Hawaiian Airlines’ Negative Award Chart Changes

Filed Under: Awards, Hawaiian

Well, the trend of airlines making their frequent flyer programs significantly less compelling continues. This time it’s HawaiianMiles making changes to their program, and they’re doing so without any sort of advance notice or announcement.

Essentially HawaiianMiles is moving more closely to dynamic award pricing, though unlike United MileagePlus, they’re maintaining an award chart.

Here’s the new HawaiianMiles award chart, which applies effective immediately (pricing is one-way):

For one, Hawaiian is now breaking up the “lower 48” into two zones, with separate zones for the East Coast and West Coast. I guess that makes sense, given that they’ve added flights to New York and Boston, which are among the longest domestic flights in the US.

However, the much bigger deal here is that Hawaiian Airlines is introducing hugely variable award pricing. For example, the cost of a one-way economy ticket between Hawaii and the West Coast now ranges from 20,000 to 90,000 miles. That’s a massive range.

As a point of comparison, here’s part of Hawaiian’s previous award chart, which has now disappeared in thin air:

As you can see, previously a one-way award between Hawaii and the lower 48 would cost anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 miles. That means they’re increasing the upper range of award costs by 50,000 miles in each direction.

Some of these award prices are just downright crazy. For example, a roundtrip economy ticket from the West Coast To Tahiti could cost you 390,000 miles, while a roundtrip economy ticket from the East Coast to Japan could cost you 540,000 miles.

Bottom line

It’s disappointing to see HawaiianMiles make these changes, and in particular to do so without any sort of advance notice or even an announcement. The good news is that saver award costs aren’t changing by that much, so for the most part it’s just the most expensive awards that are increasing in cost.

However, some of these changes are massive, and will see members redeeming a lot more miles on popular flights.

The other big question is how award availability will change with this new pricing strategy, though that’s something we’ll have to observe over time.

What do you make of Hawaiian’s award chart changes?

(Tip of the hat to Jeffsetter)

  1. Crazy that some of the main cabin high end ranges are more expensive than the highest first tickets!!!

  2. “A round trip economy ticket from the East Coast to Japan could cost you 540,000 miles.”

    Ok, but how many people are traveling from JFK and BOS through HNL on Hawaiian to Asia?

  3. I’ve been a HawaiianMiles member for many years and have seen this program do nothing but deteriorate for the customer; it reminds me of the book/movie, “Catch-22” insofar as the minute you get close to the mileage needed for a free ticket, they raise the the amount.

  4. East Coast-Hawaii awards in first have been pricing out at 130k for months now, at least since late last year. Got my BOS-HNL seats booked for 20k miles in economy (for a while, availability on that was wide open for as many seats as you want), but I never saw a single seat on a single date in months of looking, where the asking price for first was ever anything but 130k.

  5. 500k roundtrip in coach.
    Yep sounds like Delta SkyMiles to me.

    Can’t believe there are more airline managements out there dumb enough to think this is reasonable in 2019.

  6. Their availability in coach has always been terrible to the mainland, forcing you to redeem in first class if you wanted to fly. Hawaiian has a monopoly mentality, especially inter island. Let’s hope Southwestern will shake things up.

  7. Why not just abolish their program altogether and tell passengers they need to pay up in cash?Looks like it would be cheaper to do so.

  8. So the flight I looked at yesterday for 65000 is probably 130000 now? Great. Now I’ll never use the 68,000 miles I have there.

  9. Just as an FYI, the chart showing Hawaiian’s previous award points is not exactly accurate. I fly the HNL – JFK route often, and until recently, I could sometimes get the one-way coach super saver award for 17,500 points. I would then pay to upgrade to Economy Plus (Hawaiian has some of the EP seats in a separate cabin from Economy, just behind First Class). That would cost me about $140. For years, it was the best deal ever!

  10. Can you still redeem AA miles for HA flights? (I remember you could as long as it was not departing or arriving in the US) We had a great flight from AKL to HNL in F. Part of a larger RTW trip using a mix of AA miles and Avios.

  11. @Andy 11235 LOL. It happened to me once by mistake.

    I was an Hawai’ianMiles member from 2009-2012, while I lived on Oahu. During that time, HA had a really bad product. I just gave up and stopped flying HA.

  12. @jim, It appears that transferring from Hawaiian miles to Hilton has been devalued from 1:2 to 1:1.5.

  13. Unannounced award devaluations are uber fashionable nowadays. All the “cool” airlines are doing it. Especially DisAddvantage, which had priced it’s Anytime TATL OW FC awards at 140K for years. Then recently half of the dates in August, and everyday from late August thru late October, are now either 175K, or 215K. The later of which is a 50% increase over the previous ANYTIME rate. !

    If there was an announcement about that I sure missed it. Nor have I read about it on the Travel Blogs. Delta ending it’s award charts: terrible. Hawaiian switching to ‘dynamic pricing’: shame. But AA now pricing a FC TATL award as high as 215K miles: crickets.

    And yes, these are OW rates.

    We had to cut our annual Summer EU trip a day short this year. Leaving on Monday instead of Tuesday in August, and coming home a day after September 5th, was going to cost us an additional 220K miles over the 560K miles we are going to pay for 2 FC RT awards at the ‘old’ Anytime rate.

    VFTW has a post up about AA’s recent quarterly announcement. They lose money on flying passengers. They also lose money on flying cargo. They only make money by selling miles to banks. How long that can continue before most folks realize that they will never get enough miles for an aspirational award, due to the continual devaluations, is anybody’s guess.

  14. I have no idea what those 7 levels of classes are that are shown for mileage redemption,
    Main Cabin 1 for 20K, through Main Cabin 7 for 90K. I have no idea what the difference is. Internet shows that Hawaiian is introducing Basic Class, but the awards do not reflect what these categories mean. Basic won’t get an advance seat assignment, are non-refundable, etc.–BUT they give you food. I guess Main Cabin 1 is that Basic service? Again, I do not see it explained anywhere, the difference between Main Cabin 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, for the incrementing mileage awards (and I assume when we buy a ticket?),

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