HONOLULU (KHON2) — A lot of people are looking to travel this holiday season. Hawaiian Airlines is increasing the number of flights to help meet the demand of more than 140,000 passengers leading up to Thanksgiving, but pack your patience since there could be longer wait times at Honolulu’s airport.
It is that time again when thousands will be traveling to the islands to reconnect with family and friends. With Thanksgiving just days away, the start of the holiday travel season has officially taken off.
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Kamri Campbell said they showed up at least three hours early at the airport in Las Vegas after hearing about her parent’s experience flying out of LAS.
Campbell said, “My parents flew in earlier than we did, and it was crazy. They said that they would get there early, and that’s kind of what we ended up doing.”
In Los Angeles, Kimberly Sneddon caught some luck by being able to bypass some of LAX’s heavy traffic.
Sneddon said, “We expected crowds, but we had a driver who knew her way around and got us through really quickly.”
Experts said early morning flights are less likely to experience delays. This weekend, several flights were delayed at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport according to “Flightaware.com”. The website said 101 flights were delayed Saturday, 71 of those from Hawaiian Airlines. And by Sunday afternoon, at least 83 flights were delayed, more than half from Hawaiian Airlines.
A Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson said the temporary closure of runway 8L has led to longer gate-to-gate times for some of their neighbor island flights, causing a domino effect through the rest of the day. They said the airline is adjusting its schedules in order to minimize the disruption associated with the runway closure. They have also added 12 interisland round trips to accommodate demand.
Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines also increased its flight schedules for Thanksgiving, expecting nearly 55,000 passengers to fly out of Hawaii through early December.
An Alaska Airlines spokesperson said the closure of runway 8L is not anticipated to delay flights but taxi time increases.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation said the runway reached its useful life, and it is under reconstruction and being widened to accommodate larger planes. The work is expected to be completed by February 2023, and the next phase of the work will go from late April to May 2023.
A DOT spokesperson said there are no delays due to the runway closure.
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Meanwhile, airlines recommend travelers check their phone applications for any changes to their flights.