The Wiki Wiki Shuttle at the Honolulu International Airport had every intention of being a great thing when it was debuted in 1970. Decades passed, and it became clear that the shuttle had not been living up to its name, which means “quick” in Hawaiian.

Travelers cruising through this main hub of the Hawaiian Islands would agree, as many have already complained about it being too slow, too hot and just plain right outdated. I’ve hopped aboard the Wiki Wiki several times during a hot, sunny day and each time, remember feeling very stuffed up in the confined bus. I’ve even once raced my friends who jumped on the shuttle. Choosing to instead walk from the gate to the baggage terminal, I won by a couple minutes. Indeed, I was just as sweaty as they were, but if it’s about expediting the process, then the Wiki Wiki isn’t the way to go.

That’s why in 2010, the state revealed an air-conditioned international arrivals corridor that was meant to eventually replace the Wiki Wiki Shuttles. As part of the multibillion-dollar modernizing program, the new 2,100-foot-long corridor also includes three moving sidewalks to eliminate the need for shuttles.

While you won’t be seeing any Wiki Wiki’s near international arrival gates, you will still see them chugging along near domestic gates. And you will see passengers riding them. But there aren’t nearly as many as before. The fleet has dwindled in numbers, and soon, they may also be chucked up as yet another element to the airport’s longstanding history in the islands.

WIKI WIKI SHUTTLES • Honolulu International Airport transportation (Free) • Runs daily 6am-10pm for domestic gates only

2 COMMENTS

  1. I suppose it’s because of the smaller fleet but instead of the shuttle running a loop there is a cantankerous old man who assigns the shuttle to a particular gate. He kept bypassing our gates and finally we just got on one and luckily we did because we almost missed our plane. It’s one of the worst systems I’ve ever seen. It was better when they just ran the loop. I will avoid HNL in the future…the last thing I’m looking for is to depend on a guy who doesn’t seem to care if I make my connecting flight or not. A terrible way to begin or end a vacation.

  2. Pete – So sorry to hear that happened to you! That must have been BEYOND stressful for you and your family. I agree that there needs to be changes made to the HNL airport transportation. And hopefully once that’s done, you’ll consider giving Honolulu a second chance!

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