In preparation for the upcoming holiday travel season, West Virginia International Yeager Airport would like to remind passengers to be prepared for the increased passenger volume. The season kicks off with Thanksgiving travel, which begins Friday, Nov. 18, and concludes Sunday, Nov. 27. CRW is expecting passenger volumes over the Thanksgiving travel period to equal or surpass the previous holiday season, with 54.6 million people expected to travel over the holiday period — a 1.5% increase from 2021. Airport officials expect the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to be the busiest departure day, following another busy travel day on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects travel nationwide to pick up this season, anticipating as many as 2.5 million passengers at checkpoints on Wednesday and more than 2.5 million on Sunday. As a result, the agency recommends that people prepare for security when packing for their trip and be aware of what can go in carry-on or checked bags.
CRW Airport has some tips for dealing with the crowds:
Give yourself extra time. Make sure you arrive at least one hour prior to your scheduled departure time to ensure you’re at your gate in time for boarding.
Download your airline app. Download your airline’s mobile app ahead of time to get important flight status updates and for an overall smoother travel experience.
Picking Up Loved Ones? Those picking up or dropping off passengers should utilize the free 20-minute lot, available while you wait for your loved one. Please do not park along Airport Road or curbside.
What can I bring? Passengers should review all rules for carry-ons in advance of their flight at TSA.gov. CRW also encourages passengers to sign up for trusted traveler programs such as TSA Pre✓®. The program allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case, and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select TSA airport checkpoint screening lanes.
Worried about flight delays? We encourage you to check with your airline before coming to the airport. You can also check live flight status on our website and our social media is a good resource for important airport updates.
As a reminder, beginning May 3, 2023, air travelers flying within the United States will be required to present a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport or military ID. To get the REAL ID gold star, West Virginia residents must present the required documents at a DMV in person. There is a ten-dollar surcharge and standard fees to get the new license. A standard license without the gold star will not be a valid option to enter the TSA checkpoint after May 3, 2023.
We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season, and thank you for Flying CRW!
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!
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.