Holiday Travel Tips

November 9, 2023

Holiday Travel Tips

The holiday season is a time for celebrations and for many, a time to travel.   As you gear up for your holiday travel journey, we want to ensure it’s a stress-free experience, right from the moment you arrive at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport.  To ensure a seamless journey, we’ve compiled some useful travel tips for you. While traveling from ICT is easy, your return journey may involve a larger airport. Familiarize yourself with these tips to ensure you’re well-prepared.

Preparing and Packing for Your Trip

  • Book your holiday trip now if you haven’t already done so.  High demand for travel during the holidays means seats will be at a premium.  The longer you wait, the fewer seats will be available.
  • The day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are usually the busiest for this holiday.
  • For the Christmas holiday, it’s usually cheaper to fly on Dec. 24, but there are fewer flights on that day.
  • Unpack before packing to make sure you have no prohibited items in your carry-on or checked bags.
  • Each airline has different weight and size requirements for baggage. Weigh your bags before coming to the airport.  Visit the airline’s websites so you won’t have any surprises when you arrive at the airport.
  • Pack medications in your carry-on bags.
  • Do NOT pack your laptop or cell phone charger in your checked bags.
  • Do NOT wrap gifts
  • Do NOT pack breakables in your luggage unless they are well-padded.
  • Put something on your bag that makes it uniquely yours. You’d be surprised at how many bag swaps there are!
  • Winter weather can cause delays and cancellations. Download your airline’s app for up-to-date flight information.
  • Familiarize yourself with the airports you will be flying through. Visit the airports’ websites to find information on parking, rental cars, amenities, and important updates about road construction and detours.

Parking at the Airport

  • We recommend parking in the Park & Ride shuttle lot. The garage and economy lot have been quite full this year and increased holiday travelers will likely leave few parking stalls available. Plus, the Park & Ride lot is the cheapest at only $8/day.
  • The shuttle makes its rounds between the lot and terminal every 10-15 minutes. It will drop you off in front of the terminal and take you back to the shelter nearest your car. You can track the location of the shuttle by using the Ride Systems App. Learn more at
  • Our shuttle drivers will help you with bags, air up your tires, jumpstart your cars, and assist with lockouts.
  • If you need assistance in any of the parking areas, call our ABM Parking at 316-946-4772.

Arriving at the Airport

  • You can check in for your flight up to 24 hours before departure time.
  • Passengers 18 and older must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. Accepted forms of identification are listed here.
  • Arrive 2 hours before departure time.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get through security.
    • The busiest time of day at the airport is between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. when there are 11 departures and 1,166 scheduled seats
  • Mobile or printed boarding passes are accepted here.
  • If you have your boarding pass and are not checking a bag, you can go directly to the Security Checkpoint.

Security Screening

If you are not a pre-check passenger:

  • Wear slip-on shoes. Shoes need to be divested directly onto the x-ray conveyor belt or in a bin with nothing inside the shoes or anything on or below the shoes.
  • No bling – it will set off the metal detectors.
  • Remove outer coats, jackets, as well as anything that might cause an alarm, including bulky sweatshirts and hoodies as long as the passenger is comfortable removing and he or she is wearing something underneath.
  • Belts need to be removed because they might cause an alarm.
  • Hats and scarves need to be removed because they might cause an alarm.
  • Everything must be removed from the passenger’s pockets.
  • Liquids, gels, aerosols, toiletries, shampoos, pastes, creams, lotions, perfumes, etc. must be 3.4 oz. or less and all fit into one, 1-quart zip-top bag.
  • Visit for all security procedures.

Traveling with Pets

Mobility-Friendly Travel Guide

Picking Up Guests

  • There is no parking and waiting in front of the terminal. The front of the terminal is for quick pickup and drop-off.  Use the cell phone lot if picking up guests.  Or, you can park in the short-term lot at no cost for the first 60 minutes.

If you seldom travel or are a first-time flyer, make sure you visit our First Time Flyers travel tips.

Most importantly, pack your patience. Airports can be very busy during the holidays and the airline employees and TSA do everything they can to see that you get to your destination safely.  By being prepared, you can minimize your hassle.

We’re eager to hear about your travel experiences, especially when flying from Wichita. Share your tips, stories, and questions on our social channels @FlyICT.

Media Contacts   (316) 946-4700

Valerie Wise, Air Service & Marketing Manager

Jesse R. Romo, Director of Airports

Brad Christopher, Assistant Director of Airports

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