HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials warned folks to plan ahead if they planned to go to a local airport during Memorial Day weekend. As it turns out, parking lots filled up across the state on Saturday, May 27.
The lot closures are due to limited access to parking stalls that are already filled with the cars of travelers.
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“Lot Full” signs were already placed at the Terminal 1 garage at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport by noon on Saturday.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation recommended that travelers get dropped off, but some had advice if others need to park.
“Try and get early,” said former Hawaii resident Devin Kanazawa-Yee. “Try and go to the second garage for sure. The first one is pretty much packed, all you can see is a bunch of ‘Yotas (Toyotas). So, you know, try to go to the second garage.”
KHON2 managed to snag a spot on the top floor of Terminal 1, but it took about 20 minutes of searching and only happened because another car backed out.
“It’s definitely packed,” Kanazawa-Yee said. “The second garage across the way, row F and whatnot, that one is way more open once you get probably about the fourth or fifth floor, but yeah, this side is pretty packed.”
Display boards only showed a couple of delayed flights and the rushes at check-in ebbed and flowed. KHON2 asked one Waikele family what the unofficial start to summer meant to them.
“This, the rush,” said Marita Bautista, “madhouse for the airport and travel, that’s what came to mind, that’s why we came a little early, one extra hour.”
According to HDOT, the following airports are experiencing parking lot closures.
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Terminal 1 parking is full.
- There are available parking stalls located in Terminal 2 International.
- Big Island
- Hilo International Airport public parking lot is full.
- Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport has less than 100 parking stalls available across three lots.
- Līhuʻe Airport parking has less than 100 stalls available.
Their usual guidance is to arrive one hour before neighbor island and two hours before mainland flights, but holiday weekends are different.
“You’d rather be sitting there reading a book waiting for your flight than trying to rush through TSA and run out to your gate,” said HDOT spokesman Jai Cunningham. “So, three hours for the mainland, two hours if you’re going interisland.”
Travelers pointed out that reading is not the only option when getting to the airport early.
“Food! Eat,” Marita Bautista said.
“Sleep,” Chay Bautista said.
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Make plans to be dropped off at the airport when possible.