Updated August 28th, 2019
Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles is a lower-value loyalty program. Poor award redemption values and below-average availability means the program is primarily going to be of interest to residents of the island and some select West Coasters. Those who really love Hawaii, or possibly Japan. After the numbers were crunched, we assigned an ACRV of just 0.59¢ per mile.
Though the current valuation of HawaiianMiles makes it the least valuable US-domestic carrier on a per point basis, it is trending in the correct direction. Their point-value increased 0.12¢ since we last reckoned. This represents an improvement of 25%, and can be attributed primarily to increased award availability.
Furthermore, because Hawaii doesn’t offer a normal US domestic network, we had to adjust our standard basket of hypothetical award routes. In other words, a departure from our normal valuation method. We chose a grouping of flights that focused on Mainland->Hawaii, inter-island and Mainland->Pacific Rim countries.
|Current||Previous Period||$ Change||% Change|
|US Domestic Value||0.70¢||0.57¢||+0.13¢||+22%|
|US Domestic Non-Zero Average||1.01¢||1.08¢||-0.07¢||-6%|
|International Non-Zero Average||1.00¢||1.37¢||-0.37¢||-27%|
The bell curve which results from plotting the normal distribution of hypothetical HawaiianMiles redemptions is shown above. The two lines adjacent to the average represent one standard deviation in either direction. In other words, 68% of award redemptions should occur between the rates of 0.27 and 1.31¢.
A narrow bell curve is not necessarily a bad thing. For those who prefer reliability over upside, it could be a good thing. For comparison’s sake, have a look at the chart United MileagePlus generates.. In that case, we have an award program where very high-value and very-low value award redemptions are all possible.
Compared to the nice looking redemption-count table’s that are generated when reckoning United or Delta, HawaiianMiles’ is disappointing. We didn’t find a single award which exceeded 3¢ per mile. Our best for the month came from a business class award seat, Las Vegas(LAS) to Seoul(ICN), offered for 105,000 miles + $6 in fees. The lowest priced cash alternative was priced at $2,418, providing a redemption value of 2.3¢. That result is in respectable territory. But considering it was the best we could do, it’s borderline pathetic.
Alternative HawaiianMiles Redemption Opportunities
If you’re not inclined to use your HawaiianMiles on Hawaiian Airlines, partner award opportunities do exist. One may redeem miles for flights on Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. A partner mileage chart is available here.
Of these options, we view the opportunities available at JetBlue and Korean most appealing. JetBlue because it is a cash-price based award chart. One will redeem their Hawaiian miles at JetBlue at a rate ranging from 0.66 to 1¢ per point. This is largely inline with what you’d expect when flying on Hawaaian’s own metal.
Korean Air might also be a great option, but award-space on this airline can be tricky. Nevertheless, if available, their hard/soft premium-cabin products are fantastic.
In the example above, we have a round-trip business-class flight between Seattle(SEA) and Seoul(ICN) with a cash price of $3,465. If award space was available, this would be bookable with 200,000 HawaiianMiles + fees for an approximate redemption value of 1.73¢.