Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines Check-In at Honolulu International

It's all about self check-in at the Hawaiian airlines terminal.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The ticket lobby of the inter-island terminal (or Terminal 2) is now exclusively used by Hawaiian Airlines. It is in this terminal where all passengers check-in for all of Hawaiian's flights regardless if it is overseas or inter-island.

Aloha Airlines used to occupy of half of the inter-island terminal before its demise in 2008. Mokulele Airlines used some of the gates here before it completely merged with go! which then had its flights relegated to the commuter terminal.

Four check-in pods at the overseas check-in lobby for Hawaiian Airlines.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The inter-island ticket lobby which was transformed in 2011 to remove the traditional ticket counters is divided into two parts. Lobby 2 (on the mauka or mountain side of the terminal) is used to check-in for Hawaiian's overseas flights. Lobby 3 (on the makai or ocean side of the terminal) is used to check-in for Hawaiian's overseas flights. Each lobby holds pods and at each pod is eight self check-in machines. But what's great is there are one or two Hawaiian agents per pod assisting customers.

Check-in, pay any fees and weigh your bags all in one spot.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Follow the instructions on the touch screen. Remember to have your confirmation code, e-ticket number or Hawaiian Miles number to access your reservation. Once you have confirmed the itinerary, passengers, seat assignments and weight of checked bags, your boarding passes and luggage tags are printed. Sharp eyed agents will be there to assist with tagging your bags correctly. If you need to pay for checked bags or upgrades, have your credit card ready to complete the transaction.

Agriculture inspection for bags on flights to the mainland or overseas
is moved to be completed after check-in.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Formerly all bags heading for the mainland or abroad had to pass through agriculture inspection. Now the bags pass through inspection after check-in and after the bags are tagged. As a reminder the purpose of the inspection is to protect the fragile eco-systems outside of the islands. From the check-in kiosk, walk over to the agriculture inspection station located where where the tickets counters used to line the back wall. Your checked bags are also inspected by the TSA at this point.

Gone is the row of check-in counters that used to line this wall.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Once your checked bag is accepted at agriculture, you can either head directly to security or you can watch your bag pass through the inspection as it rides along the conveyor belt until your bag is no longer in view. There is a separate counter to check-in odd sized bags and personal items such as surfboards. If you need an old-fashioned agent to assist with itinerary changes there is a small customer service counter located near the lobby entrance. But be aware the line at this counter can be long and move extremely slow.

Look for this sign if you need to do what is says.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Find that your bags exceed the weight limit, head to the "weigh and repacking station" which allows you to shift belongings between bags or remove them completely. If you have no bags to check, you can use any of the kiosks spread throughout the terminal before making your way directly to security. Many passengers not checking bags (usually fliers on inter-island flights) check-in online.

Check-in at noon is crowded at the inter-island terminal. I am checking in for a direct flight to Las Vegas on Hawaiian Airlines so I head to the part of the lobby devoted to overseas flights check-in.

There is one small problem with the pods. Each kiosk at the pods has its own line so this means eight lines at each pod. The bothersome thing here is if you're behind someone who is slow or having problems at check-in you may have to jump to another line. I think at each pod station there should be one line. Then passengers will have any one of the eight available as they become free.

I have used these check-in kiosks before. But for some reason the machines are running very slow as it changes from screen to screen. By the time my boarding passes were printed a Hawaiian Airlines agent was there to help me tag my one checked bag.

The line to drop off the bags at agriculture was long stretching almost the entire length of the lobby. So I waited at one of the few places to sit in the lobby. As soon as the line shortened I dropped off my bag and then made sure it makes its way onto the conveyor belt. Now on to the gates.


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