What You Need to Know for 2021 Thanksgiving Travel

What You Need to Know for 2021 Thanksgiving Travel

A year ago, many of us weren’t traveling for Thanksgiving. COVID-19 cases were still rising, and the vaccine was not available yet. Nevertheless, the travel and leisure industry is still bouncing back, and AAA reports the rebound in air travel alone will be even more significant, up to 80% over 2020.

This year for Thanksgiving, more people are traveling, and if you’re flying, you can expect crowded planes and higher ticket prices. The days of traveling on near-empty planes are gone. As of last week, Thanksgiving flight bookings are 78% higher than last year and 3.2% higher than in 2019.

AAA is predicting that 53 million people will travel by either air, road, or rails this Thanksgiving. In addition, AAA expects the travel volume to rise within 5% of 2019 levels.

Thanksgiving travel kicked off Monday, November 15, and runs through Monday, November 30. The Saturday and Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday are typically the busiest travel days.

If you are traveling soon, you can do a few things to ensure a smooth trip.


TSA is urging anyone flying to enroll in PreCheck. Not only does it get you through the checkpoint faster, but it also eliminates the need for a bin (in most cases) and decreases the amount of contact you have with TSA agents. Enrolling in PreCheck is fairly easy, but it does take a few weeks.

Enrolling is a two-step process. First, you can start the application online by scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center. The appointment takes about 10 minutes. Next, your fingerprints are taken for a background check, and you have to pay $85 for a 5-year membership. Once approved, the renewal process is done online.


COVID regulations vary by state. Before taking off, make sure you have everything you need to comply with your final destination. At CRW, masks are still mandatory inside the terminal, and all of the airlines at CRW require masks while onboard their aircraft. Keep in mind – you are also going through more than one airport while traveling. Checking those airports’ websites is a good idea to ensure you do not run into any surprises while traveling.


Are you the chef in the family? Don’t trust Cousin Eddie to deep fry the turkey? Fair enough. If you are packing up the goods for the big dinner, TSA has compiled a list of what food items can stay in your carry-on and what needs to be in your checked baggage. The simple rule TSA follows: if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, pack it in a checked bag.Here is the complete list.


During this period, guests choosing to travel will see many of the enhanced health, safety, and sanitation efforts that CRW began rolling out at the beginning of the pandemic. Those measures include:

  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Acrylic barriers at high touch areas
  • New cleaning technology and frequency of cleaning
  • Social distancing markers

To ensure a healthy travel experience, CRW asks all guests to do their part by:

  • Wearing a face mask properly at all times
  • Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer
  • Maintain social distancing as much as possible
  • Use touchless options and mobile boarding passes
  • Allow ample time at the airport to help avoid crowds
  • Check with your airline for additional guidelines.

The CDC is still recommending that if you aren’t fully vaccinated, you delay travel.

As of November 8, 2021, The White House announced that vaccines would be required for international travelers coming into the United States.

As you start to return to the skies this holiday season, we hope you know that we’re doing everything we can to keep you and your family safe and healthy. For those that are not quite ready to return yet, your friends at CRW will be here when you’re ready. Happy Holidays!


How We Got Here: Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight School

How We Got Here: Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight School

Flight training schools have popped up across the country to respond to the pilot shortage; Yeager Airport noticed and jumped on board.

It only took 363 days of construction on the Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School, where future pilots have a state-of-the-art building and hangar for their education and training.

As interest in aerospace began to build out more, the flight school became the foundation of what could come to Yeager Airport. Former Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert was on board with bringing a flight school to Yeager Airport.

“I think we have one of the finest flight schools in the country. Bill Noe was insistent on that; let’s make it first class. Let’s make everything the best we possibly can, and that is what we have done,” said Gilbert.

The flight school started as a way to reverse the pilot shortage and began to take form when Gilbert says they were looking for an economic development tool for southern West Virginia. As a result, a lot of interest was developed in aerospace.

One of the goals of the program is to invest in aviation education and to create quality jobs. Yeager Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller plans to grow the program and bring West Virginia an extra economic boost.

“West Virginia and Marshall Bill Noe Flight School and Yeager Airport play a key role in reversing the pilot shortage and help add new pilots. Where I want to see the flight school now is to continue adding new students every semester. In addition, Marshall has new aircraft on order. So imagine in 5 years, over 200 full-time college students going to school at Yeager Airport through Marshall University, graduating up to 50 pilots a year. There is also the opportunity for Marshall to add in different degree programs in aviation management or aerospace engineering,” said Director Keller.

Less than a year later, and more aerospace opportunities for the flight school are popping up. CRW and Marshall both have their eye on new technology, called eVTOL, or electric vertical takeoff and landing.

“In thinking about adding some pilot training for what’s called electrical airplanes, or eVTOL. Electrical vertical takeoff and landing airplanes have been a new development in the last 4-5 years. Probably ten companies are building these airplanes. They are futuristic. I had the opportunity to fly a simulator of one of the planes. It’s amazing. They have a 250-mile flying range, and we are thinking about cooperating with companies to create an electrical charging station at Yeager airport. I know the airport director is very interested in that. If we get that done, we will be able to bring in electric airplanes and do pilot training, adding a ton to the training we already have and possibly expanding into research or electrical batteries into aviation. We are very excited about that,” said Gilbert.

Bringing eVTOL to West Virginia would put eyes on our state as one of the country’s leaders in terms of looking at the future of aviation. The aircraft won’t replace commercial planes but rather be used for short-distance transportation.

“We could end up with some manufacturing associated with eVTOL in WV, perhaps right in Kanawha county or in Charleston. We have seen interest in several companies doing component manufacturing here in West Virginia. It would be great for the state. It would be excellent economic development and an opportunity,” said Gilbert.

That means bringing more people to West Virginia and more jobs. Another component of eVTOL is the batteries.

“A research institute such as one we can create at Marshall to look at how we can modify those batteries and generate those batteries that would be more suited for the aviation industry. They have indicated they would be interested in starting a battery factory in charleston,” said Gilbert.

What started as a traditional flight school could soon be leading the way in cutting-edge technology. And it’s happening all right here at Yeager Airport.




This morning, Monday, November 8, 2021, at 9:43 AM, a Raytheon Hawker 800 (twin-jet) with four people on board, made an emergency landing at Yeager Airport (CRW). The aircraft’s final destination was Fort Pierce, Florida, and was diverted from Cleveland, Ohio, to CRW.

The pilot reported a possible problem with one of the aircraft’s engines. Before landing at CRW, the aircraft circled the Airport to burn fuel.

An Alert Level 2 Emergency was declared before the plane landed. The West Virginia Air National Guard and Kanawha County Emergency personnel responded quickly in accordance with the airport emergency plan.

At 10:18 AM, the plane landed safely at CRW and taxied to Capital Jet Center.

“CRW is thankful for the quick response by the 130th Fire Department, KCEAA and Charleston Fire Department said Yeager Airport CEO & Airport Director, Nick Keller.”




On Wednesday morning at approximately 6 AM, Operations Specialist Jennifer Fisher noticed a subject on the airfield during her routine patrol. Following CRW protocol, Fisher challenged the subject who could not produce an airport badge. Realizing the subject was not an airport employee, Fisher immediately notified Yeager Airport Police Department.

Once the subject spotted the police officers, the subject attempted to flee but was apprehended by Yeager Airport Police.

The subject was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

CRW is thankful and proud of the response by Airport Operations and Yeager Airport Police, executing their training to ensure a safe and successful end to the incident. CRW would also like to thank the Charleston Police Department for its assistance.

Yeager Airport Police, Operations, and Charleston Police Department continue to investigate.

There is no threat to the public.




On Monday at 10:12 pm, a scheduled CRJ-200 flying from Atlanta safely landed at CRW after reporting an emergency due to pressurization issues. The flight landed safely with no passengers or crew needing or requiring medical attention.

At 10 pm, Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) notified the Operations Specialist of the incoming flight experiencing an emergency with pressurization. Additionally, fog inside the cabin was reported to the ATCT.

Before the plane landed, the West Virginia Air National Guard 130th Fire Department quickly responded to the runway per CRW’s airport emergency plan.

At 10:12, the aircraft landed safely and taxis to Gate B1, followed by several 130th engines. When the plane stopped, the 130th boarded the aircraft to check for passenger medical issues and reported the oxygen masks were deployed with a faint smell of smoke in the cabin. All 51 souls on board were evacuated and refused medical attention.

CRW thanks the 130th Fire Department, Charleston Fire Department, KCEAA, and Charleston Police Department for their quick response.

Please check with your airline for the most up-to-date information regarding flight status.