How did things flow at Honolulu International Airport heading into one of the busiest travel weekends of the year?
It seemed travelers came prepared for longer lines and longer wait times.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. I saw the articles online and I was like, oh it won’t be like this, but oh, it is. It’s really bad,” said traveler Allison Iles.
“Crazy lines, yeah,” another traveler said.
The airport was packed with travelers looking to take advantage of the three-day weekend. Everyone KHON2 spoke to arrived earlier than usual.
Beverly Amaral arrived at 11:30 a.m. Her flight was scheduled to depart at 3:30 p.m.
“Four hours in advance?” KHON2 asked. “Four hours in advance,” she said.
It wasn’t just in the terminals. The parking lots were also filled.
“It took at least maybe half-an-hour to find parking,” Amaral said.
Hawaiian Airlines offered assistance inside the airport with nearly 30 Team Kokua volunteers dressed in blue T-shirts.
The airline anticipated longer lines, because Hawaiian said TSA would have two fewer canine units at the security lines.
TSA said it reallocated resources at airports across the country, but had adequate staffing at Honolulu International Airport.
Hawaiian Airlines said TSA opened an additional screening station around lunchtime, which moved things along faster.
TSA also moved some travelers to the PreCheck line to keep things flowing.
Most people KHON2 talked to said they had a strategy to get through the security line quicker.
“This is going to come off, because it’s metal. No shoes, only slippers,” Amaral said.
“It’s pretty tough with two kids,” said traveler Edwin Menjivar.
“You just pretty much keep them fed and bring their toys,” added Heather Menjivar.
Hawaiian Airlines also said TSA got backed up Thursday screening check-in bags, but that back-up did not occur Friday.
The carrier plans to have volunteers at Honolulu airport through Monday.