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Some ideas on flights please

gstepic

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Last year we flew into Maui and out of Honolulu with US Air and our ticket price was $1135 from Albuquerque (for two of us). We bought our ticket toward the end of December 2007 and traveled the last two weeks of October 2008.

We have booked our rooms for about the same time this year and we will fly into Honolulu and out of Maui. I have been checking Expedia and Travelocity and it seems like the same flights run about $1650 even though fuel prices are much lower then they were same time last year.

I tried looking at a lot of options - flying out of Denver or Phoenix (taking Southwest Airlines to those cities) and flying out of Phoenix, LA, or San Diego with Hawaiin Airlines. We save a little using Hawaiin but we would be spending a lot more time traveling.

I am getting mixed messages as far as future fairs. There was an article in our local paper about airlines trying to fill seats but these sales are mainly for travel in the next few months. My thinking is there is more of a risk of fares going up because now there is a lot of talk about gas prices going up again for whatever reason.

So I am inclined to book now with US Airlines but what I am wondering is how the frequent milage programs work. We may only fly one time a year, two at most (once to Hawaii and once to a mainland city), so is there any real advantage to joining the various airline "clubs" if we only fly a couple times a year at most. Can you get any benefit after just one trip to Hawaii or does it take a lot of miles before you can get any discounts?
 

weh8625

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Just my 2 cents

When I fly to Hawaii (out of Houston), we fly non-stop to Honolulu (HNL) on 1 airline, then switch to another local island hopper airline for the trip to Kauai.

Why are you using an open jaw flying into HNL and out of Mauai?
Have you tried flying in and out of HNL, then booked the Mauai flight separately?

You may want to check Phoenix, LA, and San Francisco to HNL fares.
Whenever you have multiple airlines flying the same route you generally get lower fares.

Good luck!

As for frequent flyer programs, each one has different rules. The more you fly the better a deal they are. I'm not aware of any offering discounts. They don't cost anything, but the ones that I have give free tickets after flying a certain number of miles. I think that a domestic ticket is 25K miles and a flight to Hawaii is 35 or 40K. Several programs also have credit cards, and other programs to earn miles faster. You can check out each airlines website for all the details.
 

gstepic

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probably need to clarify

We are going to fly into Oahu for a week, then take Hawaiin (not many choices) to Maui, then fly from Maui back to Albuquerque after a week in Maui.

Not sure what you mean by open jaws, I know our flight was not that pleasant last year as the plane was fairly small and we got stuck in seats against a wall so they would not recline. Can't remember what model plane was used but only three seats on the left and three on the right, so for me that was a small plane for a 6 hour flight.

I did try out of several cities. We find that Southwest is fairly inexpensive to fly to a lot of cites in West so I will probably try again before we book. Everything is a trade off. We can save a few bucks but our travel time is much longer with some other options. What we did like about US Air was we left around 9, got into Maui around 2, and had much of the day to vacation instead of hanging out in airports.

Basically if I can save around $300 we may accept longer travel time, but for around $100 or $150 t is not worth it. I am just spoiled from the last couple of years, maybe those low fare days are over because of less competition.

United and Delta were quite a bit higher but I think they have much nicer planes. If we continue to go every year then the best frequent flyer program may become a factor and that is what I am a little curious about.
 

Polly Metallic

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The other poster was suggesting that it may be cheaper to fly to and from HNL, with the Maui leg of your trip a separate flight. Yes, you would be flying HNL to OGG, then to HNL again for your departure back home, but that may well be cheaper than your current three-legged flight (open jaw).
 

gstepic

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two years ago that was the case

We did fly round trip out of Honolulu and it was cheaper, this year it is nearly the same when considering the flight from Oahu to Maui.

I have been playing around with a lot of combinations and even thought about doing a spreadsheet.

I probably need to just get back on-line and check the various frequent flier programs. I even tried booking directly with airlines but it seems like I have to resister to do this, but it may be worth looking into. I kind of assume it will be cheaper going through Expedia or Travelocity, but this could be a wrong assumption. I am pretty sure a Travel Agency will not be able to help as there is no money for them to make. We feel the cheapest is to do our own on-line searching so probably just need to spend even more time on the computer.

And I think it is a crap shoot as far as booking now or waiting a little longer.
 

DaveNV

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Gary, check itineraries on Hawaiian Airlines. I'm told they're having some deals right now. Not sure if they cover your dates or Albuquerque departure, but they're worth a shot. Maybe a connection in LA?

Dave
 

weh8625

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Open Jaw

Sorry, open jaw means you fly from Denver to HNL, then return Maui to Denver. When you draw it on a map, it looks like an open jaw, I guess.

That kind of flight is usually more expensive than booking a regular return flight from Denver to HNL, then booking a separate reservation from HNL to Maui and back on a different airline.

I have found it easy to check costs on travelocity to HNL from the various west coast cities, and combine with a cheaper Southwest airlines leg. In the end though, although the flights from LA are cheaper, adding in the Southwest leg and the hassle of switching airlines and layovers, it was never worthwhile for us.
 

gstepic

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that is kind of how we feel

we can save a few bucks but our travel time ends up being a lot longer plus the headache of worrying about luggage.

I will book in the next day or so and will do one more search of various options but probably will end up using Expedia to book our flights from Albuquerque and I will book separately with Hawaiian Airlines when we travel from Oahu to Maui.

Three years ago there was a big saving by just going round trip to Honolulu but last year and this year there is no real savings. We will probably use US Air again as they have had the best fares for the last two years. I think going the round trip route saves with other airlines but not with US Air.

All I know is things are so crazy in our office right now so I would even contemplate rigging a sail on a few logs just to get out of here and go to Hawaii.
 

sailingman22

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My wife and I both use the Alaska Airlines M/C which gives you a $50.00 companion ticket yearly for each credit card and you pay taxes on the ticket. We use one certificate for Hawaii and the other for Las Vegas.

I would check with each airlines in your area for a similiar offer since it does reduce the total cost for our Hawaii trip by hundreds of dollars. Alaska Air also flies to the 4 major islands so you can fly into Maui and fly out of Lihue at no additional cost. The interisland oneway fares are about $80.00 - $90.00 each unless you can use one of the current discount fares good until Feb 28th.

Do an ongoing check with the various airline ticket discounters and you may find purchasing tickets from Albuquerque to LA, LA to Hawaii cheaper than buying the complete package all at once. Good luck.
 
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