Air travel this weekend could reach 2019 levels
Wichita airport officials say be prepared for more passengers this holiday weekend.
Wichita Eisenhower National Airport expects travel volumes to reach or surpass 2019 levels over Memorial Day weekend.
Travel volumes decreased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic and have not yet returned to the normal levels. That is expected to change this weekend, said Valerie Wise, the airport’s Air Service and Business Development Manager.
“Schools are now out, and typically Memorial weekend is a busy travel weekend,” Wise said. “And there is a lot of pent up travel demand; leisure travel demand has been strong.
“I think there is a variety of things that lead up to a strong demand this weekend.”
Crew shortages and delays in aircraft deliveries are preventing airlines from adding more capacity, which can lead to full flights. To help travelers avoid travel problems, airport officials have released tips for people traveling this weekend.
- Check-in for your flight 24 hours before coming to the airport.
- Make sure to arrive two hours before departure to allow time to check your bags and get through security.
- The airlines typically close the ticket counters 30 minutes before departure.
- Full flights mean limited space in the overhead bins. If there’s not enough room for your bag, it will need to be gate-checked. You will need to wait to have it delivered to you on the jet bridge when you arrive. If you have a short connection time, you may miss your flight.
- Check the baggage requirements on the airline you’re using. Each airline has different size and weight requirements and fees.
- If you take a carry-on bag, make sure the contents can clear Transportation Security Administration screening. If you’re not sure, go to www.tsa.gov.
- Taxi service is limited at many airports, including Wichita. Uber and Lyft are available.
- Rental cars may be in short supply. Plan ahead and book your vehicle as soon as possible.