The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the Hawaii Visitor Bureau (part of HVCB), asked in emails that we advise visitors departing from Kauai Airport (LIH) to arrive two to three hours in advance of their scheduled departures. And that isn’t all of what you should be aware of when transiting Kauai!
TSA added that it is addressing “disruptions with the checked bag screening equipment.” Further details have not been forthcoming. We will be at Lihue airport later today to check on the situation.
When the problems first arose Monday, Hawaiian Airlines indicated what they called a “screening machine malfunction” resulting in some passenger bags not getting on their appropriate flights.
No one seemed to be aware that this was going to be an ongoing problem, and Hawaiian indicated at the time that they did not anticipate any further issues. Based on this morning’s multiple emails received, however, that is simply not the case.
Lihue Airport checked luggage screening equipment is not operating correctly.
The Hawaii DOT said that added time will be required during the passenger check-in process as a result of equipment functioning issues that have thus far not been fully described.
DOT is asking that passengers departing LIH check with their airline first to determine their operating and baggage check-in hours and then plan to get to Lihue 3 hours in advance.
Also be alert for extended traffic to and from Kauai Airport.
One additional thing to remember is that as the summer gets even busier, visitors traveling to (and from) the airport on Kauai need to plan for other unexpected traffic delays.
Recently, for example, we encountered delays between Kapaa and Lihue amounting to more than one additional hour of traffic. Delays between the Poipu Beach area and the airport on Kauai can also vary greatly. On that route, while it is typically less than one-half hour, we and many others recently encountered tree trimming that caused a multi-hour traffic delay making it impossible to catch flights. If you were stuck in either of these, let us know.
We highly suggest checking Maps before starting to drive to be sure you don’t get stuck and miss a flight like we did.
Kauai: 1M annual visitors traveling on country roads.
On any given day, there can be 12k rental cars joining us on the Garden Island. The two areas mentioned above are those where you are most likely to encounter traffic gridlock. The “Kapaa Crawl,” in particular, is the most consistently challenging of those drives.
And while the idea of a bypass road there to help has been in discussion for decades, it isn’t likely to ever happen. Nonetheless, at this time, another study is being proposed that is currently pending funding.