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Kona - a True Third World Airport!

Kona - a True Third World Airport!

Old Aug 10, 15, 12:48 pm
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Kona - a True Third World Airport!

Joe Biden labeled my home airport, LGA, "third world." Joe should fly out of Kona. I doubt if there have been any upgrades there in the last thirty years.

- The outdoor waiting area is hot and steamy.
- Flight information boards were not working.
- Announcements were impossible to hear in the waiting area.
- Two flights, one American, one Delta, both going to LAX, boarded through
the same small entry. The area beyond the agricultural scan was packed
with hundreds of people waiting for both flights.

Seriously, why has the Hawaiian government done nothing about these problems? I would really like to know.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 10, 15 at 2:04 pm Reason: Posted in wrong forum; more topical here
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Old Aug 10, 15, 12:53 pm
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Aloha, Yogi.

Sounds like that vacation really mellowed you out. Perhaps the Jersey Shore would be a less stressful trip for you next time.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 1:09 pm
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The governor recently released some funds to start a long overdue update of the worst elements of the Kona airport. Such projects tend to move slowly in Hawaii, however, and it will be years before the improvements are finished. Believe it or not, some people actually like the old fashioned facilities. I guess it makes them think they are in a set from "South Pacific" or something. Our Big Island weather has been extra humid this year, perhaps because of the El Nino effect.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 2:23 pm
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We made out 6th(!) trip to the Big Island back in June, and I dunno, I think the steaminess adds to the charm Also, I tend to get irritated about things less in Hawaii than I might if I were just going through my daily routine back home, because, well, I'm in Hawaii...
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Old Aug 10, 15, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by icedancer View Post
We made out 6th(!) trip to the Big Island back in June, and I dunno, I think the steaminess adds to the charm Also, I tend to get irritated about things less in Hawaii than I might if I were just going through my daily routine back home, because, well, I'm in Hawaii...
This!

We'll be making our 10th or 11th trip to Kona this winter and treasure every minute. Yes, the airport could use some modernization but I like the outdoor feel.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 8:11 pm
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Having experienced both LGA and KOA I do agree with your observations however, I find the same issues at LGA. The main difference is a least in KOA I can dress for the heat unlike LGA in January when they have the heat turned up north of 90 while the outside temperature is south of 40. Try dressing for that.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 9:29 pm
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If the weather in Hawaii isn't to your liking, you probably shouldn't go there on vacation, yeah?
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Old Aug 11, 15, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by WRCSolberg View Post
If the weather in Hawaii isn't to your liking, you probably shouldn't go there on vacation, yeah?
Why so many snarky responses, like this one, on Flyer Talk?

My post wasn't about the weather, it was about the airport.

For the record we love Hawaii and its people.

Is it too much to ask for a flight information board that works? Is it too much to ask for announcements that can be heard? Is it too much to have gate areas that actually accommodate people?

The State of Hawaii thrives on tourism, and rightly so. Why not spend a small proportion of revenue to fix up an outdated and non functional airport and attract even more tourists?
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Old Aug 11, 15, 9:39 am
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I just love all Hawaian airports - not enclosed. Just love them
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Old Aug 11, 15, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by AltaBound View Post
Having experienced both LGA and KOA I do agree with your observations however, I find the same issues at LGA. The main difference is a least in KOA I can dress for the heat unlike LGA in January when they have the heat turned up north of 90 while the outside temperature is south of 40. Try dressing for that.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by yogimax View Post
The State of Hawaii thrives on tourism, and rightly so. Why not spend a small proportion of revenue to fix up an outdated and non functional airport and attract even more tourists?
Because there are SO many empty seats on the planes going to Hawaii??? I'm not sure that they can attract too many more tourists with the existing flights.

When planes are 85+% full, there is no need to spend a lot of money on airport terminal facilities
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Old Aug 11, 15, 12:00 pm
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I would be nice if they had a proper shave ice stand and a plate lunch truck airside.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 3:21 pm
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I felt that KOA was one of the coolest airports I've ever been to, with two caveats:

* The agricultural inspection line was pretty poorly organized
* The restaurant is a complete and utter rip. We couldn't find anyone who would deliver a pizza to the terminal either.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 4:44 pm
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I come through KOA regularly on business and I have learned all of its many quirks so to say. Here are my suggestions on dealing with KOA:
*Pack food basically nothing at the airport and often not on the outbound flights.
*Watch your flight times remotely through your phone app preferably. Go to the airport on time but NOT early. I even prefer being a bit late as you will get on the flight and the tourist crowd has already moved through. Also less standing in the heat to board.
*Even if flying back to the main land in the winter wear light clothing and pack a jacket in your carry on.
*If you can go carry on. I leave a suitcase in Kona so I have local clothing and always go carry on.
*Don't forget to check traffic, remember limited road to airport so if one gets backed up by an accident you could be quickly S.O.O.L.

Last edited by nomad420; Aug 11, 15 at 5:58 pm Reason: better listing of KOA suggestions
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Old Aug 11, 15, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by yogimax View Post
Is it too much to ask for a flight information board that works? Is it too much to ask for announcements that can be heard? Is it too much to have gate areas that actually accommodate people?

The State of Hawaii thrives on tourism, and rightly so. Why not spend a small proportion of revenue to fix up an outdated and non functional airport and attract even more tourists?
Some things are in the works, but the modernization program has mostly focused on HNL and OGG rather than the smaller neighbor island airports. http://www.hawaiiairportsmodernizati...5/kona-airport
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