The hits keep on coming with Hawaii airfares today. In response to our earlier post (See: Hawaii fare war: East coast from $350!, West from ~$300), reader Abe commented on a nice round trip United Business Class fare out of Ottawa, and by playing with Google Flights I came across others out of Montreal and Toronto. Some of these are so good that they might warrant a positioning flight one-way to Canada if you can travel with a carry-on only (so as to drop the last leg on the way home). While there are often good business class fares between Canada and Hawaii, they usually require 2 stops in each direction and recliner seats-only. However, Abe recognized that some of these cheap fares connection in New York, Chicago, and Houston to flights with fully flat beds on the long haul. The way back requires 2 stops on most itineraries but includes a flat-bed flight to Los Angeles in many cases. However, I have found 1-stop itineraries out of Toronto and Montreal that connect in either Chicago or Houston with flat beds on the long hauls both ways for around $1100 round trip. Greg recently created a resource page — Best options for first class awards to Hawaii — but some of these prices could work out to be even better deals, especially if you’re able to use points to pay.
Montreal to Hawaii in United Business Class: $1101 RT
This is the star of the show if you can find dates that work as it’s one-stop in both directions with flat beds both ways between Chicago and Honolulu. You’ll have to hunt a bit for dates, but there are some that work.
Toronto for $1117 in late February and March
If you’re Houston-based, you might be more interested in positioning to Toronto for a 1-stop itinerary in either direction that connects via flat beds between Houston and Hawaii both ways.
Ottawa to Honolulu in United Business Class: $1126 RT
As shown above, you’ll want to pick one of the flights that connects in either Newark or Chicago if you want the flat-bed seats. On the way back, you can get a lie-flat for part of the journey, like this one that includes a lie-flat from Honolulu to Los Angeles on the way home (which is $1126 round trip as shown above):
You could also connect in Denver on the way home, which buys you a little more time in the lie-flat overnight and connects back in Newark — useful if you’re New York-based and looking to just book one positioning flight to Ottawa to start (keep in mind you’ll have to travel carry-on only if you plan to skip the final leg). To answer the most common question: no, you can’t skip the first leg and start in Newark. Once you skip a leg, the airline will cancel the rest of your itinerary — so if you’re planning to skip one, make it at the end of your journey.
If you’re Chicago-based, you could also fly via Ottawa. I found fall dates as low as $1095 round trip that include flat beds from on the segments from Honolulu to San Francisco to Chicago on the way back — meaning that you’d just need a positioning flight to Ottawa and then once you get back to Chicago, it’s all flat-beds from there.
Unfortunately, I don’t see these prices available via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. I do see them available through Amex Travel, though the prices are a bit higher. Still, it could be a solid use of points if you have the Business Platinum card, since you would qualify for a 35% points rebate when booking business class. For example, the flight below would come to $1170 if I were logged in (Platinum card members do not pay the $10 Amex Travel booking fee).
In terms of points, that would be 111,800 Ultimate Rewards points round trip. After the 35% pay-with-points rebate for Business Platinum card holders, the net cost round trip would be 72,670 Membership Rewards points. While that’s a bit more than an award ticket if you were booking United flights with Singapore Krisflyer miles, you’re not beholden to saver availability and you will earn miles and elite credit on the flight. The fares I checked were P-class, which should earn 150% of mileage flown if credited to Air Canada’s Aeroplan (more than 16,000 redeemable miles earned on the round trip). You’ll want to double check the fare classes and earnings before you book.
These are some great deals for flat bed seats to Hawaii, which can be difficult to score as award tickets. While US-based readers will need to book a positioning flight to Canada in order to take advantage of these, they could still be worth the trouble if you’re looking to pick up some elite credit while flying to paradise in comfort.