OKLAHOMA CITY – A local airport is preparing for possible record-setting holiday travel, and are reminding travelers about a few changes they may see before reaching their destinations.
Officials at Will Rogers World Airport say passenger numbers are about 11% higher than in 2017, so travelers can expect larger crowds in the parking areas, at TSA checkpoints, and in the passenger pick-up area.
Here’s how to prepare for this busy holiday travel season:
- Travelers should always arrive at the terminal at least an hour-and-a-half before departure. If possible, arriving two hours in advance is best. It helps to reduce travel stress.
- WRWA has five parking areas and parking staff is prepared to accommodate all parkers. Certain areas do fill up more quickly than others, so travelers should have an alternative location just in case. Parking information, including the current rates and locations, can be found at flyokc.com/parking-rates. Reminder, hourly parking is still temporarily located to the first entrance of the lower level in the covered garage. Hourly rates still apply in this area.
- Check-in early for flights. Most airlines close the check-in process 30 or 45 minutes before a scheduled departure (check with your airline). If passengers haven’t checked in by that time, they may not be issued a boarding pass or could lose their seat to stand-by passengers.
- Make time for the ticket counter process and checking bags. Too many travelers focus on the checkpoint queue and forget that lines can form at the counter as well.
- Be prepared for the checkpoint. Travelers should ensure that their carry-on does not contain prohibited items. Typical holiday items that can cause problems are liquids, foods, hunting gear and wrapped presents. A complete list of prohibited items can be found at tsa.gov. All electronics should be placed in a separate bin and should not be stacked.
- Large groups entering the security queue together can often create surges at the checkpoint, significantly increasing wait times for all passengers. Small groups should get themselves and their immediate traveling companions through security first. There are plenty of comfortable post-security locations to wait for the full party to assemble.
- The TSA west security checkpoint, next to the American Airlines ticket counter, has been expanded to include an annex. This means that all travelers will enter the security checkpoint on the west end. The dedicated PreCheck lane is still available at this location.
- For those who are picking up travelers, there is absolutely no parking or waiting at the terminal curbside on the upper and lower levels. Only active loading is allowed. Drivers who park or wait will be subject to ticketing.
- Visitors should use hourly parking or the cell phone lot to wait for their traveler. If using the cell phone lot, drivers should not drive up to the terminal until the person being picked up is on the curbside. A map showing the location of the cell phone lot can be found at flyokc.com.
- Weather can be unpredictable, including the weather at a traveler’s destination or connecting airport. To avoid surprises, it is always a good idea to track weather and flights.