Lihue Airport, Kauai
Although Lihue Airport (LIH) sees an occasional United Airlines long-haul flight from the mainland, most people arrive on the island via Honolulu on one of the more frequent short hops offered by either Hawaiian Airlines or Aloha Airlines. The oceanfront airport is on Ahukini Road, just 1.5 miles from Lihue, the capital of Kauai.
There is also a small airport in Princeville, Kauai, which offers commuter service to and from Honolulu via Island Air. Private planes and helicopter tours of the island use both airports.
Airline Telephone Numbers:
Aloha Airlines: 1-866-493-0850
Hawaiian Airlines: 1-800-882-8811
United Airlines: 1-800-864-8331
Most of the big planes fly first to Honolulu and then you get an internal flight to Kauai. The flight to the Lihue Airport (LIH) doesn’t last more than 25’ and you can choose between Hawaiian, Aloha and Go! Airlines. It was nice to see airplanes with guitars on the wings (pic 1) and the air-hostess dressed in shorts and sandals :) Check out the windows before landing, you will see the green island lying in front of you (pic 2 isnt good but you get the feeling).
Lihue Airport was opened in 1950, it is a small airport with not many shops and part of it is open air! A small Starbucks will provide you with coffee and I saw a restaurant also (closed in the morning). During the day (9.00-11.30 and 18.30-21.00) there are some small bands playing live Hawaiian music!! (pic 3)
Hopefully (for the locals) Lihue Airport doesn’t have big landing corridor (it is only 1981 meters long) so they can’t serve big planes which means less tourists per year which means they will keep this paradise like it is now (Oahu lost the chance many years before). It is located just 2km north of Lihue city at the east side of the island which means you will be in the middle of most of the distances to everywhere in the island if you rent a car here. The car rentals are located just across the street from baggage claim. If you choose a helicopter tour (pic 4) this will be your base of arrival too but there is another much smaller airport at Princeville.
Lihue Airport is a small, semi-open air airport and the major point of entry for the island of Kauai. There are a small number of flights directly between Lihue and the mainland but a majority of visitors will have to change planes in Honolulu to get to Kauai. If you are flying to or from another Hawaiian Island you will need to change planes in Honolulu to get to or from Kauai. Though this airport is small you will find many of the conveniences of any other airport. There are also advantages to flying in and out of this small airport: baggage can be collected at baggage claim more quickly than at a larger airport and the people working here are so nice making it easier to get individualized help. Another plus, all the rental car agency desks are found directly across the street from baggage claim, in case you want to search out better deals face to face and counter to counter and the cars are easily found right behind those same counter so no shuttles. It’s easy in, easy out, close to town and Lihue is pretty central so it makes it easy to get away to the north or south side of the island in no time at all.
We took an inter-island flight to Kauai from Oahu. It took us about 20 minutes to get here so it was a quick flight. There is supposed to be a super ferry thats going to be available (if it isnt already) that will take you to the different islands also.
The major airlines will fly you to Honolulu. Aloha or Hawaiian have frequent flights to Lihue. It is not quite 30 minutes flight from HNL. Once there it is best to rent a car. All the major rental companies are at the airport. You can rent a car for about $30-40 a day. Look for internet deals.