Alaska Airlines Hawaii Deals

Alaska Speaks Up on Merger + Our Comparative Look at Mileage Rewards

As we ponder the possibilities of a combined Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines, we’ve learned more about what is being envisioned. That is exactly how Alaska plans to value the transfer of HawaiianMiles points post-merger.

This, as far as we can determine, was something not previously confirmed, neither at the press conference we attended that announced the merger nor via anything from the airline we could find online.

And it’s very good news. That led us to dig deeper into mileage rewards and became the basis of this follow-up article to our earlier article about what to do with your HawaiianMiles now.

Review: Hacking First Class to Hawaii On Alaska Airlines

“Our VP of Loyalty…said we wouldn’t devalue the currency [HawaiianMiles], which is intended to mean 1:1 exchange.”

Daniel Chun, Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President

Clearly, from the merger announcement press conference on, how these two loyalty systems would combine has been a major topic of interest. Last December, the airlines confirmed that while the programs would definitely merge, they did not know what the precise combination of them would look like going forward. We now have more insight.

Hawaiian Just Hinted Two Fleet Replacements And Much More

Comparing the price of award tickets on Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines.

To see what might change if the two airlines consolidate, we looked at what award tickets cost now. We did that to help readers evaluate whether to hold HawaiianMiles for the possibility of a merger or redeem them earlier in a complicated scenario.

Given that Alaska has confirmed a 1:1 ratio of Hawaiian points to Alaska points post-merger, that begs the next question: what does it cost to purchase comparable award tickets on the two airlines today? We went looking and found some interesting albeit inconclusive answers that begs visitors’ own personal research.

It is very hard to compare Pacific Northwest apples and Hawaii pineapples.

Award tickets have point requirements based not only on the route but also on availability on specific dates. However, we want to share some costs we found, having provided this caveat.

The point here is that you’ll need to check your own routes to see how points-based prices vary as of today. That could help in determining if you might be better off redeeming your HawaiianMiles now or waiting until later. Then, too, there is the “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush theory.”

The following examples, based on two people traveling together, along with your own research, should yield some helpful indication of whether it would be advantageous to book awards using HawaiianMiles now, before the soon-to-be-announced potential merger.

1. Seattle to Oahu, August 16-23: Hawaiian Airlines, 52,500. Alaska Airlines, 75,000.

2. Portland to Maui, August 16-23: Hawaiian Airlines, 52,500. Alaska Airlines, 40,000.

3. San Diego to Honolulu, August 16-23: Hawaiian Airlines 43,750, Alaska 35,000.

Checking costs on overlapping routes on Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines.

The routes we examined were those on which both airlines fly directly. There are twelve overlapping routes between the carriers. Six of these are to Honolulu, and the other six are to Maui. Both airlines operate these flights from Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle.

Alaska has over 30 airline global partners; Hawaiian has five.

This is another important consideration if you want to save your HawaiianMiles in hopes of later using them to travel internationally when they become Alaska miles. We have benefited many times by converting Alaska miles to British Airways.

Good luck with your research. Please let us know what you find and the course of action you’re pursuing.

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14 thoughts on “Alaska Speaks Up on Merger + Our Comparative Look at Mileage Rewards”

  1. The “other” canary in the room and not mentioned…

    Where does Barclays Bank end up in all this?

    Will they sell the Hawaiian credit card program to Bank of America? I can’t imagine that AS will have two credit card partners, similar to American with it’s long-time relationship with Citibank and US Air and their relationship with Barclays.

    To this day, I American still splits it’s credit card portfolio between the two banks.

    Alaska will consolidate everything with Bank of America.

  2. Aloha.❤️🤙🤙
    This is Marissa R from Oregon, last year on September 24th my family and I was flying in Alaska Airlines in Portland to Seattle and then Honolulu, on September 27th, we fly in Hawaiian airline in Honolulu to Kailua-Kona, and on October 2nd, we ride in Alaska airlines in Kailua-Kona to Seattle to Portland.
    My family was looking me there to look at where Polynesian cultures and Native Hawaiians are and have fun times.😊😁😁

  3. I believe some airports have different runway taxes. Seattle’s rate is different from Portland pdx and Lax and San Diego are subject to California taxes. If your flight is a 2 stop flight you are taxed twice vs. a direct flight. Maybe that is why airlines charge different points for different locations. If Hawaiian Airlines goes chapter 11 they are freed from any debt so airline miles would be worthless. No Value. If the merger passes at least you get something. Something is always better than Nothing. A 1:1 deal would be a bonus. A 1 HA pt =..66or70/105 Alaska pt would be equal and anything less = irate HA customer.Something is always better than nothing. Good Luck.

  4. One annoying thing about the Alaska miles program is that they dont let you transfer miles from one person to another (miles accumulated by our young kids will be unusable for a loooong time). Whilst Hawaiian allows you to transfer miles balances so it makes total miles accumulated by the family easier to use.

  5. Over all, it looks like a good move to hang onto the miles, IF the merger takes place. In particular, I like the expanded ‘partners’ list that Alaska has, especially Brit Airways, as I like to fly them when going across the pond. Hope this all works out to everyone’s benefit in the end. Fingers crossed!

    1. I bookedt HNL to SFO on American Airlines. They put us on a codeshare Alaska plane
      We were surprised to be put in first class because we use our AA credit card useage level
      So the benefits expand further than just the merger with Hawaiian.

  6. If the concept of operating as two independent carriers really takes place, it would seem that miles earned on Hawaiian could continue to be used as they are now. The same for Alaska Air miles on Alaska. It should not be difficult for a bean counter to figure out a conversion rate (if needed) to concert HAL miles to use on Alaska or vice versa.

  7. The problem with Alaska is all their flights to and from Hawaii are on the 737 MAX. That’s a big nope for most of the general flying public

    1. Mike, I prefer the 737 Max instead of Hawaiian Airbus 321.
      I wonder what your “general flying public” prefer?

  8. If in fact Alaska raises the amount of miles necessary to fly to Hawaii via Hawaiian airlines, i will likely stop using my Hawaiian Air mastercard to get miles as they would be pointless. I could never attain 105,000 miles for a “free” trip. I already noticed that this year Hawaiian raised the amount of miles from the age old standard of 35000 cost for a trip. I would be so sorry to see Alaska gobble up Hawaiian and turn it into just another airline that cares only about profit and not the wonderful culture and community. I also don’t want to see Hawaiian air go bankrupt. quite a puzzle.

    1. As a long time Alaska Air customer, I assure you they care a lot about culture and community. They took part in so many community events when I lived in Seattle, and they celebrate many things on their flights as well. Additionally, they operated support flights from Oahu to Maui after the fire. I am fairly confident that they won’t squash anything about Hawaiian Airlines that makes them unique.

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