Despite its reputation, getting to Hawaii doesn’t have to be expensive. Between frequent flyer mile sweet spots and cheap flights (hello, Southwest Airlines), there are some great ways to book flights for your next getaway to the islands.
There’s just one problem: Many of these great deals are only available from the West Coast. So if you’re in the Midwest or farther east, it can be much harder to pull off that dream trip for cheap.
That’s where Air France and KLM’s FlyingBlue frequent flyer mile program comes in. With some flexibility, you can use these easy-to-earn miles to book flights on Delta from almost anywhere in the country to the four major Hawaiian islands … for just 35,000 miles round-trip.
How it Works
Much like Delta itself, FlyingBlue doesn’t publish an award chart – the cheat sheet that spells out exactly how many miles you need to book a given flight. And just as with Delta SkyMiles, that means rates when using FlyingBlue miles can be all over the place.
But you can use FlyingBlue miles to book seats on a Delta flight. And when you do that, it’s much more predictable. And cheap.
Delta flights to Hawaii start at just 17,500 FlyingBlue miles each way. That means you can fly from the continental U.S. to the Hawaiian islands and back for only 35,000 miles. And it’s not just Honolulu (HNL) on Oahu. Whether you’re flying to Kahului (OGG) on Maui, Lihue (LIH) on Kauai, or Kona (KOA) on the Big Island, you can find flights for 35,000 miles round trip.
There are some other great ways to get to Hawaii using miles, like using 26,000 British Airways Avios to fly American Airlines to Hawaii. Or fly with Alaska Airlines for 25,000 Singapore Airlines miles. But those options require you to get to the West Coast, so for many travelers, it won’t be quite that cheap.
This FlyingBlue sweet spot is far more expansive. You can get from almost anywhere in the U.S. with Delta service to Hawaii and back for 35,000 miles.
Let’s take a look.
The FlyingBlue Sweet Spot in Action
So just how expansive and easy is it to get a flight to Hawaii for 35,000 miles using FlyingBlue?
That’s true if you’re on a nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) …
But also if you need to make it all the way from the East Coast in New York City-JFK (JFK).
Considering Delta normally charges more than 75,000 SkyMiles for the exact same flights, this is no small thing. This workaround can pay off huge.
Travelers in the midwest are in luck, too. Whether you want to get to Maui (OGG), Kauai (LIH), Oahu (HNL) or the Big Island (KOA), it’s still just 35,000 miles.
But what about much smaller airports that might require two connections each way to get to the Hawaiian islands? Even from airports like Fargo (FAR) in North Dakota, you can still find flights for just 35,000 total.
Especially on flights from these farther-flung airports, the savings can be enormous. These same Delta flights would normally cost more than $1,000 or a boatload of SkyMiles.
The trick is finding award availability through FlyingBlue. And while it will take some flexibility and trial and error, you can see how big it can pay off.
How to Book Hawaii Flights through FlyingBlue
Your patience will pay off, trust us.
First things first: Sign up for a FlyingBlue account. Then head to either the Air France or KLM website and click “Use Your Miles.”
FlyingBlue has a handy calendar search that you can generally use to scroll through a month’s worth of flights to find the best times and prices. There’s just one problem: It doesn’t work when you’re searching for Delta flights. Every time you click “You are looking for a flight around these dates” for a flexible search, it will return nothing. Even if there are flights available on those dates, the site will give you this error:
So that means you need to manually search each date, one by one. Depending on what time you’re traveling and what airports you’re heading to and from, it could take some trial and error to find dates that work.
It helps to search the departing and return flights as separate one-way flights, rather than searching for a round-trip flight right off the bat. Find a departing date that works, then work on the return availability. Once you’ve found two dates that work, stitch them together in a round-trip booking.
One heads up: FlyingBlue’s website is notoriously glitchy. You might get your flights picked out only to try to book and get an error. Give FlyingBlue a call at 1 (800) 375-8723 and get ready to feed them your flight information. In our experience, any flights that show up in your search are, in fact, bookable.
You could also hit two Hawaiian islands in one trip: Fly into Maui (OGG) using FlyingBlue, then head home from Oahu (HNL) using FlyingBlue miles on a separate one-way trip. Just book a cheap flight on Hawaiian Airlines or Southwest to get between the two islands.
How to Earn FlyingBlue Miles
Although though you’ll be flying Delta, Delta SkyMiles won’t help you here. What you need are some FlyingBlue miles. Luckily, they are some of the easiest to earn in the world of points and miles.
The 60,000-point welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred after spending $4,000 within three months is nearly enough to get two round-trip tickets to Hawaii. Or if you’re eligible for the outstanding 100,000-point bonus on the American Express Platinum card, you’d have enough for three round-trip tickets after spending $5,000 within three months!
This sweet spot is so good, it seems too good to be true. But this is real: You can hop on a Delta flight from almost anywhere in the U.S. and fly to the Hawaiian islands and back for just 35,000 miles.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.