If possible, fly directly to Kauai; doing so can save you a 2-hour layover in Honolulu and another plane ride.
There are no direct international flights into Kauai. You must go through Honolulu to clear Customs and Immigration if you are flying directly from a foreign country. From Honolulu, take an interisland plane to Lihue, Kauai.
Airlines serving Honolulu, Hawaii, from places other than the U.S. mainland include Air Canada (tel. 800/776-3000; www.aircanada.ca); Air New Zealand (tel. 0800/737-000 in Auckland, 64-3/379-5200 in Christchurch, 800/926-7255 in the U.S.; www.airnewzealand.com), which runs 40 flights per week between Auckland and Hawaii; Qantas (tel. 008/177-767 in Australia, 800/227-4500 in the U.S.; www.qantas.com.au), which flies between Sydney and Honolulu daily (plus additional flights 4 days a week); Japan Air Lines (tel. 03/5489-1111 in Tokyo, 800/525-3663 in the U.S.; www.japanair.com); All Nippon Airways (ANA; tel. 03/5489-1212 in Tokyo, 800/235-9262 in the U.S.; www.fly-ana.com); China Airlines (tel. 02/715-1212 in Taipei, 800/227-5118 in the U.S.; www.china-airlines.com); Air Pacific, serving Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific (tel. 800/227-4446; www.airpacific.com); Korean Airlines (tel. 02/656-2000 in Seoul, 800/223-1155 on the U.S. east coast, 800/421-8200 on the U.S. west coast, 800/438-5000 from Hawaii; www.koreanair.com); and Philippine Airlines (tel. 631/816-6691 in Manila, 800/435-9725 in the U.S.; www.philippineair.com).
Operated by the European Travel Network, www.discount-tickets.com is a great online source for regular and discounted airfares to destinations around the world. You can also use this site to compare rates and book accommodations, car rentals, and tours. Click on "Special Offers" for the latest package deals.
Airlines from the U.S. mainland flying directly into Lihue, Kauai, are shown here. Alaska Airlines (tel. 800-ALASKAAIR; www.alaskaair.com) flies direct from Oakland, California, and Seattle. United Airlines (tel. 800/225-5825; www.ual.com) offers direct service to Kauai, with daily flights from Los Angeles. American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) offers a nonstop daily flight from Los Angeles. US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322; www.usairways.com) has direct flights from Phoenix to Lihue. Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays (tel. 800/742-9244; www.pleasantholidays.com), one of Hawaii's largest travel companies offering low-cost airfare and package deals, has weekly nonstop flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco. All other airlines land in Honolulu, where you'll have to connect to a 30-minute interisland flight to Kauai's Lihue Airport.
Arriving at the Airport -- Lihue Airport is a couple of miles from downtown Lihue. There is no public transportation, and there are no shuttle vans available at the airport, so you must either rent a car or hire a taxi.
Your Departure: Agricultural Screening at the Airports -- All baggage and passengers leaving Kauai, bound for the mainland, must be screened by agricultural officials before boarding. This takes a little time but isn't a problem unless you happen to be carrying a football-size local avocado home to Aunt Emma. Officials will confiscate fresh avocados, bananas, mangoes, and many other kinds of local produce in the name of fruit-fly control. Pineapples, coconuts, and papayas inspected and certified for export; boxed flowers; leis without seeds; and processed foods (macadamia nuts, coffee, jams, dried fruit, and the like) will pass. Call federal agricultural officials (tel. 808/877-8757) before leaving for the airport if you're not sure about your trophy.
Now that the interisland ferry, Superferry, has declared bankruptcy, the only option for interisland travel between most islands is via air. There are three interisland carriers; Hawaiian Airlines (tel. 800/367-5320, 808/245-1813, or 808/838-1555; www.hawaiianair.com); go!Mokulele (tel. 888/IFLYGO2; www.iflygo.com); and Island Air (tel. 800/388-1105; www.islandair.com), which offers a flight at least every hour to Lihue.
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.