I’m kind of too excited to articulate myself very well, but I will give it a shot.  Let’s just say that Jared’s post at Online Travel Review earned him a permanent spot on my Christmas list.  Read the original post here and today’s follow-up here.  The comments section has extremely helpful information as well.  The short story is that due to a favorable currency exchange rate, a promotion for purchasing miles, and a partner relationship with Alaska Airlines, you can purchase $328 in miles on Icelandair and use them to fly first class round trip to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines.  Yes, this is real.  This is not a 4 to Hong Kong situation.  ;)

Million Mile Secrets now has a very helpful and detailed post here.  I see no reason to reinvent the wheel with screen shots when he has that covered, so I will just tell you what worked for me.

  • I searched for the 75,000 miles RT first class Super Saver award level at Alaska Airlines for the number of seats I needed.
  • I compared that with “A” availability on ExpertFlyer.com (free five day trials available).
  • I only looked for direct flights from the West Coast.  I will position myself from Houston to there.  Adding in the Seattle connection seems to be problematic, so I opted to not even attempt that.
  • I called Icelandair at 1-800- to verify they saw the same availability that I did before I spent any actual money.
  • I then hung-up and purchased the miles online (use a credit card with no foreign transaction fee).  You can transfer miles between accounts to save more, but I think the price I was getting is more than fair, so I didn’t do that extra step.
  • I called Icelandair back and gave them the airport codes where I wanted to fly to/from.  I gave them the dates, the number of people, and they guessed that I wanted first/business class.
  • They confirmed the availability and got the information for me and my tiny traveling companion.
  • I was charged $38.93 per person in taxes/fees and the 30,000 miles per person that I had previously purchased.
  • I got my confirmation number and was told the tickets will be ticket on Monday or Tuesday and will be emailed to me.

They were incredibly nice and helpful over the phone.  They knew what I wanted the second they answered (which took about 3-4 minutes).  Who knows how long this will last, but it is certainly working right now.  Oh my goodness.  Holy moley.  Happy Friday.  I heart Online Travel Review.  Aloha!

Posted by Mommy Points | 83 Comments

83 Responses to “I’m Booked for $328 in First to Hawaii!!”

  1. clayd333 says:

    Did you already have the Saga Club FF account set up? How did you get past the 10 day hold? Nothing better than an impulsive booking to Hawaii on a Friday after noon!

  2. Danny says:

    Congrats! was that for roundtrip?

  3. still no Icelandair account yet?!? I applied last nigh around 8 pm mountain time waiting…

  4. Maury says:

    You only bought tickets for you and your daughter? You are leaving from what city?

  5. Lindsay says:

    I too am IAH based. How are you planning on getting to your gateway city? Still trying to figure out if I should do this or just use united miles.

  6. RamKashyap says:

    I assume THE MAN is joining the party too. Aloha!

  7. mommypoints says:

    -They got rid of the 10 day hold earlier today. I got my account this morning. They emailed me the FF number within about 30 minutes.
    -That is the amount for roundtrip.
    -Just me and Little C. Husband has maxed out vacation days for next year already with what we have planned.
    -Leaving from SJC. Will worry later about positioning to there. Tons of options. Could do revenue ticket. Could use miles. Could use US Airways companion ticket. Likely use miles for C and rev for me, but time will tell.

  8. MillValleyMom says:

    @pointsandtravel, you should definitely try again. I wouldn’t call, I would just try to sign up online again. It’s not instant, but it only takes about 10 minutes. I opened two accounts this morning.

  9. Navy Guy says:

    Availability is about all full up. Cant find anything with expert flyer

  10. Angel says:

    It looks like they removed the option to buy points!!! Anyone else seeing the same thing as me?

  11. Robbyfly says:

    “I’m Booked for $328 in First to Hawaii!!”

    Uh, with all do respect, no you’re not. You’re booked from the west coast to Hawaii, but still will have to pay to get to the west coast.

    I’m finding that for anyone who isn’t already on the west coast, this deal is only “fair to middling.”

  12. John777 says:

    Doesn’t Alaska fly to Houston?

  13. InACents says:

    Congratulations! Hawaii is such a fantastic experience.

  14. Ucanflyfree2 says:

    Are you flying from Houston?
    Do you have to stay overnight at Seattle?
    Do they accept overnight in Seattle as 1 ticket?

  15. Tim says:

    Hawaii is the best with little kids. What island?

  16. Angel says:

    Nevermind, Chrome issue. IE is fine.

  17. Dave says:

    Has anyone had success booking from the East Coast? I have been told that EACH leg of the trip will cost 15,000 miles for first class. Therefore it would cost 60,000 miles for each of us with a total of four legs. I see that you have booked from Houston > Hawaii and when I look at those schedules, I see the same four legs. My question is, how do I take the 60,000 points I have purchased and turn it into a first-class trip from DC to Hawaii?

    • mommypoints says:

      Yes I still have to get to West Coast, but that isn’t an issue for us. You should factor that issue to determine if it is worth it for you. It was very worth it for us. ;)

  18. Joel says:

    @Dave Mommypoints has booked from the West Coast and is doing a positioning flight from Houston.

  19. Dave says:

    Thanks. I understand now – so from the East Coast, what would be my best use of 60,000 points? Hawaii seems out of the question. I suppose I need a 1-legged flight out of DCA or IAD. Does anyone have any suggestions? I think I jumped on this opportunity without reading all of the instructions. Oops. But should I regret it and attempt to get a refund or do you see any opportunities? Alaska Air offers daily nonstop service to Portland, Oregon. That may be an option.

  20. [...] Points shares her story of booking first class award tickets to Hawaii with this [...]

  21. Grant says:

    Im considering flying to alaska with my 50k + 10k points. Do u know what the fee is to change the flight days? How far in advanced do you need to book?

  22. Maury says:

    Isn’t cheaper just to book through Kris Flyer using Amex Points and booking Econ for 35k anywhere in the country to Hawaii?

  23. Steve says:

    I called and tried for direct sfo-pvd and they said US only, no Mexico.

  24. CDKing says:

    The website is not chrome friendly. IE worked fine. I signed up for the account last night and made the miles purchase a few min later. Unfortunately I bought before I had a trip in mind. Saver is hard to find but hopefully something will open up in time.

  25. joe says:

    Wait a second. You paid $325 to Hawaii, and you still have to position to SJC? This is NOT a hot deal. Assume you get a reasonable value to SJC — $200 per ticket (which is probably low), and then you are lookin at $525. It’s very common to see UA fare sales to Hawaii from Dallas in the $400-$500 range. Worried bout first class? You are a silver now right? The odds of getting upgraded to HNL good.

    you dont earn miles on this award ticket. Its a nice value for someone without status, or someone who can fly from an AS city. But not you. Sorry, horrible advice.

    • mommypoints says:

      @Joe, no deal is for everyone. This one works for me! I’m sure there are other ways to finagle into deals that are in the same realm, but this is when I want to go, and where I want to go. The positioning part is truly not a big deal to me, though certainly it is a better deal for those who don’t need a positioning flight. One credit card (that I applied for today) can take care of that. Also possible that I will find a routing that Icelandair will book that leaves from Houston (they wouldn’t do the SEA overnights). I just couldn’t today, but if they begin to be able to do that in the future we can just pay to change the ticket. Either way, not a huge deal. No one should book anything that isn’t a good deal for them, but I am happy with one credit card for positioning plus the flights we obtained today.

  26. sil says:

    Is there an expiration date you can use the ticket? Is it a RT for $338? Can I go from YVR or LAX to Hawaii lst class with the $328 ticket?

  27. Chris says:

    Found a few options to get to Maui, but would really like to get to the Big Island. I’m a geologist, so have to decide between seeing the active volcanics on the Big Island or the older ones on Maui.

  28. Karen says:

    Found some availability to OGG from MSP for dates that work for us. Now contemplating whether to take our toddler and newborn while I’m on maternity leave.

  29. Chris says:

    Darn. Of course you’ve got to pay GST in Canada. I could use one of my US cards, but then I’d just get hit with a foreign transaction fee. Still a good deal.

  30. DaninSTL says:

    I can’t figure out if this is do’able. The saver fares I’m seeing are overnights in SEA. From comments I’m seeing they won’t book that from the Midwest? I wish I could use the miles to go to Europe but the miles to go business or first are too high for that. Maybe to Iceland in coach? That might be a harder sell to the wife. Gee honey I couldn’t get the tickets to Hawaii in June in First Class so we are going to Iceland in January in Coach instead :)
    Oh and so far I haven’t had any trouble with Chrome on the site. Could be a plug-in or cookie issue for some.

  31. AKTCHI says:

    So which Island did you decide to visit? Or, is that the 3rd rail Hawaii travel discussions? :)

  32. Loren says:

    Just bought 50k and going to test my luck booking tickets from the east coast (DCA/Dulles). I got an email confirming my account setup, but my SO, who I need to transfer to miles to for the 10k bonus, hasn’t gotten her confirmation yet.

    Anyone have any tips for making this work out of DCA / Dulles?

  33. ItchyFlier says:

    I still have not received my account confirmation for the icelandair website. its been about 18 hours. anyone else still waiting?

  34. Nancy says:

    MP! Thank you so much for the work you do!!

    We have three tickets booked:
    3/6/12 – SAN to OGG
    3/15/12 – KOA to SJC

    Thought we would get in a couple islands while we are there! We are flying from the midwest and will also need to get positioning flights! Well worth it for us!

  35. Loren says:

    The Icelandair call center is getting hammered. At this point reps there are just repeating “There’s no availability” without even checking the dates. Seems every flight they have access to for Hawaii has already been booked…

    Anyone have luck getting a ticket through this morning?

  36. DaninSTL says:

    OK this is all tempting but Hawaii seems tough even from the west coast now. I was just looking and it seems that these miles will transfer through points.com. Most of the partners there are not great but US Airways 50,000 Icelandair Saga miles are worth 29,651 US Air Dividend miles. So that’s not shabby for $328’ish. It’s even cheaper that the current bonus buy from US Air. It’s not Hawaii in First but might be worth the buy. Say you max out the 100,000 miles and trade them for US Air miles that’s almost 60k which is a RT to Europe off peak in First for about $650’ish plus fees. Just seems a little more solid to me. Now if I could just buy some Sudan Air miles and use them to Hawaii :)

  37. DaninSTL says:

    Scratch the math on my last comment. I’m off on that. It works out to about the same as just buying the miles from US air with the current bonus for some folks. Sorry :(
    Good thought though.

  38. mommypoints says:

    @Dan, love the thought though!
    @Loren, that stinks. That is how yesterday morning started as well. Hopefully everyone remains patient with them and they get up to speed today as well. Obviously it helps to give them specific flights that you have already found availability on.
    @Anyone interested, we are going to Kauai!

  39. Babs says:

    Hmnnn. Will this work for an Alaska airlines flight to cabo San Lucas from the west coast?

  40. joe says:

    now ppl are buying saga miles on spec with the hope and dream of finding AS award space to hawaii? LOL, this is getting ridiculous.

    ah, the saga continues. to ppl doin this — ask yourself, are any real bloggers doing this? nope. think bout it.

    • mommypoints says:

      @Babs, I believe they fly into SJD that is about 30 miles from Cabo San Lucas. If there is availability you should be able to use that route, if you wish!
      @Joe, the majority of the blogs I read have talked about this deal in the last 24 hours. Not sure exactly who you are referring to, but like I said earlier, if you don’t like the deal, just don’t book it and move on. No need to rain on other’s excitement. ;) I do not recommend buying miles if you aren’t sure how you are going to use them, but finding award space to Hawaii isn’t a dream. I did it yesterday. Folks are still doing it today.

  41. Justin says:

    Just booked 2 for OAK –> OGG for February!

    Thanks for your posts on this!

  42. joe says:

    covering a story and buying-in are different. show me a real blogger who bought in. mms don’t count.

    • mommypoints says:

      Joe, they are writing about it because it is a good deal, not because it is a bad deal. I know of more than just MMS that either bought in or are strongly considering it, but also keep in mind that many of these bloggers on are on the East Coast. It is a much tougher deal for folks there. Either way, even a good deal isn’t for everyone. This one clearly isn’t for you. No big deal. ;)

  43. joe says:

    you miss da point. its a good deal if you live in an AS city. if you have to pay much to position, it is not. the real bloggers tell theyre readers this. but you tell them to HURRY BOOK IT. if you cared bout helpin ppl, youd put some more thuoght inta this.

    amateur hour in the miles and points game right here. LOL.

    • mommypoints says:

      Joe, clearly it is a better deal if you don’t have to position. However, for some it is still a good deal with positioning – including for me. People have to determine that value themselves, as it will vary from person to person. Pretty sure I didn’t hide any of that, nor did anyone else. Joe, if this post or this site isn’t helpful for you, I encourage you to look elsewhere for updates. Now back to miles, points, and a great Saturday afternoon.

  44. Zac says:

    Does anyone know if we can use our avios points to use for this deal?

  45. Tim says:

    Good choice on Kauai. I’m assuming you’re staying at the Hyatt? Say hi to Josh (@GrandHyattKauai) on Twitter/Facebook, it’s well worth your time. And if you’re using points, it’s important to know that the hotel regularly goes for $150-$180 on Priceline, so you only get ~1cpm.

  46. Tim says:

    Also, you broke DOT regulations by not disclosing all taxes and fuel surcharges in your post title. I’m filing a complaint! ;-)
    I agree with Joe that this isn’t a great deal unless you’re in an Alaska Air city, but give it a rest. I think you just need to accept that we’ve lost MommyPoints to the elite/first class bloggers.

  47. Mommy Points says:

    Tim, thx for the Hyatt advice!

  48. Mommy Points says:

    Zac, you could possibly use Avios to get to AS city, but not for the actual deal.

  49. Maury says:

    MP: What dates are you going to Kaui? I have a 3 and 8 year old girls that would love to play with Little C in Hawaii.

  50. joe says:

    haha tim, so she’s become what she mocked. i think a few folk on this deal will have buyers remorse soon. or maybe when they see what domestic f looks like, lol.

  51. Loren says:

    Been working on this for hours an no luck. I can’t find -ANY- availability for the transcontinental leg from DCA (or BOS / JFK / ORD / ATL as alts). Anyone find a way to get cross country on this booking yet?

    As an alternate I have both Alaska Airlines $99 comp tickets (pre new first class rules) and American Airlines comp certificates (no class restrictions) I could use to position, but that would drive the cost up.

    At this point I’d be happy with any 7 days together. Any suggestions for us non-left coasters trying to make this happen?

    • mommypoints says:

      @Loren, I don’t have a great suggestion – that is why I ended up having to just get positioning flights myself – which may or may not be worth it to others. The killer for me from IAH was the overnight in SEA that Icelandair can’t seem to book. I have read about some ORD or BOS success stories, so perhaps concentrate your efforts on those, assuming you could get to those airports in a reasonable fashion. Good luck!!!

  52. joe says:

    Loren — use your $99 comb tickets to go all the way to the island. possbily a better deal. dont be fooled

  53. ikonos says:

    @mommypoints Make sure you drive to the north side of Kauai. If you have some SPG points, I recommend staying at St. Regis Princeville. I was there last thanksgiving and it completely changed my expectation of high end hotels and I compare every hotel to it now. :)

    AS usually have excellent availability to HI islands from SEA, PDX and BLI. You can actually find the availability on AS website itself by searching calendar view. It is a killer deal even if you go in Coach and AS first class is quite decent, just don’t expect it will be like a TPAC/TATL first/business class. I will be pulling the deal as well even though I currently don’t have specific dates for a trip. Coach fares from westcoast on AS are typically $300+ and usually around $400.

  54. Roger says:

    I think you’re being a little too gracious to keep responding to the “Joe” fellow. There’s no need for anyone on here to be a hater. If someone consistently doesn’t like the blog, they should go elsewhere.

  55. Loren says:

    Everything finally worked for me – found a solid transcontinental positioning flight so I could avoid the problem with multi-leg / overnight bookings and will pay the change fee if they ever get it fixed. Looks like they might have changed some of the flight numbers overnight just to give everyone a heads up.

    This is definitely a more complicated deal than most – especially with low availability, unfamiliar (but extremely gracious) staff, and non-direct booking hiccups. All that said, I’m headed to Maui with the SO in first!!!

  56. AndrewC says:

    I booked flights from OAK – OGG this morning for Spring Break 2013, though there’s only one A seat left for those flights.

    Yes, if you are not on the west coast, your cheap flights will involve an overnight stay and not be eligible. I’m coming from Houston, so I’m adding a flight to/from Oakland. I’m planning to use Southwest miles w/ companion pass to make this very cheap for me.

    Not as good a deal as I could get if I was stationed in CA, but I’m still getting first class tickets to hawaii for less than coach, and redeeming domestic miles at a rate of >3cpm when I account for the companion pass.

  57. SB says:

    Has anyone been able to get an account with Iceland Air? I’ve tried three different family members, three different browsers at three different times of the day and even three different days. I’ve also emailed Iceland Air three different times for the manual registration and haven’t heard anything.

    Can someone, anyone, confirm that they had these initial troubles and then were able to get registered? And HOW HOW HOW did you do it?

  58. @SB It seems a bit random whether the registration goes through or not. You know it’s worked if you get an email confirmation within a couple hours. The first time I did it, it worked right away, then I had 3 unsuccessful tries (never got an email) Then I tried 24 hours later and it worked (got the email confirmation within 1 hour that time). Try with Firefox and / or Internet Explorer.

  59. ikonos says:

    @SB I had no problem creating an account last night using chrome browser. You might want to try with a different browser and clear your cache just in case.

  60. Oliver says:

    Even if you factor in a position flight. This is still a deal at 328+xx in first to hawaii provided you have no status…
    Bought my miles, going to get some flights for our inlaws. Looking into next june/july

  61. I’ve done all of this:
    “You may want to try with a different browser and clear your cache just in case.” and still no dice, been 3 days now, grrrrr.

  62. SB says:

    Thanks to all for the help, I’ve continued to try and get registered and nothing works. I clear my cache, try a different browser on a totally different CPU and still nothing.

    It sounds like some of you are registering the same information after it was unsuccessful the first time. Well when I try my info again it tells me the user already exists. So when I try to go log in it tells me the user doesn’t exist! lol

  63. MillValleyMom says:

    My first two (out of 4) tickets have been issued, and the taxes were billed to my Chase card this morning. I was charged about $130 for two tickets bringing my total ticket cost to around $345 per ticket. I’m still waiting on the final booking invoice for the remaining tickets.

    • Loren says:

      I’ve got two Icelandair emails in Icelandic confirming that I’ve been ticketed, but should we be expecting a ticketing email from Alaska Airlines as well?

  64. MillValleyMom says:

    @Loren my original e-mail from Icelandair (which was in English — unlike my confirmation e-mail I received from them today) has my AS reservation number at the bottom. I was able to pull up my reservation on the AS website and choose seats. The only thing that has changed today is that the miles were taken out of my Icelandair account, and the taxes were billed to my credit card. Seemingly, there have been no changes to the AS reservation.

    • Loren says:

      Found it. That was a weird place to put it – for anyone else looking it’s in the original booking confirmation (not ticketing) email – AS followed by the 6 letter code you’ll need to plug into the Alaska Airlines site.

  65. Grant Thomas says:

    I checked my CSP card this morning and the charge for the Iceland Air points went thru Points.com, so there is no foreign transaction fee.

    http://i50.tinypic.com/fo3n5.png

  66. Sice says:

    Have gotten error page when signing up yet it shows my email and username as in use now and will not let me log in. No email response from them yet, they must be getting slammed by this.

  67. iceair0928 says:

    Is this deal dead? I FINALLY received my Saga confirmation email.

  68. Matt says:

    Anyone have any issues with points taking awhile to post after purchase?

  69. Jordan says:

    Joe- What are you trying to accomplish by bashing on mommypoints for posting this deal and sharing her thoughts? She has made it perfectly clear what her thoughts on the deal are and that it isn’t for everyone.

  70. Sice says:

    Still no response from them!

  71. Elena G says:

    Don’t forget to use Groupon for really good deals while you are there in Hawaii :)Have fun!!!

    http://giddyforpoints.blogspot.com/2012/08/going-to-honolulu-use-groupon-for-50.html

  72. [...] I decided to position myself to the West Coast and fly from San Jose to Kauai on this deal.  The dates and location lined up well for me, so I am pretty excited about it.  With my daughter I really didn’t want to go from Houston to Seattle to Hawaii all in the same day anyway (though I might have sucked it up and done it had it been available).  Obviously getting to San Jose adds a cost in miles or dollars to my trip, but it is worth it to me.  However, I wanted to find a way for my friends in Texas to take advantage of this deal without having to get themselves to the West Coast first. [...]

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