spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Hawaiian Interisland Trip Report, Island Air shutdown

Hi!  Super busy lately, but I’ve got a bit of local stuff to share, so here we go.

I recently went on a work trip to Lihue (LIH) from Honolulu.  I hadn’t been on a Hawaiian Airlines plane in at least 5 years.  We don’t use them to the mainland because: they offer a daily nonstop 11-hr (blergh) flight from Honolulu to the East Coast arriving at JFK (double blergh), which you know is not my cup of tea.  Anyway, this trip was booked on Hawaiian because a) my employer has a corporate account with them, b) the flight times worked out with the business need, and c) I could add my personal HawaiianMiles # to the reservation.  Tiny score on that last point, as the days of 500-mile minimums are gone and I earned 102 miles each way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes, I am still here!

Again, it’s been a while, but I wanted to pass along a few items I found interesting…

  • Hawaiian Airlines announced some new West Coast routes: year-round nonstop service from Oakland to Kauai, Los Angeles to Kona, and Portland to Maui.
  • Disney Parks Blog did a live-stream of Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom tonight: click the link to the video if you’re into spoilers!
  • My kids are back to school, and avalanche of notices, syllabi, reminders, upcoming field trip forms, etc has begun to slide in.  You know what I mean, guys- it’s Paper City!  My solution is an accordion file, one per kid.  For the High Schooler, I label the tabs with each subject, plus one for papers/info about the Open House, one dedicated to her semester schedule for easy reference, and a few miscellaneous for things like receipts from School Store purchases, the combination to her gym locker in case she forgets it, etc.  For the Grammar Schooler who doesn’t have syllabi yet, I have tabs for receipts on school lunch deposits, upper halves of permission slips (including the $ paid, date paid, and payment form written on them for confirmation), one that has the sheet the school provides to stick Box Tops for Education on, and a few miscellaneous for the school year calendar, fundraiser/school picture order info, and past monthly lunch menus (the current one gets stuck to the fridge).  Both kids have a tab dedicated to report cards and progress reports. I just realized that my accordion files are basically a 3D spreadsheet for physical items!  <heart eyes emoji>

    accordion folder

    This is the kind I use, except mine have 12 tabs each.  I also store them in the “permanently open” position standing upright next to my desktop computer- ain’t nobody got time to be opening and closing them over and over.

Their placement by the computer is perfect- on one side of them I have a bin of items that need to be shredded, and on the other side, a dedicated space for scrap paper.  I can easily get through a big pile of stuff while sitting at my home desk by sorting quickly into these systems.  Shaves seconds off my day, lol.  I’ll take it, because nothing gets lost.

As Tigger says, Ta-ta For Now!

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Bits & Pieces: new HI routes on United, Virgin America partnerships, Disney media

My posts have slowed down some- work has gotten much busier lately, and so my usual routine of getting started with the main text of a post while at the office, then adding the finishing touches/pictures at home for posting has been disrupted. Boo.  Still, as the days go by I add items to my Post List so as not to forget them when I do have the time.  Here’s what I added to my Clipboard of Fun over the past few weeks: Read the rest of this entry »

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Travel Guide Update: Hawaii Interisland Travel

As promised, I have updated the Interisland Travel Guide.  Much has stayed the same, which I verified manually.  I did make some small additions on new nonstop flights: Read the rest of this entry »

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Unaccompanied Minor Services- a comparison

Buckle up, everybody- your captain has turned on the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign.  This here is a crazy ride through the huge variety of services, policies, and practices of the rules for Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on 6 US-based airlines.  Each airline name is a link directly to the Unaccompanied Minor policy of that airline- some pages were difficult to find navigating from the home page, so I figured I’d save you the work 🙂  Also, I would have torn my hair out trying to decipher what is recommended versus what is required for international travel, given that they all advise you to call in for that info AND it can vary per country, so I limited this chart to domestic travel policies, unless noted otherwise.  Some basics that apply to most major airlines: Read the rest of this entry »

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Crud. AA changes redemption options on Hawaiian Airlines…

Via aa.com:

aa hi 9-1-15

So basically this means that you won’t be able to use your AA miles (AAdvantage) to book flights to/from the mainland on Hawaiian Airlines starting this September.  You can still use AA miles to book interisland flights, and US-Asia/South Pacific flights, just not to the US mainland.

This means that the HNL-JFK nonstop will not be an option unless:

  • you have 40k HawaiianMiles to book the Coach SuperSaver RT directly through Hawaiian (20k for one-way), assuming you find availability.
  • you use 30k Korean SkyPass miles to book the Hawaiian codeshare RT (it must be a round-trip redemption, since Korean only allows one-way awards for travel on Korean metal), for a total of 120k miles for a family of 4.  Boo.

It’s easy enough to get HawaiianMiles nowadays.  You can transfer Chase Ultimate rewards points to Korean SkyPass at a 1:1 ratio, too.

I was planning on booking that exact flight for our trip to the east coast next fall (and braving my 1st Hawaii-East Coast nonstop!).  Now I won’t be able to, since you can only book up to 330 days ahead.  We want to go in November 2016, and the farthest ahead I’d be able to book before this change goes into effect is July 2016.  I realize this is not a huge problem in my life.

Thanks for the reality check, Daria.

Thanks for the reality check, Daria.

You can still get to the East Coast from Hawaii on American or Alaska using AAdvantage miles, but you’d have to connect somewhere.  Sigh.  I’ll be updating the “Strategies…Hawaiian Airlines” post to reflect the upcoming change.

Hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day!

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Virgin America will begin SFO-HNL and SFO-OGG later this year!

Today, Virgin America announced 2 new routes to Hawaii. On November 2nd, daily service will begin to and from San Francisco (SFO) and Honolulu (HNL). And on December 3rd, they will add daily service to and from San Francisco (SFO) and Kahului, Maui (OGG), with 2 different departure times depending on the day of the week. The schedule will look like this:

Virgin America's upcoming schedule

Virgin America’s upcoming schedule

They celebrated the announcement today by offering free Mai Tais to passengers at SFO.  They’re also celebrating with a fare sale: select flights will be $199 plus taxes each way.  Tickets at that price must be purchased by April 8 (yes, tomorrow), and are good for travel between November 2nd and February 28th, 2016 for the SFO-HNL route, and between December 3rd and February 28th, 2016 for the SFO-OGG route.  There are some blackout dates, pretty much the usual peak holiday travel days.

Virgin’s frequent flyer program is called Elevate.  It’s points-based versus region-based, meaning that the points cost is based on the cash price, so you have silly redemption numbers like 8559 points for the $199 fare.  I’ll update the post on Hawaiian Airlines, since Virgin America is a transfer partner.

My take?  I’ve never flown Virgin America, but it might be fun to try, what with the mood lighting and free food in Main Cabin Select.  Anything that fosters airfare competition to Hawaii is good for us!

This official photo of an official Virgin America plane is officially not set in Hawaii.  Yet.

This official photo of an official Virgin America plane is officially not on a runway in Hawaii. Yet.

For full details, see the full press release.  Note: Virgin America is a separate entity from Virgin Atlantic, though Sir Richard Branson (that silly prankster) does own some of it.

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2 bits of Hawaii travel news

  • United Airlines is offering an award mileage sale, including flights FROM Hawaii!  The booking period is 12/8/14 through 12/30/14, good for travel from 1/12/15 through 2/12/15.  Availability varies, of course, but I checked a sample itinerary to Houston (IAH), and on 1/11/15 (the day before the sale goes into effect), the mileage price each way was 22.5K, and on 1/12/15 (the beginning date for the sale), it drops down to 18k miles each way.  Plus taxes, of course.  A nice deal if you can get it on it…all the details on the Hawaii offer, which includes destinations is Mexico as well, can be found here.
  • Hawaiian Airlines is adding seats on its 717 planes (these are the ones they use for inter-island flights).  The seats will be thinner but supposedly “maintain the same amount of personal space” for the passenger.  I guess we’ll see!

 

boarding_pass

 

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Travel Strategies for Hawaii residents- Hawaiian Airlines

Sorry for the break in posting- got pretty busy for a few weeks.  Now back to normal, ready to discuss Hawaiian Airlines 🙂

Hawaiian is the big name in travel to in the islands (duh).  They fly nice planes around the islands and to/from Asia, Australia, the South Pacific, and North America. Once again, in keeping with the focus of the blog, I’ll detail the nonstop routes to and from Canada and the US mainland on Hawaiian (HA) metal:

  • from Honolulu (HNL): Las Vegas, NV (LAS), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), New York, NY (JFK), Oakland, CA (OAK), Phoenix, AZ (PHX), Portland, OR (PDX), Sacramento, CA (SMF), San Diego, CA (SAN), San Francisco, CA (SFO), San Jose, CA (SJC), Seattle, WA (SEA).
  • from Kahului (OGG):  Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Oakland, CA (OAK), San Francisco, CA (SFO) beginning Nov 2014, San Jose, CA (SJC), Seattle, WA (SEA).
  • from Kailua-Kona (KOA): Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Oakland, CA (OAK).  Both of these are summer seasonal routes.
  • from Lihue (LIH): Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Oakland, CA (OAK).  Both of these are summer seasonal routes. 

OK- travel strategies for kama’aina on Hawaiian Airlines!  All residents know that HawaiianMiles are fairly easy to accumulate locally.  There is a co-branded credit card, miles given for shopping at Foodland, and miles-earning shopping events at malls around the state.  This one is coming up at Windward Mall, and they have events at Kahala Mall and Ward Centers, too.  The standard mileage-earning opportunities apply as well: there is a shopping portal, partnerships w/hotels and rental car companies, a dining program, and even a MilesFinder toolbar you can install.

Two HawaiianMiles features I haven’t seen too often in other frequent flyer programs:

  1. you can earn HawaiianMiles for processing a travel visa
  2. HawaiianMiles program members get 40% off checked baggage fees on Neighbor Island flights
  3. you can share your miles with anyone: the receiver must hold a personal Hawaiian Airlines credit or debit card card, but the giver just has to be someone with a valid HawaiianMiles account.

So you can earn miles a bunch of ways…now how to spend them?  Here’s what you need to fly to/from the mainland on HA metal, along with the guide to the different Award types:

One Way Flight Awards Coach SuperSaver Coach Saver* Coach Flex First Class Saver First Class Flex
North America To/From Hawaii
North America–Hawaii 20,000 30,000 40,000 40,000 80,000
North America–Hawaii Upgrade 25,000 50,000

All awards are one way flight awards
* Coach Class Saver level awards may be purchased online only

Hawaiian Airlines Awards

  • SuperSaver – the lowest mileage Coach flight award.
  • Coach Saver– available when SuperSaver awards are not. Coach Saver awards may be purchased online only.
  • Coach Flex– can be redeemed for travel on Hawaiian Airlines with twice the miles of a SuperSaver award when both SuperSaver and Saver award seats are not available.
  • First/Business Saver – the lowest mileage First/Business Class flight award. This award does not have to be purchased online.
  • First/Business Flex – can be redeemed for travel on Hawaiian Airlines with twice the miles of a First/Business Saver award when a First/Business Saver award is not available.

Partner airlines include ANA (All-Nippon Airways), American Airlines, China Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Virgin Australia.  Of these, only American and JetBlue (UPDATED 4/7/15: and Virgin America) offer routes to/from the mainland:

American Airlines

Roundtrip Award Award Mileage
Economy Business First
1 Roundtrip between North America and Hawaii 45,000 90,000 110,000
1 Roundtrip between North America and Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America; within the Caribbean; between the Caribbean and South America 35,000 70,000 85,000
1 Roundtrip between North America and South America 60,000 120,000 150,000
1 Roundtrip between North America and Europe 60,000 120,000 150,000
*Awards for the routes listed above must be on flights operated by American Airlines only. Awards may not be issued for flights operated by American Airline’s partners. Awards on American Airlines flights must be based on roundtrip travel only. All are subject to change with or without notice. Note: Bolding is mine: when using HawaiianMiles on AA, you must have a roundtrip itinerary.  To be able to book one-ways, you can use American AAdvantage miles on Hawaiian flights.  Definitely use AAdvantage miles if you can- the Coach Saver RT price will be only 35K miles as opposed to 45K HawaiianMiles as shown above. [IMPORTANT re my note: as of 9/1/15, AAdvantage miles cannot be redeemed for Hawaiian Airlines flight to/from the US mainland.]

JetBlue

Estimated JetBlue
Ticket Value
Corresponding
Award Mileage
From To From To
0 99 10,000
100 179 15,000 20,000
180 259 25,000 30,000
260 339 35,000 40,000
340 419 45,000 50,000
*Miles required for redemption will vary based on ticket value. Chart above shows an ESTIMATED mileage redemption amount.  Note: the only flight you can really use this benefit on is the nonstop from HNL to JFK.  The only way to calculate how many TrueBlue points you will need for the fare is to search for the dollar cost, call JetBlue directly to book the flight (no online booking on partner awards), and then expect to pony up 1 point for every 1.2 cents of value, which kind of contradicts the chart above, but seems to be the norm for Hawaiian flights on JetBlue.  Not a good value unless you are swimming in TrueBlue points.
One-way HNL-JFK on JetBlue, random date

One-way HNL-JFK on JetBlue, random date.  This would likely cost ~42,500 TrueBlue points (509 divided by .012)


So, using HawaiianMiles on HA metal and American is pretty straightforward.  It’s nice that one can fly Hawaiian flights and credit them to America/JetBlue, and vice versa. Decent flexibility there.  Unfortunately, they don’t fly any routes to Canada at this time.  We’ll have to settle for WestJet’s Vancouver nonstop.

Saving money on Hawaiian flights (mostly with the co-branded credit card issued by Bank of Hawaii/Barclays Bank):
  •  Primary Cardholders are eligible to earn a one-time 50% off discount toward one published roundtrip coach fare for a companion upon new account approval and is good for 13 months from the time the credit card account is open. Note: must be used on HA metal, no partner airlines.
  • Primary Cardholders are also eligible to earn a one hundred ($100) discount off one coach companion ticket on each credit card account anniversary upon payment of annual fee and is good for 12 months from account anniversary.

On the non-Hawaiian CC holder side:

  • they frequently have great deals on West Coast travel.  There is a special price on the San Francisco-Kahului flight for travel on selected dates in January- $398 roundtrip!  Read the wording on the specials carefully  though, most are non valid in both directions.  This special fare, for example, is only good when the travel originates from San Francisco.  You can sign up for Hawaiian fare alerts here.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest members can get special fares (usually a flat 5% off) most flights.
  • You can get $1 (yes, just $1) back when booking Hawaiian flights through ebates.
  • some local employers also offer discounts: HGEA, Air Force Association, and I’m sure many others.
  • there are also constant offers of contest to win HawaiianMiles, like the one HMSA currently has.
On a personal note, the logo and brand colors on Hawaiian appeal to me.  Just like the iconic Eskimo on the tail of an Alaska Airlines plane, the Hawaiian lady on the tail of an HA plane gives me the warm and fuzzies.  While I personally abhor the smell of flowers and hate receiving lei, there is nothing more whimsical than giant versions of common items:
You can barely make out the huge lei on the nose of the plane.  Photo from airlinereporter.com

You can barely make out the huge lei on the nose of the plane. Photo from airlinereporter.com

Any questions on Hawaiian Airlines?

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Travel Guide- Hawaii Interisland Travel

So, you know I focus on traveling AWAY from Hawaii.  But I also want to help all of us Kama’aina get around the Islands as easily as possible.  When your next mainland trip is many months away, a short jaunt to see the sights and natural beauty of our Neighbor Islands can be a nice distraction.

As a bonus, sometimes when searching for award availability, it is easier to find seats on lesser known routes such as the aforementioned Lihue-Denver on United Airlines 🙂  It would be easy-peasy to hop over to Kauai for a low price or just a few thousand miles, and be able to connect to another award flight from there.

I sometimes get confused with all the interisland options, since there are so many per day.  I figured I’d get this all into 1 centralized location.  Here is a spreadsheet with information on travel time, travel distance, and which airlines service each Island airport, even the tiny ones.  There is also information on how many award miles you need to use for a one-way ticket.  A few details:

  • For simplicity, I only included nonstops between the given airports.  You can get to any island from any other with connections, of course.
  • Makani Kai Air operates from a small airfield outside of the airport due to their charter service, so there is no shuttle/parking at or to the HNL interisland terminal.  They don’t have a frequent flyer program, all commercial flights are a flat $50 each way.
  • Some of these flights have limited service, so check the schedules carefully using a range of dates.
  • I calculated the distances using the Great Circle Mapper.

The table was too big to post on here, so I made a handy Interisland Travel Google Sheet.  Anyone should be able to see it, and I can keep it updated, as surely things will change in the future.  Specifically, I know that Delta Airlines will have some system-wide award travel changes beginning January 1, 2015, so there might be changes in the way we can use Delta SkyMiles for Hawaiian Airlines flights.

Here are the web links for the various airlines offering interisland travel:


Happy island hopping!  Hope your plane isn’t made out of Legos!  Or has a pterodactyl leading the way!

Can this BE more Jurassic Park-y?

Can this BE more Jurassic Park-y?

 

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