How Far Is Hawaii From California By Plane And What Is The Flight Time?

Last Updated on November 27, 2021

The busiest airport in Hawaii is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport which is also known as Honolulu International Airport. So we’ll mainly look at the flight times to Honolulu, Oahu. If your destination is another airport on the Hawaiian islands you have a very similar flight time.

The total flight duration from California to Hawaii varies depending on which airport in California you depart from. Obviously a direct flight will get you there quicker so if you are near one of the California airports and don’t need a connecting flight that will help reduce your journey time.

The flight direction also makes a difference, because of the prevailing winds it’s faster to return from Hawaii than it is to get there.

California To Hawaii Exact Flight Times

AirlineDeparting FromArriving AtTotal Flight Time
Hawaiian AirlinesLos Angeles (LAX)Honolulu (HNL)6 hours 5 minutes
United AirlinesSan Francisco (SFO)Honolulu (HNL)5 hours 29 minutes
Hawaiian AirlinesOakland (OAK)Honolulu (HNL)5 hours 40 minutes
Alaska AirlinesSan Jose (SJC)Honolulu (HNL)6 hours
Hawaiian AirlinesSacramento (SMF)Honolulu (HNL)5 hours 50 minutes
Hawaiian AirlinesSan Diego (SAN)Kahului (OGG)6 hours 5 minutes

The California to Hawaii flight time is between 5 and a half hours and 6 hours and the exact time spent in the air will vary depending on which city in California you depart from.

Hawaii To California Exact Flight Times

Because of the direction of the wind your planes average speed returning from Hawaii will be higher. That means a return flight from Hawaii to California is about 30 minutes faster.

AirlineDeparting FromArriving AtTotal Flight Time
United AirlinesKahului (OGG)San Francisco (SFO)4 hours 55 minutes
DeltaHonolulu (HNL)Los Angeles (LAX)5 hours 30 minutes
Alaska AirlinesHonolulu (HNL)San Francisco (SFO)5 hours 9 minutes
Alaska AirlinesHonolulu (HNL)San Jose (SJC)5 hours 19 minutes
Hawaiian AirlinesHonolulu (HNL)Oakland (OAK)5 hours 25 minutes
Hawaiian AirlinesHonolulu (HNL)Sacramento (SMF)5 hours 15 minutes

At 2,286 miles the shortest distance between California and Hawaii is between the island of Maui and Point Arena near San Francisco.

So the fastest return route is from Kahului Airport on the island of Maui to San Francisco International Airport.

If you want to go to the big island where you’ll find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park then fly to Kailua-Kona airport from San Francisco with United Airlines. It will take 5 hours and 28 minutes and the return journey is 5 hours and 7 minutes.

The Verdict

Hawaii is around 2500 miles away from California. The journey over the pacific ocean is significant but it will pass quickly with a couple of good movies.

It’s important to not only consider the flight time but think about your total travel time.

You should plan to arrive at the airport 2.5 hours before your flight. If we add 1 hour to get to the airport and 1 hour to get from the airport in Hawaii to your hotel you are looking at a minimum total travel time of around 10 hours to go from California to Hawaii.

Also taking checked luggage will slow you down since you’ll need to check your bags and visit the baggage claim and wait for your checked bag to arrive on the conveyor belt. If it arrives.

You can actually shave a little time off your total travel time by traveling light and flying with carry-on luggage only. You’ll also save money by avoiding checked baggage fees. Check out our packing light tips to learn how to reduce your load.

Regardless of how you choose to pack enjoy your Hawaii vacation!

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