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Big Island, Hawaii - Kona International Airport (KOA) - Arrivals and Ground Transportation Guide

Hipfig travel channel offers DIY travel video guides for more than 25 cities in

Asia, US, and Canada. If you like this video then subscribe, give us a thumbs up

or a comment. Welcome to this episode of the Big Island Hawaii travel guide by

Hipfig. This Kona International Airport travel guide provides info and tips based

on our own travel experience for arriving passengers to the Big Island of

Hawaii. Did you know that Kona International

Airport is the only remaining major aiport in the Hawaiian Islands where

a mobile ramp is used to plane and deplane passengers? Before I go any further

there are some things I need to explain before moving on. First in Hawaii, the Big

Island is officially known as the Island of Hawaii or just Hawaii so don't get

confused. Second the Big Island has two airports

Kona and Hilo Airport. Kona Airport is the busier of the two major airports on

the Big Island. Kona and Hilo airports are about 80 miles apart and will take

about an hour and a half to two hours to drive between them and third Kona

Airport is officially called Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport with

the airport code koa and is located in the town of Keahole on the Big Island

The Airport was named after Ellison Onizuka and astronaut who died in the

space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and was from the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona

International Airport is located on the leeward or west side of the Big Island

and Hilo Airport is located on the windward or east side. Currently Kona

receives direct trans-pacific flights from the West Coast cities of the u.s.

Vancouver Canada and from Tokyo Japan from Haneda and Narita airports. Most

likely unless you are flying out of one of these cities you'll have to transfer

to Kona from a West Coast city in North America

or one of the other Hawaiian Islands usually Honolulu

or Maui. We took a United Airlines flight from LAX Airport to Kona. We arrived to

Kona Airport around 8:30 p.m. and we're really excited to disembark our plane. We

walked down the ramp and walk to the entrance of the outdoor airport terminal

one. We were greeted immediately by the warm Hawaiian spring air fragrant with

the smell of pikake flowers. Once we went through the terminal one gate there was

a big courtyard with restrooms, a restaurant, and some shops. If you need to

use the restroom use the restroom in this area. Most of the shops and the

restaurant are closed by 10:30 p.m. We didn't go through immigration and

customs since we were domestic arrivals however if you're coming by direct

flight from Japan you will be directed to a separate section in Terminal one

for immigration, baggage claim, and customs. Domestic arrivals should follow

the signs for baggage claim which is on the left side of the airport terminal. We

used the restroom to change and to freshen up and then continued to walk out

towards our left to the doors exiting the secured area which would lead to the

baggage claim area. Right after you leave the secured area you'll see an

information counter to your right. It's open from 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily

this is a very small airport you won't miss it

baggage claim and the arrival area is open air and fairly small compared to

other airports. Kona International Airport is located about seven miles

away from the town of Kailua and ten miles to the resorts of North Kona and

South Kohala districts and about 25 miles from Waikoloa. Once we collected

our bags at baggage claim we followed the signs for ground transportation but

really is just right in front of you. You can get to your hotel several ways from

Kona Airport. If you would like to take a share ride shuttle or prearranged rides

there are several companies: global rider, Gold Coast town car service,

Hawaii executive transportation, and speedi shuttle

you can make a reservation online or visit their counters at the airport

shuttle service counters are located near the baggage claim area. If you're

arriving during the day and want to take public transportation the Hawaii County

mass transit agency Hele-on bus operates a very limited service between

the airport and Kailua Kona town. Buses depart Kona International Airport at

8:30 a.m. and 4:30 5:00 p.m. for Kailua Kona take the pahala Kona South Kohala

route. If you'd like to take a taxi follow the signs for taxi and walk to

the taxi stand which is located on the left on the curbside. Once you arrive in

the taxi area the taxi dispatcher will ask you where you're going. He or she

will then direct you to the taxi driver who serves that area. Taxis are run by

independent companies and have specific areas where they service and they do not

drive to other areas. By the way there is a public phone booth run by Hawaiian

telecom located in the waiting area by the taxi stand should you need one. The

taxi fare will run 25 to 60 US dollars depending on where you're going in the

Kona Kailua/ Captain Cook area and will cost you more for other areas. It's a

good idea to ask the driver the cost of the fare before getting into the taxi

if you're picking up a rental car, cross the street near baggage claim to the

center median. All car rental companies have their sites away from the airport

you can get to the rental car centers by taking a shuttle bound for your rental

car company. Most visitors to Hawaii rent a car because of the distances between

attractions of the island and the flexibility it allows. Driving a car on

the Big Island is easy unless you're planning to drive up Mauna Kea or down

Waipio Valley in either case a 4x4 is required. Make sure to check with your

rental car company before you drive to either one of these places

We boarded the shuttle to our rental car company and the shuttle was efficient

clean and air-conditioned. Once we arrived at our car rental company we

waited in line and rented a 4x4 Jeep which was a fantastic idea

in hindsight. The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport is a small

efficient and easy Airport to transport through on your way to this Hawaiian

Paradise. Happy Travels! Go to hipfig.com for more information or go to our

hipfig travel channel on YouTube and be sure to subscribe for regular updates