2016 Holiday Travel Tips

December 21, 2016 – The surge of holiday travel began this week as area universities released students for winter break. Airlines are expecting flights to be full throughout the next several weeks and advise passengers to arrive early for their flight.

The newly-constructed parking garage at TUL has been opened, with an additional 500 new spaces available for travelers. Travelers have several options for parking at the airport:

  • Garage/Covered Parking: Expanded garage parking with over 2,300 spaces. The closest airport parking option at $10/day.
  • Economy Parking: Located behind the Clarion Inn, shuttles provide carside to curbside service at $6/day.
  •  Hourly Parking: Hourly parking is conveniently located on the 3rd level of the parking garage just steps away from baggage claim. The first 30 minutes is $1, and has a $10/day max.
  •  Valet Parking: Valet service located outside the ticket-counter doors for $16/day. Provide the attendant with your return flight information and they’ll have your car waiting upon your return.
  •  Self-Serve Credit Card Lot: This overflow parking alternative provides customers with a low-cost, near terminal option for self-serve parking at $6/day.
  •  Cell Phone Lot: Located just east of the Hilton Garden Inn with 60 spaces for drivers to park for free while waiting on arriving passengers and baggage.

Passengers are advised to arrive at least 90 minutes before their scheduled departure time for domestic travel and two hours early for international travel. Travelers should also confirm their airline’s check in procedure prior to coming to the airport.

We have put together the following travel tips to make traveling by air this holiday season go as smoothly as possible:

Before leaving for the airport…

  • Inclement weather can cause flight delays. Keep in mind the local weather forecast and check with your airline for the most up-to-date flight information.
  •  Leave your Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone at home. You are prohibited from transporting this recalled device on your person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States.
  • Liquids and gels in containers larger than 3.4 ounces should be packed in checked luggage.
  • Liquids and gels in containers 3.4 ounces and smaller may be packed in carry-on bags, as long as the following conditions are met:
    • All containers must fit into one quart sized or smaller Ziploc bag.
    • Passengers are limited to one bag.
  • New rules prohibit the placement of electronic cigarettes in checked luggage. Passengers must carry e-cigarettes in their carry-on bag. Any liquids must fit in the quart-sized Ziploc with other liquids and gels that the passenger is taking through the checkpoint.
  • Travelers may carry on board one bag that fits in the overhead bin or under the seat, plus one personal item. Check with your airline for any applicable carry-on fees. Personal items include things such as purses, briefcases or laptops. A list of permitted and prohibited carry-on items is available at www.tsa.gov.
  • Valuables including cameras, jewelry, documents, prescription medicine, and car keys should be placed in your carry-on luggage and kept with you at all times.
  • Suitcases should be properly labeled on the exterior and interior of the bag with the passenger’s name and cell phone number.
  • Passengers should have the address of their hotel or final destination available should their suitcase be delayed. This will need to be given to the airline so the bag can be delivered upon its arrival.
  • All passengers (other than minors) are required to present a government issued photo ID. International travelers of any age must have a passport and other required documents. Passengers should make copies of these documents and carry an extra set with them or electronically scan the documents and e-mail a copy to them to have available should their original identification be lost or stolen.
  • Many airlines now allow passengers to check in for their flight up to 24 hours prior to its scheduled departure. Passengers should check with their airline’s website for additional information.

At the airport…

  • Passengers can reduce their time in line at the ticket counters by utilizing self-service check-in machines. Most of the airlines at TUL now offer this service at their ticket counters. These machines allow passengers to print boarding passes, check luggage, select or change seats, and purchase upgrades. All airlines at TUL accept electronic boarding passes.  Passengers may use them to pass through security and board their plane.
  • When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available with their paper or electronic boarding pass. An Oklahoma driver’s license is an acceptable form of ID until January 2018 when REAL ID enforcement begins throughout the United States.
  • To expedite time through the security screening process, slip on shoes are recommended. Passengers not eligible for TSA’s Pre✓™ program should be prepared to remove shoes and jackets for screening.  All laptops, portable DVD players or large electronic items must be removed from their cases and placed into their own bin. Passengers should place keys, cell phones, pagers, and loose change in their carry on bags before getting in the security line.