Flights to Hawaii Island
Flying to the Big Island
When booking your flights to the Big Island of Hawaii, look no further than Hawaiian Airlines. On the Big Island—its official name is Hawaii Island, however most locals refer to it by its moniker, the “Big Island”—traditional, genuine Hawaiian culture and practices are still very much alive. And, with Hawaiian Airlines, you’ll be well-versed in Hawaiian culture and the language of the islands—olelo Hawaii, or Hawaiian language—from the moment you step aboard your flight, with flight attendants and in-cabin products and programs serving as educational pre-arrival exposure to the islands’ unique way of life. Hawaiian Airlines is also one of the leading airlines in the world when it comes to Big Island flights and route options, making it easier for visitors trying to plan out their itineraries.
Flying to the Big Island
The Big Island’s Airports
If you’re headed to Hawaii Island, you'll most likely be flying into one of two Big Island airports. Flights to Kona, Hawaii will be landing at the Kona International Airport (KOA), while flights to Hilo, Hawaii will be arriving at the Hilo International Airport (ITO). Even island-hoppers traveling from Honolulu to Kona, or Hilo to Honolulu, will be departing from either the Hilo airport or the Kona Airport. Both are special in their own ways. The Kona International Airport is small, but mighty—and it also resides on top of actual lava rock—while the Hilo International Airport has a homey, Hawaiian charm that is distinctly Hilo. You’ll understand when you get there.
Fun Big Island Facts
Unlike many of its island siblings, like Oahu, Maui, Kauai and even Lanai and Molokai, the Big Island is the youngest island in the state and is actively getting larger—hence the name. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can actually see one of the only lava lakes in Hawaii, as many of the other islands’ volcanoes have gone dormant. Hole-in-the-wall shops like Two Ladies Kitchen, which serves some of the best mochi in the state, can’t be missed—so you’ve got to look hard—and travelers looking to get a unique perspective of Hawaii will want to check out the high-altitude town of Waimea, which to this day perpetuates Hawaii’s paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) culture. Those who don’t mind going down the roads less traveled, who love exploring towns and districts not featured in any
guides or magazines, who are always searching for the next best thing, will find so, so much to do on Hawaii Island. Some of the best beaches, businesses and attractions won’t even appear on Google—can you believe that?—while the islands’ small towns make it easy to stumble upon locally-run businesses and shops that you’ll undoubtedly adore. If getting off the grid is what you’re after, then the Big Island should be your next stop.
When is the best season to book flights to the Big Island? If you haven’t purchased your airfare to the Big Island of Hawaii yet, stop for a moment and think about what you want to experience when visiting the island. Certain festivities, such as the Merrie Monarch Festival—considered the Olympics of hula by locals—and the Waimea Town Roundup Rodeo only happen during specific months. Certain beaches may experience more or less wave activity based on when you’re visiting as well, and a good rule of thumb is that south facing shorelines get swell during the summertime, while northern shores see larger waves during the winter. How much does a flight to Hawaii Island cost? The cost of direct flights to the Big Island often depends on your departure location, however know that when you book a plane ticket with Hawaiian Airlines, you will be getting competitive deals and fares using the airline’s online booking platform. How far is it to fly to the Big Island? If you’re traveling from LAX to the Big Island, expect to fly just over 2,400 miles. For East Coast travelers departing from JFK, that distance is nearly doubled at over 4,900 miles. Flyers from Florida will be logging just over 4,600 miles in the sky. When it comes to interisland travel to the Big Island, flight distances are short and you should be in the air for under an hour.