Delta Flash Sale: Reduced Priced Awards to Hawaii and How You’re Getting Hosed

Delta is running an award redemption flash sale to Hawaii.

They’re advertising it as ‘from’ 35,000 miles roundtrip in economy, but that’s very limited routes like Seattle – Lihue, and in many ways this sale just underscores how bad a deal regular SkyMiles is.

You must purchase by April 12 for travel August 14 – November 14. And the ‘sale price’ for Atlanta – Honolulu is 75,000 miles roundtrip in coach. And even at that price there are travel blackout dates:

Between Honolulu, HI (HNL) and Seattle, WA (SEA): August 14 – 19, 2018
Between Honolulu, HI (HNL) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX): August 17 – 21, 2018
Between Honolulu, HI (HNL) and Minneapolis, MN (MSP): August 16 – 20, 2018
Between Honolulu, HI (HNL) and Salt Lake City, UT (SLC): August 14 – 21; October 1 – 6; October 20 – 24, 2018
Between Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and Honolulu, HI (HNL): October 8 – 18, 2018
Between Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and Kahului, HI (OGG): October 12 – 17, 2018
Between Kahului, HI (OGG) and Los Angeles, CA (LAX): August 14 – 28; August 31 – September 5; September 21 – 25; October 5 – 9, 2018
Between Seattle, WA (SEA) and Honolulu, HI (HNL): October 2 – 18, 2018
Between Seattle, WA (SEA) and Kona, HI (KOA): October 4 – 14, 2018
Between Seattle, WA (SEA) and Kahului, HI (OGG): October 1 – 21, 2018
Between Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and Honolulu, HI (HNL): August 29 – September 6; September 14 – 20; September 29 – October 25; October 30 – November 4, 2018
Between Atlanta, GA (ATL) and Honolulu, HI (HNL): October 10 – 18, 2018
Between Honolulu, HI (HNL) and Atlanta, GA (ATL): August 15 – 19, 2018


Andaz Maui

Delta still has an award chart even if they don’t always price itineraries ‘properly’ and the last anyone noticed coach was normally 45,000 miles roundtrip and first class 80,000 miles roundtrip (this sale doesn’t apply to the premium cabin).

Here are their sample routes:

FROM TO Coach Extra Legroom
Atlanta, GA (ATL) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 75,000 miles 99,000 miles
Minneapolis, MN (MSP) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 51,000 miles 60,000 miles
Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 51,000 miles 60,000 miles
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 41,000 miles 57,000 miles
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Kahului (Maui), HI (OGG) 41,000 miles 57,000 miles
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Kona, HI (KOA) 48,000 miles 56,000 miles
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Lihue, HI (LIH) 48,000 miles 56,000 miles
Seattle, WA (SEA) Honolulu, HI (HNL) 46,000 miles 60,000 miles
Seattle, WA (SEA) Kahului (Maui), HI (OGG) 45,000 miles 60,000 miles
Seattle, WA (SEA) Kona, HI (KOA) 35,000 miles 45,000 miles
Seattle, WA (SEA) Lihue, HI (LIH) 35,000 miles 44,000 miles

Sometimes with these sales actual prices will be lower. Even so you can fly to Hawaii for the same or fewer miles every day no sale required.

Take for instance Singapore Airlines which is a United partner. You can use Singapore’s KrisFlyer miles to fly United to Hawaii. They charge 35,000 miles roundtrip as their regular price. (First class redemptions cost 60,000 roundtrip.)

You can transfer Chase (or Citi or American Express) points to Singapore, though the transfers aren’t instant, they usually take 12-48 hours.

However if you’re using Chase points you can fly to Hawaii for even fewer miles that that because Chase points transfer to Korean.

  • Korean Air’s US-Hawaii awards cost 30,000 miles roundtrip in coach and 60,000 miles in first class on Alaska Airlines. They allow a stopover on the award as well.
  • Korean Air’s US-Hawaii awards cost 30,000 miles roundtrip in coach and 60,000 miles in first class on Hawaiian Airlines.Unlike with Korean Air awards for travel on Alaska, these awards do not include connecting flights, which are charged at extra mileage. So New York JFK – Honolulu – Maui – Honolulu – New York JFK would be 40,000 miles roundtrip in coach (since Honolulu – Maui is 10,000 miles roundtrip in coach and the pricing is additive).


Hyatt Regency Maui

And if you’re on the West Coast of the US transfer Chase or American Express points to British Airways and their cost is 25,000 points roundtrip on either American Airlines or Alaska.

But before you redeem miles to Hawaii consider that:

  • Several times a year you’ll see Hawaii on sale, under $600 from the East Coast and perhaps even under $300 from the West Coast – keep your eye on TheFlightDeal.com
  • Alaska Airlines has a $99 + tax companion ticket that comes with their Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa. It’s good for any Alaska Airlines flights, and offers last seat availability in economy. So one paid ticket, the second one a little over $100.

Indeed, even Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air let you redeem Delta flights for fewer miles than Delta does.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. What delta inventory do partner airlines have access to given that there is no “lowest tier?”
    Thanks

  2. Thnx for clarifying and reporting this. I was disappointed that this sale wasn’t really a sale (especially from ATL where the sale price is higher than the regular price). Truth in advertising would seem to require them to say it was a sale from just places like Seattle.

    FYI Delta did have a real sale to Hawaii several months ago with prices from ATL at 35k.

    Delta is such good company by so many measures and I’m an admitted fan (they do incredible community work in their various hub towns and their operations are strong). However, SkyMiles in general hurts their reputation and sneaky ad campaigns like this add to that damage.

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