Covering over 4,500 acres, busy Honolulu International Airport is so huge it’s even larger than Hawaii’s major destination Waikiki! Likely the place you’ll be greeted by your first “aloha”, busy Honolulu International Airport welcomes (or says goodbye) to around 20 million visitors each year. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in the crowd because the well-staffed airport is home to 47 gates ready to whisk you to or from exciting Honolulu. Once you’re through customs, Oahu’s central business district is a mere 5km away.
Honolulu International Airport Quick Facts
Distance from CBD: 5km from Honolulu CBD
Number of airlines: 27
Number of destinations served: Around 60
Number of terminals: 3
Number of runways: 4
As with most flights at most international airports, passengers are advised to arrive at least 120 minutes before your flight's departure. If you are travelling interisland then 90 minutes should suffice. Though Hawaii is a laid back place, airport service is generally attentive and efficient so delays aren’t a common occurrence at Hawaii International Airport. To save time at the airport, consult with your airline to see if you can check-in online.
Passengers arrive on the second level of both Overseas and Interisland Terminals and will need to pass through United States border control before advancing to baggage claim located on the ground level. Signs are well marked to lead you to your flight’s baggage carousel so even if you are tired after a long flight it is hard to get lost. In the unfortunate event that you lose luggage at the terminal, speak to the staff at the Lost and Found Department located on the ground level of Parking Lot D, just opposite the main overseas terminal. For luggage lost in transit you’ll need to contact your airline directly.
Many people prefer to pre-order currency before arriving in the United States but decent exchange deals can be found on the ground in Honolulu at one of five money exchange offices at Honolulu International Airport. There are also numerous ATMs at the airport that allow you to withdraw money in US dollars.
Internet Access / Wi-Fi
Unfortunately at the time of writing there was no free Wi-Fi service at Honolulu International Airport. If you have brought your own computer or mobile device then you can take advantage of the airport’s paid service that costs around US$7 for a two-hour plan. At all three terminals you’ll also find a handful of computer work stations, while most of the airline lounges also offer Wi-Fi services.Lounges
Almost all major international airlines flying to Honolulu have lounges at Honolulu International Airport. Most are located either near the departure gates, in the Garden Court Area on the Ground Level of the Intentional Terminal, or near the departure gates on the Second Floor.
The Japanese run IASS Lounge is Honolulu International Airport’s only non-airline lounge. Located in the Garden Court Area on the ground level, the lounge has room for up to 60 guests and offers a range of amenities such as drinks, snacks and free Internet. Open everyday from 07:30 until 18:00, you will need to be a member of a participating program to gain access.
Located just above Gate 26 on the EWA Concourse you’ll find Qantas’ International Business Lounge. Though small in size, it is one of the most comfortable lounges at Honolulu International Airport. Offering a full raft of services including food and drinks, showers, wireless Internet and newspapers, the only catch is that you must be a premium ticket holder to gain access.
With two locations in the Interisland Terminal, the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club Lounge is another lounge open to people travelling to and from Australia. Open seven days, you’ll need to be flying in a premium class or be a member of the Pualani Club to gain access.
If you’re not flying premium class and are not a member of an affiliated lounge program then one airline lounge that offers a day pass is the United Airlines lounge. Located next to Gate 9, a day pass will cost you around US$50 and gives you full access to the lounge’s services and facilities. The club might be in need of a facelift, but if the 70s vibe is too much for you to look at you can at least enjoy the view of the runway from the window.
Serving domestic United States flights and all international destinations, the Overseas Terminal is the largest terminal at Honolulu International Airport. Divided into three concourses, Gates 26-34 serve United States destinations while other gates service flights to Australia on airlines including Jetstar and Qantas. The Overseas Terminal is also home to many of Honolulu International Airport’s airlines lounges and over 50 shops and restaurants.
Used by airlines flying to other Hawaiian islands, as well as some destinations on the US mainland, is the Interisland Terminal. Home to 12 gates, the Interisland Terminal is also where you’ll find the two Hawaiian Airlines lounges. To keep you nourished you’ll find numerous foods and retail outlets including Burger King and Starbucks. Many share the terminal’s opening hours that are from 04:00 each morning until after the last flight departs.
North of the Interisland Terminal you’ll find the smallest of Honolulu’s terminals. Used by airlines primarily with connections to island destinations in Hawaii, the Commuter Terminal is home to companies including go!, Island Air, Mokulele and Pacific Wings. With little more than departure gates and a news stand, once you have checked in you are better off using the facilities at the other air terminals if you have some time to waste before your flight departs.
Located on the second level roadway, follow the signs as you leave the departure gates to find the bus platforms. Once you are there you will be greeted with ample options to get destinations in Honolulu. The Airport Waikiki Express is one of the best and offers connections to Waikiki every half an hour at most times of the day. For less than US$9 per person, the service includes hotel drop off. Just be wary that what can be a short twenty minute trip can take much longer if your hotel is one of the last stops along the way. If you are heading to the centre of Honolulu then public bus is a better option. Route numbers 19 and 20 will take you downtown, while route number 31 goes to the Kalihi Transit Centre, where you’ll find excellent connections to elsewhere on Oahu.
Taxi is without a doubt the most efficient way to get to and from Honolulu International Airport. If you are arriving you’ll find a taxi service right outside the baggage claim areas. A fare to Waikiki from the airport will cost you around US$45 by metre. Don’t think you are being scammed because it is regular practice for local taxis to charge you an extra fee per piece of luggage. If you don’t mind a bit of a wait, there’s also a non-reservation shuttle service that allows you to share a ride with other arriving passengers. Though you’ll save a few dollars, these shuttles only depart when every seat is filled so it can add a fair bit of extra time to your trip. Hire You'll find a similar range of major international car rental chains at Honolulu International Airport as you will find at most other major American airports. Though there’s never a short supply of cars available, you will likely get a better rate by booking in advance. Remember that central Honolulu is very close to the airport so it can be an idea to hire a car from the CBD and catch a taxi from the airport to pick it up. Your Flight Centre consultant can give you the lowdown on how and where to get the best deal on car hire in Hawaii.
Honolulu International Airport has several options for car parking. Lot A and D are closest to the international terminal. Furthest from the terminals, Lot B is the cheapest park spot, while those travelling from the interisland terminal should use Lot M. Be aware that Lot M is very popular on weekends so you might need to use one of the other parking lots even if you are travelling to another Hawaiian island. Facilities
The following airlines reach Honolulu Airport. Don't see the airline you are looking for? Talk to a consultant to book your Honolulu Airport flights with your preferred airline.
Considering Honolulu International Airport’s location close to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, demand isn’t high for airport hotels. Still, you’ll find a couple of options if you have an early flight to catch or a delay leaves you in need of some winks. Best Western The Plaza Hotel and Ohana Honolulu Airport Hotel are both located on N. Nimitz Highway just a few minutes from the airport. Guests can take advantage of a free shuttle service to and from the airport departing form the ground level of the International Terminal.