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Checking bags when departing Lihue

Seattle, Washington
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32 posts
6 reviews
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Checking bags when departing Lihue

How much time should one allow to check a bag when departing Lihue ? Just read that bags need to be inspected (FDA?) BEFORE checking in to the Alaska Air desk. We are leaving out of Hanalei today (Mon) for a 1:25pm flight and trying to estimate when to leave for the airport. Is there typically traffic at this time? Need to gas up and drop car at Budget as well. Thnx for yr suggestions.

Drums, Pennsylvania
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790 posts
26 reviews
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1. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

My wife and I have 2 bags apiece. 2 large duffels and 2 sets of golf clubs. we always allow a minimum of 1 1/2 hours to get everything done at the airport. We always use a porter and give him $20 or $30 tip. It makes it sooooooomuch easier with all we have. But it does take some time to get through the agricultural check and TSA lines. Better to be safe and be early.

Venice, Florida
Destination Expert
for Kauai
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102 reviews
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2. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

We don't bring quite as much stuff as Richinpa, but we still give ourselves at least 1 1/2 hours at the airport. The Ag inspection usually doesn't take that long, but going through security can be a mess there if more than one flight are leaving the same time.

Kauai, Hawaii
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3. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

If just going to LAX and visiing friends we do not check bags, and just use our carry ons. Same as when we were visitors, but , from our observances over 20 years, AG did not seem to be a problem, especailly if you do not have any ag items.

Have a friend who is one of the ag inspectors, and the other day, a tourist heading back to the mainland had some apples, He told that she could not take them. Get this, she tole him " oh, it is Ok, these are not apples these were ORGANIC APPLES. Maybe so lady, but the apples are staying here.

We have to go thru TSA as required . and from what we see, even after announcements by the TSA staff, the passengers are not ready to go thru the inspectiion. Even after standing in line. What is up with that ? They are stil wearing jackets, the computers are not out of cases, they have bottles of liquids over the allowed amount, and their pockets are not empty, plus whatever.

Agree with getting there about 1,5 hours ahead of time, we arive by taxi, since we live on island, and do not have to go through dropping a rental car off. However, we have to factor in a late arrival taxi, which has only happed one time in eight years.

For those who do not feel like sitting in the gate area, many times they have live enterainers playing in the terminal area after clearing TSA. Some like to get a bite to eat, or a drink in the bar before departure. They usually open the seating for our AA direct flights about 30 minutes prior to departure, so time goes pretty quickly.

Also, planning ahead is a good idea due to a road closure, or slow downs caused by construction, or a traffic accident, or the over occupied two lane roadways that can turn into parking lots. Other times it is possible to sail right on through.

Edited: 21 April 2014, 15:24
California
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36,716 posts
119 reviews
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4. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

It literally takes 30 seconds for bags to go through the scanner to check for fruits and veggies. I allow 1 1/2 hrs too. Its security that can take long if there are lots of other flights going out.

You give a $20 tip Rich? What a guy!

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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57 reviews
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5. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

We use the porters at Lihue airport as well. There are 4 of us so we have a fair amount of luggage. We allow 90 minutes to drop off the car and check our bags. The porters make it seamless since we drop off our luggage at the curb, they check my husband's ID before he takes the car back and the porters take care of everything else including AG check, etc. By the time my husband returns from dropping off the car, the 3 of us are usually sitting near security with our boarding passes ready. And I usually tip them $20-$30, depending on the crowds and hassle, Worth every penny!

Houston, Texas
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310 posts
163 reviews
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6. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

Hmm! We usually don't use the porters, but you certainly make a case for it! I wouldn't mind the $20 tip to avoid all the hassles. :)

Santa Rosa...
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7. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

Bags that are being checked first must go through the Agricultural inspection. (not carryons). It's a quick trip up the belt and through their scanner UNLESS you arrive at busy time in the evening then there can be a line. Lots of late evening fflights direct to the mainland now. I always recommend getting to the airport early to beat the crowds. The Ag inspection people will sticker your bags , you pick it up on the opposite side of the scanner and take it with you to where you check in where your bags will be ticketed and you'll receive your baggage claim check sticker.

This is why I always recommend trying to do carry on only. You avoid the ag inspection and you can go right to the Alaska kiosk to print up your boarding pass.

Edit..... I see you're leaving at 1:25 p.m. Not as busy as in the evening but I still recommend getting there ahead of the crowds since it's your first time, especially if you have bags to check.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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8. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

Ag inspections are no big deal. I wouldn't alter any plans based on the Ag inspection. And different Hawaii airports handle it differently. The only time I have seen an Ag check back-up was when one of the machines was broken.

On Oahu, you don't put your carry-ons through Ag until you approach your final terminal. All handbags, carry-ons, etc. get a final check there.

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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14,554 posts
57 reviews
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9. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

<<We usually don't use the porters, but you certainly make a case for it!>>

We LOVE the porters and use them every trip. My husband usually does not use them on the 3 trips/year to Kauai when he travels alone. But when the 4 of us go, it's definitely worth using them.

California
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119 reviews
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10. Re: Checking bags when departing Lihue

Hey Martik. With those strong boys of yours, I would think they could throw those suitcases on the TSA belt. :-)