"still a hot and humid experience"
K Joseph (Australia)
✅ Verified Review | An update on my last report in 2010. I travel to the Solomon Islands frequently, and there are improvements from time to time. The International terminal is still a hot and humid experience. On arrival there is a walk across the tarmac in the tropical sun, followed by queuing to go through immigration although the actual passport control area is now air-conditioned. However the luggage carousel and customs area is not. On departure the check-in area is not air conditioned and there can be long queues - the recommendation to be there two hours before departure holds true. However, there is now air-conditioning in security and outgoing passport control and in the departure lounge you can choose a couple of air-conditioned areas you can choose to spend money in (one of which is now a cafe). Alternatively, if you are flying Solomon Airlines Business Class, or are a member of the Belama Club, or a gold or platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer flying on a QF code share on Solomon Airlines: there is a small lounge called the Belama Lounge which is a small but pleasant retreat with a little bit of food, some older magazines and a limited array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Once again, going back to the plane is across the tarmac. A note of caution on going to the airport: due to significant road works (to fix significant road damage) there can be large traffic jams, especially until the bridge is duplicated across the Mataniko river (perhaps early in 2018?). Accordingly allow at least one hour to get from the Honiara CBD at Point Cruz to the airport. For those using the Domestic Terminal - no air-conditioning and limited facilities (one small cafe), though the toilets are still working in the arrivals area. It is a very sweaty and sunny four hundred metre walk from the International Terminal. There are no signs to tell you when planes are leaving - keep an ear out for announcements. The ratings are for the International Terminal - subtract a couple of stars for the Domestic. Finally, would I recommend the International Terminal? The staff do their best and it is the only International Airport in the Solomon Islands. There are never more than two or three planes at a time, and it copes. If you do not expect luxury you will not be disappointed.
|Experience At Airport||Arrival and Departure|
|Date Visit||October 2017|
|Type Of Traveller||Solo Leisure|
Honiara Airport customer review
Chris McQuaid (New Zealand)
First time ever in Pacific Islands working for two months in Honiara. I had several trips to and from the airport collecting and dropping off our staff. K Joseph has summed up Henderson International extremely well. You walk from the plane to the terminal (it's less than 100 metres). Queue on arrival was not too bad and luggage was available fairly quickly. Plenty of trolleys but note that they are all kept by the baggage carousel. Be warned though that if you're bringing in any equipment for work (I had a couple of computer monitors with me) you will get stopped by Customs and charged a refundable import bond (only took ten minutes to get the refund when departing). If you need a trolley when departing the simplest thing is to walk straight through the open security door where you came out on arrival across the Customs area and grab a trolley - nobody will stop you (most of the time there's nobody there TO stop you!). Most departure days are nightmarish - the plane for Brisbane leaves at 3 pm and you really do need to be in the queue by 12. Although we had a couple of flights where it only took ten minutes to get people checked in the average was at least an hour an a half. The day we returned home it was over two hours. One advantage of the airport being only 15 minutes from the centre of town is that it's possible to check in really early and then go back to your office or hotel until after 2 pm. The only thing to make waiting at the airport bearable is the quality of the milkshakes - the best in town and at 30 SBD (about $5.50 NZ) it's no more expensive than anywhere else in Honiara. The toilets don't always flush and the taps on the hand-basins didn't work so use those facilities elsewhere if you can.
Honiara Airport customer review
K Joseph (Solomon Islands)
Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal is the capital of the Solomon Islands in the South West Pacific and the only international airport in the country. The traffic flow into Solomon Islands is minimal - about six or seven 737 flights a week mainly filled with Australian government officials Asian businessmen and the odd tourist! The terminal itself was built by the Japanese Government about 2000. It is not airconditioned and can be very warm and humid inside given that Honiara is in the middle of the tropics. Due to water and plumbing problems the toilets can be unpleasant. It is a good idea to check in two hours before hand as check-in queues can be long as departure time approaches. Flights are often delayed but airport staff are unlikely to be able to tell you much - one way of checking to see if your departure will be on time is to check the Brisbane Airport website to see if the flight left Brisbane for Honiara on time. Customs and security is usually quick on departure but customs and immigration can be somewhat slower on arrival. Forget duty free shopping on departure - shop in Honiara town instead. On arrival sometimes the duty free booth is open and if so it does offer good prices on alcohol. All in all - a hot humid experience which will not leave you feeling terribly comfortable. On the plus side staff are usually helpful and cheerful and cleanliness has improved considerably over the last couple of years.