Expect busy days at ABIA through Thanksgiving travel season

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is warning Austin travelers to be ready for a busy travel season this Thanksgiving.

Austin-Bergstrom says that travelers should expect a "significantly busier than usual" experience due to increased vaccination rates and postponed travel plans from last year. This applies throughout the entire holiday travel period, from Friday, Nov. 19 through Monday, Nov. 29.

Austin-Bergstrom is also advising travelers who may not have flown in a while, particularly those traveling with children to familiarize themselves with some of the changes in place due to COVID-19. Inside both terminals, face masks are required for travelers over the age of two, as the requirement by TSA has been extended until January 18. 

The airport also is advising to allow for time to park, return rental vehicles, check luggage, obtain boarding passes and get through security, especially in the morning for those traveling before 9 a.m. Security checkpoints open at 3:30 a.m. with TSA PreCheck and Clear screening available at Checkpoints 1 and 2.

Travelers getting dropped off in the morning can use both the upper and lower curbsides to help ease traffic, says the airport, as passengers can quickly get from the lower level upstairs to ticket and security via escalators and elevators.

The airport says parking options are expected to quickly fill up and limited reservations for the Blue Garage and Red Garage are available online. If reservations are sold out, drive up options may be available. Travelers sit 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, says Austin-Bergstrom.

For those packing any holiday goodies, including leftovers, the airport says 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, click here.

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

Once inside the terminal, the airport says new mobile- and desktop-friendly digital maps 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.

TSA preparing for Thanksgiving travel to hit pre-pandemic levels
AAA: Thanksgiving travel to rebound nearing pre-pandemic levels
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