Hawaii is a great holiday destination. From stunning beaches and surfing, to Hawaiian cuisine and the relaxed pace of island life, there’s something for just about everyone.

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But getting there with frequent flyer points can be a real challenge. Finding reward flights to Honolulu is notoriously difficult, particularly in Business class. And given its popularity as a family holiday destination, it’s especially difficult to redeem points to Hawaii in school holidays.

Last week we looked at some of the left-field ways to get to Hawaii using Qantas points. This week, we turn our attention to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.


Virgin Australia does not fly to Hawaii. Fortunately, they do partner with Hawaiian Airlines. From its hub in Honolulu, Hawaiian flies to both Sydney and Brisbane in Australia, as well as Auckland in New Zealand. It also operates many flights between Hawaii and mainland USA, and between the Hawaiian islands.

Virgin Velocity points can be redeemed for flights on Hawaiian Airlines. Sydney-Honolulu flights cost 42,000 points in Economy or 78,000 points in Business. If flying out of Brisbane or Auckland, just 35,000 and 65,000 Velocity points are needed in Economy & Business respectively.

It’s not possible to book Hawaiian Airlines flights online, so you would need to call Velocity Frequent Flyer to redeem your points on these flights. But, if a reward seat is available, it’s yours!

i have been able to jag 4 for my family, but i have found very limited availability during the australian school holidays. at least in the April holidays which is when we go. i always book just either side of the hols by a day or so. this is with me checking very regularly as they are released.

Although seats can be limited during school holidays, our members’ experiences with finding award availability on Hawaiian Airlines have been surprisingly positive. It seems Hawaiian Airlines are currently releasing as many as seven Business reward seats per flight on some routes.

I called the Velocity rewards center over the weekend. The operator I spoke with reckoned there were regularly 7 J Reward seats available on Hawaiian & could see that many for the most recently released date.

It’s not possible to check award availability directly on the Virgin Australia website. But you can search for award seats on the American Airlines website. In most cases, the same award seats available to American AAdvantage members will also be available to Velocity members.

I have been watching HA awards on Aadvantage. I just need to wait until the 330 days out arrives. Always 2 J awards on route I want. Out of interest I looked to see if 6 J awards-max online with AA. A lot of days you could get it. So I think VA are on the mark.

Velocity members can book reward flights up to 330 days in advance. So, if you’re thinking about redeeming Velocity points to Hawaii, it’s best to start looking for flights around 11 months before your trip.

Share your experience HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]