Hawaii Mom Blog: Traveling Inter-Island After the Lifting of the Quarantine Requirement




June 22, 2020

Traveling Inter-Island After the Lifting of the Quarantine Requirement

Over the weekend I traveled to Hilo for work.  For those wondering what the experience is like now that the inter-island quarantine has been lifted, this is what my experience was like...  I checked in for my flight 24 hours ahead of time, completed the mandatory travel form, and on the day of departure, I arrived to the airport 2.5 hours ahead of departure time, since I anticipated delays.

Depending on how you get to the check-in lobby at HNL, it can be quite confusing as to where to go, but all I knew was that you would have to get your temperature screened, so I looked for the screeners and made sure I was on the right path (I had no luggage to check).

I got my temperature checked, and went to a table to turn in my travel form.  I showed my ID, and the employee called the cell # listed on the form to make sure I was reachable for any reason.

I then went on my way to security, where I was required to take off or pull down my mask as the screener verified my ID.

There was no separate TSA precheck line - everyone was funneled into a single line, however, if you have TSA precheck, you simply show your boarding pass to the security screener and you will go through normal precheck procedures.

The entire process from arrival at the airport through security was less than 5 minutes.

The gates were quite filled (not much social distancing), so I decided to find a spot away from my gate, where not too many people were congregating.

I flew on Hawaiian Airlines, and during the boarding process, I was the first one on the plane.  Priority and First Class boarding still exists, but passengers are no longer boarded by zones, and instead by row numbers (back of plane gets filled first).

Upon boarding, passengers were given sanitizing wipes. Be sure to not put it (or anything at all) in the pocket in the seat in front of you (prior to takeoff the flight attendant will collect trash).

I did have someone sit next to me in First Class, and the same thing happened on the way back, as standbys were cleared.

In reality, social distancing is impossible on a plane, unless it's half empty, because no matter where you sit - even if the seat next to you is empty, there will still be someone in back, in front, across, or diagonally from you.

Masks are required onboard, and you are prohibited from changing seats (moving to an empty seat0 due to the pandemic.

In ITO, the process was nearly identical, except forms were turned in first, and then temperature taken.  Also, the TSA precheck line at ITO still exists, so from the time I got to the airport and through security, it was less than 5 minutes (which is actually like a typical, pre-pandemic timeframe).

There were plenty of open seats in the lobby and very few people, compared to HNL. 

Once again I was the first one on the plane, and on this trip, the flight attendants were handing out juice and water as customers boarded, versus passing them out during the flight. 

I can't deny that I did still feel somewhat nervous during the whole process - this pandemic is nothing to take lightly, but the temperature screenings, numerous hand sanitizing stations all throughout the airport, and the mask requirements did help to put me at ease a little. 

Everyone was gracious - the airport staff, National Guard, TSA, Hawaiian Airlines employees.  They have to encounter hundreds of people a day, and I thank them for their professionalism and their efforts in keeping the public safe. 

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