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Flight from BWI to Honolulu-would you use Delta pts for this "lame" flight or just pay full price on United?

Flight from BWI to Honolulu-would you use Delta pts for this "lame" flight or just pay full price on United?

Old Dec 5th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Flight from BWI to Honolulu-would you use Delta pts for this "lame" flight or just pay full price on United?

I just found out I have 45,000 pts on Delta and am planning a trip to Hawaii next Sept. We need 35,000 pts for a free RT to Hawaii, so we have enough. The Delta flight leaves Baltimore Aug 30th at 945am and gets into Honolulu at 424pm (almost 3 hours later than the United flight that leaves at 8am does). On the return, it leaves Maui Sept 15th (our 3rd island) at 910pm and arrives in Salt Lake City at 7am where we have a dreaded 3 hour layover, then flying into Baltimore at 4pm.

As an alternative if we flew United instead of Delta on this entire trip, the United flight leaves Maui at 145pm which seems MUCH more civilized to me as it arrives in SFCA at 925pm where we could chill at the airport for a night and relax in a free stay at a hotel that we have saved up from Holiday Inn pts. Then we'd casually fly out at 11:15am the next morning back home to Baltimore.

The great thing about the Delta flight is that one of our $661 RT tickets would be FREE! That's really great. Doing Delta we'd have to purchase our 2 inter-island flights separately - I guess they're about $100 each p/p.

The really good thing about the United flight is the earlier start time to Honolulu from Baltimore, giving us 1/3 an afternoon when we first get there. Also, on the way back, we don't have to deal with the dreaded red-eye flight. Neither of us sleep on an airplane much at all, so this of course stinks having to do a red eye, a 3 hour layover in Salt Lake, then another flight afterwards. Would you find this as miserable a trip back as I do, or am I just being a wimp?

The United flight INCLUDING the 2 inter-island flights is $1020 p/p. I told the guy from United that this seems really high and he thought that after the holidays the rates might come down in January or February.

Is it worth saving the $661 to do the Delta flight if the flight times stack up as listed?

What would you do? Money's important to us and the wife is a trooper and said she'd be willing to do the red eye if need be to save the $661. I sure do love her. The $661 savings using the Delta free ticket WOULD pay for one of our 3 nights at the FS Hualalai on the BI

Thanks Fodorites -

Steve R
Silver Spring MD
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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I'd use the FF points. It's a good deal to spend 35K miles for a $600+ tickets, and you can't be that picky with flights spent with FF miles anyways.
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 06:03 PM
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Who's to say that the UA flights won't be changed between now and August anyway. DO NOT assume that flight schedules will remain "as is" as they almost always change this far in advance.

I'd use the miles and take Delta.
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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I agree with using the FF miles, with what you've outlined. I would also book it while the minimum level award seat is still available to you because these things tend to book up. Over the past few years, the ability to earn miles with low fare tickets on some carriers has diminished while the redemption requirements have crept up. Hawaii for 35K is a decent value and you should capture it, since it fits your plans.

Be sure to use the free ticket for the least frequent flyer between the two of you, since the paid ticket will earn miles.
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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Thanks alot Rkkan, Flyboy and Dan. Great advice. I guess we'll just suffer through that awful trip back on the red eye - though we'll probably have big smiles on our faces from all the fun we've had.

I was hoping there might be a better flight arrangement back from Hawaii, but all the flights with more desirable connection times and less of a layover are booked out using the frequent flyer points.

Unless anyone else chimes in on a reason why we shouldn't do this, we'll probably call them within 48 hours and simply seal the deal.

Steve R
Silver Spring MD

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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 09:56 PM
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I can not figure out why you think using your Delta Sky Miles for a long journey like this is "lame". You're flying a quarter way across the globe. You're not exactly flying to DC. Are you nuts?!
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 10:09 PM
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Have the Delta SkyMiles agent check for availability on Northwest and Continental as well. While neither has day-time flight from HNL, you may have a better connection than the 3-hour layover at SLC.

Also, your 35K miles should get you to Maui, or wherever you want to go in Hawaii. Don't understand why you'll need to buy extra intra-island flights.

Do your research about all of DL's partners before calling them. The agent may not know of all the possible itineraries.
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Old Dec 5th, 2004, 10:19 PM
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rkkwan
Agreed, check out the options yourself. Some airlines offer only HNL as a destination for Hawaii. I believe interisland flights typically require an additional 10K miles. Others are more liberal - I've gone on American and only redeemed the typical 35K whether to Maui or Kauai for example.
To respond to the original question, I'd take the Delta "miles" ticket while their miles have value (Delta is a mess), however if you'll be on codeshares check often because these flights can change without notice but at least you'll have a ticket and BWI to HNL is far from "lame", it's a long trip!
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 04:16 AM
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I would also use miles but be prepared for things to change, since this is 9 months off. Delta is another of the many carriers in financial trouble and who knows what schedule and other changes they might make. (Our sons FF ticket on USAir Savannah to Boston schedule changed 4 times in the 6 months from time we booked to when he flew - 2 of them significant)
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 05:51 AM
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Hmmm...$660 for three hours and two people. That's $110/hour per person. While that's less than my salary, I personally figure my "free" time to me is worth about ten times as much as my hourly pay. Think about it.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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I would unload my Delta Skymiles at any chance. And, I don't think you will get a better opportunity to use them.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Hi Steve, regardless of which flights you take, it will seem like a cakewalk compared to your trip to Bali a couple of years ago. That being said, I would go for the United flights and cut back on the expensive hotels - $661 per night is an outrageous amount for anyone "on a budget" to be spending on lodging. You didn't stay at FS on Bali, did you? There are many great places to stay on the BI that cost far less what you are planning on paying at the FS. Just my 2 cents.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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To jor: Thanks for your response . I of course see the value in using the Delta miles for a long trip like this...the reason I called it lame is that we'd much prefer NOT to do a red eye overnight flight and suffer going the whole way back straight thru without laying over in SFCA or LA - a very hard, sleepless trip. Delta doesn't fly to California from Maui. It goes through Salt Lake City, then to BWI.

The United flight on the other hand stops over in SFCA for a night - leaving at 1:30pm from Maui and getting in at a reasonable hour for sleep in SFCA at 930pm, thus a great flight for us. Delta's deal isn't lame, it's just that it's a much tougher trip.

To rkkwan: Unfortunately, Delta does not partner with any other airlines to provide the connections between Honolulu and Hilo, then Kona to Maui. That's why we'll have to pay out of pocket for those.

Gail: Warning heeded about those flight changes.

Bardo: I'm not sure what you're saying - are you saying that it's a good idea or NOT a good idea to do the red eye Delta flight to save the money? Your analogy unfortunately went right over my sometimes clueless head (

Doc - Yeah, I guess it WOULD be prudent to unload these miles at this juncture considering the instability of Delta.

Craig: I hear ya about not spending so much on hotel while on the BI. We're only doing 3 nights at the FS Big Island. It's $580 a night including breakfast plus tx. It's basically $361 a nt more than the Hapuna Prince hotel, the one we'd originally booked, so in all it'll cost us an extra $1000 to stay those 3 nights at the FS. I know it's alot. It's our big (HUGE) splurge for our 5th year anniversary trip. I know it's kind of crazy, but I think we'd always have been curious had we not stayed there. Also, if we don't think it's worth that much aditional money after one night, we could always check out and go to the Hapuna earlier.

The total trip consists of 5 free nts at the Moana Surfrider in Oahu due to Starwood pts, 1 nt at Kilauea Lodge on the BI, then 3 nts at the FS BI, then 1 nt at Hapuna BI, then 6 nts in Maui at the FS Maui, cheapest room there.

I DO see your point though. It's just that we're committed to try the FS BI for the novelty factor or staying there. We don't drink, don't spend frivolously on presents, work really hard for our money, and occasionally like to blow on it on killer hotels.

Steve R
Silver Spring MD
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 07:04 AM
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Given the options that you listed, pay $2080 for two United tickets or $660 + miles for two Delta flights, I would use the miles and keep the $1420 savings.

If you are still thinking about spending the $2000+ then note that in August-September 2003, the airlines had roundtrip first class fares BWI-HNL for $1004 tax incl. (UA, AA, DL) for travel in Sept-Oct. This year, the prices were around $1200, I think. (at travelocity use Class of Service = First, not First w/o Restrictions). Today, the price is $1216 (for Sep 15-26).

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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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By all means use the FF points. You will likely welcome the layover.

We booked our flight on FF points for May, 2005, in July, 2004...and our flights have changed twice already!
 
Old Dec 6th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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"I was hoping there might be a better flight arrangement back from Hawaii, but all the flights with more desirable connection times and less of a layover are booked out using the frequent flyer points."

Stever, availability for a better return flight may open up between now and your trip. Just keep checking with Delta every few days. The opportunity to change the flight may even occur while you're in Hawaii, so don't give up. We had the same experience recently on a trip to Europe. We were scheduled to return to the US on a Friday and wanted to extend until Monday. We were able to do it by phoning our airline while in Europe when the seats opened up a few days before our scheduled departure. Award seat availability changes often depending on loads, so go ahead and book your trip. You may get lucky for your return trip.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 07:35 AM
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To mrwunrfl: I'm guessing that's Mr Wonderful?! Thanks. The RT first class flight sounds great but we don't want to spend that much on air We'd rather splurge on hotel and do cheap air. And actually, the United flight for $1000 each INCLUDES the trips from Honolulu to Hilo, Hilo to Maui and then Maui to San Francisco allowing that night layover, then SFCA to Baltimore. A very civilized flight.

BUT, I figured if we use the Delta pts for our Balt-Honolulu and then Maui to Balt, the inter island flights cost about $370 total (2 people x 2 flights), so the TOTAL trip would be $661 plus the $370. That's about $1030 for 2 RT to Hawaii flights WITH the 2 extra flights between islands. Not bad.

Guess we should just use these Delta pts after all... we'd save about $1000 over United's current deal and wouldn't have to use up a free Holiday Inn night at a hotel in SFCA.

Right?

Steve R
Silver Spring MD

Steve

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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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Stever, taking the FF flight back is not bad. I know you won't sleep like a baby on the overnight flight, but you get an extra day in Maui! Stay active that day, and make reservations well in advance for dinner at Mama's Fish House at 5 or 5:30 p.m. (It's right by the airport.) You'll depart in a cloud of happiness.
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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patg -you rock! great idea!!! I'll put Mama's on the list for the end credits to our trip.

As they say "who's ya mama?"

Steve R
Silver Spring MD
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Old Dec 6th, 2004, 02:59 PM
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Mama's fish house is right by the airport ???????
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