How Early to Arrive at Honolulu Airport in Oahu, Hawaii

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (also known as Honolulu Airport) is the main airport serving the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It has three terminals:

  1. Terminal 1
  2. Terminal 2
  3. Terminal 3

I recommend arriving at Honolulu Airport 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international flight.

However, if you have a hire car to return, or are travelling with kids, you might want to get to the airport even earlier.

What Time Should You Arrive at Honolulu Airport?

You should arrive at Honolulu Airport 2 hours before a domestic flight (flight inside the US) and 3 hours before an international flight. This should give you enough time to:

  • Check-in for your flight
  • Drop your luggage
  • Navigate through security
  • Walk to your gate.

Arriving at the airport early is always better than arriving late. You don’t want to feel rushed or miss your flight.

Why Do You Need Longer for International Flights?

You should arrive at Honolulu Airport 3 hours before an international flight (outside the US). There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Visa checks
  • Entry requirements
  • Immigration control
  • Customs

International flights are also on larger planes with more passengers. These planes have an extended boarding period that starts earlier.

Other Factors to Consider When Flying From Honolulu Airport

Other factors you’ll want to consider when flying from Honolulu Airport include:

  1. Travelling to the airport: Traffic in and around Honolulu can be crazy. As such, you’ll want to allocate some extra time for any potential delays.
  2. The time of year: Major events in the city can mean even more tourists and delays.
  3. Checking in: If you need to check in for your flight in person, the line at the desk may require extra time.
  4. Bag drop: Allow extra time at the airport if you have checked luggage. Most bag drop locations close one hour before the flight’s departure (exact times vary).

Which Honolulu Airport Terminal Do You Need?

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (also known as Honolulu Airport) has three primary terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3.

You can travel between terminals at Honolulu Airport using the free shuttle bus. The shuttle bus stops are outside each Terminal curbside on the first level. There will be signs directing you.

Terminal 1

  • Hawaiian Airlines

Terminal 2

  • Air Asia
  • Air Canada
  • Air Japan
  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • All Nippon Aiways (ANA)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • China Airlines
  • Fiji Airways
  • Jetstar
  • Jin Air
  • Korean Air
  • Omni Air International
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • WestJet

Terminal 3

  • Mokulele Airlines

Airlines may adjust their designated terminals, so always check your ticket or the airport’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Oahu Travel Planning Guide

🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Oahu?

Yes, you should definitely buy travel insurance for any vacation to Oahu. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.

🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Trip to Oahu?

I would recommend hiring a car for a trip to Oahu. Even if it’s only for a couple of days of your vacation. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental deals.

However, if you are on a tight budget or you don’t plan to explore much of the island then you, then you may want to consider comparing the cost and convenience of Uber and rental cars in Oahu instead.

🏨 Where to Stay in Oahu?

The vast majority of accommodation in Oahu is located in Waikiki. If you enjoy shopping, then you may want to stay further north by the Ala Moana Shopping Mall.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to spend your vacation at the beach, then consider staying as close to Waikiki Beach as possible.

When booking accommodation in Oahu, I use either or However, for large families and groups, VRBO is my number one choice.


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