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Hawaii Airports Grapple with Parking Woes: A Holiday Migraine

News of a parking crunch today from the Hawaii Department of Transportation is worth noting by visitors and residents seeking on-airport parking, especially as holidays resume this week. Overcrowding at inadequate Hawaii airport parking lots, particularly during peak seasons and holidays, has led to uncertainties in parking availability. In the next day or so, airport parking lots will likely be declared completely full, signaling a potential challenge for travelers.

Initial warning for Thanksgiving, with Christmas/New Year squeeze to follow.

“HDOT reminds travelers of limited parking at airports this Thanksgiving weekend. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) alerts travelers of limited parking at the five busiest airports across the state during the Thanksgiving holiday season due to an anticipated increase in airline passengers.”

While the current concerns relate to Thanksgiving, they tend to get far worse as the end of year holiday approaches. Last year, on December 19, HDOT reported that Hawaii airport parking lots were completely full.

Can Department of Transportation recommendations help? They suggest the following:

  1. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure for mainland or international flights and 90 minutes early for interisland flights.
  2. Check with your airline on the status of your flight, including any delays, gate assignments, and baggage claim area if you’re picking up arriving passengers. Parking lots at Hawaii airports fill up quickly, especially over the holidays, so it’s recommended that passengers plan accordingly.
  3. Allow for additional walking time at HNL to the ticket lobbies, as some lots are farther from the main terminal than others. The maximum parking rate for a 24-hour period at HNL is $24. The maximum parking rate for a 24-hour period at neighbor island airports is $15.

Hawaii airport parking information.

The state DOT is directing people to the following information web pages. Unfortunately, however, these do not reflect the parking utilization situation and thus may be of little help during this issue. We will update this as we learn more.

Honolulu/HNL (5,329 spaces) –

Maui/OGG (1,299 spaces) –

Kauai/LIH (578 spaces) –

ITO (480 spaces) –

Kona/KOA (1,706 spaces) –

Previous visitor arrival strategy may need to on hold for now.

An otherwise reliable Hawaii visitor arrival parking plan may no longer be foolproof. The tactic, often employed by multiple travelers arriving together with substantial luggage, involved one person securing the rental car while others collected luggage. Then, the rental car is parked in short-term parking while all the passengers and baggage are gathered up. However, changes in airport parking conditions could render this approach less reliable.

Hawaii DOT hoped that the end of Turo cars parked at Hawaii airports would help.

Until last year, Turo parking exacerbated overcrowding issues at Hawaii airport parking lots. Turo vehicles being parked on airport property is now prohibited.

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3 thoughts on “Hawaii Airports Grapple with Parking Woes: A Holiday Migraine”

  1. Why doesn’t HNL have a discount off airport parking lot? I know space around the airport is limited and leases are expensive but there must be a way for this option.

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