Spring break is here. But, you don’t need to be a teenager to make all your travel dreams come true this spring break! We can help. At CRW, we want to ensure your travel experience is smooth sailing with no turbulence. So, here are some tips to get you through spring break travel.
It’s going to be a crowded spring break this year, with more travelers than in previous years during the pandemic. Travel agents are reporting significant increases in their bookings for the upcoming spring break, and even summer vacations.
According to The International Air Transport Association, 150 percent more passengers will fly this year than they did last year.
One of the most basic rules of flying is to give yourself plenty of time. We know getting through CRW’s TSA checkpoint is a breeze, but you never know if there will be a delay at the checkpoint, or if you need to take more time checking in a bag at the airline kiosk. CRW suggests arriving at the airport 90 minutes before your scheduled flight. But, also check with the airlines.
If you are checking a bag, some airlines require you to arrive at least an hour before your flight. In some cases, if you aren’t at the airport within the hour check-in window, the airline can refuse to allow you to board.
CHECK YOUR FLIGHT STATUS
We aren’t out of the woods yet for winter weather, and neither are certain Spring Break destinations, like Chicago. Even if you are heading to a tropical place, your aircraft may be coming from somewhere cold. Checking your flight status will keep you in the know of any last-minute changes, cancellations, or delays.
The best way to track your plane is to visit FlightAware.com or download the app. Once there, you can enter your flight number and track your flight in real time.
Tracking your flight has perks during busy travel times, such as spring break. Tracking inbound flights is particularly useful when the airline you’re traveling on offers a limited number of flights from CRW.
Knowing where your flight is coming from can help you understand any potential delays, and plan accordingly from there.
BE CHECKPOINT SAVVY
In order to keep the TSA security line moving smoothly, make sure you have your ID and boarding pass out. Make sure your pockets are empty, belts, jackets, and shoes are off. You can, of course, skip this part if you have TSA PreCheck.
If you aren’t sure what you can or can’t bring with you, head over to this link.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK OR ACCEPT HELP
At CRW, passenger safety and their experience is our top priority. In order to enhance that experience, CRW has recently implemented the Sunflower Program, a program that helps passengers with hidden disabilities. We offer complimentary sunflower lanyards, pins, or bracelets in baggage claim for passengers to wear, if they have a hidden disability. More information on this program can be found here.
While the CDC has lessened their requirements on masks, you will still need to wear your mask at CRW and on your flight.
When flying in the United States, you will still need to wear a mask.
YEAGER AIRPORT LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO HELP PEOPLE WITH HIDDEN DISABILITIES
Yeager Airport has partnered with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower organization, allowing some passengers to ask discretely for support.
To better meet the needs of all travelers with disabilities, CRW is launching the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program beginning December 16, 2021. Travelers with hidden disabilities can now request a free sunflower lanyard, bracelet, or pin at the welcome counter in baggage claim to let airport staff know they may need a little help or extra patience.
“Making sure our passengers feel comfortable while they travel through CRW is our top priority. Our passengers have always been our biggest supporters, and we want those who may require additional support and accommodations to have a quality travel experience,” said Airport Director Nick Keller. “We are thrilled to implement another program that puts our passenger’s well-being first.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control. 26 percent of American adults have some disability; many are not visually apparent.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program first started in 2016 at Gatwick Airport in Great Britain. Since the program’s launch, airports across the globe have joined the program, including Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Orlando International Airport, to which CRW offers direct flights.
CRW also works with several certified therapy dogs through another new program, Herc’s Pals. Herc’s Pals volunteers and their animals offer a friendly experience to soothe some passengers of their travel worries.
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.
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 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.
FLYING WITH FOOD
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.
THE USUAL TIPS
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!
OPERATIONS AND YEAGER POLICE APPREHEND SUBJECT ON AIRFIELD
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.