Airport to Aulani timeframe

stephk1981

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
I know times can be drastically different, but I'm looking for an ' average' time frame. We will be traveling with a 2 and 11 year old this January, I am getting ready to book flights and am going back and forth on whether to stop overnight in LAX do to time difference and late ( by our EST )arrival to HNL. Can anyone tell me how long it normally takes to depart plane, collect luggage, rent car ( in terminal rental), drive to Aulani, check in and actually be in the room would take? 90 minutes? 2 hours? There is a flight arriving into HNL at 2:18 pm.....but that's 8:18 our time. DD bedtime is right at 8, we can stretch it a bit, but not 3 hours etc. Any experience on the time it will take is appreciated!
 

Boardwalkin

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
I always estimate 2 hours total, but I don’t think it has ever been more. We flew in really late one night due to plane issues and it was only one hour for everything as there was no wait. This was even using an offsite rental company. I would estimate 90 minutes to 2 hours total. Although breaking up the trip with a stop might be nice I would recommend traveling straight through. You are not really getting in that late and you will be glad the next morning to wake up in Hawaii.
 

OKW Lover

Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
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Apr 29, 2004
I'd think it could be less than 2 hours, but I wouldn't really plan on that. We've visited Aulani 5 times now and find the baggage claim at HNL to take a while to deliver bags. If your car rental place is actually in the terminal (only a few are, the rest require a shuttle) that helps. The problem then becomes how bad the traffic will be. We've encountered heavy traffic but our flights arrived about an hour later than yours will and we needed to shuttle to our rental car.

We live in Florida and have tried both stopping in LAX and flying to ATL for the long flight from there to HNL. In the end, we've concluded that the long flight was preferable. We find that a 5 hour flight to LAX leaves us without much enthusiasm for another 5 hour flight. But if you do a 10 hour flight, when its over, its over.
 
  • Sepo

    11-3-2016 12:47 a.m.
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2014
    Definitely agree with everyone so far. Fly all the way through if you can. Check in and Security x 1 instead of 2 and less pre-flight time as well. The toddler may even surprise you and sleep on the plane a bit. The long haul flights are bigger too with 2 aisles and even allow some modest walking / stretching.

    90 to 120 min as mentioned is a good estimate.
     

    stephk1981

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2013
    Thank you to all! I think we will do a flight up to ATL and then the nonstop to HNL. Might be a hard night with 2 year old but maybe then she'll get adjusted after that!
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    I also would suggest flying all the way through. There is a great Delta flight from ATL to HNL that has a 2-4-2 seat configuration and awesome amenities for all fare classes - hot meals, free alcohol, and hundreds of movies/tv shows/games on the seatback TV. It made the time go by quickly and comfortably.

    If you're arriving on a weekday, you will likely hit some traffic on the way to Aulani by the time you get on the road. Rush hour generally starts around 3pm. We arrived around 12pm on a Saturday. By the time we got our bags and our rental car, we would have gotten to Aulani around 3pm, but we stopped for lunch and groceries first.
     

    Mommy2Logan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2019
    If it is a weekday, it will take 30-50 minutes drive time if you are on the road by 3:00. If you don't get on the road until 3:30, it will take 40-1hr10 minutes. You can track the traffic and drive time yourself on Google maps using directions and setting it to a weekday at that time.

    If you arrive on the weekend, it will take 24-35 minutes to make the drive.

    It will take 30 minutes to get your luggage and 20-40 minutes to get the car.

    It took about 15 minutes to check in and get to our room.
     
  • jltdone

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    I also would suggest flying all the way through. There is a great Delta flight from ATL to HNL that has a 2-4-2 seat configuration and awesome amenities for all fare classes - hot meals, free alcohol, and hundreds of movies/tv shows/games on the seatback TV. It made the time go by quickly and comfortably.

    If you're arriving on a weekday, you will likely hit some traffic on the way to Aulani by the time you get on the road. Rush hour generally starts around 3pm. We arrived around 12pm on a Saturday. By the time we got our bags and our rental car, we would have gotten to Aulani around 3pm, but we stopped for lunch and groceries first.
    so if you fly delta from Atlanta direct even if you book the basic fair you get a hot meal plus alcohol for the whole flight or just with a meal?
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    so if you fly delta from Atlanta direct even if you book the basic fair you get a hot meal plus alcohol for the whole flight or just with a meal?
    Yes, alcohol for the whole flight plus unlimited snacks! We were in standard coach, and everyone got a hot meal. There was a choice of 3 items - I chose the ravioli which came with a Caesar salad, cheese & crackers, shrimp, a breadstick, and a brownie. This was served about an hour or so after takeoff. About an hour before landing, they gave everyone turkey sandwiches. In between, they came around frequently offering drinks (alcohol or non) and snacks. Everyone also received pillows, and had a seatback TV with great entertainment options. I never even pulled out my iPad or my own snacks on the flight. Can't say enough good things about it.

    BUT, I believe this is only on specific flights from ATL to HNL (and reverse). We took the Airbus 330 plane with the 2-4-2 seat configuration. The flight left Atlanta around 8:30am (roughly) arriving in HNL around 2:30pm. On the way home, our flight left HNL around 4:30pm arriving in ATL around 6am the next day. I believe these were the only flights where these amenities were offered to all fare classes. I know Delta flies a 737 to HNL, but it doesn't have the same seat configurations or offerings, from what I understand.
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
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    Apr 29, 2004
    BUT, I believe this is only on specific flights from ATL to HNL (and reverse). We took the Airbus 330 plane with the 2-4-2 seat configuration. The flight left Atlanta around 8:30am (roughly) arriving in HNL around 2:30pm. On the way home, our flight left HNL around 4:30pm arriving in ATL around 6am the next day.
    We've been on the same flight several times. This isn't always an Airbus 330 though. This year (May/June) it was a 767.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    We've been on the same flight several times. This isn't always an Airbus 330 though. This year (May/June) it was a 767.
    Good to know. Does the 767 have the 2-4-2 seat configuration? So is it just the nonstop flights between ATL and HNL that offer these amenities? I'm not familiar enough with Delta to know.
     
  • OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    I don't know if the 767 is 242 or 232. We always ride up front. :duck:ETA: on the 767 apparently it is 232 seating.

    Pretty much all the flights to Europe/Asia (and probably South America) also have these amenities. It might be based on how long the flight is.
     
    Last edited:

    linco711

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2004
    Yes, alcohol for the whole flight plus unlimited snacks! We were in standard coach, and everyone got a hot meal. There was a choice of 3 items - I chose the ravioli which came with a Caesar salad, cheese & crackers, shrimp, a breadstick, and a brownie. This was served about an hour or so after takeoff. About an hour before landing, they gave everyone turkey sandwiches. In between, they came around frequently offering drinks (alcohol or non) and snacks. Everyone also received pillows, and had a seatback TV with great entertainment options. I never even pulled out my iPad or my own snacks on the flight. Can't say enough good things about it.

    BUT, I believe this is only on specific flights from ATL to HNL (and reverse). We took the Airbus 330 plane with the 2-4-2 seat configuration. The flight left Atlanta around 8:30am (roughly) arriving in HNL around 2:30pm. On the way home, our flight left HNL around 4:30pm arriving in ATL around 6am the next day. I believe these were the only flights where these amenities were offered to all fare classes. I know Delta flies a 737 to HNL, but it doesn't have the same seat configurations or offerings, from what I understand.
    What was the food like on your way back? We’re taking this flight in October..thanks🤗
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    So if you were leaving on Friday nite to head to airport - we have an 8:30pm flight - what time would you recommend leaving Aulani? I was thinking 5 - would that be about right?

    ETA: I should add we have to return car to Enterprise
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    What was the food like on your way back? We’re taking this flight in October..thanks🤗
    It was the same offerings as the way there. I believe there was a chicken dish and a vegetarian offering which is what I got, which was ravioli. We didn’t get anything additional shortly before landing, but it was a red eye flight and was 6am EST when we were landing. I don’t think anyone wanted a turkey sandwich then! Lol!
     

    linco711

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2004
    It was the same offerings as the way there. I believe there was a chicken dish and a vegetarian offering which is what I got, which was ravioli. We didn’t get anything additional shortly before landing, but it was a red eye flight and was 6am EST when we were landing. I don’t think anyone wanted a turkey sandwich then! Lol!
    Thank you! That’s the way I remember it! I enjoyed it a whole lot more on the way...Just wasn’t sure if it was because coming home is a lot less fun!
     

    Sepo

    11-3-2016 12:47 a.m.
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2014
    So if you were leaving on Friday nite to head to airport - we have an 8:30pm flight - what time would you recommend leaving Aulani? I was thinking 5 - would that be about right?

    ETA: I should add we have to return car to Enterprise
    We recently had a 9:00 pm flight. I think your estimate is generous. There was minimal traffic in that direction from Aulani. We left at 5:45 and really had hours to spare. We were all probably on the other side of security before 7:00 pm, including car return to Alamo.

    One person returned the car, the other 4 checked bags and went through security. The airport mall is on the other side of security but most of the stores were closed already. Only the main gift shops and restaurants were open. You’ll be just fine.
     

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