Thursday, May 18, 2023

AUS prepares passengers for another record-breaking Summer Travel Season ahead

As Austinites and Central Texans prepare for their summer vacations, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) advises passengers to expect a busy terminal beginning mid-May through the end of the summer. 2,021,747 million passengers traveled through AUS in May 2022 – making it the busiest month in airport history. With the peak travel season still to come, AUS has already experienced five of the top ten busiest days in history this year alone. This summer, airlines have increased route frequencies, added new destinations, and are utilizing larger aircraft, resulting in 4%, 6% and 7% more airline seats for sale this May, June and July respectively, compared to last summer. AUS will regularly see upwards of 30,000+ departing travelers a day and expects some days to reach the 40,000+ mark; the airport will likely set new records for busiest month and busiest summer travel season.

 
In line with the demand from travelers, AUS has worked with airline partners to launch new services, including the following new nonstop destinations launching between May and July:

  • Sacramento, CA with American Airlines
  • Vancouver, Canada with Air Canada
  • Calgary, Canada with WestJet (returning from a pandemic temporary suspension)
  • Omaha, Nebraska with Allegiant
  • Panama City, Panama with our newest carrier, Copa Airlines
  • Pensacola, Florida with Southwest Airlines and American Airlines

AUS continues to make progress on airport improvements, such as the new outbound baggage handling system for departing luggage, a partnership with the TSA to install new screening equipment and expand existing Security Checkpoints, and the Westside Terminal Expansion project, which will break ground later this summer. You can learn more about these improvements and more at AustinTexas.gov/AUSJourney.
 
AUS asks that passengers pack their patience, plan ahead, arrive early, and use the following tips as our teams prepare for their arrival. In addition to the tips below, passengers can visit FlyAustin.com for comprehensive travel tips and airport FAQs, maps, shopping and dining options, online flight boards, and more.
 
When to arrive at AUS
AUS asks that passengers give themselves plenty of time for parking/shuttle transportation, airline check-in, checking bags, obtaining a boarding pass and going through the security screening process, especially for those with early morning departure times. AUS continues to see peak travel volumes on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

  • Passengers using general Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening should arrive at least 2.5 hours before departure for domestic flights and 3 hours before departure for international flights.
  • TSA PreCheck and Clear users can expect a faster security process than those using general TSA screening.  On-site TSA PreCheck enrollment is available for departing passengers after they have cleared security through a new enrollment program, which you can learn more about here.
     

Parking and/or dropping off passengers
AUS expects on-site parking availability to be limited throughout the summer.

  • Passengers are encouraged to reserve a parking space and check for real-time parking availability before arriving at the airport by visiting ABIAparking.com or calling (512)530-3300.
  • Passengers should budget in extra arrival time for shuttle service to the terminal as it runs approximately every 15-20 minutes.
  • With high demand for on-airport parking, passengers should explore off-airport parking options in the event lots and garages are full.
  • Use either the upper level for departures or the lower level for arrivals to drop off passengers and vice versa - if you're picking someone up and the lower level for arrivals is backed up, have them go to the upper-level departures and pick them up there. We recommend using whichever level is least congested.

Security screening & packing correctly

  • AUS has four TSA Security Checkpoints. All Checkpoints lead to all gates. The first checkpoints open daily at 3:30 a.m.
  • The TSA has reported that AUS passengers continue to bring a record number of guns to security checkpoints. Bringing prohibited items, like firearms and liquids exceeding 3.4 oz. will cause delays for passengers. Passengers need to ensure they are not carrying prohibited items in their carry-ons prior to arriving at the airport.
  • Passengers can visit TSA.gov for guidance on how to pack and to learn what items are allowed inside their carry-on luggage.

Mobility assistance and accessibility needs

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport offers a wide range of accessibility services as part of our AUS For All accessibility program, such as the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program, SkySquad, a pilot Mobility Assistance Zone program, a Mobility Lounge and more.
  • Passengers who require wheelchair assistance need to contact their airline prior to their travel date to set up the service.
  • Consider requesting TSA Cares Assistance. TSA Cares is a program that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances in-person assistance from a TSA Passenger Support Specialist during the security screening process. Contact TSA to request this service 72 hours prior to traveling at (855) 787-2227.

Getting the most out of AUS

  • Once inside, explore the food, new art installations, live music stages, and more using step-by-step directions on the AUS digital wayfinding map at AirportMaps.AustinTexas.gov.
  • Visit Shop and Dine at AUS to explore our shopping and dining options all in one place.
  • AUS is excited to offer special summer music line-ups every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You can view a detailed schedule of our eight music stages on the Live Music in the Air at AUS program webpage.

Information for Allegiant and Frontier travelers: Know your terminal

  • Passengers flying Allegiant or Frontier will depart from The South Terminal, which is a separate terminal located near US 183 and Burleson Road at 10000 Logistics Lane. This terminal is not accessible from the main Barbara Jordan Terminal. While we do provide shuttle service to the terminal, we encourage Allegiant and Frontier passengers to park on-site at the South Terminal to save time.

Passengers needing assistance at any point in their journey at AUS are encouraged to call the Airport Operations Center at (512) 530-2242 or to ask any Department of Aviation staff member for assistance.


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