Using Uber at HNL Guide (Tips & Photos) [2022]

Are you thinking about using Uber when you arrive at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport aka Honolulu International Airport (HNL)?

Well, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s a pretty simple process and recent changes over the past few years have made it even easier to secure yourself a ride via Uber.

In the article below, I’ll walk you through how to use Uber at the airport and provide you with some helpful photos so that you know exactly what to look for.

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Uber or Lyft rideshare pick-up at HNL overview

HNL has now set up three separate pick up areas for Uber and other rideshare services like Lyft:

  • Terminal 1 – pick up area #1 on level two outside lobby two.
  • Terminal 2 – pick up area #2 on level two outside lobby five.
  • Terminal 2 – pick up area #3 on level two outside lobby eight.

Pick up area number two is the newest pick up zone and was introduced after traffic started getting kind of bad. Its location is much more central in the airport than the other two.

If you’re wondering what terminal you will be arriving in keep this in mind:

  • Terminal 1 at Honolulu Airport is only used by Hawaiian Airlines domestic and US mainland flights.
  • Terminal 2 at Honolulu Airport handles international flights and some US domestic destinations
HNL rideshare pick up zone map
Image via HDOT.

Finding your pick-up zone

Something to note is that all of the pick up zones are on level two.

This means that you will probably go down to the first level to pick up your baggage and then you will need to head up escalators, stairs, or an elevator to get back up to the second level.

The elevators should be marked which will help you know which floor you need to go to for rideshare pick up. They refer to it as “Ride App Pickup.”

HNL Uber ride share pickup zone signs

You’ll then just need to proceed to the lobby area where the pick up zone is located which you can find using the map above.

When we arrived in January 2022, I don’t know that the middle pick up area (#2) was set-up or open.

As we exited from Terminal 2, the personnel we spoke with directed us towards the lobby 8 area, so it’s possible that this pick up station #2 is not available at all times?

Anyway, as you approach the pick up zones you should see a sign indicating that you are at the rideshare pick up zone. It’s basically impossible to miss.

HNL Uber ride share pickup zone
HNL Uber ride share pickup zone

Also, if you look on the curb it should also be marked for rideshare pick up.

HNL Uber ride share pickup zone

In our case, we stopped at the pick up zone outside of lobby eight which was directly across from the rental car center. It was later in the evening (around 7:30pm) so there were not any other vehicles waiting and it was a very low-key experience.

If you share your location on Uber the driver can see where you are but you might also message them and let them know which pick up station you are at. For example, “waiting at lobby 8.”

HNL Uber ride share pickup zone

Uber pick-up costs from HNL

If you’re getting picked up from HNL chances are you are headed to one of the main spots in Oahu.

Here are some of the prices that you can expect to pay. We listed prices for both Uber and Lyft just to make things a little bit easier. And keep in mind that these prices always fluctuate.

Holiday Inn Express Waikiki$20.12$23.93
Pearl Harbor$12.85$12.99
Dole Plantation$40.04$43.99
Punchbowl Crater$16.81$19.87
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa$22.89$22.76
Kualoa Ranch$44.43$48.75
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa$41.84$45.82
Bishop Museum$12.95$13.72
Honolulu Zoo$22.94$26.78
Diamond Head State Monument$25.93$29.93

Just be aware that we did pick up some pretty dramatic surge pricing from HNL during certain times of the day such as morning rush-hour.

At one point, the cost to get from HNL to Waikiki was around $70 for UberX! So be on the lookout for some ridiculous surge pricing at times.

You might even want to reserve your Uber ride to lock in the non-dynamic pricing.

Related: Dole Plantation Review (Worth it or Tourist Trap?)

Uber or rental car?

Finally, one more thing you may want to consider is if you should even take Uber in the first place. You might be better off renting a vehicle or utilizing Turo.

In fact, we did an article on whether or not you should take an Uber or Turo in Hawaii.

We arrived at a few pretty clear conclusions on when one is better than the other and so I would recommend you to check out that article.

Our Uber experiences in Hawaii

We took a number of Uber rides during our 10 night stay in Hawaii. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the drivers in Hawaii.

They definitely seemed to take Uber driving pretty serious and offered good service like helping you pack your bags or take them out of the vehicle.

So be ready for some good experiences and consider offering an adequate tip.

Uber drop-off

If you’re getting dropped off at HNL just let your Uber driver know what airline you’re flying and they should be able to drop you off near the check-in desk.

If you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines, be sure to let them know whether or not you are flying to a neighbor island/international or if you’re flying to the mainland because they are at separate ends of the terminal.

The check-in desks are not that far apart though so even if your Uber driver mistakenly dropped you off at the wrong check-in area (which ours did) it’s not a big deal.

Final word

Using Uber at HNL is very easy due to all of the signs that you can find both in the airport and outside in the pick up areas. Also, airport personnel was very helpful in helping us find our way.

I’m not sure what was going on with one of the pick up zones as it could’ve been temporarily closed so just be ready for something like that.

Which Lounge at HNL: Premier Club or Plumeria Lounge for Hawaiian Airlines?

In this article, I’ll go over both the Premier Club and Plumeria Lounge found at HNL and show you what each lounge has to offer when flying Hawaiian Airlines.

You can also find details for these lounges such as the different locations they are found at and how to access these.

So even if you are not flying in or out of HNL you could find this article helpful!

Premier Club overview

The Premier Club is the more “basic” lounge for Hawaiian Airlines and you can find these at just about all of the major airports in Hawaii.

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Premier Club Access

  • North America and Neighbor Island First Class Hawaiian Airlines guests
  • Pualani Platinum and Gold members
  • Premier Club members

A lot of airlines don’t give you lounge access when you fly first class domestically.

I’d say that flying between Hawaiian islands is the equivalent of flying between states on the mainland so I was kind of surprised that we were granted lounge access when flying first class between Oahu and Kauai.

However, once I scoped out the lounge it all sort of made a little bit more sense because it’s not like the Premier Club has a whole lot to offer. More on that later, though.

Premier Club Locations

Honolulu, Oahu (HNL)

Location: 2nd Floor inside secure area near Gate A18
Weekday Hours: 5:00am–7:00pm
Weekend Hours: 6:00am–7:00pm

Hilo, Hawaii Island (ITO)

Location: Below Gate 6
Hours: Temporarily Closed

Kahului, Maui (OGG)

Location: Upstairs, across from Gate 17
Hours: 6:00-am – 8:30pm

Kona, Hawaii Island (KOA)

Location: Next to Gate 10
Hours: Temporarily Closed

Lihue, Kauai (LIH)

Location: Approximately 50 feet from Gate 5
Hours: Temporarily Closed

One thing to keep in mind is that some of these Premier Club lounges are known for being notoriously underwhelming. I’ve seen reviews and pictures of the lounge in LIH and it does not look like anything special.

So while you can find these Premier Clubs on quite a few of the islands, make sure you go into it with the right expectations.

Plumeria Lounge overview

The Plumeria Lounge is the upgraded version of the Premier Club. It’s essentially the flagship lounge of Hawaiian Airlines although it feels really weird to use that word to describe this lounge.

Plumeria Lounge Access

Many of you will be happy to know that you can get Plumeria Lounge access with Priority Pass.

It’s a little bit odd that Priority Pass gives you Plumeria Lounge access considering that this is essentially the flagship first class lounge for Hawaiian Airlines.

But whenever you take a closer look at the lounge and what it offers it makes a bit more since that Priority Pass would get you in.

Otherwise in order to get access you have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Business Class guest departing Honolulu to a Hawaiian Airlines international destination.
  • First Class guest departing Honolulu to New York, Boston, or Orlando.
  • Pualani Platinums departing Honolulu to a Hawaiian Airlines international destination. Platinums may bring up to 1 guest.
  • A day pass can also be purchased.

I was a bit surprised to find out that we would not get access based on our first class ticket from HNL to PHX so make sure you are aware that first class passengers only get Plumeria Lounge access at HNL when departing to destinations on the East Coast.

The Plumeria Lounge Pass prices are below:

General$40 USD*
Pualani Gold$35 USD**
Pualani Platinum$30 USD**

*General Lounge Pass is only available for purchase at time of check-in on the day of travel and is subject to seat availability.

**Pualani Platinum and Pualani Gold Discounted Lounge Pass is only available for purchase with a lounge agent located at The Plumeria Lounge on the day of travel. Prices for elites applies to the member only.


There is only one Plumeria Lounge and it is at Honolulu International Airport, Terminal 1 on the third floor, after the TSA security check point.

Premier Club at HNL review

The Premier Club at HNL is pretty much a bare minimum airport lounge.

If you’re visiting during pandemic times, you may have to show proof of vaccination before you enter.

Inside the lounge you’ll find the following:

  • Pau Hana Snacks
  • Coffee and Hot Tea
  • Soda and Juice
  • Dedicated Customer Service Agent for lounge guests
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • AC & USB charging outlets
  • Men & Women restroom (only in Honolulu)

You’ll notice that you don’t see any alcoholic drinks or any kind of meaningful food in the lounge. When it comes to drinks you’re pretty much limited to coffee, tea, juice, and a soda machine.

And for food, you’re going to be limited to just a package of Pau Hana snacks. So this is definitely not a lounge that you want to arrive at with the hopes of satisfying your growing appetite. You will be sorely disappointed if so.

HNL Premier Club tea
HNL Premier Club drinks
HNL Premier Club juice

So this lounge is basically a place to just escape the terminal and gate area and hopefully find relaxation while possibly enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage.

Also, if you want to get work done you can find outlets at some of the tables and some ground outlets as well.

HNL Premier Club

It’s not a bad looking lounge and it’s reasonably spacious but it is just a very basic lounge in terms of its food and drink offerings.

HNL Premier Club
HNL Premier Club

When we spent some time in this lounge it was pretty laid-back and I liked that but after only about 10 minutes we decided to head to the Plumeria Lounge where we would be able to get access with our Platinum Card’s Priority Pass membership.

Plumeria Lounge at HNL review

The Plumeria Lounge is significantly better than the Premier Club.

The lounge is a little bit harder to find because you have to take an escalator up and look around but if you follow the signs and look for the Wiki Wiki shuttle it’s pretty hard to miss.

If you’re visiting during pandemic times, you may have to show proof of vaccination before you enter.

The Plumeria Lounge offers more food and drink options including:

  • Assortment of Sandwiches
  • Beer and Wines
  • Coffee and Hot Tea
  • Soda and Juice
  • Assortment of Snacks
  • Dedicated Customer Service Agent for lounge guests
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • AC & USB charging outlets
  • Men & Women restroom

With that said, the Plumeria Lounge is still a pretty basic airport lounge.

It’s not on the same level as an American Express Centurion Lounge and not even on the same level as newer legacy carriers lounges like Delta Sky Clubs that offer hot food and have nice bar areas.

Instead, I would put it on par with a typical domestic Priority Pass lounge (which it kind of is).

Here’s what it’s like at the lounge.

Once we entered, I noticed a partitioned little private area to the right of the entrance of the lounge. The tables were marked with reserved but I’m not sure how are you can reserve them.

At one point, I saw a couple of people in the section that did not look like they had reserved it so I’m not sure if they strictly enforce the reservations. YMMV.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

Overall, the lounge does feel a bit nicer than the Premier Club but it’s not a substantial upgrade in terms of decor, seating, etc.

Plumeria Lounge HNL
Plumeria Lounge HNL

While the lounge did get a little bit busy at times, there were pretty much always a few open seating areas.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

We visited during one of the playoff games with the Los Angeles Rams playing the San Francisco 49ers and it was cool that they had it on the TV. At one point, this corner with the TV had a lot of people into the game.

Plumeria Lounge HNL

There’s a row of seats lined along the window where you can get some work done.

Plumeria Lounge HNL outlets

I thought there might be a decent view behind the shades but when I pulled them back it did not look like there was much to see behind this pretty dirty window. I suddenly understood why they have the shades.

While still a pretty basic offering, this lounge is a significant step up from the Premier Club when it comes to food.

You’ll find a corner with all of the food options which include two varieties of sandwiches, cup of noodle soup, chips, fruit, cookies, and fruit snacks.

Honestly, the sandwiches were really good and a perfect little food item to hold you over until your flight. Or, if you were trying to fill up it would not be hard to do so with those sliders.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

You can grab you a pack of mayo or mustard to put on your sandwich if it’s a little too dry.

I grabbed one of the turkey and cheese sandwiches and really loved it but they also had mushroom and onion sliders. I don’t really do mushrooms so that was an easy no for me.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

And if you’re looking for some snacks they had a good variety of potato chips, Welch’s fruit snacks, and Biscoff cookies.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

The bowl of noodle soup was interesting because I don’t think I have ever seen that in an airport lounge before.

Plumeria Lounge HNL food

They also had a decent little selection of wine along with beer.

Plumeria Lounge HNL wine

The bathroom at this lounge was also a bit nicer.

Final word

Visiting a Hawaiian Airlines airport lounge at HNL can be a pretty disappointing experience if you don’t properly adjust your expectations before arriving.

I’m guessing that because leisure travel is so much more prevalent than business travel here that there just is not a strong demand to create high-quality airport lounges.

But if you have to choose between these two lounges I would definitely try to get into the Plumeria Lounge because it is significantly better than the Premier Club.