Full parking lots, long lines at Honolulu’s airport trigger big travel headaches

Travelers report missing flights thanks to long security lines at Honolulu airport
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An influx in travelers for spring break and a broken TSA screening machine triggered long security lines at Honolulu’s airport on Tuesday morning that caused some to miss their flights.

And transportation officials are urging those with travel plans to brace for travel headaches over the next two weeks.

Just how busy is it?

State Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara said that all three parking structures at the airport ― with a total of 4,500 stalls ― were full by Tuesday morning.

The message to travelers: Don’t even bother trying to find a spot and instead plan on being dropped off.

Kailua resident Kevin McGee learned that lesson the hard way.

“It’s terrible," he said. “I’ve been driving around for 20 minutes and couldn’t find a spot."

Added Naiwi Dowsett, of Kealakekua on the Big Island: “There’s people following me around from the moment we landed trying to get my parking stall because of the lack of parking."

Sakahara said spring break is always busy, but this year is busier than usual.

“It typically doesn’t fill up quite like this, though ... it gets very close but it doesn’t reach capacity. Today, it did, and so that’s why we do want people to know they should definitely plan to get dropped off.”

Those in security lines on Tuesday morning reported waits of an hour or more.

Sakahara said the long lines were due in part to a screening machine that went down. Additional lanes were added, but long lines at the inter-island terminal ― that snaked out the door and around the building ― continued through mid-morning.

Some travelers reported missing their flights, including HNN’s Jobeth Devera. She missed a flight to Hilo and said there were a number of other people trying to re-book as well.

Passenger Jana Glasman said she was in line for more than an hour.

“I got to the airport about an hour and 20 minutes before my flight, and the doors close in 5 minutes, and I’m still outside,” said passenger Jana Glasmann.

Transportation officials are urging travelers to use the TSA screening checkpoints at the international terminal if the lines are extraordinarily long at the inter-island terminal.

They’re also telling those traveling to get to the airport earlier than normal.

This story will be updated.

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