Getting to Oahu
The main airport in Oahu is the Honolulu International Airport located at 300 Rodgers Boulevard. In fact, it is also regarded as the principal gateway to the state of Hawaii, as most people heading to other Hawaiian islands usually land there and get connecting flights to Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii’s Big Island.
There are 23 domestic airlines and 16 international carriers operating there, with several daily flights connecting Honolulu to the rest of Hawaii and the world. Starting its operation in March 1927 as John Rodgers Airport, the Honolulu International Airport has traffic of more than 21 million airline passengers in a year. This makes it one of the busiest airports in the United States. The Honolulu International Airport is the transportation hub between the Hawaiian Islands and the United States, as well as other countries, such as Australia, Samoa, Tahiti, and the Philippines. As such, it hosts international flagship commercial carriers with direct flights to American, Asian, and Pacific Rim points of destination.
The airport has three main buildings: main international terminal, the interisland terminal, and the commuter terminal. On its main terminal, some of the carriers are Qantas Airways, Korean Air, Air Canada, American Trans Air, Air Pacific Airways, Delta Airlines, Air New Zealand, Philippine Airlines, JTB Aloha Service, Rich International, Continental Air Micronesia, Japan Airlines, China Airlines, NorthWest Airlines, and many others. On its interisland terminal, flights connecting tourists to other points in Hawaii are provided by Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, one of the largest Hawaii-based airlines. It is also where Aloha Air Cargo is based. Formerly a part of Aloha Airlines, the cargo service used to offer passenger services as well, until its operation ceased on on March 31, 2008 until it became a separate commercial entity.
Heading to Oahu
Most of the traffic to the US mainland consists of flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco, which, when added to flights headed for Seattle, make up for more than 50% of domestic flights. As for Oahu’s international market, most flights coming into Honolulu are from Japan, closely followed by Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada.
If you’re planning to book a flight to Honolulu, surf the Internet to get the best airline fare deals. You may go directly to the company websites of the carrier of your choice to see their flight schedule, the availability of seats, and also to check for promotional offers. Some of the international carriers include tour packages in which accommodations are already included. If you are more budget conscious, type in "cheap flights Honolulu" or "compare airline rates" into the search field, which will help you find links to websites that will allow you to compare airline ticket charges from several carriers in just one site. Navigate through the site to check whether you can fly directly to Hawaii, or you would need to a connecting flight. Online ticket booking is recommended not only because it’s more convenient, but also because airlines usually offer special discounts to those who opt to buy their tickets online.
Of course, before you go buy that ticket, make sure that you have the requirements needed for entry to Hawaii. If you’re a US citizen, then you don’t have to go through visa requirements. However, if you’re a foreigner, you need to have a valid passport. Do check with the US Embassy in your country to see if it's included in the Visa Waiver Program and if there are any changes to the Program. If your country isn’t included in the Program, then find out what the requirements are for visa application.
Getting around Oahu
With Oahu being an island known for its diversity, there are just as many transportation options here as there are things to do and points of interest to explore. Finding a transportation service that's right for you is all a matter of preference. Of course, you'll need to consider the amount of time that you have for your tour, the distance from one destination to another, the tourist attractions that you'd like to check out, the number of people traveling with you, and, most important of all, your budget. It's all about choosing which of these factors you'd want to prioritize.
If you're after flexibility, then the best thing for you to do is to rent a car. Right at the Honolulu International Airport, you’ll find Hawaii’s major car rental service companies. You may also rent a car from Waikiki or Downtown Honolulu. You may drive around the island on a Jeep Wrangler or an SUV from Hawaiian Discount Car Rentals. If you want to take a look at their online checker to compare rental rates for a variety of vehicles, go to http://www.hawaiidrive-o.com/. You may also make an online reservation and arrange your pickup points through the website. Or, you may also check out AA Aloha Cars-R-Us, which is based on Kihei Road. It prides itself with having lower rates, a track record starting in 1986, and recommendations from Frommers, Fodors, and The Hawaii Visitor & Conventions Bureau. For car rental rates, check out its website (http://www.hawaiicarrental.com/) for special promotions and season rates.
If you're on the wild side, rent mopeds and motorcycles instead. Pump up the adrenaline by riding throughout Oahu with the island’s Plumeria-scented breeze brushing against your face. Most of the car rental services available on the island also carry mopeds and motorcycles, so you might want to get a feel of the bikes before you start playing safe with the cars and trucks. You’ll also find taxi and limousine service at hotels. However, hailing a cab on the street is not standard practice in Hawaii. Limousine service is also cheaper when you're traveling in a group. Of course, there's The Bus, which is Oahu’s city transit system. The single ride fare is $2, and you may get a visitor adult pass valid for four (4) days for only $20. Just make sure that you check their website (http://thebus.org) regularly for rider alerts on detour announcements and changes in The Bus schedule.