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To All a Good Flight: Holiday Travel News and Tips from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

published on December 16, 2013

abia holiday travelTraffic Status: Holiday air travelers should be in the terminal at least 90 minutes before departing.

Not only is airport traffic up 6% over the record-breaking 9.4 million travelers last year, but even more flights are available. Passenger traffic also will increase as students from universities downtown and ACC locations as far as Milwood head home for the holidays. ABIA Travelers should expect lines for ticketing and screening.

Events: While at Austin’s airport, look out for dancing reindeer!

Jazz and reindeer are among the extra ABIA entertainment departing passengers may enjoy from this winter at the Asleep at the Wheel stage (located near Gate 10). The Austin Jazz Workshop will play holiday favorites from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18th. At the same time on Friday, December 20th, Santa and his dancing reindeer will pull passengers into the act with the Judy Lee Dancers. These performances are in addition to the 23 live music performances presented weekly at the Live Music Capital of the World’s airport.

Programs: Active military personnel are invited to enjoy a free meal during the holidays at participating airport restaurants.

Through midnight on January 1, 2014, active military can receive a free “Thank You Meal” this holiday season from the following ABIA restaurants: Annie’s Café, Ray Benson’s Roadhouse Bar, Mangia’s Pizza, Austin Java, Schlotzsky’s Deli, The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar, Maudie’s Tex-Mex, Hill’s Café, Nuevo Leon Mexican Restaurant, SoCo Market, and Saxon Pub. The meal program is compliments of airport concessionaire Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services.

What’s new this winter at ABIA

New for 2013 holiday travel is Family Friendly Valet. Travelers can pull up to the upper-level curbside area, unload, and walk straight to the terminal. A valet will park vehicles in one of the airport’s long-term lots ($15 per day).

By using TSA’s “Pre-Check” at checkpoints 1, 2, or 3, travelers can expedite security screening. This security program allows low-risk passengers to keep shoes and light outerwear on while going through the checkpoint. To enroll or to learn more, visit www.tsa.gov.

Picking up family or friends? At the airport’s free cell lot, drivers can wait for a passenger’s curbside call that they’re ready to be picked up. While waiting, drivers can enjoy an authentic Austin food trailer treat. A new roadway, Spirit of Austin Lane, provides lot users quick and convenient access to and from the airport’s main entrance.

Four new carriers and nine nonstop flights and were added at ABIA in 2013. These include Aeromar to Mexico City, Virgin America to San Francisco, and Allegiant to Las Vegas. Coming in March 2014, British Airways will provide Austin’s first transatlantic nonstop service to London on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

Pardon the progress … Elves aren’t the only ones building things: be aware of ABIA construction activity in and around the terminal, parking, and airport roadways. Visit “Tuning Up” at www.abia.org.

ABIA Travel Tips

  • Remember 3-1-1 for liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on luggage. Three ounces per container, in a clear, one-quart bag, one per passenger
  • While packing, check luggage to ensure no prohibited items are in the bag or its pockets. For a comprehensive list of banned and permitted items in carry-on baggage, visit the TSA’s Web site at www.tsa.gov
  • Do not wrap gifts as they may have to be opened during security inspections
  • Check flight status before arriving at the airport, www.abia.org or with your airline
  • Allow ample time to get to the airport. Traffic and weather could add to commute time
  • To expedite security screening, visit www.tsa.gov to enroll in TSA’s Pre-Check program. Carry-on luggage is restricted to one bag and one personal item (such as a laptop, purse, or backpack)
  • Real-time ABIA On-Airport Parking information is available by calling 512-530-3300
  • Arrive in the terminal at least 90 minutes before departure times for all flights. The first passenger screening checkpoint will open at 4 a.m.
  • Shoes, coats, jackets, hats and other such garments must be put through X-ray screening
  • For airport information 24 hours a day, call 512-530-ABIA (2242) or visit www.abia.org

The REALTOR®s at Regent Property love heading home for the holidays, and support ABIA and its dedicated staff.  Interested in an Austin home for sale? They also support home-buyers as they traverse the Austin real estate market. Whether you are considering a greenbelt home in Barton Creek or a breathtaking new home in Senna Hills, trust Regent PG.