Air Travel


Air Travel

Flying time to Oahu is about 10 hours from New York, 8 hours from Chicago, and 5 hours from Los Angeles.

All of the major airline carriers serving Hawaii fly direct to Honolulu; some also offer nonstops to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Honolulu International Airport, although open-air and seemingly more casual than most major airports, can be very busy. Allow extra travel time during busy mornings and afternoons.

Plants and plant products are subject to regulation by the Department of Agriculture, both on entering and leaving Hawaii. Upon leaving, you'll have to have your bags x-rayed and tagged at the airport's agricultural inspection station before you proceed to check-in. Pineapples and coconuts with the packer's agricultural inspection stamp pass freely; papayas must be treated, inspected, and stamped. All other fruits are banned for export to the U.S. mainland. Flowers pass except for gardenia, rose leaves, jade vine, and mauna loa. Also banned are insects, snails, soil, cotton, cacti, sugarcane, and all berry plants.

You'll have to leave dogs and other pets at home. A 120-day quarantine is imposed to keep out rabies, which is nonexistent in Hawaii. If specific pre- and postarrival requirements are met, animals may qualify for a 30-day or 5-day-or-less quarantine.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration (808/831–2755.

Air-Travel Resources in Oahu

State of Hawaii Airports Division Offices (808/836–6413.

State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine Branch (808/483–7151.


Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is 20 minutes (9 miles) west of Waikiki, and is served by most of the major domestic and international carriers. To travel to other Islands from Honolulu, you can depart from either the interisland terminal or the commuter-airline terminal, located in two separate structures adjacent to the main overseas terminal building. A free Wiki Wiki shuttle bus operates between terminals.

If you have time after you've checked in for your flight home, visit the Pacific Aerospace Museum, open daily, in the main terminal. It includes a 1,700-square-foot, three-dimensional, multimedia theater presenting the history of flight in Hawaii, and a full-scale space-shuttle flight deck. Hands-on exhibits include a mission-control computer program tracing flights in the Pacific.

Airport Information

Honolulu International Airport (HNL) (808/836–6413.

Ground Transportation

Some hotels have their own pickup service, so check when you book accommodations.

Taxi service is available on the center median just outside baggage-claim areas. Look for the taxi dispatchers wearing green shirts who will radio for a taxi. The fare to Waikiki runs approximately $35 to $40, plus 50¢ per bag, and tip. If your baggage is oversized, there is an additional charge of $4.60.

Roberts Hawaii, a major bus company, launched a shuttle service that will greet you at the arrival gate, escort you to baggage claim, and take you to your hotel. Call ahead for the service, which costs $12 for one-way service, $20 round-trip.

TheBus, the municipal bus, will take you into Waikiki for only $2, but you are allowed only one bag, which must fit on your lap.


Roberts Hawaii (808/539–9400.

TheBus (808/848–5555.


From the U.S. mainland, Alaska Airlines, Continental, Delta, Hawaiian, and United serve Honolulu.

Airline Contacts

Alaska Airlines (800/252–7522.

Delta Airlines (800/221–1212 for U.S. reservations; 800/241–4141 for international reservations.

Hawaiian Airlines (800/367–5320.

United Airlines (800/864–8331 for U.S. reservations; 800/538–2929 for international reservations.

American Airlines (9–/433–7300.

US Airways (800/428–4322.

Charter Flights

Three companies provide charter flights between the Islands. In business since 1998, go! Mokulele Airlines offers nonstop charter service from Oahu to Lanai and Maui. The company also serves the Big Island, Kauai, and Molokai. Pacific Wings serves Oahu, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and the Big Island. Premiere (same-day departures) and premium (24-hour notice) service is available. Paragon Air offers 24-hour private charter service from any airport in Hawaii. In business since 1980, the company prides itself on its perfect safety record and such celebrity passengers as Bill Gates, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Costner. You also can arrange a customized tour of neighboring islands.

Charter Companies

go! Airlines (888/435–9462.

Pacific Wings (888/575–4546.

Interisland Flights

If you've allotted more than a week for your vacation, you may want to consider visiting a Neighbor Island. From Honolulu, flights depart almost hourly from early morning until evening. Since each flight lasts only 30 to 60 minutes, you can watch the sunrise on Oahu and sunset on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, or Molokai. To simplify your vacation, schedule your return flight to Oahu so that it coincides with your flight home.

Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, go! Mokulele Airlines, and Pacific Wings offer regular service between the Islands, so be sure to compare prices. All have frequent-flyer programs that entitle you to rewards and upgrades. A number of wholesalers offer Neighbor Island packages including air, hotel, rental car, and even visitor attractions or activities.

Interisland Flights

Mokulele Airlines (866/260–7070.

Hawaiian Airlines (800/367-5320 IslandAir (800/652–6541.

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