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Visiting Hawaii is always near the top of many travelers' wish lists. Flying in a lie-flat seat is another. Combining the two can be a dream come true.

Not all airlines fly lie-flat seats out to the Hawaiian Islands. Notably, the two airlines with a large presence in the Aloha State, Alaska and Southwest, do not. But the largest U.S. airlines, American, Delta, and United along with Hawaii's hometown carrier Hawaiian Airlines all fly plenty of routes with those coveted lie-flat beds on the long flight to Hawaii.

With six-hour flights from the West Coast, a flight to Hawaii is comparable in distance to a flight from the East Coast to Europe. For that amount of time in the air, it can be well worth it to splurge for a lie-flat seat when flying to paradise – whether you're using cash or points and miles to book it.

Some airlines are more stingy than others when it comes to booking these seats with points and miles, but if you're earning points on top travel cards like the *chase sapphire preferred*, *venture x*, or the *amex gold*, there have been several opportunities to book lie-flat seats to Hawaii lately.



How to Know if There Are Lie-Flat Seats

First things first, you'll want to ensure you're booking a ticket with a lie-flat seat. While most long-haul international flights have lie-flat seats in business and first class, that's not always the case when flying to Hawaii.

The best way to tell whether your flight has lie-flat seats is to search for it on Google Flights, expand the flight details, and look for the “lie-flat seat” icon.


lie-flat icon on Google flights


Depending on the airline, these may be sold as a “business” or a “first” class ticket. Regardless of what they are called, expect the service to be similar to domestic first class – with the added benefit of getting some rest in a lie-flat bed on your way to paradise.

Keep reading to see which routes typically have lie-flat seats to Hawaii and how you can score the best deal.


American Airlines Business Class via Dallas or Phoenix

Flying American Airlines nonstop from Dallas (DFW) or Phoenix (PHX) to Hawaii is one of the best ways to find a deal on a lie-flat seat. You'll find these seats on American's Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft.


American Airlines lie-flat seat on a 787


While it may not be an ultra-long-haul flight to Europe or Asia, American Airlines still treats its business class passengers right on these flights to Hawaii, in our experience. On top of the great lie-flat seat, the airline does a full drink and multi-course meal service – both with some Hawaiian flair, like pouring Mai Tais or serving entrees with kalua pork. Here's just one of the four courses from our Senior Editor Allie's flight from Dallas to Maui last year: pumpkin tortellini with kalua pork ragu and mushy peas.


American Airlines Business Class via Dallas or Phoenix


As of publication, you'll currently find lie-flat seats on the following nonstop American Airlines routes:

  • Dallas (DFW) to Honolulu (HNL)year-round
  • Dallas (DFW) to Maui (OGG)year-round
  • Dallas (DFW) to Kona (KOA)resumes Oct. 27, 2024
  • Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL)seasonal, late October through March

American has previously flown lie-flat seats on a seasonal basis between Phoenix and Maui, but at this time, those flights – and all AA nonstop flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hawaii – only have standard first-class recliner seats.

These lie-flat flights on American are usually marketed as “business” class so you'll need to search for business class on Google Flights to get results for AA flights with lie-flat seats.


Google Flights Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL) flights


Searching for “first” class will usually only give you results for recliner seats on American Airlines, though we have seen seasonal flights from Phoenix marketed as “first” in the past.

You may also see flights with recliner seats when searching for “business” class from Phoenix so be diligent when choosing flights and look for lie-flat seats aboard American's Boeing 777 or 787 aircraft.


searching business class on Google for AA lie-flat seats to Hawaii


Thrifty Tip: Booked an economy (or even premium economy) flight to Hawaii? Keep checking your flights in your AA account after you book. American may offer you the chance to upgrade into one of these lie-flat business class seats for as little as $350 one-way. If you booked a cheap ticket initially, that's a no-brainer!


AA business class upgrade


How to Book AA Business Class to Hawaii With Points & Miles

Don't want to pay $2,000 (or more) roundtrip to fly lie-flat to Hawaii. You don't have to. If you have a stash of American miles, Alaska miles, or transferable points such as Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture miles, or Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can book these nonstop flights for as little as 40,000 miles each way.


Phoenix to Honolulu AA lie-flat deal


Earlier this year, Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers received this award alert to fly nonstop from Phoenix to Honolulu on several dates during spring break. The cheapest way to book this American flight was through Alaska for 40,000 Alaska miles each way, but it wasn't too much more via British Airways – just 42,000 Avios each way.


Phoenix to Honolulu booked with British Airways Avios


Since you can transfer Amex, Bilt, Capital One, or Chase points to British Airways, this made it possible for anyone with transferable points to book this deal. It's even possible to move Citi points to British Airways by combining BA and Qatar Avios.

Using British Airways Avios works best for nonstop flights since they charge on a per-segment basis. That means it'll cost more miles for the longer flight from Dallas, but it's still a solid deal – even after a recent award rate hike. Don't live in Dallas or Phoenix? It could be worth booking the nonstop flight to the islands from either city and then booking a positioning flight from your home airport to get you there.

Those collecting American miles can book these flights for as low as 55,000 AAdvantage miles each way. The best part about redeeming American miles is that you can sometimes book for that same low rate from your home airport with a connection in either Dallas or Phoenix.

Last year, we uncovered availability to fly lie-flat to Hawaii from dozens of cities with one quick stop. Thrifty Traveler Premium members in Fargo, Greensboro, and Ft. Lauderdale were thrilled to see it was possible to book these flights for just 55,000 American miles each way.


Thrifty Traveler Premium deal AA miles lie-flat to Hawaii


These rates are long gone now! Join Thrifty Traveler Premium to get the next award alert to Hawaii!

This deal worked from over 90 cities, including nonstop flights from Dallas and Phoenix, and one-stop trips from all other cities, such as this flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Maui (OGG) with a quick stop in Dallas.


Minneapolis to Maui AA miles lie-flat

American may be the easiest way to score a deal on a lie-flat seat to Hawaii – especially from your home airport – but it's not the only way…


Hawaiian Airlines Lie-Flat First Class from Several Cities

Flying Hawaiin Airlines is a great way to kick off a vacation to our 50th state – especially if you can score a lie-flat seat for the long flight to Hawaii.

While most of Hawaiian's lie-flat seats are on its older Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a less comfy 2-2-2 seating arrangement, it still beats flying in a standard first-class recliner any day.


Hawaiian Airlines lie-flat seats on the A330
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines


But Hawaiian has something better on the way. The airline is getting several Boeing 787 Dreamliners this year. These planes will be equipped with a brand-new business class suite including fully enclosed doors and direct aisle access at every seat.


Hawaiian Airlines lie-flat suites on the 787
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines


Hawaiian will begin service with this new plane from San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL) in April before shifting the aircraft to other routes from Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX). You'll find the 787 Dreamliner on the following routes and dates, as of publication.

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)starting May 15, 2024
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Maui (OGG)starting Oct. 16, 2024
  • Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL)from May 16 – Oct. 15, 2024
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL)from Apr. 16 – May 14, 2024

During other months, Hawaiian still has lie-flat seats on these routes but they'll be aboard that older A330 aircraft. In the case of the LAX-HNL route, there are multiple flights per day so you'll want to choose your flight carefully if you're looking to fly the new suites aboard the 787. Look for the “individual suite” icon in Google Flights to verify.


Look for individual suite on Google Flights for Hawaiian's 787 suites


If you're just looking for a lie-flat seat, here is the full list of nonstop routes where Hawaiian offers lie-flat seats aboard its A330-200 aircraft.

  • Austin (AUS) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Boston (BOS) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Las Vegas (LAS) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Oakland (OAK) to Honolulu (HNL)limited dates from May through September
  • Sacramento (SMF) to Honolulu (HNL)through May
  • San Diego (SAN) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • San Francisco to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Pheonix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Portland (PDX) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Maui (OGG)
  • Seattle (SEA) to Maui (OGG)seasonal, September through May
  • Los Angeles to Kona (KOA)seasonal, late May through early September


Some of these routes may also have flights on an A321 aircraft that only have standard first-class recliner seats so you'll want to be diligent when choosing flights if you want the lie-flat seats.

Depending on the route you're looking to fly, these flights typically cost over $2,000 roundtrip but it can sometimes be closer to $4,000 or more, like this one from Austin (AUS) to Honolulu (HNL). Ouch!


Austin to Honolulu lie-flat on Hawaiian cash ticket


How to Book Hawaiian Lie-Flat With Points & Miles

Luckily, there's a better way to book if you have some points and miles in the bank. Hawaiian Airlines sometimes charges just 40,000 miles each way to book the same flights.


Austin to Honolulu nonstop using Hawaiian miles


Don't have Hawaiian miles? No problem. You can transfer Amex or Bilt points to Hawaiian to book these flights online.

Another option is to book with Virgin Atlantic points. This opens up more opportunities since Virgin is a transfer partner of all major banks, including Amex, Bilt, Capital One, Chase, and Citi. But you'll need to call Virgin to book flights on Hawaiian Airlines – it's not possible to book on Virgin's website.

Read more: Master List of Credit Card Transfer Partners

Virgin charges the same 40,000 points each way from the West Coast, but it'll cost 65,000 points for departures from Boston and NYC – if there's any availability. You can also book these seats through JetBlue, but you'll typically get a better deal booking through Virgin or Hawaiian itself.

Finding the award availability to book these lie-flat seats to Hawaii for just 40,000 points is not always easy but we've seen quite a few opportunities recently, like this one which included wide-open availability from Austin (AUS) and Las Vegas (LAS) for a trip this summer.


Austin and Vegas to Hawaii lie-flat Thrifty Traveler Premium deal


We've also uncovered several deals to fly Hawaiian's new first class suites on its 787 Dreamliner. A few months ago, Hawaiian announced it would fly this aircraft from Phoenix (PHX).

Sure enough, Hawaiian opened the flood gates and several Thrifty Traveler Premium members booked these fancy suites for a trip this summer. With a 30% Amex transfer bonus Virgin at the time, you could book these seats for as few as 31,000 Amex points each way.


Thrifty Traveler Premium deal lie-flat Phoenix Hawaii


And just a few weeks back, Hawaiian opened up availability for its best business class seats aboard the 787 on flights from Los Angeles.


Thrifty Traveler Premium deal from California to Hawaii in lie-flat seats


Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium to get the next alert like this one sent straight to your inbox!

With up to nine seats available per flight during peak summer travel, Californians were booking this deal like crazy. It also included lie-flat seats from Oakland and San Diego on the A330.


California Hawaii deal summary


Flying Hawaiian's new suites might be the best (and coolest) way to fly to Hawaii. Nothing beats an individual suite to start your trip – add a little Hawaiian flair to the service and it's bound to get you in vacation mode quickly.


Last-Minute Flights on United

Like Hawaiian Airlines, United has several routes with lie-flat seats to Hawaii. Unlike Hawaiian, it's nearly impossible to find a good deal with points and miles.

United has updated most of its larger Boeing 767, 777, and 787 aircraft with its United Polaris business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout, giving all passengers direct aisle access.


united polaris seat


However, you may still see some of its older 777-200s with a strange 2-4-2 configuration on certain flights. United's Boeing 757s with lie-flat seats have two seats on both sides of the single aisle. Check the seat map on United's website to find out what configuration is on any given flight.


United seat map for lie-flat seats to Hawaii


As of publication, you'll find lie-flat seats on the following nonstop United routes.

  • Chicago (ORD) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Denver (DEN) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Houston (IAH) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Newark (EWR) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Maui (OGG)
  • Denver (DEN) to Maui (OGG)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Maui (OGG)
  • Chicago (ORD) to Kona (KOA)seasonal, December through April
  • Denver (DEN) to Kona (KOA)
  • Denver (DEN) to Kauai (LIH)

While most of these routes have lie-flat seats on all flights, you'll want to choose flights carefully from Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), since there are also flights on other aircraft that only have standard first-class recliner seats.

To get a lie-flat seat flying United to Hawaii, fares from the West Coast typically start just under $2,000. But it can be far more expensive if you're flying from the Midwest or East Coast – especially if you're taking a connection from a smaller city like Buffalo (BUF).


Buffalo to Hawaii lie-flat United cash ticket


How to Book United Lie-Flat Business Class With Points & Miles

Unfortunately, United rarely releases any “saver” award availability for its lie-flat seats to Hawaii. Since this is the key ingredient to take advantage of United's partners to book cheaper award tickets, you won't have much luck trying to book these seats with partner airline miles.

Occasionally, United will open up its lie-flat seats to Hawaii for partner bookings at the very last minute – think booking in the morning and flying later that night, or maybe the next day if you're lucky. This means you'll need to be a spontaneous traveler who can fly to Hawaii on a whim or rebook your trip at the last minute.

Related Reading: Why I Booked (& Rebooked) My Europe Trip Flights 4 Times

If you do come across any award availability, the best way to book is typically through United's partner airline Air Canada Aeroplan. Rates start at just 25,000 Aeroplan miles one-way. You can transfer points from Amex, Capital One, Chase, and even Bilt to Air Canada to book.


Los Angeles to Hawaii in First Class using Aeroplan points
Screenshot taken on the morning of June 7, 2023


Sure, you may get a better price with Turkish miles – even after the recent devaluation – but by the time you go through the steps to book with Turkish miles, the award space may disappear.

For travelers who prefer to book in advance, you'll need to have a healthy stash of United miles since you'll be subject to United's dynamic pricing as the only way to book with miles.


United miles lie-flat to hawaii


United doesn't have as many transfer partners as its partner airlines but you can transfer Bilt and Chase points to United.

United's partner Air Canada also flies its own lie-flat seats from Toronto (YYZ) to Honolulu (HNL) twice per week on a seasonal basis during the winter. Like United, it's practically impossible to find award availability on those flights.


Hope for a Sale on Delta One

Looking to fly in a lie-flat seat to Hawaii on Delta? Prepare to pay a pretty penny (or a boatload of SkyMiles)…or just hope for a sale on cash tickets.

Delta flies a variety of planes with lie-flat seats, but it primarily uses its older 767-300 aircraft for lie-flat seats to Hawaii. These aren't the best Delta One seats, but any lie-flat seat is an improvement over a simple recliner.


delta one 767-300


Delta also flies its Airbus A330 on a few routes out of Atlanta (ATL) and Detroit (DTW) but if you're booking a lie-flat seat from other hubs, you can pretty much bet you'll be on the 767-300.

Here are all the nonstop routes where Delta offers lie-flat seats as of publication.

  • Atlanta (ATL) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Boston (BOS) to Honolulu (HNL)new route starts Nov. 21, 2024
  • Detroit (DTW) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Minneapolis (MSP) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) to Honolulu (HNL)
  • Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL)seasonal, late October through early May
  • Atlanta (ATL) to Maui (OGG)resumes Nov. 21, 2024
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Maui (OGG)through early April
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) to Maui (OGG)seasonal, November through early April
  • Seattle (SEA) to Maui (OGG)through March

Oddly, Delta markets these flights as “first” class on some routes and “Delta One” on others – even though it's the same plane with the same lie-flat seat to Hawaii.

This means it's best to search for “business” class on Google Flights to find these seats since you'll see all lie-flat options when searching this way.

Delta typically charges similar fares as others for its lie-flat seats, starting just under $2,000 roundtrip from the West Coast and creeping up to around $4,000 or more from the Midwest or East Coast.


Minneapolis to Honolulu Delta lie-flat cash ticket


Don't expect to get much of a deal with your SkyMiles either. While we occasionally come across Delta SkyMiles flash sales to Hawaii in economy, you'll often see the same exorbitant 300,000+ SkyMiles rates Delta charges for its lie-flat seats to Europe on routes to Hawaii.


Minneapolis to Honolulu Delta lie-flat SkyMiles


That's an absurd number of miles – even if you can get a 15% discount with a Delta credit card. This means you'll likely have to pony up the cash if you want to fly lie-flat to Hawaii on Delta … or hope for a sale.

A sale is exactly what we unearthed recently when we noticed Delta put its fancy new A330-900neo aircraft on a popular route from Seattle (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL) for peak spring break season this year.

It's rare for Delta to fly one of these planes featuring enclosed suites with lie-flat seats on routes to Hawaii. That's why we had to let Thrifty Traveler Premium subscribers know about the opportunity to fly Delta's best seats for just over $1,300 roundtrip – or around $580 one-way.


Thrifty Traveler Premium deal for Delta One lie-flat seats to Hawaii


Want deals like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium today!

Most domestic flights can be booked one-way for half the cost of a roundtrip. So if you just want to experience these seats on your way to paradise and then fly economy on the way home (or vice-versa) to save some money, you could do it for what some people normally pay for a roundtrip economy ticket.

Read more: How to Find Cheap One-Way Flights


Bottom Line

Flying to Hawaii in a lie-flat seat can be done if you know where to look. The best deals are typically using points and miles to book lie-flat seats on American Airlines or Hawaiian.

Having a stash of credit card points, airline miles, and a Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription can help you book a dream trip flying lie-flat to Hawaii.


Lead photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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