Flying Hawaiian? Changes to check-in lobbies begin Wednesday

To ease long security lines, Hawaiian Airlines re-shuffles its lobbies at Honolulu’s airport

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big changes are set to begin this week at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines is rearranging its lobbies for neighbor island, domestic and international flights — and it’s all to avoid those long lines snaking onto the curbside.

Starting on Wednesday, Hawaiian Airlines domestic flights will remain in lobby 2 in terminal 1, but neighbor island flights will move from lobby 2 to lobby 3.

Hawaiian Airlines says roughly 32,000 travelers fly each day on more than 250 flights system-wide.

That’s more than half of all passenger traffic at the Honolulu airport.

And during peak travel times, the long lines can quickly sour the passenger experience.

“The primary reason for the switch is to alleviate some of the congestion that terminal 1 sometimes faces especially between those peak travel hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily,” said Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara.

Also on Jan. 9, travelers flying to Hawaiian’s international destinations, including Japan, Australia and American Samoa, will check in at Lobby 4 in terminal 2.

“This change will improve international passenger flow throughout our lobbies in time for the busy holiday travel season and we expect greater benefits in the new year as we continue to invest in our guests' airport experience,” Jeff Helfrick, vice president of airport operations at Hawaiian Airlines, said in a statement.

The initial phases of the changes started in mid-December and appear to be making a difference.

Even the youngest travelers noticed.

“Not too bad. It was better than other lines that I’ve been in in other airports,” said traveler Nelson Doyle, 10.

"It's not going out the door. That's what we are aiming for,' said Sakahara.

There’s also a new TSA security checkpoint on the ground level next to Hawaiian Airlines baggage claim. It’s open from 10 a.m, to 2 p.m. for regular passengers only and there’s no pre-check.

"People will have to ride an escalator up so definitely be aware if they have strollers or large carry on suitcases," said Sakahara.

Hawaiian Airlines is deploying its Team Kokua volunteers from Jan. 9 to Jan. 11 to help with directions.

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