The state’s transportation department reminds travelers of the limited amount of parking spaces at airports statewide as holiday travel gets underway.
With the anticipated increase in passengers of the holiday season, officials are encouraging travelers to get dropped off at the airport.
“We encourage travelers to get dropped off at the curb instead of paying for parking at the airport, especially if you have a morning flight, when the parking lots are busier,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation deputy director Ross Higashi in a news release. “We want people to be aware that the airport parking structures can fill up just like at a sporting event or concert.”
The Transportation Security Administration is also anticipating a record number of travelers this Thanksgiving, with more than 26.8 million passengers traveling through security screening checkpoints nationwide through Dec. 2.
The busiest travel days leading up to Thanksgiving, according to the TSA, are today, with 2.7 million passengers, and Dec. 1, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when more than 2.8 million travelers are expected to be flying home.
In 2018, Hawaii welcomed more than 37.5 million inbound and outbound passengers.
On an average day, that includes more than 58,000 people at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), 20,000 people at Kahului Airport (OGG), 10,500 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA), 9,000 at Lihue Airport (LIH), and 3,700 at Hilo International Airport (ITO).
In Hawaii, the holidays historically increase the number of travelers by 3 to 5% each day.
The uptick in passengers, combined with the increase in flights, construction and growing number of electric vehicles that park for free, fills up the airport parking structures quickly.
The Honolulu airport has the most parking stalls statewide, with 4,740, while Kahului has 1,800, Kona 1,475, Lihue 575 and Hilo 476.
Travelers planning to park at the airport are advised to arrive early, place their parking ticket stub in a safe place not visible from outside the vehicle, as well as use an app or take a photo as reference of their parking location.
The maximum parking rate for a 24-hour period at Honolulu is $18, and $15 at neighbor island airports.