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When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Los Angeles...
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When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Hi, in January I'm taking a 6:30AM flight out of Kauai back to HNL then to LAX. I will have a rental car to return. I haven't booked my rental car yet. A lot of the rental car companies say they don't open until 5:15 or 5:30am. Would I have a problem making a flight if they don't take my car until 5:30am? I can't seem to find one that opens at 5:00am. Avis said they open at 5:00am when I called but when I tried to book online, it said they open at 5:30am. Are the security and agriculture lines really long so early in the morning? I just want to know if I would make my flight... normally I arrive at airport 2 hours early but that doesn't seem possible here. Thanks in advance.

Birmingham, Alabama
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1. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

I think ab hour will be sufficient. Print your boarding passes ahead of time. You could also ask the car rental places if they have a drop box for the keys in case you need to return before they open.

San Diego...
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2. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

The lines will be short. There's just the one interisland flight that early so max 125 people most of whom will be just people going to Oahu for meetings with nil baggage. Ag inspection never seems to have much of a line.

If you are really worried, and there are 2 of you, drop one with the bags then return the car. Rent from someone there at the airport (not Enterprise/THrifty) and you save another couple of min.

An hour should be fine unless TSA is making a mess of things.

California
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for Oahu
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3. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

I agree with Kona - a drop box for the keys should do the trick. Most car rental agencie I have used also have special parking slots for the early morning drop offs - and they should mail (or email) your bill to you. You may need to call the local car rental agencies directly and interrogate them for details.

Yes, you could find security lines that early. Man, I hate those early flights!

Canada
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4. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Ideally a 0500 hr drop off would be best......just to allow sufficient transport time, TSA etc.You sure must have an early flight out of HNL...

Here is a list of local (808) numbers for the car rental agencies at LIH

hawaii.gov/lih/…car-rentals

Give them a call and ask about the opening and drop off box availability and procedure. Sadly, some agencies do not employ these rather convenient process.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

I called Avis, Budget, and Thrifty/Dollar (same company) and they all said they don't have after hours drop off for cars. Does anyone know which car rental companies are on site (which would be closest, and no shuttle to take)?

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Agree with Wanderlust. Shoot for arriving at the car rental at 5 a.m. Have your boarding pass printed up already. This is the best time to be arriving at the airport but a 5-5:15 a.m. drop off of the car and then the shuttle there will get you to the terminal about 5:30. Your flight will begin boarding around 6:05.

So I'd shoot for a 5 a.m. arrival at your car drop off. This is the time I arrive for flights that early and have never had a problem returning my vehicle.

On which rental companies are the closest with no shuttle bus to take.......... they're all clustered together in the perimeter of the airport grounds and they all have shuttle vans. There are a couple that are off the airport grounds but they're further away even. You don't want those. I know one of them is Enterprise but not sure of the other one.

Edited: 04 September 2012, 16:16
La Mirada...
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for Kauai
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7. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Enterprise - National are off the airport, about a mile away.

You called the local Kaua‘i offices, how did they tell you handle this - just be there at 5am?

3Chihuahuas

Los Angeles...
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8. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Thanks everyone. All the rental car companies said we would make our flight. But they might have just been reassuring since they didn't have any better suggestions... ;-) Only one company (Hertz) said they were open at 5am, the others were 5:15 or 5:30, so I booked with Hertz. Two companies suggested dropping off someone with the bags - I guess my husband so he could handle the heavy bags - and then I could return the car and meet him after I return the car. But now that I think about that, how exactly does that help? Most airports need to see your ID to check your bags... My husband couldn't check in his bags AND my bags without me present, right? I'm not sure how the airport is set up and how the agriculture check works - could he at least run all the bags through the agriculture check or do they need to be checked in first? Also, we will be coming from a hotel, so no printer to print boarding passes before the airport, though I can check with the hotel to see if they have a way to print.

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

If you don't have someone to hand over your keys and check the car before you disappear into the airport, take photos of the car for proof there is no damage. You hear of so many horror stories of people who get charged damaged when there wasn't any.

I always cover all bases!

San Diego...
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10. Re: When to arrive at airport for 6:30AM flight (& return car)

Which hotel? Many have business centers with a printer for boarding passes. Not that it makes a big deal. HA has enough staff + kiosks to move you pretty quickly.

The Ag check is right curbside. You put your bags through a scanner, grab them out the back and then go to the check in line. One person could do this and then join the line assuming he could handle the mass. Takes all of 2 min if there's no one else in line.

I think you're making too big a deal of this. At 5 AM, you're going to be pretty lonely. the HA planes only hold about 125 or so. and there's only that flight that early plus the next HA flight at 7 AM. 90 min is more than plenty.