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Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

Winnipeg, Canada
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474 posts
13 reviews
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Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I am trying to decide whether to fly to Lanai'i or take the ferry. My plans have me departing from Kona after a week-long conference and I would like to explore Lanai'i for 2 or 3 days before heading back to the mainland.

I have done all the research comparing cost and travel time.

One option is to take a flight from Kona to Honolulu then a connecting flight onto Lanai'i. My first choice gets me into Lanaii at 12 noon giving me time to enjoy the afternoon, but it is also the most expensive at $270/person.

Alternatively, I can fly from Kona to Maui for a lot less - about $90/person for a direct flight, but I would have to factor in the taxi fare to Lahaina ($60) and the ferry cost ($30). This option is $180/person but gets me into Lanaii later in the afternoon. I don't think I can make the 12:45 ferry so would have to wait for the 3:15 departure. I think this option would waste away most of the day.

On the way home, I could either book a return flight through Maui or Honolulu.

I am concerned about taking the ferry back to Lahaina in case there are any delays in getting to the airport in time to catch my flight. It seems that taking a flight out of Lanaii to Honolulu might be more reliable.

I would like to hear from anyone who has actually done the ferry-taxi option through Maui or the flight option through Honolulu. I would prefer the option that is less of a hassle even if it costs a bit more.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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1. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I would go the flight route. Might be more expensive but the ferry to airport could be probematic for a return the mainland. Any sort of delay would be bad (and expensive).

Since I don't know your exact dates I plugged in a couple for October on Orbitz and get a fare of $216 per person Kona to Lanai then 3 days later Lanai to Honolulu on GO!.

carlsbad, ca
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35 posts
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2. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

Aloha Jaypea

If the minutes are being counted then HNL to LNY flights are a time saver.

I've flown many times from HNL to LNY, and the last couple times on Island Air our family needed to do too much weight juggling to get the carry on under 16 lbs to avoid extra fees, and I thought it might be worth trying OGG to lahaina to Manele instead. So this last July we did that, rented from National a one way, (Enterprise, Hertz and others do as well) it was about $54, topping off the tank was about $12 the boat is $30 and when you multiply it by a family of four it was a substantial savings, but more than that it was much more enjoyable to fly into the relatively small OGG had a very easy rental pick up there, we had fun re-exploring Maui & Lahaina for a short while, and you don't need to worry about how much your bags weigh. It's a pleasnt 45 min boat ride and in the winter months you're almost guaranteed to see whales. We as a family preferred it and decided to go this route from now on, especially since we always do some shopping before we hit Lanai. Depending on which rental agency you use you may need to drop off up the road from Lahaina and let them shuttle you to town. I believe Hertz is about a 10 min walk to the Expeditions ferry boat right at the Pioneer Inn.

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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3. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

Take the plane.

Hawaii
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for Lanai
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36 reviews
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4. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I have always preferred taking the ferry from Maui (for all the reasons bokohi mentioned and more). Usually my decision is driven by the long layovers at HNL (I'd rather be hanging out on Maui than sitting in airport terminal). Flying interisland probably would not be as bad layover-wise...and sounds like your main concern is time constraints (and making the trip to Lana'i worth the effort). I don't blame you! I think you're just going to need to tack on a few more days. <wink>

Due to your schedule, sounds like a flight might be better this trip. Good Luck with your plans.

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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4,073 posts
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5. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I agree, I think the airplane flights would be the best option in your situation.

Winnipeg, Canada
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474 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

Thanks for the advice everyone! I am trying to add on a few days of our trip and originally would have loved to stay in Wailea. We have been intrigued to visit Lana'i after going to Maui for many years and since we are without the kids on this trip, we thought Lana'i might be worth trying on our own for a few days.

I am tempted to fly from Kona to Maui on the way there and take a taxi to Lahaina (2 passengers) and then the ferry to Lana'i since time is not that much of an issue. Then we could still enjoy the ferry excursion and maybe catch some whales (in February)

Then because time is a bigger concern on the way back, it might be better through Honolulu for the flight home. I wonder how easy it is to catch the wiki shuttle bus in between terminals as we will have to make our way with our bags from the commuter terminal to the main terminal in Honolulu.

I like the idea of flying out of Maui because the airport is much smaller but I am still concerned about weather and possible delays with the ferry that could make us miss our flight.

Edited: 10 September 2011, 01:16
Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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7. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

Aloha,

To be honest, I doubt the ferry will be delayed.........but you could easily run into traffic between Lahaina and OGG that would cause a problem if your timing is tight.

What airline are you flying home?

Edited: 10 September 2011, 01:24
Winnipeg, Canada
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474 posts
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8. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I haven't booked our flights until I figure out the schedule. Either United or Air Canada out of Maui or Honolulu is possible.

If we take the 4:30 pm ferry back to Lahaina, I figure we would get to Kahului airport between 6-6:30 pm and take either a 7:55 pm or 9:20 pm flight home. Sounds possible but subject to weather and traffic conditions.

Or I can fly to Honolulu with either Go! or Island Air, getting in around 4 pm so would have 5 1/2 hours before 9:20 flight home.

I hate the thought of sitting in Honolulu airport for so long, so now am seriously thinking about taking the ferry although it is subject to more risks.

Edited: 10 September 2011, 15:00
Hawaii
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for Lanai
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9. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

I have taken this trip many, many times (ferry to Maui, drive to airport, flight from OGG to mainland). If you plan a little extra time for unexpected delays, I'm sure you will be fine. Your scenario above sounds pretty reasonable to me (4:30 ferry and late flight out of OGG).

You're coming in February? Perfect. The whales are abundant then. I'm like a little kid when I see them. It's the most exciting time of the year. :) That's worth the ferry ride right there.

Edina, Minnesota
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for Lanai
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10. Re: Ferry or Fly to Lanai'i?

If there is bad weather when you want to leave from Lana`i, it could affect both the plane and ferry service. I have seen both cancelled because of weather. The planes land by visual there so low clouds and fog can ground them. That has affected us a couple times.

I would go with Island Air if you do fly, I feel more comfortable in their 36 seat prop planes, than the 9 seat plane that Go! flies. IA has flights that arrive at 5:40 and 7:40 in Honolulu. The earlier one will give you some wait, and the later one will be pushing it for connection times.

Also, in Honolulu, if you are up for a moderate walk, you can walk from the commuter terminal to the main terminal and stay within the security area. Just ask the IA reps to escort you. The advantage of that is saving the time of waiting for the Wiki Wiki, and not having to go through security again. The lines in Honolulu seem to be getting worse all the time. And if you just want to stay in the secure area and walk less, you can hop on the Wiki in the inter-island terminal.