miles will automatically be sent to your frequent flyer account.

Please allow approximately 6 weeks for your miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account or contact your local Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

Miles will automatically transfer into the frequent flyer mileage account that matches the name on your Marriott Rewards account. Once processed, airline miles cannot be transferred back to your Marriott Rewards account.

You will receive a paper certificate for your Hertz rental.

Please allow 10 business days for US delivery, 4 weeks for delivery outside the US, or contact your local
Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).
 
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KathyPet

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Charles, I use a site called ITAsoftware.com a lot. WHen you get to the homepage just click "Log in as a Guest" You can then enter your airports, dates of travel etc and you will get a list of every airline that flies that route with flight information. Then you can go to those airline websites to look at their current FF mileage charts to determine what amount of miles you need.

Next comes the hard part and that is finding those seats on a flight that you want. You have to go to each website for each airline individually and enter your date range and the class of service you want and then usually click a box that says "use miles" or some such indicator to see what flights might be available.

The problem is that you do not have the miles in your account for that airline so you cannot complete your travel arrangements on line. Once you find a flight that has seats available you will have to call the airline and see if they will make a reservation for you and "hold the seats" until you can have Marriott deposit the miles in your account. In order to do that you must have a FF account # with that airline which you can set up on line (make sure you write the FF number down). Some airlines will do this but others will not. If you get the reservation "on hold" you then call Marriott and have them transfer the miles giving them your frequent flyer # with the airlines that you want. It usually only takes 24-48 hours for the miles to show up in your frequent flyer account #. I usually call the airlines back in a day or so and give them my reservation # that they gave me when I put the seats on hold and ask them to check to ensure that the miles have been deposited and that the reservation is then completed.
 

MikeM132

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Ignore the "cheap/super saver" points charts for Hawaii.

You'll never get those seats.

We traded into Hawaii last July (using Myrtle Beach) and I started looking for airfare/FF seats exactly 10-months in advance. US Airways was 90,000 a seat (the day the flight schedule was posted and the post costs never sent down). United and Delta was a little less (75,000 if I recall correctly). I ended up using American for (60,000 per ticket) by begging and borrowing every single American Express point I could transfer. Luckily, I had transferred some Marriott points over to American before they discontinued their partnership.

At 10 months in advance for prime July tickets, you've missed the boat. You need to be online at about 4AM exactly 331 days before your travel date.
AA and UA have the best availabilty to Hawaii. I've now booked AA 3 times (once in f/c). No sweat. However, a couple years ago I messed up my calendar and missed Aruba in January by one week. I could not get a return flight on the day I wanted. They go very, very fast in peak season.
To the OP...since AA is now out as a Marriott reward point option, go with United. They are rated tops in ease of converting FF miles---even ahead of AA, who generally is considered tops in number of FF seats. UA requires 5K more miles to Hawaii than AA but is similar to other locations in the US. UA does have more range in miles required than AA, so if down the road you are looking to fly to more exotic places like Africa or Austraila, you'd better consult the charts. UA gets REALLY steep with required miles ot some locations.
I picked an airline first, started an account, then called Marriott who called AA and put my flight on hold. Then they deposited my MR points for me. I had to put my outbound on hold 14 days (they extended it a week for me from the normal 7 day hold) then get the whole round-trip. Now you can book each leg by itself---no need to "hold" anymore. Online saves you about 25 bucks a ticket if you can avoid the phone call. I believe you can see UA flights online without even being a "Mileage Plus" member. Try it.
Peak season to Hawaii is always tough. I'm going in September---easy.
Update....just checked UA online. You CAN see FF inventory without a Mileage Plus account. FWIW, my dates in September 2012 were also available with UA (coach).
 
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KathyPet

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Yes, on United you can see mileage flights without having a FF #. You simply click on the tab that says Use Miles on the United Home page where you enter your dates and itinerary.

By the way I was just messing around with some dates for a FF flight to Hawaii 330 days from now. THe only flights that showed up were seats for the full "standard" awards. However when I clicked on the tab that said "See Star Alliance flights" on the page that gave me my results I see a lot of flights that are "Saver awards". What is interesting is that some of the flights showing up as having "saver awards" are actually United flights but they only showed up on the Star Alliance listings.
 

pharmgirl

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At 10 months in advance for prime July tickets, you've missed the boat. You need to be online at about 4AM exactly 331 days before your travel date.

That's not the case for Continental/United that release FF seats during the year seats if there is a history of people buying seats nearer the time of the flight

If you look a year ahead there is often no availablity but there might be closer to the flight

We often buy one first/business class and use FF points for one on the direct flight from Newark to Honolulu - generally thought of as the best flight to the islands Doing this cuts the price of 2 tickets in half

I don't have patience to wait for 2 FF tickets and do not want to fly economy - it's too far and uncomfortable for us in economy
 

CMF

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Marriott would make a lot of friends if they had a travel desk that would work with the airlines to book the trip. It's my Christmas wish.

Thank you all for the walk-through.

Charles
 

winger

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Marriott would make a lot of friends if they had a travel desk that would work with the airlines to book the trip. It's my Christmas wish.

Thank you all for the walk-through.

Charles

I was told this was a "no go" because Marriott VOA's were not licenced travel agents
 

Big Matt

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Charles,
I just went to Maui in July out of Dulles and got the saver miles seats for four of us. On the first day the seats were available, the best I could do was IAD-DEN-LAX-OGG. On the way home I got HNL-LAX-IAD, but it was a red eye. I also took Hawaiin air to hop from Maui to Oahu.

People are correct in saying that they are hard to get. If you don't care when you fly or how many connections, then you can do pretty well.

However, by the time you change planes, etc. you may want to explore flying in and out of other airports besides the DC ones. For example, there is a non-stop from Newark to Maui or at least there used to be one. You will probably save time doing that.

I would also look into a stopover on the way back so that a) you can take a couple days in California, and b) reduce the jet lag factor. Maui is 6 hours different in the Summer (no daylight savings time).
 
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MikeM132

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Marriott would make a lot of friends if they had a travel desk that would work with the airlines to book the trip. It's my Christmas wish.

Thank you all for the walk-through.

Charles
They pretty much did for me. They booked hotel rooms and have called the airline with me on the line, too. I did this my first trip to Hawaii. It was our 25 anniversary, and we came back to the Maui Marriott one night with a bottle of champagne in the room (the only person we told about the anniversary was the VOA at Marriott).
 

MikeM132

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At 10 months in advance for prime July tickets, you've missed the boat. You need to be online at about 4AM exactly 331 days before your travel date.

That's not the case for Continental/United that release FF seats during the year seats if there is a history of people buying seats nearer the time of the flight

If you look a year ahead there is often no availablity but there might be closer to the flight

.....
AA doees this, too. But only if the flights are not already sold, which peak Hawaii flights often are. Like anything (car rental, hotel rooms, flights) you can get good last-minute deals, but that is a big risk. Initial inventory is posted at 331 days.
 

CMF

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They pretty much did for me. They booked hotel rooms and have called the airline with me on the line, too. I did this my first trip to Hawaii. It was our 25 anniversary, and we came back to the Maui Marriott one night with a bottle of champagne in the room (the only person we told about the anniversary was the VOA at Marriott).

WOW! Hope I have half your luck.
Charles
 

CMF

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Charles,
I just went to Maui in July out of Dulles and got the saver miles seats for four of us. On the first day the seats were available, the best I could do was IAD-DEN-LAX-OGG. On the way home I got HNL-LAX-IAD, but it was a red eye. I also took Hawaiin air to hop from Maui to Oahu.

People are correct in saying that they are hard to get. If you don't care when you fly or how many connections, then you can do pretty well.

However, by the time you change planes, etc. you may want to explore fying in and out of other airports besides the DC ones. For example, there is a non-stop from Newark to Maui or at least there used to be one. You will probably save time doing that.

I would also look into a stopover on the way back so that a) you can take a couple days in California, and b) reduce the jet lag factor. Maui is 6 hours different in the Summer (no daylight savings time).


Excellent advice as usual.

Charles
 
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I'm also planning a trip to Hawaii in 2013, August timeframe.

I'm planning to use two different airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and either Southwest or Jet Blue.

Southwest or Jet Blue will take me from east coast to west coast. You could do Southwest out of BWI.

Hawaiian Airlines goes to direct Maui from Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Las Vegas. HA goes from Los Angeles to Oahu, from there you hop to Maui.

With the Marriott travel package, you get a 7 day cert and your choice of 50k-70k-100k-120K miles. When you subtract the points for a 7day cert from the total, the MRP to HAmiles is 1:1. For example, 7days at a Cat 7 with 50K miles is 260K MRP. 7 nights at a Cat 7 hotel is 210 MRP, 35K*6(4nights, 5th free and 2 nights). 260-210=50.

Depending on when you book, HA coach seats are 20K-30K-40K miles and first class are 40K-60K-80K miles.

I haven't looked at other airlines to see if you can beat the 1:1 ratio.

Happy trails,
Henry
 

Big Matt

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I like the concept, but you are going to spend a ton of miles this way. I just wish SW or JB flew to Hawaii. In the long run, it may be cheaper to just pay for the fare to the west coast and then use miles on HA to Hawaii.

I'm also planning a trip to Hawaii in 2013, August timeframe.

I'm planning to use two different airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and either Southwest or Jet Blue.

Southwest or Jet Blue will take me from east coast to west coast. You could do Southwest out of BWI.

Hawaiian Airlines goes to direct Maui from Seattle, Portland, San Diego and Las Vegas. HA goes from Los Angeles to Oahu, from there you hop to Maui.

With the Marriott travel package, you get a 7 day cert and your choice of 50k-70k-100k-120K miles. When you subtract the points for a 7day cert from the total, the MRP to HAmiles is 1:1. For example, 7days at a Cat 7 with 50K miles is 260K MRP. 7 nights at a Cat 7 hotel is 210 MRP, 35K*6(4nights, 5th free and 2 nights). 260-210=50.

Depending on when you book, HA coach seats are 20K-30K-40K miles and first class are 40K-60K-80K miles.

I haven't looked at other airlines to see if you can beat the 1:1 ratio.

Happy trails,
Henry
 
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I like the concept, but you are going to spend a ton of miles this way. I just wish SW or JB flew to Hawaii. In the long run, it may be cheaper to just pay for the fare to the west coast and then use miles on HA to Hawaii.

That's what I'm saying, MRP for a week cert and HA miles. I'd pay for Jet Blue or SW, hope to accrue Rapid Rewards from some work travel to use for that leg.

Henry
 

Big Matt

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Got it. I just didn't understand what you posted when I read it.

That's what I'm saying, MRP for a week cert and HA miles. I'd pay for Jet Blue or SW, hope to accrue Rapid Rewards from some work travel to use for that leg.

Henry
 

CMF

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Follow-up question(s):

How many MRP do I need to buy a cat 6 travel package than includes 200K United Airline miles?

Thanks,
Charles
 

KathyPet

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When ordering a package reward the most miles you can get with a 7 nite package is 120,000. A category 6 package is 300,000 pts
 

Big Matt

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Getting 200k in one fell swoop isn't an option.

Here is what you can do.

1) buy two at 100k for two seven night category six getting 200k miles-560k points required. Miles cost you 200k in points as opposed to 500k redeeming just for miles
2) buy two at 100k for a five night category six (via MVCI web site) getting 200k miles - 460k points required. Miles cost you 220k in points as opposed to 500k redeeming just for miles.
3) mix and match getting a total of 12 nights and 200k miles for 510.

The real question that you need to ask is when/how you are going to use the hotel parts of the certificates.




Follow-up question(s):

How many MRP do I need to buy a cat 6 travel package than includes 200K United Airline miles?

Thanks,
Charles
 
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