The Big Island has two major airports for interisland and trans-Pacific jet traffic: Kona and Hilo.
Most people arrive at Kona International Airport (KOA; http://hawaii.gov/koa) in Keahole, the island’s westernmost point, and can be forgiven for wondering if there’s really a runway among all the crinkly black lava and golden fountain grass. Leaving the airport, the ritzy Kohala Coast is to the left (north) and the town of Kailua-Kona—often just called “Kona,” as is the airport—is to the right (south).
U.S. carriers offering nonstop service to Kona, in alphabetical order, are Alaska Airlines (www.alaskaair.com; 800/252-7522), with flights from the Pacific Northwest hubs of Seattle, Portland, and Anchorage (plus Nov–Apr from Bellingham, Washington) and from San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland, California; American Airlines (www.aa.com; 800/433-7300), departing from Los Angeles and Phoenix (also June—late Aug from Dallas); Delta Air Lines (www.delta.com; 800/221-1212), flying from Los Angeles and Seattle; Hawaiian Airlines (www.hawaiianairlines.com; 800/367-5320), offering summer service from Oakland and Los Angeles; United Airlines (www.united.com; 800/241-6522), with year-round flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver.
Air Canada (www.aircanada.com; 888/247-2267) and WestJet (www.westjet.com; 888/937-8358) also offer nonstop service to Kona, with frequency changing seasonally, from Vancouver.
United offers weekly nonstop service from the mainland to Hilo International Airport (ITO; http://hawaii.gov/ito), via Los Angeles.
For connecting flights or island-hopping, Hawaiian (see above) is the only carrier offering interisland jet service, available from Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, to both Kona and Hilo airports; it also flies daily nonstop between Kauai and Kona. Hawaiian’s Ohana by Hawaiian subsidiary also flies from Kona and Hilo to Kahului on 48-passenger, twin-engine turboprops. Island Air (www.islandair.com; 808/652-6541) uses 64-passenger, twin-engine turboprops for 10 daily flights between Honolulu and Kona. Mokulele Airlines (www.mokuleleairlines.com; 866/260-4040) flies nine-passenger, single-engine turboprops to Kona from Molokai (Hoolehua) and Maui’s Kahului and Kapalua airports, and to Waimea from Kahului. Note: Mokulele weighs passengers and their carry-ons to determine seats; those totaling 350 lbs. or more are not allowed to board.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.