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Maui Winter Vacation Introduction

by John the Wanderer
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Maui Winter Vacation Introduction

This post covers our Maui Winter Vacation Introduction.

Maui Winter Vacation Introduction

My wife and I enjoying traveling to Hawaii and have visited Honolulu and Maui in the past.

For an early birthday celebration for my wife and a winter getaway we decided to return to Maui in January to experience whale watching season.

This trip report includes reviews of the flights, accommodations, activities and meals.


We booked the airfare about a 10 months prior to the travel when American Airlines put Hawaii on sale from many departure cities in the US. In our case, traveling from Minneapolis to Maui was available for $425. We booked the flights and requested to use American’s system wide upgrade certificates for the flight.

At the time of booking, we selected a straight forward Minneapolis to Dallas, Dallas to Maui and back itinerary. The Dallas to Maui flights were operated by a 767 with overhead video.

A couple months before departure, a schedule change occurred and I received notice that we were switched to the flight from Phoenix which was operated on a 757. It turned out that the earlier Minneapolis to Dallas flight time changed which caused misconnecting.

I was not thrilled about the routing via Phoenix because the airplane only offered three rows of first class and it was already sold out, so there would be no chance of an upgrade.

Fortunately, when airlines make schedule changes, you can generally either cancel and receive a refund, or re-book on different flights.

I realized that the Dallas Fort Worth to Honolulu flight was operated by a 777-200 which was upgraded. That meant that if we were to receive an upgrade, we would get a lie flat seat as well as have a great entertainment system and power options.

The downsize on switching to the Honolulu flight would require two stops in order to reach Maui as well as an overnight in Dallas Fort Worth.

I called American and was able to get rebooked on the flights.

After booking the new flights, I used Expert Flyer and set alerts to monitor if any C inventory opened up which would allow for the system wide upgrade certificates to be used.

A day before the departure flight, one seat opened up. I called American Airlines and the agent was able to secure the seat for my wife.  They also applied the upgrade to the flight from Minneapolis to Dallas Fort Worth.


For this trip, we elected to try AirBNB for our accommodations as both cash and miles and point redemptions for hotels tend to be overpriced.

This was our first time renting from AirBNB and we found the experience to be good overall. We selected a condo located near a beach which was available for around $165 per-night. The drawback was that the accommodations had to be paid in full at the time of booking. Fortunately, we used a miles and point credit card to book the AirBNB so we at least could earn points for the accommodations.


My wife and I both love Hawaii and we are excited for the trip.

Maui Winter Vacation Introduction

Have you been to Maui before? What do you like best?


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Trip Report

Maui Vacation Trip Report – Introduction

American Airlines Minneapolis Dallas Fort Worth

Hyatt Regency DFW Airport

American Express Centurion Lounge DFW

American Airlines Dallas Honolulu

Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge Honolulu

Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu Maui

AirBNB Condo Rental

Four Seasons Dinner

Whale Watching Tour

American Airlines Maui Dallas

American Admirals Club Dallas

American Airlines Dallas Minneapolis

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