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Honolulu (HNL)

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Flights to Honolulu (HNL) overview

Going searches for the best fares and sends members deals bookable 1-12 months in advance. Going members save approximately 37% compared to normal flight prices to Honolulu (HNL).

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Best month to fly

Going found the most deals with travel dates in May.


Worst month to fly

Going found the least deals with travel dates in June.


Top tips for finding a cheap flight to Honolulu (HNL)

Book in the Goldilocks Window

There is no magical formula to predict the perfect day ahead of your flight to find the cheapest fare. But there is a window when flights are generally cheapest. It’s not too last-minute and not too far away from your departure date. We call it the Goldilocks Window. For domestic flights, it’s about 1–3 months before a trip. For international trips, it means booking 2–8 months ahead.

But if you plan to travel during a busy season, like Hawaii in January, start looking on the earlier side. For that trip, you should start looking for fares around August. Whatever you do, don’t wait until fares spike. That typically happens at the 21-, 14-, and 7-day points before a trip.

Use the Greek Islands Trick

One of our favorite tricks for finding a cheap flight to the Greek islands can work well for Hawaiian islands, too. When using the Greek Islands Trick, basically you try to get as close to your final destination as you can for the least expensive price. In Greece, this often means looking for flights to London or Paris, then searching for a cheap regional airline flight for the last leg. For Honolulu, it could mean searching for cheap flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle.

If you live in Indianapolis and flights to Honolulu are crazy expensive in February, try searching for flights to Seattle instead. If you find a great deal, then try looking for a cheaper flight from Seattle to Honolulu. It’s more work but could save you a few hundred bucks you can put toward a stellar meal or hotel in Waikiki.

Search alternative departure airports

This is like the Greek Islands Trick but for your home airport. Let’s use the Indiana example again. If flights from Indianapolis to Honolulu are out of your budget, search for flights from nearby airports, like Chicago or Cleveland. We see great deals from airports big and small all day long, so it’s worth looking around for the best deal you can find in your region. You might have to drive a few hours to get to the airport, but you might also save a bunch of money.

Fly when it’s cheaper

Winter is popular in Hawaii for good reason. The weather is warm and sunny, unlike much of the rest of the US. Summer is also popular, especially for families. This means airlines can charge more for flights during those times. One of the simplest ways to save money on flights is to travel during the shoulder seasons. In Hawaii, that’s from September to early December, and from mid-March to May. You’ll avoid summer and winter crowds and hopefully be able to score a deal on flights and hotels.

If you’re set on a winter getaway to Honolulu, we don’t blame you. But try to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays, which are usually the cheapest days to fly. Fridays and Sundays are generally the most expensive.

Set alerts for specific trips

Tracking airfare can be frustrating. Sometimes prices never seem to drop, or if they do, you miss it. Luckily, fare alerts can make sure that never happens.

Set up fare alerts for your travel dates, and you’ll get an email when prices drop significantly or fall into your price range. If your dates are flexible, set a few. We like to do this before the Goldilocks Window so you can see the deals that come through during that time.

Honolulu is the busiest airport in Hawaii, and at least a dozen US cities, plus several cities in Asia and Australia, offer nonstop flights to the capital. From the rest of the world, you’ll have to make a connection, and the flight could be lengthy. But that’s the price to pay for visiting one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Frequently asked questions about flying to Honolulu (HNL)

What is the airport code for Daniel K. Inouye International Airport?

The airport code for Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is HNL.

When is high season in Honolulu?

High season in Hawaii runs from December to March, when people in the rest of the country take advantage of winter and spring breaks and flock toward reliably warm weather. Summer, when kids are out of school and many families take vacation, is another busy period. While most visitors will have idyllic weather, be aware that hurricane season runs from June through November, and waves can be too big to swim in during winter storms.

When is the best time to visit Honolulu?

Hawaii has warm weather and sunshine all year long, so there’s really no bad time to visit. To avoid crowds, we like visiting in the periods between the busy seasons. April–May and September–October are great times to visit to avoid crowds and find cheaper prices.

Does HNL have its own on-site hotel?

There are no hotels attached to the actual terminal, but Airport Honolulu Hotel is less than a mile away and operates a shuttle. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a picnic area, an on-site restaurant, free wifi, and pet-friendly rooms. Rooms start at $115.

What lounges are available at HNL?

  • Terminal 1: Hawaiian Airlines Plumeria Lounge (just after security) and Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club (near Gate A18)
  • Terminal 2: Admirals Club/Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge; ANA Lounge (near gate C4); Delta Sky Club (near gate F1); H.I.S. LeaLea Lounge (garden court area); IASS Hawaiian Lounge (garden court area); Ko Olina Club Lounge (garden court area); Korean Air Lounge (garden court area); United Club (near Gate 2); USO Lounge

In Terminal 1, the Plumeria Lounge has hot food, beer and wine, juices, a customer service agent, and free wifi. Business class guests heading to Japan, Korea, Australia, or New Zealand, as well as first class guests flying to New York or Boston can access the lounge. Pualani Platinum members can also use the lounge, and a day pass can be purchased for $40. The Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club offers Pau Hana snacks, coffee, tea and juice, Hawaiian Airlines customer service, and free wifi. North America and neighboring island first class passengers, Pualani Platinum and Gold members, and Premier Club members can use the lounge.

The American Airlines Admirals Club in Terminal 2, above the Local @HNL restaurant, is shared with the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge. It has a hot and cold buffet, a bar, workstations, and free wifi. Day passes are available for $79. It is available for Admirals Club members; those flying first and business class; AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Platinum members; Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire cardholders; and Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard holders. Military personnel traveling in uniform can use the lounge. JAL passengers in first, business, premium economy or economy class with a flex fare can use the lounge.

Also in Terminal 2, the ANA Lounge is meant to resemble a Japanese home. It offers salads, snacks, and acai bowls, as well as a bar. First class, ANA Diamond, and ANA Million Miler passengers have access to the lounge. The Delta Sky Club has snacks, beer and wine, a full-service bar, free wifi, and flight monitors. American Express Platinum and Delta SkyMiles Reserve card members receive complimentary access to the lounge. Sky Club access is also free for Sky Club members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members, and Delta Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members, as well as Delta One passengers.

The H.I.S. LeaLea Lounge has a children’s room, snacks, alcoholic beverages, and free wifi. Passengers on all airlines can purchase a day pass for $35. The IASS Hawaii Lounge has similar amenities but with no children’s room. A day pass is $25, and the lounge is on Priority Pass. The Ko Olina Club has snacks and drinks for purchase and free wifi. It is reserved for guests of Aulani, Beach Villas at Ko Olina, Four Seasons Resort O’ahu, and Ko Olina Beach Club.

Some Korean Air passengers can visit the Korean Air lounge for snacks, TVs, a bar, and free wifi. Prestige Class passengers, SkyPass Million Miler Club members, and Morning Calm Premium Club members can use the lounge. Finally, the United Club has a full-service bar, snacks, a United travel assistant, and free wifi. United Club members, United Polaris business class passengers, United business class passengers on international flights, United Premier Gold or Star Alliance Gold status customers, Air Canada Maple Leaf Club members, and first class passengers on a Star Alliance airline can use the lounge for free. Active US military in uniform can also use the club. Day passes are available for $59 with a same-day United boarding pass.

What are the rules for traveling with pets to HNL?

Hawaii has a quarantine law for visitors traveling with pets. Your pet must take a OIE-FAVN test before arrival, and you must also complete import forms and make sure your pet has up-to-date vaccines. In addition, those visiting from outside of the US will have to follow USDA guidelines.

How far is HNL from Honolulu?

The airport is located about six miles from Downtown Honolulu and nine miles from Waikiki.

What are the transportation options for getting from HNL to Honolulu?

There are a few options to get from HNL to Honolulu:

  • The most common way to get from the airport to Downtown Honolulu is by rideshare or taxi. The cost for either from HNL to Waikiki, where many visitors stay, is around $30–35, though it can be more during busy periods. The six-mile drive takes about 20–30 minutes.
  • Numerous companies also run shared shuttle buses from the airport to Waikiki, typically running $10–20 per person.
  • There is a city bus that runs from the airport to Waikiki. It costs $2.75 and can be paid via cash or a Halo Card, available in ABC Stores and 7-Elevens. The bus stop is on level two of the airport, outside Lobby 4.

How long is the flight to HNL?

Honolulu is far from much of the US, and the flight time varies depending on where you’re flying from. If you’re coming from California, Seattle, or Vancouver, you’re in luck. A nonstop flight is about 5.5–6.5 hours. A nonstop flight from Chicago is about 9 hours, and from New York, Boston, or DC, it’s 11. Houston, Austin, and Dallas all have nonstop flights to HNL that take about 8.5 hours. From Atlanta, it’s 10 hours, and from Denver, it’s about 7.5. From most of the rest of the country, you’ll have to make a connection in one of these cities.

There are nonstop flights from South Korea, several cities in Japan, Manila, and Sydney. Those take 7–10 hours, depending on your departure city. From elsewhere in the world, you’ll likely stop in the US, Japan, or Korea. These flights can be very long, from 14–30 hours. From Paris, for example, a one-stop flight through LA takes 20 hours.

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* Prices are per person and include all taxes & fees in USD. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing, however, prices are not guaranteed, as airline pricing can change by the minute. Average Going fares are based on average prices of deals found by Going.

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