San Antonio Airport officials offer tips for stress-free holiday travel
Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally the busiest travel periods of the year, and the San Antonio International Airport is anticipating heavy traffic again this year.
Following are some tips to help travelers:
Early Arrival: Passengers are encouraged to arrive at least two hours before their boarding time of the actual scheduled flight especially during the peak travel periods. This year the peak travel period is Nov. 22 thru Dec. 2 and the busiest day is expected to be the day before Thanksgiving.
TSA Pre?®: Travelers are encouraged to register for TSA Pre?® prior to their travel dates.
Check flight status online: Passengers are able to check their flight status before they leave home and receive email alerts from the airline.
Wheelchair Assistance: If you are traveling with someone who needs wheelchair assistance, contact the airline before arriving at the airport.
Kids Traveling Alone: If you have a child traveling alone (unaccompanied minor) and want to escort them to the gate, please make arrangements with the airline to receive an access pass to the gate.
Print your Boarding Pass Early: Passengers can print boarding passes at home, download to their cell phones before they arrive or use the convenient airline check-in kiosk at the airport.
Allow time for Traffic: Allow ample time to get to the airport.
Parking Availability: There are 8,974 parking spaces between the Short Term Garage (1,238), Long Term Garage (5,288), and Economy Parking [Green / Red Lots] (2,448). Economy Parking is the most economical and it includes a FREE shuttle service that runs every 6 minutes.
Pay attention to Park Assist: Take advantage of the Park Assist System in the Short Term Parking Garage to guide you to available spots. As you enter the parking plaza, signs indicate the number of available parking spaces within the Short Term Parking Garage. Park Assist uses a green light for available spots, red for unavailable and blue for available ADA parking. You can visit the airport webpage or use the Park Assist App and know the number of available parking spaces before you depart.
Use the Cell Phone Lot for Pick-ups: Use the convenient cell phone lot while waiting for your party. The new lot is located directly behind the Burger King and Q-Mart convenience store on Airport Boulevard. The cell phone lot also has a digital monitor providing real time updates on status of arrivals.
Ask for Help: Our friendly Ambassadors and staff are here to help, so if you have questions, ask them.
Wrapped Gifts: TSA recommends that you do NOT bring wrapped gifts to the airport. Travel with the gift in gift bags or unwrapped either in your carry-on bags or your checks bags. If the package alarms for any reason, they will have to unwrap it.
@AskTSA: Travelers with questions about security or items they can or cannot bring on their trip can contact a TSA employee for live assistance 365 days a year by tweeting questions and comments to @AskTSA.
Follow the 3-1-1: Liquids, gels and aerosols cannot exceed the 3-1-1 ounces rule in your carry-on bag. Let the TSA officer know right away if you are traveling with larger quantities of medically necessary liquids.
Food: You may bring snacks, sandwiches, fresh fruit, vegetables, baby food, holiday pies, but you can’t bring sauces, preserved foods or wine over 3.4 ounces in carry on bag.
Be Ready: Be ready when you enter the checkpoint line. Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and ready to hand to the TSA officer.
TSA Cares: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions can call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with questions or for assistance 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.
Electronics: Electronics larger than a cell phone, including e-readers and tablets, must be removed from your carry-on bag and placed in bins with nothing on top or below (this rule does not apply to TSA Pre?® passengers).
Escalators / Elevators: When traveling with multiple suitcases, small children or other bulky items, avoid risk and choose to take the elevator and not the escalators. The escalators require balance and hands-free flexibility should you lose balance.
Aira Availability: Aira is available to all blind or vision impaired travelers free of charge at SAT. Aira allows users to use their cell phones or specially designed glasses for subscribers to have an off-site agent guide them through the airport. This can include locating a restroom, navigating busy terminals or finding a place to relax -- all designed to return independence to our visually impaired passengers.
Airport Holiday Preparations and Activities:
- TSA fully staffed checkpoints: TSA anticipates having all lanes adequately staffed during peak hours
- SAPD will focus on curbside traffic control management
- San Antonio Airport System projects an estimated 300,000 passengers traveling both outbound and inbound from Nov. 22-Dec. 2
- Additional security will be present within the terminals
- Music will be playing in Terminals A and B from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
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