Honolulu Airport to Waikiki shuttle, taxi, bus, rental cars – There are limited options getting between the Honolulu International Airport and your final destination in Waikiki after landing at the Honolulu International airport (HNL). The basic four options are: Rental car, Taxi cab, Shuttle and Public bus. Soon there will be a rail stop at the airport but construction is slow and over budget so we will update this page when that is an option. Also rail will only take you as to the Ala Moana mall just outside of Waikiki and will probably not be a viable option unless you are a fond of long walks.
RENTAL CAR – Most visitors opt for a rental car for the duration of their trip, but please consider some of the hidden cost such as Hotel parking (around $30 per night) and outrageous gas prices. There are many rental car companies at the Honolulu airport which provide free shuttles to their “off-airport” offices including all of the major brands. It is best to book in advance to get the best prices and to be sure that you will get a vehicle, especially in the Winter peak visitor season. To find the shuttles, go outside near the bottom level baggage claim area and head to the inner loop. Some of the shuttle buses are shared among the car rental companies so please look closely at the signage. For hours, please check with your rental car company.
TAXI CAB – The taxi industry must have the most powerful union in Hawaii. Taxi drivers are the only people allowed to use their cell phones while driving in Hawaii and have quite the lock on getting to and from the airport. I would NOT recommend this option during rush hour because the meter will be running. However, a trip from the Honolulu Airport (on a good day) will run you around $35 to $45 (plus tip) to Waikiki depending on the route and where the hotel is located in Waikiki. That may seem like a lot of money but you can pay that much per night for parking your rental car at your hotel.
SHUTTLE – I STRONGLY suggest this option. There are several shuttle companies running between the airport and Waikiki. All are clean, safe and much cheaper than a taxi. Expect to pay half of what a taxi cab will cost you getting between the Airport and Waikiki. I had a visitor with a good experience getting something returned that was left on one of the shuttles. The shuttle company went “above and beyond” when it came to returning the lost item to the customer.
PUBLIC BUS – The public bus, or THE BUS, as it is called here locally is NOT a good option getting to and from the Honolulu Airport because LUGGAGE IS NOT ALLOWED ! It is a good way to get around after you get to Waikiki and should be used in combination with other means of transportation for the least expensive results. A one way trip on the bus will cost you around $2.50 including transfer and will get you to most of the areas that you need to go. The bus has a website: www.thebus.org that has all of the routing, times and costs. There are senior rates and multi-day passes, including a monthly pass that can save you a ton of money when getting around. The route numbers for the buses that run between the airport and Waikiki are #19 and #20.