Hawaii Island Hopping: What’s the best way to travel between Maui and Oahu (Honolulu) or Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, and the Big Island of Hawaii?
There are six major islands of Hawaii that you can visit when you are Hawaii island hopping. By far the best way to get from one island of Hawaii to another is to fly. There are not any regularly scheduled boats between the four largest and most popular islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii). There are very frequent flights on full-size airplanes between those four largest islands. There are both planes and boats from Maui to the smaller two islands of Lanai and Molokai.
You can book your flights between the islands as part of your air tickets from home to Hawaii, or you can buy the flights between the islands separately. But either way, you do need to buy all of the flights before you leave home.
The best way to find good prices on your flights from home to Hawaii, as well as your flights between the islands of Hawaii, is to compare prices using several travel websites, such as Expedia, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline, and others. You can use the following box to save time by filling in your city and travel dates just once, and have the box then find deals for you on several of those websites.
Hawaiian Airlines is the largest and most popular airline for Hawaii island hopping, flying between the islands of Hawaii. They have numerous flights every day from each island to the other islands of Hawaii. Most of their flights are on modern Boeing 717 jets to Oahu (Honolulu), Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii. To the smaller islands of Molokai or Lanai, you will have to take a smaller plane or a boat. Here’s a link to the best online prices from Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines’ Best Fares.
Flights between one island of Hawaii and another are called Inter-Island Flights, or Hawaii island hopping. The main airports and their codes for the six islands you can visit are
Honolulu Airport on Oahu HNL (see photo below)
Kahului Airport on Maui OGG
Lihue Airport on Kauai LIH
Kona Airport KOA or Hilo Airport ITO on the Big Island of Hawaii
Lanai Airport on Lanai LNY
Molokai Airport on Molokai MKK
Sizes and model names of the aircraft that each airline flies between the islands in Hawaii is at Aircraft Airplane Sizes.
For information about all of the airports on Maui, click on Maui Airports.
For information on flights from home to Hawaii, click on Hawaii Air Fares.
See below for a photo of Honolulu airport landing runway, and a fun video of Hawaii island hopping with local surfing kids.