Honolulu International Airport on Oahu island is a major Pacific hub and serves as a stop on numerous flights between the US and Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
All major US airlines fly to Hawaii as well as numerous international carriers. The majority of flights arrive in Honolulu but there are also some direct flights to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, Lihue on Kauai and Kahului on Maui. Even if you do fly into Honolulu there are numerous inter–island airlines which leave for the other destinations every twenty minutes.
United Airlines operate the most extensive service from the US but Aloha Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Continental Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and TWA also operate regular direct flights from various US destinations including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, San Jose, Detroit and St. Louis.
Public transport on five of the six major islands is either by a bus or shuttle service or both. On O’ahu the bus travels all over the island and the adult fare is $1 one way regardless of where you are travelling to. Most visitors to the island avail of a $10 pass, however, allowing four days of unlimited transport. Kauai and the Big Island (Hawaii) are also served by bus and the fares are also $1 each way. Maui has a free shuttle service which operates between all the major resort areas and shopping centres. And to travel around both Molokai and Lanai you will have to hire some form of transport.
But, in cases where travel to your desired location is not possible using public transport and you don’t wish to hire a car or jeep, the good news is that each of the islands have their own private tour operators which visit all the major attractions.
Transport between each of the islands is confined to either ferry or air connections. While most island hoppers utilise the latter form of transport, this can prove quite expensive. Both Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines offer multi-island passes with the standard fare between islands costing just under $100. Aloha offer a Seven Day Island Pass which allows unlimited travel for seven days and this will cost you $321. Hawaiian offer the Island Pass which for $299 will give you unlimited inter-island flights for five days.
While flying is the quickest and most popular way to get from one island to the other, it is pricey. Ferry prices are a considerably cheaper but a lot less plentiful and a lot less frequent. Basically, if you do intend visiting a number of the islands, you really will need to put a substantial amount of your precious dollars aside for travel expenses.