Hawaii's airports handling most interisland air traffic are Honolulu (Oʻahu), Kahului (Maui), Kona and Hilo on Hawaiʻi (Big Island) and Lihuʻe (Kauaʻi). Smaller regional airports served mainly by commuter airlines and charter flights include Lanaʻi City (Lanaʻi); Kaunakakai and Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi; Kapalua and Hana on Maui; and Kamuela (Waimea) on Hawaiʻi (Big Island).
Hawaii's major interisland carrier – reliable Hawaiian Airlines – offers frequent interisland flights in jet planes, as well as turboprop service through its new subsidiary brand, ʻOhana by Hawaiian. Three smaller, commuter-oriented airlines – Island Air, Mokulele Airlines and Makani Kai Air – provide scheduled service daily in turboprop planes.
Smaller turboprop planes fly so low that their flights almost double as sightseeing excursions – fun! The only drawback to turboprop planes is that carry-on baggage limitations are usually much more strict, so you may end up paying extra to check all of your bags.
Expect further schedule changes and possible shake-ups in the interisland flight biz. Interisland airfares vary wildly, from $50 to $225 one way. Round-trip fares are typically double the price without any discounts. Usually the earlier you book, the cheaper the fare.
While it may still possible to walk up and get on a flight among the four biggest islands (particularly to/from Honolulu), advance reservations are strongly recommended, especially at peak times.
Airline regulations concerning surfboards, bicycles and other oversized baggage vary and can be restrictive, not to mention expensive – ask before booking.
Hawaiian Airlines Nearly 200 daily flights between Honolulu (Oʻahu), Kauaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi (Big Island), with limited flights to Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi. Flying between Neighbor Islands often requires changing planes in Honolulu.
Island Air Flies turboprop planes directly from its Honolulu hub on Oʻahu to Kahului (Maui), Lihue (Kauaʻi) and Kona (West Hawaiʻi).
Mokulele Airlines Flies turboprop planes to Honolulu (Oʻahu); Kona and Waimea (Kamuela) on Hawaiʻi (Big Island); Kahului, Kapalua and Hana on Maui; and Hoʻolehua and Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi. Charter flights to Lanaʻi City (Lanaʻi) available.
Makani Kai Air Flies turboprop planes to Honolulu (Oʻahu) and Kaunakakai and Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi.