The Best Ways to Fly to Hawaii on Points


Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations for North American travellers. This is not at all surprising, given that the group of islands has plenty to offer in terms of nature and beautiful accommodations. It also offers a relatively safe and familiar environment as part of the United States.

As a popular destination, there are many different route options and award redemptions that travellers can use to get from Canada and the United States to the islands, and it’s not always clear which is the best choice.

To help you sort through these options, this guide breaks down the best-value ways for you to redeem your miles or points for flights to the Aloha State.

Air Canada and United Airlines Through Aeroplan

Air Canada operates four routes to Hawaii, mostly through its West Coast hub in Vancouver (YVR).

At present, the carrier operates the following Hawaii routes:

  • Toronto (YYZ)–Honolulu (HNL)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Honolulu (HNL)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Kahului, Maui (OGG)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Kailua, Kona (KOA)

Among the four routes, only Vancouver–Honolulu is a year-round service; the rest are seasonal. However, as we’ll touch on below, Air Canada’s coverage is supplemented by United Airlines’ Hawaii flights, which are also redeemable through Aeroplan.

With Aeroplan, flights to Hawaii from Canada and the mainland US fall under the “Within North America” chart.

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In theory, an Air Canada flight between Toronto and Honolulu, falling under the 2,751+ miles distance band on the chart, should cost 17,500–25,000 points in economy and 35,000–70,000 points in business class.

Meanwhile, Air Canada flights from Vancouver to Hawaii should all fall within the 1,501–2,750 miles distance band, giving them a points range cost of 12,000–17,500 points in economy and 25,000–60,000 points in business class.

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In some cases, you can find flights within these ranges; however, as you search for these routes, you may see that award pricing sometimes greatly exceeds the upper limit of Air Canada’s dynamically priced points ranges, especially during popular travel seasons.

For instance, in past searches, we’ve seen Air Canada mixed-cabin awards going for as many as 170,000 points or more.

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An alternative to Aeroplan’s dynamic pricing on its Air Canada flights is to look for flights with partner airlines, which come with a fixed price, as shown in the partner airline band of the “Within North America” chart above.

For flights to Hawaii, you could consider flying with United Airlines either on its own or in conjunction with Air Canada. A one-way flight from Toronto to Honolulu via Newark, Chicago, or San Francisco prices out at 22,500 points in economy.

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In many cases, you’ll find lower-priced redemptions when Air Canada flights are booked in conjunction with United flights, too.

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Be forewarned, though – if you’re hoping to fly in a premium cabin, finding the rare business class awards on United through Aeroplan will require plenty of luck.

United Airlines Through United MileagePlus

Despite being notorious for dynamic pricing, United MileagePlus offers good-value Canada–US redemptions.

Using United miles, one good option you can redeem is United First between Los Angeles and Honolulu for around 50,000 miles. While most flights don’t feature the United Polaris product, you could still get a lie-flat seat on some aircraft.

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Another good-value option is for economy class awards from Toronto to Honolulu for as few as 16,000 miles or from Vancouver to Honolulu for as few as 10,000 miles.

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While there are good redemptions to be had through United MileagePlus, it’s somewhat difficult to earn United miles in Canada unless you’re into US credit cards.

To access this program and the above redemptions without collecting miles using a US credit card, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to United MileagePlus at a 3:1 ratio.

If you transfer 60,000 points, you’ll get a bonus of 10,000 miles with the Marriott Bonvoy and United Airlines RewardsPlus partnership, which boosts the effective transfer rate to 2:1.

You could also buy United miles (often offered with a bonus) at a rate of 1,000 miles for $35 (USD) plus tax; however, given that cash flights to Hawaii, especially in economy, are quite affordable, it will almost never be a good idea to buy points to redeem for flights to Hawaii.

WestJet Through WestJet Rewards

WestJet offers a number of routes from Western Canada to Hawaii, and award flights on these can be accessed through WestJet Rewards using WestJet dollars (WSD).

WestJet dollars are fairly easy to acquire since they can be earned by flying with WestJet, through spending on co-branded credit cards like the WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard, or by transferring RBC Avion points at a rate of 100 Avion points = 1 WestJet dollar.

If you already have a stash of WestJet dollars, you can get good value for them when redeeming for tickets to Hawaii.

WestJet operates the following routes to Hawaii, some of which are seasonal:

  • Calgary (YYC)–Honolulu (HNL)
  • Calgary (YYC)–Kahului, Maui (OGG)
  • Calgary (YYC)–Kailua, Kona (KOA)
  • Edmonton (YEG)–Honolulu (HNL)
  • Edmonton (YEG)–Kahului, Maui (OGG)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Honolulu (HNL)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Kahului, Maui (OGG)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Kailua, Kona (KOA)
  • Vancouver (YVR)–Lihue, Kauai (LIH)

If you live outside the cities above, you can always connect from other Canadian airports that are serviced by WestJet.

WestJet dollars offset the base fare component of tickets, so it’s in your best interest to look for the cheapest fares possible.

To find these cheap fares, you can use Google Flights to track prices and set up alerts, and you can also sign up for emails from WestJet to give you a heads up when there’s a sale.

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If you’re flexible enough with the dates you travel, you can find round-trip tickets between Vancouver and Honolulu for around $300.

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Unfortunately, WestJet dollars can’t be used to pay for the taxes and fees on the ticket. However, the airline doesn’t seem to be tacking on Other Air Transportation Charges or “Other ATC” on tickets to Hawaii, so you should be able to use your WestJet dollars to offset a substantial chunk of the total fare.

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When booking your WestJet flight, you’ll want to keep in mind that the lowest fares fall under the new UltraBasic class, which doesn’t include a carry-on bag and doesn’t allow for changes to the ticket.

Given this, you’ll probably want to select a higher fare bundle so that you can bring at least a carry-on. Alternatively, you can apply for the WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard. to receive a free checked bag for you and your party.

WestJet Through Delta SkyMiles

Thanks to the close partnership between WestJet and Delta Air Lines, another option for booking award flights with WestJet is through Delta SkyMiles.

Delta SkyMiles can be earned by converting from American Express Membership Rewards at a rate of 1 MR point = 0.75 SkyMiles.

With Delta SkyMiles, you can find a WestJet award flight from anywhere in Canada to Hawaii in economy class for a fixed price of 22,500 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees, which could be a solid deal if the cash price for the flights is high.

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Fortunately, you’ll often find multiple seats available for fixed prices during peak travel periods, which can make for a particularly compelling redemption in the absence of other options.

That said, you should always compare the cost in SkyMiles to the flight’s cost in cash, since WestJet offers frequent deals on flights to Hawaii. In the end, it might not make financial sense for you to use your SkyMiles, especially for economy tickets during low season.

Alaska Airlines Through Alaska Mileage Plan

Alaska Airlines focuses its service out of the US West Coast and offers multiple routes to the Hawaiian islands.

Thanks to the airline’s new Toronto–Seattle service which launched in May 2024, there are now new redemption opportunities available with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Utilizing the new route, you can now book a one-way economy flight from Toronto to Honolulu via Seattle for as few as 20,000 Alaska miles, while a seat in US First Class (domestic business class) costs 85,000 miles or more.

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Keep in mind the awards you’ll likely find are on narrowbody Boeing 737 aircraft, where First Class means recliner seats, which might not represent the best value to you.

In Canada, your only option for earning Alaska miles is to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Alaska miles. 

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines Through Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Another great way to access award flights to Hawaii is through Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

With a recent devaluation of American Airlines and Alaska Airlines awards through British Airways Executive Club, you’re better off booking these oneworld partners using Qatar Airways Avios instead of British Airways Avios.

While you can’t earn Qatar Airways Avios through credit cards in Canada, you can accumulate another “flavour” of the currency – British Airways Avios. You can transfer RBC Avion points and Amex Membership Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club at a rate of 1:1, or earn Avios directly with the RBC® British Airways Visa Infinite† card.

Thereafter, it’s fairly simple to transfer 1:1 between British Airways Avios and Qatar Airways Avios.

For most partner flights, Qatar Airways’s program uses fixed pricing on a distance-based formula that adds the cost of each segment individually. This means that a direct flight will cost fewer Avios than a multi-leg flight.

However, based on the searches we’ve done, Qatar Airways doesn’t seem to allow connecting flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines as of the moment. Therefore, if you’re travelling outside of an American Airlines or Alaska Airlines hub, you’ll need to book your award flights piecewise, or you can use positioning flights to also save some of your Avios.

Examples of awards to Hawaii you can book include the following:

  • Seattle to Honolulu in economy on Alaska Airlines for 13,000 Avios
  • Los Angeles to Honolulu in economy on American Airlines for 13,000 Avios
  • Phoenix to Honolulu in economy on American Airlines for 13,000 Avios

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Booking Flights Using Flexible Travel Points

As you may have already noticed, most of the redemptions we’ve shown above are in economy class. This reflects the reality of flying to Hawaii with miles or points – there are considerably more award seats offered in economy than in business class.

This is because airlines are flying narrowbody flights at a higher frequency from the North American mainland, and these flights have a lower supply of business class seats than widebody flights.

Out of the US, there seems to be a surplus of economy seats on flights to Hawaii, so when timed right, cash fares can be very affordable. Flights out of Los Angeles, for example, can go for as low as $150 (CAD) each way, despite the flight being around six hours long.

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Flights out of Canada are in shorter supply, but there are still deals to be had, especially if connecting through the US. For example, economy class flights from Toronto can be found for $600 (CAD) round-trip, which is pretty decent given that Hawaii is halfway across the Pacific Ocean.

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Given these juicy deals on cash fares, you might want to consider saving your airline points for higher-value redemptions and instead choosing to pay for your flight to Hawaii using cash or any flexible travel points you have on hand.

Examples of flexible travel points programs in Canada include Scene+ (Scotiabank), CIBC Aventura, TD Rewards, and BMO Rewards.

Flexible travel points can be used to offset travel purchases made on associated credit cards, giving you the flexibility to book cash fares on whatever airline you prefer and then using your accumulated points to get a credit back.

Credit Cards with Flexible Travel Points

Credit Card Best Offer Value

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

Up to 40,000 À la carte Rewards points

First Year Free

Up to 40,000 À la carte Rewards points $600

Apply Now

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45,000 CIBC Aventura Points†

$139 annual fee

45,000 CIBC Aventura Points† $542

Apply Now

AMEX Gold SceneGoldLogo En

45,000 Scene+ points

$120 annual fee

45,000 Scene+ points $525

Apply Now

FirstClassTravel Oct2022

Up to 75,000 TD Rewards Points†

$139 annual fee

Up to 75,000 TD Rewards Points† $525

Apply Now

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Up to 80,000 CIBC Aventura Points

$499 annual fee

Up to 80,000 CIBC Aventura Points $420

Apply Now

bmo ascend world elite mastercard

Up to 90,000 BMO Rewards points

First Year Free

Up to 90,000 BMO Rewards points $331

Apply Now

ScenePlus Amex PLATINUM ENG HEX 01

60,000 Scene+ points

$399 annual fee

60,000 Scene+ points $161

Apply Now

Indigo Privilege Card Front Black Eng 1

Up to 120,000 BMO Rewards points

$499 annual fee

Up to 120,000 BMO Rewards points $74

Apply Now

To find the best airfare deals for using your flexible travel, check out our guide to Google Flights and our article on how to save money on flights.

Conclusion

A vacation to Hawaii is on many travellers’ bucket lists, and luckily for all of us, there are a number of ways to use miles and points to access great redemption flights from mainland North America to the stunning island state.

However, given the abundance of cheap cash fares on routes to Hawaii, it’s always worthwhile to look for good deals, and also considering using flexible points to offset these costs.

Hopefully, our guide provides you with a road map on how to go about a points redemption to Hawaii and sets you on your way to an amazing adventure.





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