LAX, JFK, HNL...best way to mix award and paid flights?

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Febs

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Hi guys,

I'm (once again) seeking the collective wisdom of AFF on matters that are a bit beyond me. :D

Next Sept-Oct (2007) my girlfriend and I are planning a US trip involving the West Coast (LA, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, maybe even Mexico), New York and Honolulu. We won't be booking until late Feb, but I'm trying to work out the most economical routing.

We're not really fussed if we do the West Coast or NY first, but we would like to finish in Honolulu.

When we book, I'll just have enough QFF points for both of us to do SYD-LAX return (192,000, or less if we return via HNL)...assuming QF don't increase the points before then.

The plan is to hire a car in LA, drive to all our West coast destinations, then spend 5 or so days driving to NY (I realise this may be a bit tight, given the number of interesting sights on the way). From NY, we'd fly to Honolulu, then back to Sydney.

My plan at the moment is:
SYD-LAX on FF points (48,000pts each)
<drive to NY>
JFK-HNL (paid)
HNL-SYD (36,000pts each..although it seems it has to be HNL-MEL-SYD which is 42,000pts each :()

...but the JFK-HNL flights all seem to be fairly expensive (over $1,000AUD for a one-way flight). I may be able to squeeze in one ticket for JFK-HNL on FF points, which would mean only one would have to be paid...but I may not have enough FF points by then.

Can anyone think of a better way to plan the trip, given the restrictions of:
* ~195,000-200,000 QFF points
* Ending in HNL?

Thanks all, much appreciated.

Cheers,
- Febs.

PS: I know, if I was with AA then I could fly SYD-JFK for the same points as SYD-LAX...but I'm not with AA. :p
 

Kiwi Flyer

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I haven't checked points cost or fares (sorry) but I'd look into whether flying paid round trip to HNL and points for 2 one-way trips Hawaii-LAX and NYC-Hawaii might work out cheaper. Also consider a KUP/QUP paid fare (not sure if these are available one way) to/from Hawaii.
 

Febs

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Thanks Kiwi, that'll be worth looking into.

Another thought I've had is to spend points on SYD-JFK (64,000ea), drive from NY to LAX (or maybe catch a train to somewhere nearby and rent a car from there...I've heard renting cars in NYC is expensive), then pay for LAX-HNL (cheap, I'm assuming), then use points for HNL-SYD (36,000ea, provided we fly on a QF direct flight, not a Jetstar flight via MEL).

That'll make it 100,000pts even each, which I should be able to muster up in time.

Cheers,
- Febs.
 
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Kiwi Flyer

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AFAIK there are some restrictions on rental cars in US in terms of which states you can drive in for a rental from state xx_.
 
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