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Hawaii Guide Step 3 – Finding FlyingBlue Award Flights

Introduction

 

Finding Flyingblue award flights is the key to a great redemption to Hawaii. Recall from Step 2 that Hawaii is grouped with the Caribbean for Flyingblue. This allows you to get there round-trip for 30,000 Fyingblue points per person. These 30,000 Flyingblue points can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Although Flyingblue is the award program of AirFrance, you will fly on alliance partners. When finding FlyingBlue award flights you will actually be looking for flights on Delta or Alaskan.

90,000 Delta Skymiles or 30,000 FlyingBlue Miles

The most difficult part of travel hacking is finding the flights you will need. Because airlines release more award seats for their own programs than for partners, you have to look on partner sites to see what has been released. Knowing how and where to look can be the difference between spending up to 90,000 miles versus 30,000 miles. This is why diversifying points provides huge benefits! Just because you fly with Delta doesn’t mean Delta points are actually the most valuable for their flights.

Finding Delta Availability with AirFrance

 

Recall that Delta releases more availability in its own reward program than to its partners. If you went to Delta’s website and see award availability, it doesn’t mean you will be able to book the same award seat with a partner. Finding FlyingBlue award flights that can be booked for delta can be found using the AirFrance website.

You will need an AirFrance/FlyingBlue account, so set one up on their website first. Remember don’t transfer your Chase points to FlyingBlue until you are ready to book! From AirFrance’s home page, select the menu option to “Purchase a Ticket.” Select “Use Your Miles.” You need to be signed in, so if you aren’t go ahead and sign in. AirFrance uses a PIN instead of a password. This is where a password manager like LastPass is beneficial. It will allow you to store varying passwords in a secure location.

Search one-way to find better availability

On the search page, search one-way. You want to search one way because if award availability isn’t available both ways it won’t show you any at all. Searching one-way lets you build your award itinerary one leg at a time. Be sure to select “You are looking for a flight around these dates.” When you are trying to find FlyingBlue award flights, or any award flights, remember that flexibility is key. You will want to search into Honolulu. Even though this guide has you staying on Kauai, flights from Honolulu to Kauai are generally $100-$150 round trip. Comparatively, you will need to spend an extra 25,000 points to book directly to Kauai on Delta. These points have a cash value of $250, so it makes more sense to spend cash for these.

Flying economy is good for beginners to not have to get many points

Select the amount of passengers, and make sure economy is selected. If you want to fly business or premium economy, you will need more points. While I love using points to fly in a higher class for cheap, this guide is meant to be for beginners. You will need many more points, and more cards which makes it harder for beginners. For now, book economy. Once you get a better grasp on travel hacking, enjoy the upper class flights!

Finding FlyingBlue Award flights can get you great value at 15,000 points one way

You will see a calendar with a variety of dates. You may have to modify your search for a different date if you can’t find any availability on the dates you first searched. You should have no trouble finding FlyingBlue award flights if you remain flexible.

Select the outbound date that you want. Keep in mind that if you are able to find outbound availability at 15,000 there is a better chance you find inbound at 15,000 as well. In the example above, you would have a better chance of finding options for an inbound flight if you leave on Tuesday, August 29th instead of Tuesday, September 12th.

Select which flight best fits your itinerary

After selecting the outbound date you would like, you get redirected to this page where you can select which flight you want. Pay attention to the points cost – not all flights cost the same amount of points. Some may have a more desirable departure time than others, but being flexible will get you there just as easily but for many less points. On the date I selected above, there were 3 options for 15,000 miles. All arrived at approximately the same time in the mid-afternoon. You may be departing early, but you will be arriving just in time for your hotel check in!

You won’t be booking just yet! Make a note of the flight numbers and the date. On the left, next to the times you will find the flight numbers. The ones in this example are “DL4577” and “DL2563.” Write these down. You will need them if you have to call in to book.

If you want to check for inbound flights you can do this same process again. If everything works out where you can get your inbound and outbound flight on the exact days you want then great! You can transfer your points from Chase and book directly online. Just run the search as a round trip and select the same dates and flights again. You won’t have to pick up the phone.

 

Finding Alaskan Awards with American

If you’re unable to find the good flights with Delta via AirFrance you can use American Airlines to search for availability on Alaskan. Alaskan availability isn’t available to search on AirFrance’s website, but it is on American’s website. Booking Alaskan flights requires calling in to AirFrance, so be sure to write down the date and flight numbers.

Click "Book with Miles" on American's website to find Alaskan award availability

On American’s homepage, you again do a one-way search. Just click “Book with miles” to find availability. Enter your starting and final destination, along with number of passengers and click search.

Select Economy MileSAAver to see Alaskan availability to partners

Select the “Economy MileSAAver” option. This is where you can find availability on Alaskan airlines that can be booked via AirFrance for 15,000 points one way. Again, you will need the flight number in order to book. To get the flight number, select the date you wish to fly and click continue.

Select the date to see the available Alaskan flight options

On the next page, you will see different options. Pick the one that best suits you. “AS” is the code for Alaskan. If you want to filter for Alaskan only, you can use the “airlines” option on the left and leave only Alaskan checked, or just look for AS. When you find the times that you like, click the “+ Flight Details.” Make note of the date and flight number (in the option selected, the flight numbers are AS 894, and AS 776).

Again, you may have to be flexible. Note these flights arrive the following day. But generally the layover is fairly minimal. It is primarily due to time zone differences and late departures. What this means is you don’t have to be rushed leaving your Hawaii vacation and may get an extra day of rest when you get home.

Booking with AirFrance/FlyingBlue

After you have put in the time finding FlyingBlue award flights on Delta and Alaskan you will now have to book with FlyingBlue. I would recommend having a few different itineraries, just to be sure that your flights can be found.

If both of your flights were available on Delta when you searched on the AirFrance website, then you can book them on the AirFrance website directly. Just skip to Step B below to transfer your Chase points. If you are going to call, have the Chase Ultimate Rewards website up and ready to transfer. The transfer is instant, so you won’t need to go off the phone.

AirFrance notoriously has one of the most difficult to deal with phone booking services. But, considering how many points you are saving by using FlyingBlue it is worth the short hassle. If you don’t want to deal with them, I gladly will do it for you. Just contact me using my contact form and, for a small fee, I’m happy to do the booking for you. Send me an email via the contact form for more information. Below I provide all the information if you want to do it yourself!

Call to Book The Flights

You will need to call AirFrance to confirm availability of the award flights. Have your FlyingBlue account number ready and call 1-800-237-2747. Since you are booking an award flight, let them know you are calling to verify availability for award flights using FlyingBlue points. You will be transferred to a FlyingBlue representative.

Tell the representative that you want to check availability for certain flights and that you have the date and flight numbers. When prompted, give them the dates and flight numbers and they will confirm availability.

Your representative will likely tell you there is a fee to book over the phone, but these fees are waived for flights that cannot be booked online. Since Alaskan flights cannot be booked online, the phone booking fees will be waived. The other fees ($5.60) that you saw on the FlyingBlue website will still be incurred, per leg of the flight.

After confirming availability, the representative will likely tell you that you do not have enough points to book the flight. Inform them that you need to transfer points and that you wanted to confirm availability first. Let them know you will transfer them now and that it should be instant. Navigate to your Chase Ultimate Rewards that you had set up, ready to transfer, and transfer the amount of points you need over to FlyingBlue. Let the representative know you have transferred the points. They may need to refresh your account to see them, but they should be there.

If for some reason your points do not transfer immediately, politely ask if they can put a 24 hour hold on the tickets. AirFrance and FlyingBlue will not officially do this as a policy, but a nice representative has the ability and may do it for you. Just call back within 24 hours after your points have transferred and complete the booking process.

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to FlyingBlue

Transferring your points from Chase is very easy. Just navigate to your Ultimate Rewards site. Select the option to “Transfer to Partners.” If you’ve already linked your FlyingBlue account, great! If not it is easy, you will just need to enter some basic information, along with your account number. Then be prepared to transfer 30,000 points per person that is going on the trip! After you have confirmed your flight, click to confirm the transfer and it will be instantaneous. You can even do it while on the phone so you can continue to complete your booking!

Book Your Flight!

To complete your booking you will need to go ahead and pay the fee. If you are on the phone, you will be prompted for your credit card number. I highly recommend using a card with travel insurance for this, as it will allow you to use it if needed. You can use your Chase Sapphire Preferred which provides you with lost luggage insurance, baggage delay insurance, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If booking online, you also have to pay these fees. Just go through the check-out process as you normally would.

After booking, you should receive a confirmation email within a week. You can view the reservation online immediately. Rest assured, your flight is reserved!

Booking Honolulu to Kauai

The last leg of the flight is from Honolulu to Kauai. I actually do not recommend doing this with points for a few reasons. Primarily, it is a relatively inexpensive flight. Getting directly to Kauai on points incurs a large surplus of points that nearly doubles points cost. Per person this flight can be found for $100-$150. If you want to, this can be booked using a Barclays Arrival+ and using your points to erase the travel charge. Or if you received the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your $300 travel credit can be used for this flight so you don’t pay any cash.

Without a travel card that can erase this charge, it does make the trip a bit more than $11.20 per person, but the value of your points is more than the cost of this flight. If you truly wanted it for free, you would be best off to use the chase portal to book the flight for 8,000 points (if you have the Sapphire Reserve it would be approximately 7,000 points).

Looking Forward

Congratulations! If you have followed this guide to finding FlyingBlue award flights, along with the guides before you have now booked your first award redemption! Your flights to Hawaii! All that is left is to book your hotel room.

Starting with the flights is key because flight availability is harder to get than hotel rooms. Booking hotel rooms with award points is relatively easy. For flights, you have to sometimes use websites other than the airline you are booking on to be sure availability has been released to partners. You often have to be flexible with your dates to find flights, less so with hotels. And just because you may not get the exact dates you want doesn’t mean award travel is out of reach. Utilize alliances and partnerships to find other airlines to fly on to get you your dream trip!

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