This is not a paid post. I just genuinely wanted to describe my experience flying Mokulele Airlines from Kona to Maui. It was a pretty cool experience.

flying mokulele airways
The smallest commercial flight I've ever taken. A Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan that I shared with two other passengers and two pilots.

On my recent weeklong trip to Hawaii, I spent approximately three-fifths of my time on the Big Island and the remainder in Maui. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable surge in interest and growth in inter-island travel. I was particularly pleased that I could make the flight between Maui and the Big Island without needing to connect through Honolulu. The primary concerns were timing and prices. While browsing options on platforms like Priceline and Kayak, I discovered that Mokulele Airlines offered the cheapest inter-island flights in Hawaii. But I'd never taken them before and I was a bit hesitant. Ever the spendthrift, I gambled $49 on a flight from Kona to Kahului (Maui) and figured I didn't have much to lose. To my delight, the experience turned out to be refreshingly simple and almost reminiscent of classic air travel.

Fast Check-in, No TSA

On the day of my flight, I returned my rental car and boarded the shuttle. Initially, I thought the driver had made a wrong turn as we ended up at what looked like a bus stop. To my surprise, the driver laughed at my confusion and told me that this was not a TSA-security flight; rather, it was essentially a bus stop for small airplanes. Of course, I got there my requisite two and a half hours early. This is completely unnecessary for a flight like this. So I hung out in the mostly outdoor terminal and waited.

Scarcely 15 minutes before takeoff, the Mokulele Airlines folks arrived and quickly checked me in. Again, it felt like taking a greyhound. They took my ID, weighed my baggage and asked my weight but that was it.

Mokulele Airlines
Mountain top views from the plane

The best 40 minute flight I've ever taken

Five minutes before takeoff, the pilot himself walked us down to the plane. A brief safety briefing and we were off. I shared the Cesena with 2 other flyers and a co-pilot

Flying from Kona to Maui at sunrise was surreal. On the left were pods of humpback whales and to the right were the frosty summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. We flew just barely above the clouds on our way to Maui. About halfway in to the flight we skirted by Haleakalā, the mountain I climbed the next day.

Within 40 minutes we touched down in Maui and I unceremoniously completed the coolest short flight I've ever taken. The pilot helped us with the baggage and walked me off the runway. This must be what flying used to feel like.

Mokulele Airlines
Pretty close quarters! Felt like a sight seeing flight

In summary, it was totally worth the money and preferable to a commercial flight. I'll keep them in mind for future inter-island travel.