Holiday Travel may look different this year, but Yeager Airport is still making preparations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which typically includes some of the busiest travel days of the year. Traveling numbers will be down this year, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects to see an uptick in passengers over the next few weeks.
Thanksgiving Travel kicks off Friday, November 20, 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 make sure your trip is smooth.
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. You can start the application online by scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center. The appointment takes about 10 minutes. Your fingerprints are taken for a background check, and you have to pay $85 for a 5-year membership. After that, it normally takes a few weeks to get your approval. Once you approved, the renewal process is done online.
Research your destination and airline
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 Yeager 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.
Flying with food
Are you the chief 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 put together 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 follow is, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, pack it in a checked bag. Here is the full list.
The usual tips
Guests choosing to travel during this period 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.
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 Yeager Airport will be here when you’re ready. Happy Holidays!
The Past, Present, and Future of Aviation
In the 1800s, the interest in “flying machines” really began taking off. That century was the first time people had an understanding of what it would take for people to fly. Still, by the end of the 1800s, no one was able to build a successful airplane.
It did not take long for the hard work of aeronautical advancement in the 1800s to pay off. In December 1903, the Wright Brothers made history. Wilbur and Orville Wright made four short flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, marking the dawn of a new age.
Airplanes proved their worth during World War I. In 1921 the Army Air Service brought dozens of aircraft to a small grass airfield in Kanawha City, West Virginia later named Wertz Field. Although Wertz Field wasn’t an ideal location for passenger traffic it continued to operate until 1942. On November 3, 1947, Kanawha Airport now Yeager Airport was opened, and the first commercial airline flights began operating a month later on December 1, 1947.
Today air travel makes it possible to get anywhere in the world in a short amount of time. Air travel is so popular, it is estimated that commercial airlines will need eighty-seven new pilots every day to keep up with the demand for flying.
Yeager Airport and Marshall University are going to be part of the solution to the potential commercial pilot shortage. In the fall of 2021, the Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School will open its (hangar) doors. The flight school will offer a Commercial Pilot: Fixed-Wing Bachelor of Science degree and an Aviation Maintenance AAS which will house around fifty students each year. Those students will get a first-class flight school education and help meet the nation’s projected need for commercial pilots over the next two decades.
The development of aviation programs with Marshall University is a tremendous opportunity for the airport and for the whole regional economy. Yeager Airport continues to work tirelessly toward the bigger strategic vision of Yeager Airport: to help West Virginia by becoming the most important economic engine for the State through advances in aviation and education. Whether that means giving you a first-class airport, bringing more aviation jobs to West Virginia, or investing in the future of air travel. The possibilities are endless in air travel, and Yeager Airport intends to be at the forefront of those possibilities.
It has been a long year and, somehow, it has also been a fast year. We are nearly one month into the 4th quarter of 2020, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Typically, the holiday season is a busy season for airports and airlines. While holiday travel will be down this year compared to years prior, it is not all bad news. Let’s put our glass half full glasses on and look at some positives for air travel this year.
International Air Transport Association Study
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released a study at the beginning of October saying one billion have flown so far in 2020. That report says, of those one billion people, there have only been forty-four suspected COVID transmission cases related to air travel.
How did the IATA get their numbers? Good question. The three main commercial aircraft manufacturers in the United States are Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer. The IATA analyzed aircraft manufacturer’s studies that looked at the risks of in-flight virus transmission. The study goes on to say its “outreach to airlines and public health authorities combined with a thorough review of available literature has not yielded any indication that onboard transmission is in any way common or widespread.”
The IATA also recognizes there is no way to establish an “exact tally” of positive cases connected to air travel. The numbers, though, are promising. After an extensive study, only 44 positive cases could be tied directly to air travel out of one billion passengers. This number begs one question, though, why? Why is the number so low?
Speaking about the IATA study, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said of the 44 cases that could be tracked to air travel. Many of those came before airlines implemented several safety protocols like mandatory face coverings. Dr. David Powell, a medical advisor for the IATA, agreed with that sentiment.
How does all of this relate to holiday travel? Bastian said holiday season travel forecasts look “encouraging.” The CEO went on to say confidence in air travel has increased steadily throughout the year.
We have been working diligently at CRW to make sure you feel comfortable flying. Many of the protocols we implemented in the early days of the pandemic are still in place. Here is how we have prepared to make your travel experience as safe as possible:
- Support services staff have a daily checklist for high touch areas that need extra attention.
- You will find reminders to socially distance throughout the airport.
- Staff temperatures are taken every day.
- Face covering’s are mandatory inside the terminal
- Airport vendors have installed acrylic shields to minimize contact between themselves and passengers.
If you are flying this holiday season, we are here to give you the safest experience possible. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always give us a call or reach out to us on our social media pages.
Information for this blog came from the IATA study, Newsweek, and an interview with Ed Bastian on CNBC.