This year’s holiday travel season will be a little different than in past years. There are fewer passengers flying these days resulting in fewer flights. U.S. passenger volume is down 65% year-over-year. Through October, Wichita’s passenger traffic is down 56%. Compared to last November, there will be 41% fewer domestic flights and seats. In Wichita, there will be 27% fewer flights and 29% fewer seats than last November.
If you are considering flying to see your loved ones over the holidays, or just to take your family on a much-needed vacation, better book now. Alaska is blocking middle seats through January 6 and Delta is blocking middle seats through March 30. Southwest will open all seats for booking on Dec. 1. All other airlines are not limiting seats.
Before booking your trip, check for international travel advisories and destination-specific COVID-19 risk. Refer to the individual state, territorial, and local government websites for domestic travel advisories and information about quarantine or other restrictions. If your destination requires specific travel documents, such as a recent COVID-19 test, remember to bring a completed copy with you to the airport.
One of the differences this year is the food and beverage service during your flight. Airlines are limiting food and drink service in the Main Cabin based on flight length and destination. You can bring your own snacks, but your beverages will have to be purchased after security.
You will likely board your plane starting in the rear and working forward. Most flights start boarding at least 30 minutes before departure and end 15 minutes before departure. Make sure you arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight to allow time for parking, checking in, and answering a health assessment.
During the holiday season, the airport is discounting the parking garage price 25% to $12/day when entering the parking garage Nov. 20 – Jan. 4. Why wait outside for your ride when you can park inside?
Please do not park in front of the terminal. The front of the terminal is only for quick pick up and drop off. If you are parked there while waiting to pick up an arriving guest, you will be ticketed. Use the cell phone lot if picking up guests.
It is very safe to travel, and flying from ICT is easy. If you can remember to wear a mask, keep 6 ft. apart from others (except your loved ones), wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently, you’ll be fine. The TSA, airlines and airport have compiled several tips to make your trip as stress-free as possible.