Flying time to Maui is about 10 hours from New York, 8 hours from Chicago, and 5 hours from Los Angeles.
Hawaii is a major destination link for flights traveling between the U.S. mainland, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. Island-hopping is easy, with several daily interisland flights connecting all the major islands. International travelers also have options: Oahu and the Big Island are gateways to the United States.
Although Maui’s airports are smaller and more casual than Oahu’s Honolulu International, during peak times they can also be quite busy. Allow extra travel time to either airport during morning and afternoon rush-hour traffic periods, and allow time if you are returning a rental car. Plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure for interisland flights.
Plants and plant products are subject to regulation by the Department of Agriculture, both when entering and leaving Hawaii. Upon leaving the Islands, you’re required to have your bags X-rayed and tagged at one of the airport’s agricultural-inspection stations before you proceed to check-in. Pineapples and coconuts with the packer’s agricultural-inspection stamp pass freely; papayas must be treated, inspected, and stamped. All other fruits are banned for export to the U.S. mainland. Flowers pass except for jade vine and mauna loa. Also banned are insects, snails, soil, cotton, cacti, sugarcane, and all berry plants, including fresh coffee berries.
Dogs and other pets must be left at home: a quarantine of up to 120 days is imposed to keep out rabies, which is nonexistent in Hawaii. However, if specific pre- and postarrival requirements are met, animals may qualify for 30-day or 5-day-or-less quarantine.
The Transportation Security Administration has answers for almost every question that might come up.
Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov.)
Air-Travel Resources in Maui
State of Hawaii Airports Division Offices (808/836–6413. hidot.hawaii.gov.)
All of Hawaii’s major islands have their own airports, but Oahu’s Honolulu International is the main stopover for most U.S. mainland and international flights. From Honolulu, daily flights to Maui leave almost every hour from early morning until evening. To travel interisland from Honolulu, you can depart from either the interisland terminal or the commuter-airline terminal, in two separate structures adjacent to the main overseas terminal building. A free bus service, the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, operates between terminals. In addition, several carriers offer nonstop service directly from the U.S. mainland to Maui. Flights from Honolulu into Lanai and Molokai are offered several times a day.
Maui has two major airports. Kahului Airport handles major airlines and interisland flights; it’s the only airport on Maui that has direct service from the mainland. Kapalua–West Maui Airport is served by Mokulele Airlines. If you’re staying in West Maui and you’re flying in from another island, you can avoid the hour drive from the Kahului Airport by flying into Kapalua–West Maui Airport. Hana Airport in East Maui is small; Mokulele Airlines flies twice per day between Kahului and Hana.
Molokai’s Hoolehua Airport is small and centrally located, as is Lanai Airport. Both rural airports handle a limited number of flights per day. There’s a small airfield at Kalaupapa on Molokai (you prebook your ground tour with Damien Tours 808/567–6171). Visitors coming from the U.S. mainland to these islands must first stop in Oahu or Maui and change to an interisland flight. Lanai Airport has a federal agricultural inspection station, so guests departing to the mainland can check luggage directly.
Hana Airport (HNM) (808/248–4861. www.hawaii.gov/hnm.)
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) (808/836–6411. www.hawaii.gov/hnl.)
Kahului Airport (OGG) (808/872–3830. hawaii.gov/ogg.)
Kalaupapa Airfield (LUP) (808/838–8701. www.hawaii.gov/lup.)
Kapalua–West Maui Airport (JHM) (808/665–6108. www.hawaii.gov/jhm.)
Lanai Airport (LNY) (808/565–7942. www.hawaii.gov/lny.)
Molokai Airport (MKK) (808/567–9660. www.hawaii.gov/mkk.)
If you’re not renting a car, you’ll need to take a taxi, or SpeediShuttle if your hotel is along its route. Maui Airport Taxi serves the Kahului Airport and charges $3.50, plus $3 for every mile. Cab fares to locations around the island are estimated as follows: Kaanapali $87, Kahului town $13, Kapalua $105, Kihei town $33 to $55, Lahaina $78, Maalaea $33, Makena $65, Wailea $57, and Wailuku $20.
SpeediShuttle offers transportation between the Kahului Airport and hotels, resorts, and condominium complexes throughout Maui. There is an online reservation and fare-quote system for information and bookings. You can expect to pay around $62 per couple to Kaanapali, and $43 to Wailea.
Maui Airport Taxi (808/281–9533. www.nokaoitaxi.com.)
SpeediShuttle Hawaii (877/242–5777. www.speedishuttle.com.)
Service to Maui changes regularly, so it’s best to check when you are ready to book. American has daily nonstop flights into Maui from Los Angeles and Dallas–Fort Worth. Alaska, Delta, United, and US Airways (now merged with American) also have daily nonstops into Maui from Los Angeles. United has one nonstop flight from Newark Liberty near New York to Honolulu. Alaska Airlines flies a daily nonstop to Maui from Portland, Seattle, San Diego, and San Jose.
Delta serves Maui from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Hawaiian Airlines serves Maui from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York (the only nonstop flight from JFK to Honolulu), Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. In addition to offering competitive rates and online specials, all have frequent-flyer programs that will entitle you to rewards and upgrades the more you fly.
Alaska Airlines (800/252–7522. www.alaskaair.com.)
American Airlines (800/433–7300. www.aa.com.)
Delta Airlines (800/221–1212. www.delta.com.)
Hawaiian Airlines (800/367–5320. www.hawaiianairlines.com.)
United Airlines (800/864–8331. www.united.com.)
George’s Aviation offers on-demand private air charters and cargo service between all the major Hawaiian Islands. Should you want to explore Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and the Big Island from the air and ground, you can book tours through Discover Hawaii Tours.
Discover HawaiI Tours (808/690–9050. www.discoverhawaiitours.com.)
George's Aviation (808/834–2120. www.georgesaviation.com.)
Hawaiian Airlines offers regular interisland service to Maui’s Kahului airport. Island Air and Mokulele Airlines provide interisland service between Maui (Kahului), Lanai, Molokai (Hoolehua), Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island. Mokulele also services Maui’s Kapalua and Hana airports.
Be sure to compare prices offered by all the interisland carriers. Plan ahead and be flexible with your dates and times if you're looking for an affordable round-trip.
Hawaiian Airlines (800/367–5320. www.hawaiianairlines.com.)
Island Air (800/652–6541. www.islandair.com.)
Mokulele Airlines (808/270–8767 or 866/260–7070. www.mokuleleairlines.com.)