Friday, November 19, 2021

AUS airport expects busy days throughout the Thanksgiving travel season


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is thankful for travelers who plan ahead and arrive early during what is anticipated to be a busy Thanksgiving travel season. 

With increased vaccination rates and pent-up demand due to many postponing their holiday travel plans from last year, AUS is advising travelers to expect a significantly busier than usual terminal experience and to plan accordingly when heading to the airport. This applies throughout the entire holiday travel period, from Friday, Nov. 19 through Monday, Nov. 29.

Travelers who may not have flown in a while, particularly families traveling with children should familiarize themselves with some of the changes that have taken place at AUS due to COVID-19. 

Following several record-setting days in October, it's especially important to allow for plenty of time for parking, returning a rental car, checking luggage, obtaining a boarding pass and passing through security, particularly in the morning hours for those traveling before 9 a.m. 

The Transportation Security Administration advises that travelers should arrive at least three hours early for all flights, including those with TSA PreCheck and Clear. Security screening checkpoints open at 3:30 a.m. with TSA PreCheck and Clear screening available at Checkpoints 1 and 2. 

If travelers are getting dropped off in the morning, they can use both the upper and lower curbsides to help ease traffic –  from the lower level, passengers can quickly get upstairs to ticket and security via escalators and elevators. 

Travelers looking to park onsite should plan ahead as parking options are expected to quickly fill up. Limited reservations for the Blue Garage and Red Garage are available online. If reservations are sold out, drive up options may be available. Travelers should visit ABIAParking.com to reserve a space and to check for real-time parking availability prior to arriving to the airport.

Passengers needing wheelchair assistance should contact their airlines directly prior to arriving at the airport to arrange for wheelchair service at the terminal.

For those packing any holiday goodies, including leftovers on the way back home, TSA rules regarding liquids still do apply, so any food items that could be considered liquid, such as gravy or cranberry sauce should be securely packed in checked luggage. Additionally, firearms are prohibited at passenger screening checkpoints and in any carry-on luggage and possession of them may result in arrest. For a comprehensive list of banned and permitted items in carry-on baggage, visit the TSA's website at TSA.gov

A reminder that all Allegiant and Frontier flights operate at the South Terminal and their passengers should park at the South Terminal. All other airlines operate from the airport's main Barbara Jordan Terminal located off of SH 71. The South Terminal is a separate facility accessed from Burleson Road, between US 183 South and FM 973. 

Inside both terminals, face masks are required for travelers over the age of two, as the TSA has extended the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States, including at airports, through January 18, 2022. 

Once inside the terminal, travelers can explore new digital maps which provide real-time information on everything from locations for garage locations, shops, restaurants, as well as wayfinding options. The map also allows passengers to view the latest operating hours from shops and restaurants, view menus and order in-airport food deliveries from select AUS concessions. 

The map is mobile- and desktop-friendly, and is accessible through the AUS website and at AirportMaps.AustinTexas.gov.  

For more useful information for travelers, visit the AUS website's Travel Tips section.


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