The biggest obstacle in the way of people vacationing in Hawaii is the price of the flights out there. It’s pretty hard to find cheap flights to Hawaii. A quick search on Delta shows that they start at around $600 a ticket and go up fast. Recently, though, we flew round trip to Hawaii for $11.20 per person. That’s a grand total of $22.40 for two people to go to Hawaii!
And here’s how we did that.
Some of you know we’re big fans of travel hacking, and just all around cheap travel. If you’d like to know just what travel hacking is you can find out more here.
Once you’re familiar with that, here is the exact break down of how we got these flights!
First things first
We used Chase Sapphire’s 50,000 mile sign up bonus to get all of our miles. You can sign up here, but the basics are that you need to spend $4,000 in the first three months. If you add an authorized user you can get an extra 5,000 miles. You’ll only need the initial 50,000 for this trip, but more miles always come in handy!
So, sign up for the card, put all of your expenses on it, and make sure to pay it all off before the statement is up so you don’t get any interest! Reach your spending requirement in 3 months and on the next statement you’ll have 50,000 miles happily sitting in your account.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until the end to move on to the next step…
Next, you need to create an account over at Korean Airlines.
That’s where you’ll be booking your ticket through. You’ll be flying with Delta, but you can’t transfer miles from Chase to Delta AND Delta’s award tickets cost more miles than Korean Airlines.
Luckily, they’re Skyteam partners, so you can book a Delta flight through Korean Airlines and you won’t run into any problems. However, Korean does have some funny rules. One of which is that you can only use frequent flyer miles to buy tickets for family members.
In order to do so, you’ll have to submit a form as well as proof of relationship such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc. Luckily, you can also transfer miles to one other person associated with your account (aka, that authorized user) so that’s not a requirement, but if you want to fly more than one person out it can come in handy.
You don’t need to fill out that form quite yet though, that comes after this next part.
Call Korean Air!
Once you have account numbers you can give them a call at (800) 438-5000. You don’t have to wait until you have the 50,000 miles to do this!
When you have them on the phone, let them know that you want to book an award ticket through a Skyteam partner. They’ll set up a time for someone to give you a call back to schedule your flight.
You will have to be a bit flexible with dates and times, so do this before you schedule anything else, but once they call you back tell them where you’re flying to and from and the dates you’re looking at.
They’ll give you some choices with different dates but rarely different times. I’d recommend calling plenty in advance so you can have plenty of options and so you have time to book everything else. Once its picked, they’ll give you a reservation number, some details and let you know what forms you have to email to their address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every person with a ticket will need to send in a copy of their form of ID, that’s another of Korean’s funky requirements. You’ll receive a confirmation and then it’s time for the toughest part…
Hurry up and wait.
They won’t call you to confirm the ticket, send you the itinerary and charge you the taxes and fees (only $11.20 a ticket remember!) until a few days before your departure.
While this does give you plenty of time to finish up getting those points, it can be a bit nerve wracking if they haven’t called you back yet! They didn’t call us back until the day before our trip and I was freaking out a bit.
Luckily, we only booked our tickets a couple months before we left, but if it were longer I might have forgotten this part altogether. Either way it could be a good idea to set an alarm for a few days before the trip just to make sure everything is in order. You can always give them a call to double check everything.
Finally, enjoy your vacation!
Enjoy your trip to Hawaii and have fun bragging to all of your friends about how you did it.
(and maybe share this post with them so they can too, you don’t want to be mean!)
One final tip before you go, check in at the Delta counter if you can. Delta does charge baggage fees, but if you signed up for Delta’s American Express (and got even more miles to use later!) when you go to check in mention that you’d like to add that frequent flyer number to the reservation.
That’ll get your bag checked for free, and they allow up to 9 waivers per reservation! Which can save you $100’s more! Also, you can save 20% on all in flight purchases, which comes in handy on those long flights when you’re just going to have to order a meal.
That is how you get cheap flights to Hawaii! Altogether, we saved around $1,500 on our Hawaiian vacation just with these tips alone. That left plenty of money for adventures like surfing, snorkeling and partying it up at a Luau!
If you’d like to know what kind of food to expect on your flight to and from Hawaii, make sure to subscribe to our emails because I’ll be posting about that before too long as well.
Happy Travels Everyone!
For other posts about Hawaii:
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