Your Oahu vacation is almost over (sadly) and it’s time to think about the day of departure. You’ve confirmed your tickets and seats along with bags to be checked-in online. There’s only one more thing you want clarity on – how early to arrive at Honolulu Airport? The answer has become a little more complicated over the last couple of years, as unanticipated delays have become a bit of a norm. That said, you don’t want to wander around the airport for longer than needed. As the most trusted HNL shuttle service we most certainly have insight into this query of yours, so let’s review.
Note: For holiday long weekends add an extra 20-minutes (inter-island) or 45-minutes (all other) to the times below.
How Early to Arrive at Honolulu International Airport Before Departure and How to Get There on Time
Domestic Flights (Mainland USA)
If you’re flying to the continental USA (California, Washington State, New York, Florida, etc.) passengers who have already checked-in online can arrive 2-hours before departure. If you have not already checked-in online and you have a lot of luggage to check-in, play it safe by arriving 2.5 hours prior to your flight. When we say arrive, we mean that you should at the check-in/bag-drop counter by the prescribed time.
Flights to Canada
While technically international, the United States’ strong relationship with Canada mitigates the red tape at any U.S. based airport with flights going to the northern neighbor. Plus, getting to HNL too early is pointless as Air Canada and WestJet keep their check-in and bag-drop kiosks closed until 3-hours before a given flight. As such, there is no need to arrive any earlier than that. If you have not checked-in online and/or you have bags to check, 3-hours offers enough window to get it done and enjoy some last minute shopping/dining in the airport. If you have already checked-in online and you don’t desire any time to explore HNL, 2.5 hours will suffice.
For all other international destinations, 3-hours is ideal.
Inter-Island Commuter Flights
Are you simply heading to another Hawaiian island? If you are flying with Hawaiian Airlines to the neighbor islands (Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui) you will depart from Terminal 1. You only need to arrive at Honolulu Airport 90-minutes prior to departure. If you are flying with Mokulele to the neighbor islands, you will depart from Terminal 3. You will need to take the FREE HNL operated Wiki Wiki shuttle from Terminal 1/2 to Terminal 3, so add-20-minutes to be safe. View more on flying with Mokulele at HNL.
Best Way to Get to HNL On-Time from Your Hotel
Whether you desire to get to Honolulu Airport with time to spare, or you want to limit your time waiting around the gate, you need an HNL shuttle that you can depend on. Oahu’s hotel lobbies are swarming with new arrivals and soon-to-be departing visitors, so taking an Uber/Lyft or shared shuttle can lead to significant delays. Avoid this by booking your own private, direct, flat-rate shuttle that will get you to the airport exactly when you want to arrive.
Book a Private/Direct Shuttle from Your Waikiki Hotel to HNL – just $35
Book a Private/Direct Shuttle from Your Ko Olina Hotel to HNL – just $70
View rates for Turtle Bay Resort and Courtyard by Marriott in Laie right here.
Best Way to Get to HNL On-Time from Your Vacation Rental
Are you staying in a vacation rental outside of Waikiki and Ko Olina? If so, you definitely need to book a private and direct shuttle service to get to HNL on time. Traffic, construction, and other logistical variables can turn a 30-minute drive into an hour or much more without the assist of a commercially licensed HNL airport shuttle. View more on why you should choose our service to get to HNL from your vacation rental (and vice versa).
All you need to do is give us 24-hours notice. Once booked, we’ll pick you and your party up from your accommodations and take you directly to Honolulu Airport in time for your departure. Call us at 1.800.929.1219 or complete the form found here.