Honolulu airport jammed; Kahului not as bad

Travelers advised to arrive for departure earlier than usual

WAILUKU — As spring break travel hits its peak period, state officials are encouraging passengers to arrive earlier than normal at airports due to higher passenger volume.

Long lines continue at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport this week, and state Transportation Department officials Wednesday urged passengers to get dropped off at the state’s busiest airport due to maxed-out parking structures.

However, Kahului Airport, the second busiest in the state, has been running OK without significant delays, Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz said Wednesday.

“We’re above normal volume this year,” he said. “But we haven’t encountered any delays.”

Still, Moniz said Kahului Airport travelers should arrive 30 to 45 minutes earlier than normal, especially during busy spring break times at the airport — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. daily.

Moniz said typical airport arrival times prior to flight departures should be an hour and a half for interisland flights and two and a half hours for Mainland flights due to agricultural inspections.

To accommodate spring break volume at Kahului Airport, airlines and Transportation Security Administration officials have increased staffing, he said.

Spring officially began Wednesday, but for many students and parents locally and nationally, the season signals a weeklong break.

The state Department of Education, along with various private schools, such as Maui Preparatory Academy, Seabury Hall and Kamehameha Schools Maui, are on break Monday through Friday. Several higher education institutions in the state and on the West Coast observe spring break vacations during different weeks, varying from mid-March to mid-April, school websites show.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Transportation urged travelers to get dropped off at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport through next week because Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and International parking structures have been reaching capacity. More stalls may be available after 3 p.m. daily, according to a news release.

Moniz said Wednesday that public parking at Kahului Airport remains available.

“We’re doing OK so far,” he said.

The state reminded Honolulu airport travelers to arrive early and to find any of the nine available TSA checkpoints, regardless of airline or gate.

“If one checkpoint has a long line, passengers can go to the next available checkpoint,” the announcement said.

Passengers are reminded about the new TSA checkpoint on the ground level of the Honolulu airport between Baggage Claim 8 and 9 of Terminal 1, available between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, the announcement said.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.