This series covers using airports in Hawaii. Click here to see the rest of the articles in this series. This post covers connecting with Island Air, go! or Hawaiian Airlines.
Be very sure to allow the maximum time for connecting on to an Island Air, go!, or Mokulele caravan flight and check with your carrier on what their cut-off for check-in is. The last thing you’d want is to be stranded in Honolulu after missing the last Island Air/go! flights to the neighbor islands. The airlines currently operate out of the commuter terminal, which is further past main inter-island building, meaning a longer walk/Wiki Wiki shuttle commute (please refer to map linked above).
However, be aware that both these carriers offer online check-in, which means one can have their boarding passes in advance. Also, security times are normally very minimal at the commuter terminal. But also note that Island Air usually locks you out of online check-in if you have a ticket ticketed with a partner airline’s miles (e.g., MileagePlus, OnePass, etc). Take this into consideration as you schedule your layover in HNL, since Island Air does require passengers to be checked in 60 minutes prior. (Note that not being able to check in online should not affect your ability to interline your bags to your final destination).
TRANSFERRING IN HNL
You do not need to leave the secured area if transferring from any domestic airline to go! or Island Air. Simply walk to gate 66 (the last gate in the interisland terminal in the Hawaiian Airlines terminal), proceed down the escalator and wait for an agent to escort you via the tarmac to the commuter terminal holding area.
There is a WikiWiki shuttle (electronic buses) that operate behind security and make a loop to all terminals including the commuter terminal. If you are arriving off one of the airlines operating in the Diamond Head area of the domestic terminal (United, Continental or Northwest Airlines) and were not able to check your luggage to your final destination, this may be an alternative option that may get you to the commuter terminal faster. The WikiWiki shuttle that operates airside does not continue to the commuter terminal. The last stop is the interisland terminal.
STANDBY ON GO! OR ISLAND AIR
Note that Island Air and go! do provide free standby for passengers wishing to take an earlier flight. Consult your fare rules and the airlines’ websites for more information.