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How Long is a Flight to Hawaii? + Tips For Long Flights

How long does it take to fly to Hawaii? Here is all you need to know!

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Flying to Hawaii from the mainland, USA requires careful planning, as the flight durations vary greatly. Flight times range from six hours to much higher, depending upon the airport you choose to depart from, as well as other important factors. So, how long is a flight to Hawaii? The length of a flight to Hawaii also depends on whether you have a flight connection, as well as the overall flight distance from your starting point.

How long is a flight to Hawaii? View over Hawaii. Photo taken from the airplane with the wing in the forefront and the island below.
Hawaii view from the airplane by Marla Cimini 2022

How long is a flight to Hawaii?

As a professional travel writer (and Hawaii lover), I’ve taken many flights to Hawaii from the east coast of the United States on different airlines. In fact, I’ve probably flown to the Hawaiian Islands from east coast airports between 25 and 30 times over the years.

Flights to Hawaii can vary significantly, depending on your chosen airline, which airport you depart from, and which airport you connect through. Generally speaking, it’s at least about 5 or 6 hours to fly to Hawaii from the west coast of the USA; 8 to 10 hours from the midwest and approximately 11 to 12 hours from the east coast.

Some travelers prefer a connection, and sometimes an hour or two is enough to give passengers a quick rest — and time to “stretch your legs.” It’s also an excellent way to get re-energized for the final leg of your flight to paradise!

How long is the flight to Hawaii from California?

For travelers who are based in California, you are very lucky, because you have the shortest distance between the U.S. mainland and the Hawaiian islands. It’s such a short flight, that you can even go for the weekend! On average, the absolute shortest flights from Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SAN) to Hawaii are about six hours non-stop.

There’s really no reason to connect through another California airport on these flights, so be sure to select a flight with the shortest distance and no connections!

Ready to book your Hawaii trip? Click here to read my post about where to stay in Hawaii!

Travelers from California also have a large selection of airlines to choose from, which means prices may be lower at times. You may find rates lower than $300 round-trip, depending on the time of year, of course. (Try the Fall season and immediately after the holidays)!

These airlines fly from California airports to Hawaii: American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Kauai, Hawaii by Marla Cimini 2022

Ready to book your Hawaii trip? Download the amazing SHAKA GUIDE app for your mobile phone for easy, fun self-guided tours of the islands!

How long is the flight to Hawaii from New York?

Flying from New York to Hawaii is a full day of travel (over 11 hours) and there’s no way around this.

The good news is that the New York City area has several airports to choose from (JFK, LGA and EWR), so there are a lot of flight choices. Just be sure to choose the ones with the best and easiest connections for you and your plans. There are many airlines that offer one stop connections. Those usually push the travel time to nearly 14 hours.

Or for travelers who want to fly non-stop to Hawaii from New York, your best bet is Delta (from EWR or JFK); and Hawaiian Airlines (from JFK).

Trying to choose between visiting the Big Island and Maui? Click here to read my ultimate and easy comparison guide!

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Philadelphia?

Flying to Hawaii from Philadelphia, PA is a long flight and takes about the same time as a flight from New York. Currently, there is no non-stop flight to Hawaii from Philadelphia. However, I have flown frequently from Philadelphia to Hawaii (round trip) and have discovered the best one-stop flights to select.

Personally, as someone who flies to Hawaii a few times a year, I usually fly American Airlines from Philadelphia to Hawaii. Philly is an American Airlines hub, so there are several choices for Hawaii flights. You can connect through PHX (Phoenix), DFW (Dallas), or LAX (Los Angeles).

All of these flights are about 14 or 15 hours in total travel time. Ideally, I like to choose LAX as a connection, if that’s available, as it provides a good balance from the east coast. It makes the final leg a bit shorter, and each flight is about the same length of time.

Overlooking the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii with gold sand, palm trees and blue water.
Waikiki Beach in Hawaii by Marla Cimini 2022

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Phoenix?

Flying to Hawaii from Phoenix, AZ is another easy flight and I have taken this one frequently. I often connect through PHX to Hawaii when I fly from Philadelphia (PHL).

A non-stop flight to Hawaii from Phoenix is about six hours and 45 minutes. (Slightly longer than flying to Hawaii from California). You can find flights on American, Hawaiian Airlines, and Southwest Airlines from PHX (Phoenix).

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Houston?

Flying to Hawaii from Houston, TX is a relatively long flight, about nine hours. There’s only one airline that flies non-stop from Houston to Honolulu, and that’s United. All the other airlines have one and two stops, the shortest being fourteen hours.

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Florida?

Flying to Hawaii from Florida is a very long flight, so be prepared. No matter which Florida airport you choose, there will be a connection necessary, and the shortest flight duration (at the time of this posting) is 12 hours and 46 minutes.

 Depending on the airlines, the connections from Florida will be in the following airports: PHX, SFO or SEA.

How long is a flight to Hawaii? Airplane wing pictured with Hawaii below
Flying over Hawaii 2022 by Marla Cimini

How long is the flight to Hawaii from the UK?

The flight to Hawaii from the United Kingdom (UK) is a very long flight. The shortest from Great Britain is about 18 hours (with one stop). For travelers flying from London to Hawaii, it’s a good idea to plan to stop in the United States for a day or two to break up the flight.

No doubt about it – this is a far journey, and most airlines require at least two stops.

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Atlanta?

There are no non-stop flights from Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Hawaii. All flights require a connection from this airport and the shortest travel duration is 12 hours and 34 minutes. The only airlines with only one-stop from ATL are American Airlines and Alaska.

How long is a flight to Hawaii from Virginia?

The state of Virginia is located on the east coast of the United States, and the best airport to fly to Hawaii from is Dulles International (IAD).

Most airlines flying to Hawaii from Dulles require at least one stop, and the shortest flight is over 16 hours. United offers a non-stop and that’s ten hours and 46 minutes.

How long is the flight to Hawaii from Dallas?

Flying from Dallas, Texas (DFW) to Hawaii is not as far as flying from the east coast and you can find some great non-stop flights that will get you there quickly. A non-stop flight on American Airlines to Hawaii from Dallas is about eight hours and 22 minutes.

 If you choose a one-stop connection from Dallas to Hawaii, it will be significantly longer, about ten to 14 hours.

Ready to book your Hawaii trip? Click here to read my post about where to stay in Hawaii!

View of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head from Sheraton Waikiki. The sky is blue and many high-rise hotels line the shore.
View of Waikiki Beach from the Sheraton Waikiki by Marla Cimini

Why is the flight to Hawaii so long?

Hawaii is the most isolated group of islands in the world, and there’s no easy way to reach this incredible piece of paradise. Located in the south Pacific ocean, Hawaii is located 2,000 miles from California (the US Mainland) and nearly 5,000 miles from New York (the eastern seaboard).  You’re also traveling through several time zones to reach Hawaii.

So, no matter which island you choose to visit (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, The Island of Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai), the flight distance is just about the same.

Although it’s a long flight, many vacationers who love Hawaii believe it’s worth it – and they return again and again! You can make your flight a lot easier by following some of my tips below.

Tips for long flights

As a frequent traveler to Hawaii, I would love to share some valuable tips with flyers to make the trip easier. One of the most important tips is to be as comfortable as possible. If you can afford to do so, choose a business class or “economy plus” seat. Do your best to avoid the middle seats, naturally. If you prefer the aisle or window, you may have to pay extra on some airlines.

On an airplane, it’s worth it to get the seat you want, as it will start the trip off right. If you have an aisle seat, you can get up and down easily, go for a quick stroll around the plane, and / or get up to use the restroom without asking anyone to move. If you have a window seat, you’ll have to ask a row of people to move when you need to get up, but you’ll have a great view for most of the flight — and a spectacular view when you reach Hawaii and prepare to land. (So have your phone ready to take some photos and videos)!

Tips for getting around Hawaii

No matter which island you visit, you’ll want to enjoy every minute of your vacation! The best-kept secret for exploring the Hawaiian islands is the Shaka Guide, an award-winning audio tour that you download as an app on your mobile phone. This app downloads in seconds and you’ll have the choice to purchase incredible audio tours that will guide you around the islands, bring you to secret spots, and amazing views and destinations that are off-the-beaten track.

This app was created by Hawaii locals who want visitors to love the islands as much as they do! It’s a valuable tool for exploring Hawaii — and you can use it as you drive (or walk) around the islands.

The Shaka Guide is filled with fascinating history, fun trivia, great music and an astonishing amount of special destinations that you won’t want to miss!

➡️CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SHAKA AUDIO GUIDE FOR HAWAII ⬅️

My personal travel items that I always bring with me on the plane, especially for long flights to Hawaii! Check them out!

Portable charger for your smartphone: Pro tip: Most airplanes today have power outlets at the seats, however, they don’t always work, so please bring a portable charger. You’ll be glad you did!

Noise-canceling earbuds or headphones Pro tip: Before you get to the airport for a long flight, download at least 6 hours of your favorite podcasts, a movie or two, and a few audiobooks. Even if you know the airline has wifi or TVs, you never know when a technical problem with this equipment. This happens all the time. And the wifi is not strong flying over the ocean, in most cases.

Sleep mask / Eye mask for sleeping on the airplane: Pro tip: You may need this if you want to sleep!

Slip-on sneakers (Skechers work great)! Slip-on shoes are the most comfortable on the airplane.

Travel Blanket: Every flight I’ve taken in the last few years has been freezing cold. There are no blankets on board. Do yourself a favor and bring along your own.

Hoodie (zippered) for travel: Pro tip: See above about the chilly temperature on airplanes these days. Hoodies add an extra layer of protection (plus extra pockets for lip balm, earphones, water bottle, etc).

Extra Hawaii travel tip! What’s in your carry-on bag? It’s easy! Pack two light, thin outfits in your carry-on: a light sundress, casual sandals, shorts, a t-shirt, and a bathing suit. If your luggage goes missing, this is all you need (really)!

Conclusion: How long is a flight to Hawaii?

The flight times to Hawaii from the US mainland (and beyond) vary, depending on your closest airport and your connecting airport (if you have one).  

If you think the non-stop flight is too long, consider a connection, which will give you an hour or two to relax between flights and prepare for your vacation in paradise! If you happen to have lounge access, you can chill out in an airport lounge and enjoy a snack while you wait for your connection. In addition to airline lounges (such as American Airlines’ Admiral’s Club), there are also AMEX’s Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass lounges.

Some travelers who fly from the east coast of the United States prefer to spend a day or two in California (or another city) before continuing their trip to Hawaii. Whichever you prefer, it’s always a good idea to research flights, times, and duration before booking!

READ more! Need help choosing the best Hawaiian island for your vacation? Click here! ⬅️

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