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In the craziness of the summer it is easy to forget a few changes coming to miles and points programs this fall, but since I know many families are busy planning next year’s summer vacations I wanted to share one change that kicks in on September 1st that is absolutely worth a reminder.
On September 1st American Airlines will no longer permit you to redeem AAdvantage miles for travel on their partner Hawaiian Airlines between the continental United States and Hawaii. You will still be able to use them to connect between Hawaiian Islands on AAdvantage awards, but you won’t be able to use them for the long over-water segment to get to Hawaii from the US.
This is a bummer because their availability historically was decent on many routes, and you could actually book these awards on the American Airlines website (unlike many of American’s other partners). You could also do as I showed below and have one segment of your award on Hawaiian and the other on American or similar in order to get the availability you wanted.
You will still be able to use American Airlines miles to fly to Hawaii on American, US Airways, and Alaska operated flights, but losing Hawaiian as an option between the US mainland and Hawaii is a real blow – especially when you are booking for a whole family and need as many options as possible.
Here is a post on airline award options to Hawaii if you want a more complete view of options.
You can currently book AAdvantage awards through the middle of July 2016. After September 1, you will continue to be able to use your AAdvantage miles for Hawaiian operated flights between the Hawaiian islands and also on to places like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Tahiti from Hawaii, but not from the US mainland to Hawaii.
If you want to fly on Hawaiian Airlines operated flights between the Continental US and Hawaii you can of course use Hawaiian Airlines miles with round trip prices starting at 40,000 miles or economy seats. You can also use Virgin Atlantic miles “starting” at 40,000 miles round trip or Virgin America miles starting at 20,000 miles round trip.