Trip Report: Kauai 2012 Our first vacation on points! (part 1) Intro and United Economy Plus to Lihue



Intro & United economy plus Chicago to Lihue
Sheraton Kauai resort and spa
Waimea Canyon
St. Regis PrinceVille
Kayaking to Secret Falls
Queensbath and Hideaway Beach
Hiking Kalalau Trail
Napali coast boat ride
Grand Hyatt Kauai
Westin Princeville
Food and Drink of Kauai


Intro & United Economy plus Chicago to Lihue

In September 2012 we took our first vacation using our miles and points!  We used points for both the flights and hotels for a nine day trip to Kauai!  My wife and I were both very excited for this trip and booked it about 5-6 month in advance and it felt like September would never come.  When I texted my wife that I had booked the airfare she replied “OMG” so she was excited to say the least. It only takes just a few credit card sign up bonuses to make this trip a reality and this trip still sticks out in our mind as perhaps our favorite vacation!

United Flights UA971& UA361

We flew economy plus on United airlines from Chicago O’Hare with a quick connection in San Francisco and onto Lihue, Kauai. At the time this was the longest flight for both of us and I was wondering how I would do spending 10 hours on a plane.  I was still taking Xanax at this point in my travels so I was hoping would sleep for most of the flight.

I forgot my United lounge passes at home so we couldn’t use the United lounge in ORD! So we slummed it at the crowded gate area and I eventually gave those passes away online for others to use so my loss was another travelers gain!  The flight was uneventful and everything went smoothly.

Good leg room in this E+ seat. Nobody to lean their chair back in front of me

Good leg room and close to the emergency exit

Emergency exit door

I believe this was departing SFO

During our connection in SFO we had about 40 minutes however by the time we got off the plane and walked to the gate for our next flight to LIH they were already boarding so we made it but if we were about 15 minutes later they would have closed the doors and we would’ve missed the flight!  I slept a majority of the flight and my wife watched the first season on Downton Abbey on the iPad.  The economy plus seats were decent and were worth the $69 that we paid to have the extra leg room on a flight this long. Six hours later we arrived to Lihue and were excited to get the vacation started.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

This flight is an extremely easy redemption using miles and points!!  There are several cards that can help earn United Mileage plus miles.  I earned 50,000 miles from the Chase Mileage Plus Explorer card in 2012 I also earned 50,000 Ultimate rewards points then too from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (the bonus is now 40,000 points). So between those two cards we had plenty of miles for this flight!  There are also other cards like the Freedom or Ink cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to United miles!

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Our email confirmation from United

We only paid $20 in fees and 80,000 miles for this roundtrip flight to Hawaii!!!! I will say that United has recently increased the amount of miles required to fly Hawaii recently thus it costs 22,500 miles one-way per person so total for two people roundtrip is now 90,000 miles.  That amount is still very easy to obtain in my opinion with just two credit cards. Below is award availability for September of this year for example.

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The yellow days are days where economy saver seats are available

And below is the cash price of $1910 for two roundtrip economy tickets.

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Here is the cash price for the ticket

Hope this helps save some money for anyone looking at potentially flying to Hawaii!!





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