Things to know if you’re ready to travel again

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii’s airports are bustling again with incoming and outgoing travelers. From checking in, getting through security and boarding a plane, there have been some changes.

A lot of the new features are geared toward getting touchless service if travelers are flying Hawaiian Airlines — guests hardly need to use the kiosks anymore.

Travelers can pay luggage fees and get their electronic boarding pass before going to the airport through the app or website and just scan their phone at the kiosk.

“When you come to the airport, you can scan your boarding card and your bag tags will automatically issue. So you can just put them on and you can take them to the bag drop point,” said Jeff Helfrick, vice-president of Airport Operations at Hawaiian Airlines.

Plexiglass barriers separate screeners from passengers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Travelers do not need to show their boarding pass because a state ID will already have all the information screeners need when they scan it.

“It’ll tell us what flight they’re on, what time they’re scheduled to fly, what airport, whether they have a valid ID or not, and if they’ve been identified for higher level screening,” said Jenel Cline, TSA federal security director.

Screeners are required to change gloves each time if a higher level of screening or a pat-down was needed. They also take those precautions after checking each bag.

Guests are now allowed to bring up to a 12-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer, as well as hand wipes. Food is also allowed but must be separated from bags.

Concession stands and restaurants are open during the busy hours of departure.

“The vendors do know when there’s a lot of traffic passenger traffic so they’re studying the market themselves as to when it’s best to open,” said Ross Higashi, DOT Airports Division deputy director.

Airport officials suggest travelers get to the airport earlier if they have not flown in a while. Passengers returning from the mainland will need to get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure and upload the negative result to the Safe Travels app.

“Then you get your QR code and the next thing is you go to the airport and they’ll put a wristband on your wrist,” said Higashi.

That wristband lets travelers go on their merry way. Passengers will need to get processed and show proof of the negative test without the wristband, or quarantine for 10 days.

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