Advice on Best Rates for Flights to Honolulu

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by dwheaton, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. dwheaton

    dwheaton DIS Veteran

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    I'm thrilled that we found a decent deal and booked a Pool View Deluxe Studio at Aulani for my daughters' Spring Break next March. I don't think we can do better on the room rate, but I'm struggling to find airfare that's not super expensive from St. Louis. Any tips in general on finding the best deals on flights to Honolulu. I know that traveling on Spring Break limits our ability to find a good deal, but right now the prices are up over $1,000 a ticket. I'm looking for a way to even shave it down a few hundred dollars if possible.
     
  2. starry_solo

    starry_solo DIS Veteran

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    See what deals there are from LAX? And find a cheap flight from St. Louis to LAX?
     
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  4. ErinC

    ErinC DIS Veteran

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    If Southwest will hurry up and announce that would maybe help. Otherwise I would check Googleflights. I like how is shows the price for each day and mixes airlines to maybe get you the best deal.
     
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  5. spacecanada

    spacecanada DIS Veteran

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    I deal with airfare pricing daily, as part of my job. Book them at 11 months out, as soon as rates are released, or around 4-5 months out. If it's in peak travel season (summer, spring break, Christmas), the farther ahead the better. Typically, sale prices closer to your travel date will be similar to or even higher than the initial pricing at 11 months out.

    Flight pricing is a nightmare though. Really, they are the only industry that has such impossible/inconsistent pricing matrices.
     
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  6. pamelaj

    pamelaj Mouseketeer

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    You may want to consider getting an Alaska Airlines credit card. It comes with a companion pass to get your 2nd ticket either free + taxes or $99 + taxes, depending on what promotion you get. Either way, much better than $1000/ticket. We have used them for Hawaii before :)
     
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  7. dwheaton

    dwheaton DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone. In terms of flying to LAX first, it really doesn't save much - even with Southwest from STL to LAX. That's still like $200+, then it's another $250+ to get to HNL. Alaskan Airlines is tough because it has very few flights from STL. So you have like 26 hours of flying to get there. I'm probably just going to have to bite the bullet and then just look to save money in other ways I suspect. We may look into leaving a day earlier if we can move our hotel reservation. That seems to be at least a little cheaper $100 or so less. That's something when you're talking about 4 tickets.
     
  8. spacecanada

    spacecanada DIS Veteran

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    We also stay in a cheap(er) airport hotel the night we arrive, since we often arrive so late at night. Then, we pack up in the morning and get to Aulani as early as we can to enjoy a full day there. It may not save you much, but worth looking into.
     
  9. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    We've done this. Sometimes it requires an over-night in LA but even so still saved a bunch of $$$$
     
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  10. Kari Brawley

    Kari Brawley Earning My Ears

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    If you use Google flights and it mixes airlines, what happens with your luggage? Do you have to claim it then recheck it or will the airlines transfer them between themselves to get onto the correct flight? Thanks.
     
  11. spacecanada

    spacecanada DIS Veteran

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    It should be tagged to your destination, and arrive when you do. I would never fly on a multi-airline ticket if at all avoided... it's nearly impossible to make changes, or if one airline is late and you miss a connection you're on your own to get it sorted out since no airline is responsible to the other. If everything goes smoothly it's fine, but if something goes wrong, it's a terrible, terrible mess.
     
  12. Kari Brawley

    Kari Brawley Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much for your advise. I didn’t think it sounded like a good idea, but wasn’t sure how it worked.
     
  13. ErinC

    ErinC DIS Veteran

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    I should have been more clear in my explanation. When I was looking, I was looking at several surrounding airports. We live near several smaller airports, so not really good rates. I looked at flying Southwest to LAX, probably having an overnight stay, and then flying out the next morning on some other airline (because Southwest still hadn't announced anything). I totally agree with the other poster, I wouldn't mix airlines without a good bit of cushion time involved. I was buying 5 tickets, so every few hundred dollars is pretty major in my book. I still like Google flights as far as searching. I went ahead and bit the bullet about 5 months before our trip. I was hopeful Southwest would come through, but I couldn't wait any longer. I ended up with a "decent" rate for my flights considering they are during December holiday time. I booked at the closest airport to my house and as I have continued to check rates, they have not gotten any better for my dates. Best of luck to you!
     
  14. dwheaton

    dwheaton DIS Veteran

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    Thanks again everyone. What surprised me is that I'm not finding it much cheaper to fly Southwest to LAX or Phoenix and then look to fly to Hawaii. It's still like $200 one-way, which is too much to think about it too. I'm looking at $850-$950 for roundtrip airfare from American or Delta during Spring Break and doubting it will get much better. Does that seem about the best I'll likely do for airfare?
     
  15. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    We fly from the east coast so $1000 per ticket is about average to us. We fly from Buffalo to Atlanta to Honolulu. Not sure how far you are from Chicago but if its in driving distance, you might find some good fares direct from Chicago to Honolulu.

    We can often find good rates direct from Toronto to Honolulu, but we have to contend with a 2 hour drive, border crossing, and sometimes hotel stays before/after the trip. So the savings have to really be significant for us to do that.
     
  16. pharmama

    pharmama DIS Veteran

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    I was also going to suggest considering Chicago. What if you did STL-LAX or STL-SFO late in the day (which puts budget airlines like Southwest or Frontier in play...), did one night in an airport area hotel then LAX/SFO-HNL the next morning? What are your actual dates at Aulani?

    We did stay at a hotel for one night before going to Aulani because Saturday flights were cheaper than Sunday for us. My understanding from the boards is the hotels around HNL are not all that great so we did Waikiki. It also gave us a good chance to see Waikiki a bit and even hit Hanauma Bay and Pearl Harbor the next morning before going to Aulani which saved us from taking Aulani time for these excursions (and driving into Honolulu). See my trip report (Aulani Trip Report October 2018) for more info.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  17. dwheaton

    dwheaton DIS Veteran

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    Chicago is about 4-5 hours by car, and while I would do it with just my wife, doing that drive with our two girls at the start would probably be too much. I have priced out the flights to LAX, SFO, and Seattle, and while that might be good to avoid a super long day, it doesn't save that much. The best I could find going that route was like a $410 total, and that's only slightly below what one way is as part of the round-trip. So I'm going to keep digging a bit, but probably won't wait too long.

    For our actual dates, we have 3/15 to 3/22 booked. I'm considering trying to see if we can move to 3/14 to 3/21 because the flights are cheaper, but we'd have to take the girls out of school for a day. So we'll see on that front.
     
  18. dwheaton

    dwheaton DIS Veteran

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    Thanks again to everyone for helping. I'm just passing along an update. I've been tracking flight prices for the past few weeks, and they kept getting higher. I did check with Disney, and we could shift our reservation back a day and still get the same discount. Yesterday, Google Flights sent me an alert that rates for 3/14 to 3/21 had gone down a lot. I jumped on it yet still missed the best rate ($760). Still, I got $823 per ticket, which is a lot but a lot better than what I was seeing. So I'll take it. Now I can start getting excited about Aulani.
     
  19. Jamesmom7

    Jamesmom7 Earning My Ears

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    Okay good places to check for a stop over is San Francisco, lax, Las Vegas, Seattle, and I’ll come back if I think of more. I’d say best day to book a flight is likely on a Tuesday. I’ve seen flights out of Dallas as low as 320 but with a layover. It’s kind of a hobby of mine to watch flight prices. I use google flights.
     
  20. GeneralTso

    GeneralTso DIS Veteran

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    Oh boy, I feel your pain. Airfare to Hawaii is so expensive, especially from east coast. We are on the west coast and it gets crazy here too. I hope you find a cheaper fare. These Hawaii fares are the same as flying to Europe! Even more in some cases.
     

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