Railmatt From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 212 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 918 times:
I arrived a couple of hours early for my AA flight from HNL to DFW last week. I wandered over to the United concourse which was obviously built several decades earlier than the one American shares with Delta and Continental.
There is a third level above the level of the departure lounges/jetways which doesn't seem to serve any current purpose other than for United's Red Carpet Club. There are several operational escalators to it and an unused roadway outside. It is nice for viewing aircraft operations.
Lahaina From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 255 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 811 times:
I presume you are talking about the Diamond Head side of HNL. The third level is used for drop offs and pickups by the Wiki Wiki Bus. The unused road you're referring to is the road used by the bus. It picks up and drops off passengers to the baggage claim area. It also takes passengers to the interisland terminals from the mainland/international terminals.
Ishky15 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 717 posts, RR: 14 Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 771 times:
I believe that both FLY and Lahaina are both confused. You're reffering to the second floor above the boarding level of the United Concourse. I, too, noticed this while I was waiting for my Continental flight back to Newark on New Years' Eve. I know for sure that that level was used for Red Carpet Club lounges, but I'm guessing that a while back they used to board the upper deck of the 747s from there. This is just a guess, and I'm sure that they don't do it anymore if they ever did. The Diamond Head Concourse is fairly old compared to the Center Concourse. When I was there at around 6:30 at nite, there were absolutely NO flights arriving or departing on United for quite some time. There were Northwest flights to Los Angeles and Minneapolis, Continental flights to Newark and Houston, American flights to Dallas and Chicago, and Delta flights to Atlanta and Fort Worth, however.
Lahaina From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 255 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 760 times:
Telephoned Honolulu international airport (808-836-6411) and Wiki Wiki Bus (808-836-2505). The Wiki Wiki bus picks up passengers on level 2 and drops off passengers on level 3. You can call them directly if you want to verify the posted info.
Beech_bum From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 725 times:
The wiki wiki buses are a joke. Two out of three times I can walk faster. Even if I get off of a UAL flight at the far gate and need to go to the inter-island terminal at the other far end its a gamble waiting for the stupid bus. Besides being on Hawaiian time, the drivers are way too helpful for me. They will open and close the door 5 times as people get up the escalators. Then help multiple travelers load bags, give directions, and then time out and its time to switch drivers. As they unload their lunch box and sign out their times, they need to get the next driver up to date on Junior boy and his wife and kids. It takes five minutes for the next driver to adjust all his mirrors and seats by hand (these buses were built in the 60's or 70's I'm sure) then he needs to get up and make sure everybody is behind the yellow line and once he starts going around 2 or 3 mph not quite fully engaging the torque converter as he sips on his slightly hot Kona coffee you can STILL WALK FASTER aaaarrggghhh. At least the flight I had a quick connection was running on the same Hawaiian time schedule and was 45 minutes late so I was in good shape.
AZJUBILEE From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3555 posts, RR: 30 Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 718 times:
The WIkiWiki bus picks up and drops off people on the departure level. THe upper level that is being referred to is for international arrivals. The pax deplane and are funneled onto the escalators next to each gate. At that point the WikiWiki busses take the pax to the international arrivals area where they will go down escalators into customs. That procedure is also done at the Diamond head terminal. The Central concourse is actually the original terminal at the airport. A second floor was added when the widebody era came to be. INcidently international arrivals in this concourse is a bit strange. Pax deplane into the holding area and walk down a flight of stairs out onto the ramp to waiting WikiWiki busses to take them to international arrivals. Gates 12/13 and 24/25 have direct access to the international arrivals where no WikiWiki is necessary. PLans were to get rid of those exhaust blowing things in favor of moving sidewalks but the state's economic crisis that is just now ending didn't allow spending for this during the airport's latest expansion. This included gates 31-34 and the 2 phases of the new interisland terminal. Also, an exclusive international terminal area was to be build on the landside of the diamond head concourse. This would include the existing gates 6-11 but also gates 1a-5b and the customs area relocated to the landside of this terminal, also eliminating the need for those damn WIkiwiki (which incidently means fast/quick) busses.
I worked at the aerospace museum in HNL while I was in High school and learned a lot about our airport!
Railmatt From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 212 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 715 times:
I have seen either photographs or artist's rendering of jet bridges to the upper deck of 747s so I think they must have considered this for that 3rd level. Lahaina is probably right about the Wiki Wiki Bus using both levels but I can't accept that that is the only reason for this large indoor space up above.
AeroGlobeAir7 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 586 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 634 times:
I have never been to HNL, but it is likely they used to use the top level for the boarding of 747 top decks, I've seen pictures of PAN AM planes at JFK setting at such gates. They probably pulled out the top gates and now use it for the Wiki Wiki bus, that's my guess.
Hawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3091 posts, RR: 8 Reply 16, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 616 times:
AZJUBILEE described the procedure correctly. I have done an international arrival once, but have been though HNL many other times.
The main terminal consists of three levels. The ground floor holds the baggage claim areas, located below the ticketing counters, as well as the airline club lounges, which are located in the center of the triangle that is at the base of the Central Concourse.
The second level is the main terminal level. The check-in counters and gate areas are here. When you arrive on a domestic flight, you come onto this level and, if you are in the Diamond Head or Ewa Concourses, go outside and can walk or board the Wiki Wiki.
International arrivals in Diamond Head and Ewa (not sure about Central) exit the jetway on the second level, but are immediately directed up to the third level, where passengers board a Wiki Wiki bus which takes them to customs and immigration.
One thing that is nice about Honolulu is that the Ewa and Diamond Head Concourses can be easily closed off, allowing easy international connections. When this is the case, international connecting passengers stay on the second level and can go to their connecting flight. I had a chance to observe this in 1999, when I took an Air Canada flight from Honolulu to Vancouver. I checked in at the main ticket counter, then went out to the Diamond Head Concourse. Right at the beginning of the Concourse, there were counters where my tickets were checked and I was allowed in. But once past I was not allowed to leave except on an airplane. This simplified things for later, when an Air New Zealand flight arrived and a lot of passengers came to the AC gate for my flight. Air Canada and Air New Zealand used HNL as a transit point for their Star Alliance service between AKL and YVR, and at the time, Oneworld (QF/CP) did the same.
Upon return to HNL, we were instructed that those, like me, who HNL was our final destination, were to exit the aircraft and go up to the third level and the Wiki Wiki bus, and those passengers continuing on NZ to AKL were to go into the boarding area.
Penguinflies From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 975 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (12 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 598 times:
Just my two cents...
Boeing 747s would not use a third floor for boarding at HNL because most gates are equipped with two entries (A and B gates). If airlines were really stupid, they could use both doors to load a 757.
Also, United's Gates in the Diamond Head area start at six. Why? Because the airport was supposed to build the international concourse and move United. What happened? The EPA had a little problem with the fuel tank on the mauka (north) side of the field and Tourism died in the 1990s. Millions of taxpayer dollars and 30 years later, they are finally ready to build this, but no more traffic...so they put it off. The Ewa concourse was supposed to be much longer, but they didn't complete it. Can we get a senator to take this as a pork project now (come on Inouye and Akaka!)
The thrid floor MIGHT (my guess) have been for future expanions like a U.S. Custom office and processing center (for all those 747s that were supposed to arrive, stores (for the last minute over-priced pineapple) and airline clubs (cause spending 14000 yen to get to US soil wasn't good enough).
Remember everything takes longer to do and is more expensive. Just look at other projects (like interstate H-3 which costed a billion dollars a mile to build) SERIOUSLY!