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With all the news about jets flying in, around, and out of Hawai’i it’s easy to forget about some of the smaller airports. I hope my Mokulele flight review Honolulu to Kapalua gives you some insight into additional options when island hopping.
With the sometimes significant cost to rent (and park!) a rental car, flying into an airport that is just a short taxi or Uber ride can save you hundreds of dollars.
I was on my way to review the Montage Kapalua Bay (parking $45/night) on the island of Maui and had no plans to travel around the island during my 2 days. Flying from Honolulu to Kapalua would save me some money and also let me experience a little small-plane adventure aside from the standard things to do on Maui.
Booking Process For Mokulele Airlines
I booked this flight about a month prior to my stay and saw minimal price fluctuation while monitoring over a 2 week period. Mokulele offers three tiers when booking and none of them have anything to do with your seat selection.
I had a flexible time frame so I booked the Frugal fare rate that departed at 1:45 pm. In reviewing several other dates I noticed the morning flight out at 8:25 am almost never had the Frugal fare rate option available. This made sense of course since most travelers going inter-island want to start the day early.
If you have never flown on a small plane then you should note that things like your personal weight and baggage become very important. If you are 350lbs or heavier you need to contact Mokulele Direct.
If you look at the screenshot below, sorry for the blurry image, you can see that the biggest difference between tiers is the allowance of changes and when you can do them. Other than that almost everything else remains the same, except the price 🙂
One thing I really did like about the booking process was the $148 total quoted me at the beginning of the process included the taxes so no last-minute change-a-roos.
Check-In Information For Mokulele Airlines
Once you book your flight you will get a couple of emails with additional information along with location and the process. The screenshots below are what you will receive or what you can find on the website to assist you.
I found this pdf image from the Airport Division to be much clearer directing me to the right location.
A couple of additional notes to help you navigate to the correct terminal and gate for Mokulele flights.
The commuter terminal is now called Terminal 3 so be prepared to hear both names depending on who you are talking to. Almost every local person I know will call it the commuter terminal. It is located right between the Delta and United Cargo operations, the entrance will look like the image below.
Terminal 3 will look like this
The boarding gate here is H1, so if you only have the boarding gate information and it says H1 you are at the commuter terminal, I mean Terminal 3 🙂 Here is the Mokulele check-in counter.
If you are arriving from another flight and find yourself in Terminal 1 or 2 you can take the Wiki Wiki shuttle over to Terminal 3. If you are departing from here parking is available including 42 standard public stalls and two Americans with Disabilities Act stalls. The public will be required to pre-pay their parking fees before checking in for their flight.
And finally, don’t worry about your boarding pass, there are none for these flights, you will be escorted to the plane by an attendant.
Mokulele Flight Review Honolulu To Kapalua
So I made it to Terminal 3 a bit early as I usually do to get photos and video and found the whole process to be as laid back and casual as it looked.
I was surprised at how clear the signage was for Terminal 3, I guess I just never looked. When you check in at the counter they will ask you for your weight, be prepared. This is for balancing the plane and not to embarrass you. They will weigh any checked luggage, my normal carry-on had to be checked, so a backpack should be ok. Then you just hang out near one of the tented areas for your flight to be called.
The announcement of the flight is not very loud so pay attention. The attendant will be near the gate and verify your name along with giving you your seat assignment. Once everyone is there they will walk you onto the tarmac and around the plane, exciting!
Climb the drop-down ladder/steps and get strapped in.
Once on board, you get a quick safety briefing directly from the pilot, the curtain is closed and off you go.
Hearing the roar of the propeller was exciting and reminded me of another age of travel, good times. A short taxi and a smooth take-off had us off and on our way for the 50-minute flight. Some great views of Oahu, Molokai, and Lanai are on the way.
The pilot did say we would hit some turbulence on the way into Kapalua and boy was he right. The adrenaline was pumping a bit after landing but everyone was all smiles, the pilot mentioned no barrel rolls today, wow.
Arrival At Kapalua Airport
Arriving into Kapalua after a bumpy, but fun, landing was unique and surreal. The only plane in sight, the only passengers in sight.
Exiting the aircraft via the drop-down ladder steps we walked to the back of the plane and waited for the Captain to unload our bags. Everyone casually grabbed what was theirs and we headed to the security guard who was holding the chain link fence gate open for us.
A perfect way to get to Kapalua from Honolulu without having to rent a car or deal with parking. I plan on visiting other hotels in the area and will definitely be flying in the same way.
Have you flown into Kapalua before? Any windy landing stories to share?