November 18, 2011

Travel Tips for the Holidays

Date:  November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays tend to be among the busiest travel times of the year.  We hope these tips will help take the stress out of holiday travel and make your travel a breeze. 

 Airport Tips

  • If you have not yet booked your flight, there are still seats available.  Based on the loads reported by the airlines, the busiest day will be on Saturday, November 26 when Allegiant has four flights scheduled that day.  The lightest day will be on Thanksgiving Day.
  • To speed up the check-in process, check-in online from home within to 24 hours of your departure.  This allows you to print your boarding passes, get your seat assignments, and pay your checked bag fees.  If you are not checking bags and have your boarding pass, you can avoid the ticket counter and go straight to security.
  • Pack smart.  Review TSA’s list of permitted and prohibited items at www.tsa.gov.
  • Review your airline’s bag policies and weight limits.  Excess weight will cost more.
  • If you find that you get through security with time to spare, relax and have breakfast, read the newspaper, or surf the web.  At Mid-Continent, our WiFi is FREE throughout the terminal.
  • Check in on FourSquare to unlock a special.
  • The Flight Deck at former gate 9 is a great place to relax.  It is equipped with outlets for your laptops and cell phones.  It also has comfy seating and rocking chairs.
  • With our expanded Park & Ride lot, there should be ample parking space.  While you may park in any of our lots, the Park & Ride lot is the cheapest at only $6/day. The free shuttle will deliver you right in front of the terminal.  It makes its rounds every 10 minutes or less. Wait for the shuttle in one of the shelters in the Park & Ride lot.
  • If picking up guests arriving at Mid-Continent, wait for them in the cell phone lot, located just south of the Park & Ride lot.  Once your guest has collected their bags, they simply call you and in just a few minutes, you can pick them up in front of the terminal.
  • Customers who park in any of our lots can receive vehicular assistance such as airing up a low tire, starting a vehicle with a dead battery, or getting shoved out.  For assistance, call 316-946-4772.
  • Look for the Courtesy Crew in the red jackets if you need assistance.

 Security/Airline Advice

  • The most important thing you can do is arrive early – at least 1.5 to 2 hours before your flight.  There are 12 flights that depart between 6:00 am – 7:30 am.  This can cause long lines at the security checkpoint.  The TSA staffs all lanes during peak periods to get passengers through as quickly as possible.   
  • The checkpoint opens at 4 am.  Arriving early ensures you will be on the flight. 
  • Airlines want passengers AT the gate to begin loading AT LEAST 30 minutes before departure. 
  • Airlines close the aircraft door 10 minutes prior to departure.  Even with all three lanes fully staffed, it is not possible to screen 500 people in 35 minutes.  It is better to get here early and get to your gate in time.
  • TSA has implemented new procedures that reduce, though not eliminate, pat-downs of passengers 12 and under that would otherwise have been conducted to resolve alarms while also ensuring effective security measures. Passengers 12 and under are also able to leave their shoes on when going through security checkpoints.
  • NO carry-on liquids, gels, pastes and aerosols in containers 3.4 oz. or smaller. 
  • No knives or weapons.
  • Make sure you have your government-issued photo ID.
  • Travelers should remember the three simple steps to security: have ID’s out, coats and shoes off, and laptops and 311 bags out for screening. TSA reminds travelers to follow 3–1–1 for carry-on luggage for non-exempt liquids: 3 ounce bottle or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols; placed in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag to hold all small bottles; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The limitations on liquids apply only to carry-on bags and larger quantities may be packed in checked baggage.  
  • TSA also recommends that passengers do not travel with wrapped packages. In order to determine if the contents of a package are a threat, a security officer may need to unwrap and inspect the item. Snow globes of any size are not permitted in carry-on bags because officers cannot accurately determine the volume of liquid. TSA recommends passengers pack these items securely in checked baggage.
  • Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance.
  • New Privacy Protection Software on All Millimeter Wave Machines: TSA has upgraded all millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units at airports nationwide with new software to further enhance privacy protections by eliminating the image of an actual passenger and replacing it with a generic outline of a person. This technology increases the efficiency of the screening process, is safe for all travelers, and passengers are now able to view the same outline that the TSA officer sees. These machines are not being used at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport at this time.
  • TSA reminds travelers to be vigilant during the holiday travel season by reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement. The traveling public plays an important role in security, so “If You See Something, Say Something.”
  • For more travel tips or information on what passengers can and cannot bring through security, click here to use the MyTSA mobile app.
  • For more information on these and other helpful tips, please visit www.tsa.gov.

We wish to thank you for flying Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, and wish everyone safe travels!

Media Contacts

Valerie Wise

Air Service & Business Development Manager

(316) 946-4780

Brad Christopher

Assistant Director of Airports

(316) 946-4700

Victor White

Director of Airports

(316) 946-4700

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