Antiquated Honolulu airport lobbies getting makeover

Published: Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:17 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 26, 2013 at 12:46 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is converting its antiquated departure lobbies at Honolulu International Airport into more modern facilities.

The old departure lobbies at the airport are dark, worn-down and retro.

Just ask travelers there and they'll tell you.

"It's not Hawaii-like as one would think, you know, bright and colorful.  It's actually quite dull," said Nandita Verma, a traveler from San Jose, Calif.

Another airport user, Adhika Kusuma from Indonesia, was asked to describe the lobby he was standing in.

He said, "It's kind of old, like old style.  Need a little more fixing.  A nice lobby, a nice waiting room for your flight."

The old lobbies are certainly showing their age.  At the old Japan Airlines check-in counter, major termite damage is clearly evident, with large holes on the wooden, some of them nearly one foot long.

To improve things, the state has already fully renovated Lobby 8 that houses United and Asiana airlines check-in facilities.

"It's just an effort, an overall effort, to improve the airports, not only the look but the efficiency and the safety here at the airports," said Caroline Sluyter, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

The renovated lobby features a blue ocean wave theme made of cast glass.

Changes are under way as well in Japan Airlines' departure lobby where new check-in pods have been installed that whisk checked baggage away more quickly.

Eventually, the JAL lobby will have a green tropical forest motif.

Another lobby has newly-finished check-in counters and a white wall which will shortly feature a lava-volcano motif on colored glass paneling.

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