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Today’s reader question comes from Michelle from Here You Leave Today

So we have Disney Vacation Club (DVC) and are planning on trips every 2 years starting next year 2016, to Disney Aulani, 2018 is WDW and 2020 is Paris. We are a family of 5 based out of Sacramento California. So we really are looking more for airline points. Suggestion?

Let’s start with part 1 of the question, going to Disney Aulani next year.  Disney Aulani is on Oahu, so flying in to Honolulu would be the best airport to fly into.


One nice thing that Michelle and her family have going for them is that they’re coming from the west coast.

Option 1: Using the “big 3” airlines to get to Disney Aulani

We’ll start by taking a look at the Mile Matrix, which gives the number of miles from any country to any other country, on any airline.  A simple one-way ticket from anywhere in the United States costs the following

  • United Airlines: 22,500 miles
  • American Airlines: 17,500 miles (during off-peak times, which are January 12 — March 13 and August 22 — December 15).  Otherwise it’s 22,500 miles
  • Delta Airlines: 20,000 miles

Option 2: British Airways

The best option is going to be British Airways, using their distance-based award chart.  Any flight under 3,000 miles is going to cost only 12,500 Avios, which should cover flights from most of the west coast.

British Airways is in the same airline alliance as American, but also partners with Alaska Airlines.  The absolute cheapest way to get to Hawaii from Sacramento is on the direct Alaska flight to Kahului (OGG)

Of course, that puts you on the wrong island, which could be a problem…. or maybe could be part of the vacation!!

Alaska does also offer direct flights to HNL from San Jose and Oakland, which would also be 12,500 Avios one-way. San Jose and Oakland are about a 2 hour drive from Sacramento, so possibly doable to get to Disney Aulani



A family of 5 would need 125,000 Avios to do roundtrip flights to Disney Aulani / Honolulu.  There is a British Airways card that gives 50,000 Avios as a signup bonus and if you also had the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink card, in addition to a 40,000 point signup bonus you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways 1:1.

(SEE ALSO: Chase Ultimate Rewards: 5 reasons I think they’re the best miles out there)

You can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to British Airways at 1:1, and if you wait, there’s usually a 30-50% bonus.

Other options

One other option would be Singapore Airline miles.  The US to Hawaii is one of the sweet spots on Singapore’s amazing award chart.  A roundtrip using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles from the US to Hawaii is 35,000 miles roundtrip (or 17,500 miles one-way).  Plus Hawaii, the Caribbean and Central America are all considered one “zone” on Singapore, so you can do some pretty crazy things.

Barbados to Kauai - courtesy of

Barbados to Kauai – courtesy of

For further reading, check out a post from last year about helping a family of 5 get to Berlin for free on miles and points!  One other thing to keep in mind is that any time you’re looking for 4 or more award tickets, it can get harder to find availability on the same flights, especially if you’re traveling during peak-travel time.


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