Interisle terminal tries valet parking
The $20 daily charge makes it unattractive to some travelers
Valets will park travelers' cars at Honolulu Airport's interisland terminal and bring the cars upon their return starting Saturday -- all for $20 a day. But some people say the price is too high.
Travelers leaving Honolulu will be able to drop off their vehicles on the departures level of the interisland terminal and pick them up there when they return. The area for drop-offs and pickups is on the Diamond Head side of the median.
The state Department of Transportation is offering the valet parking as a pilot project to see if there is a demand for such a service, said Scott Ishikawa, department spokesman. Many mainland airports, including Los Angeles; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; and Toronto, provide similar valet service, he said.
Ampco System Parking, which operates the taxi system at the airport, will operate the valet parking service. The service will not create more parking at the airport since it will use existing spaces, officials said.
Some Hawaii travelers interviewed yesterday said they would not use the service because they think $20 is too expensive for not that much more convenience, especially since finding parking spaces in the interisland terminal has been easier after the state moved employee parking to the overseas terminal.
Ishikawa said $20 is comparable to what the other airports charge for valet parking.
"Oh, no, I'd rather pay the $10," said Michele Pelekane, who departed Honolulu yesterday for Kona.
Ten dollars is the daily parking rate at Honolulu Airport, if you do your own parking.
For people who have monthly parking passes because they travel frequently, it is even cheaper to park their own cars.
"It's a hundred bucks a month, and I park here 20-25 days a month, so it's cheaper for me to get the monthly parking," said Steve Tinker. "With valet parking, they park it. But what if I'm gone two to three weeks or one month? Then what?"
There already is a drop-off and pickup service for travelers departing Honolulu, but it is just outside the airport. Travelers can park their cars at Park Air Express's lot off Paiea Street, and a van will take them to the terminal. When they return, a van picks them up at the terminal and takes them to their cars. The cost is $9 a day.
"You can go online and get a dollar-off coupon so it'll be $8 per day," said Lei Say, who was dropped off at the Paiea lot when she returned to Honolulu yesterday.
And Park Air Express does not charge the full $9 for partial days less than three hours. The airport valet service will charge $20 even for partial days.
The airport valet service will operate seven days a week from 5 a.m. until the last flight at night. Park Air Express operates 24 hours a day.
Park Air Express manager Alan Long said he does not know whether the airport valet service will affect his business.
"I would hope not, depending on what's most convenient," he said.
Carla Lagat was at the airport yesterday to drop off her daughter. She said she would use the valet service.
"If you're in a rush, you can come straight here with your car, jump off, run in and pay to do that," Lagat said. "Then I would take the $20 a day. But if not, then I'll take the $9 down the street."