Author Topic: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui  (Read 10157 times)

Offline CS91

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CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« on: May 04, 2016, 07:18:06 AM »
Sitting in the UA lounge waiting to board so figured it's a good time to throw up part 1!

Background & Planning

After burning a lot of points booking my MLE trip last August, I got to work on racking up enough points to book trips for a week in May that I had off (between my last exam and graduation) and for my Bar Trip in August. By the time January rolled around, my points stash was full and I went on a booking spree. Iíll leave the booking details for my Bar Trip to that TR, but for this trip (I guess weíll call it my graduation trip :) ), we decided to go to Hawaii. I let DW decide on the island and she eventually chose Maui so I went to work on the flights and hotel.

Flights: I know many people have a really hard time finding Saver space on the EWR-HNL/HNL-EWR route in UA J, but I guess I got lucky and found 2 Saver seats in J for the exact date that we needed on the outbound. I went ahead and transferred 60k Amex to SQ and once the points posted to my KrisFlyer account, I called up SQ and booked our outbound flight. For the return, there was no Saver space in J so I booked us Plan B tickets for 40k per person OW. About a week after booking the return flight I got an email that DWís waitlist request had cleared, so she was good to go. My request still hasnít cleared and expert mode is now showing F0 so weíll see what happens with that. Weíre taking our 8-month-old daughter on this trip and we booked her as a lap infant so weíre hoping that thereís an empty seat in J and that theyíll let us use the seat for her. ETA: About three weeks before our trip, I logged on to UA.com to check if any Saver J seats had opened up on the return (for my waitlist request) and once I was on, decided to look if any more seats had opened on the outbound as well. Turns out, 2 more Saver J seats had opened on the outbound so I quickly called up SQ and managed to get a rep to put one of the seats on hold so that I could book my daughter her own seat (Dan and some others mentioned that my chances of having an empty seat in J on that flight were slim to none). I then initiated another 30k transfer from my MR account to SQ and once the miles posted, called back SQ to get the ticket for my daughter issued.

I didnít book the inter-Hawaii flights until the beginning of April because I wanted to wait until my hotel was fully confirmed (Iíll explain this in the next paragraph) so fast forward four months and I got to work on the local flights. By the time I got around to booking, I decided against paying for HA flights through Danís corporate rate because it was about three weeks before the trip and the flights were pretty expensive. Instead, I managed to convince UA to add the OGG-HNL leg on the return without charging me the $75 per person reissuing fee for 6k UA per person. Because the outbound was an SQ reservation, I just booked the HNL-OGG leg separately and paid 6k UA + $5.60 per person. My connection is about an hour and a half so letís hope everything runs smoothly and I donít miss my flight. I tried getting the agent at checkin to tag my bags all the way through to OGG but she gave me a hard ďNO.Ē


Hotel: We decided to stay at the Andaz Maui and my plan was for both DW and I to apply for the Chase Hyatt card in March, which was 24 months since we last earned the bonus on that card. I didnít want to risk applying earlier with different FFN and possibly not getting the bonus, so I called Hyatt up in January and reserved the Andaz on a points booking even though I didnít yet have the points (they allow Diamond members to do this). I told the rep that DW and I were going to apply for the Hyatt card and would use the 4 free nights + 50,000 points for the reservation and she warned me that while the rule that a room can be booked on points as long as there is an unsold base room available, that is not the case for sign up nights for which each hotel can decide how much inventory to release. I told her to reserve the room for me anyways and took my chances that either there would still be sign up night inventory available when the certificates finally posted to my account or that even if there wasnít, Iíd hopefully get them to override their inventory rules and allow me to use the sign up night anyways. Because it wasnít a sure thing, I held off on booking the local flights until after I was all confirmed with the hotel just in case something got messed up (and because it seemed like there is so much point availability on local flights because of how many flights per day there are).

When I eventually called back to finalize my Hyatt reservation (in April), the hotel was almost entirely sold out but the rep who was helping me called the hotel and got the manager to override the system and allow me to use free nights (itís amazing how little you have to push them when youíre Diamond). The rep also reminded me (like I didnít already know!) that I would get an upgrade (subject to availability) upon check-in and that I am eligible for free breakfast. So we weíre all set!

While this trip also had a long wait between booking and actually travelling, it went by a lot quicker than our wait for our MLE trip because MLE was in the middle. By the time we got back from MLE, we only had two more months to wait for our trip to Maui!

Total Cost:
EWR-HNL UA J: 30k SQ + $5.69 per person (3 seats)
HNL-OGG WP Y: 6k UA + $5.60 per person (2 seats)
Hyatt Andaz Maui: 4 CC Sign Up Nights + 50,000 Hyatt Points (6 Nights)
OGG-HNL-EWR WP Y/UA J (Plan B): 40k UA + $5.60 per person (2 seats)

To be continued...

Offline Emkay

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 07:25:43 AM »
Because it wasnít a sure thing, I held off on booking the local flights until after I was all confirmed with the hotel just in case something got messed up (and because it seemed like there is so much point availability on local flights because of how many flights per day there are).


And what did holding off on the flights accomplish? If Andaz would have backfired you would have gone to a diff island?

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 07:29:20 AM »
And what did holding off on the flights accomplish? If Andaz would have backfired you would have gone to a diff island?
Yup. Was monitoring GHK and it was wide open for my dates.

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 10:04:28 AM »
looking forward to rest. how did you get from phl to ewr?
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 06:52:39 PM »
looking forward to rest. how did you get from phl to ewr?
🚙

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 07:28:12 PM »
I think the 30k SQ miles that I spent on getting my kid her own J seat was the best 30k I ever spent. Thanks to those who pushed me to do it.

Offline Dan

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2016, 07:35:07 PM »
I think the 30k SQ miles that I spent on getting my kid her own J seat was the best 30k I ever spent. Thanks to those who pushed me to do it.
:)
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline EJB

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2016, 07:55:02 PM »
I think the 30k SQ miles that I spent on getting my kid her own J seat was the best 30k I ever spent. Thanks to those who pushed me to do it.

Now are you gonna splurge on more seats for your BAR trip? Don't even think of taking my seat to CNX :)

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2016, 07:58:23 PM »
Now are you gonna splurge on more seats for your BAR trip? Don't even think of taking my seat to CNX :)
Haha as you know very well, there aren't any more award seats available on the KE flights  :P. But I'm hoping the JFK-ICN leg is empty in F.

Offline EJB

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2016, 08:50:10 PM »
Haha as you know very well, there aren't any more award seats available on the KE flights  :P. But I'm hoping the JFK-ICN leg is empty in F.

I'll open up two for you if CX opens up one F for me :)

Offline sam28

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2016, 10:04:50 AM »
keep it coming

Offline E-MAN

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 03:18:42 PM »
Enjoy the trip!!
What is the destination of the Bar trip?

Offline EJB

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 04:08:14 PM »
Enjoy the trip!!
What is the destination of the Bar trip?

My suite at the LM CNX

Offline shmoe joe

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 04:35:27 PM »
Gosh licking my fingers, olive your TRs
give some love (likes) to a brother!

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2016, 04:55:24 PM »
Nice start to the TR!

Offline CS91

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2016, 11:37:02 PM »
Enjoy the trip!!
What is the destination of the Bar trip?
JFK>ICN>CNX>USM>HKG>JFK
My suite at the LM CNX
Nah. My suite will be nicer.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2016, 07:42:05 AM »

JFK>ICN>CNX>USM>HKG>JFKNah. My suite will be nicer.

Stop going OT!

I get it though, showing off is fun.
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2016, 08:02:11 AM »
Interesting, I haven't found interisland flight availability to be good at all. Usually just on like the 6 AM flights.

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2016, 07:24:37 PM »
have a great time!!

Offline solls108

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Re: CS91's Graduation trip to Maui
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2016, 09:22:11 AM »
Nuuuu......