Avoid Long Lines And Risk Of Getting Turned Away From Hawaii By ‘Pre-Clearing’ Before You Fly

There can be long lines to wait in when you land in Hawaii, not always well socially-distanced, to show you’ve met the state’s testing requirements to avoid a 14 day quarantine. And the state makes mistakes, too, one family showed up with negative results from an approved testing provider but was told to quarantine anyway by mistake. By the time the state sorted it out, they’d already turned back around and flown home to California.

Throughout the Hawaii’s re-opening there’s been changes to the timing of when visitors would be allowed without quarantine, and where they can go (Kauai is off-limits again without quarantine). And there’s been confusion over which tests are accepted – for instance the American Airlines testing partner LetsGetChecked has been accepted even without being on the approved list.

So there’s a great new process you can go through if you’re flying Alaska Airlines to ‘pre-clear’ Hawaii’s formalities before you set foot on the plane.

To help with the long wait times that travelers arriving in the Islands have experienced as part of this program, Alaska has received approval to pre-clear guests who complete the state’s requirements prior to check-in, so that no additional screening is needed after arrival at Hawaii’s airports.

This is already available for Maui flights, and starts for Kona and Honolulu on Monday, December 14. Prior to departure, Alaska Airlines Hawaii-bound passengers will get an email outlining the steps:

Passengers who go through this process get a ‘pre-clear wristband’ at the airport, prior to departure. This wristband is a fast pass out of the airport on arrival. Bottom-line is you can trust Alaska Airlines, I think, to handle electronic paperwork in advance better than Hawaii’s bureaucrats when you land, plus you’ll know before getting on the plane whether there’s going to be any difficulty.

That’s a step forward which reduces uncertainty and makes it easier to plan a Hawaii trip – as long as the program remains in place and the wristbands are honored upon arrival, of course.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Great option…though I would say arriving at HNL on Sunday the process was extremely smooth, well managed, and relatively quick. It’s getting the test result in time that was the stressful part.

  2. I agree with the previous comment about getting test results on time is the stressful part, I feel they should make it at least 96 hrs rather than 72 hrs time frame

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