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Holiday Travelers Begin Packing Will Rogers World Airport

Posted: Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY -

With just under two weeks until Christmas, the holiday travel crunch has begun, according to Will Rogers World Airport (WRWA) in Oklahoma City.

Many universities will begin their winter breaks this weekend, and public schools will let out after next week. Thousands of travelers are expected to pass through WRWA over the next three weeks. Airport spokesperson Karen Carney says there are a few things that people bound for home or winter getaways should know before they fly.

PARKING:

Airport officials are predicting record demand for parking beginning Friday, December 20 through January 2. With Christmas day falling on a Wednesday, many people will travel earlier and stay longer resulting in extended stays for vehicles in the airport's parking garages and surface lots.

The airport planes to accommodate as many parkers as possible, but encourages those traveling Christmas week to consider alternate transportation to the airport.

For those picking up passengers at the airport, they are reminded that there is no parking or waiting in front of the terminal building. The airport advises using one of two cell-phone waiting areas and pulling up to the terminal once their party is actually at the curb.

AIRLINE CHECK-IN CUTOFF TIMES AND BAGGAGE RULES:

Most airlines allow passengers to check in online 24 hours prior to a flight. However, even if a passenger has a boarding pass but is checking a bag, that passenger will still need to physically get it tagged at the airport. The time deadlines for doing this vary among the carriers. Frontier Airlines for examples, closes their ticket counter 45 minutes prior to departure, meaning if you have not gotten your boarding pass or checked your bag by that time, you risk missing the flight and/or incurring additional bag charges.

Additionally, most airlines charge for checked baggage and all airlines charge extra fees for overweight bags. To avoid surprises at the airport, travelers are advised to check the airline's website for baggage fees and cutoff times.

SECURITY CHECKPOINT and TSA Pre-check:

In October, TSA rolled out a prescreening initiative called TSA Pre-check which expedites checkpoint screening. This service is available at WRWA. The program allows pre-approved travelers to leave their shoes, light outerwear and belt on, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on.

As always, travelers need to be aware of what can be taken in carry-on luggage and in checked luggage, and what items are strictly forbidden. A comprehensive list of items can be found at tsa.gov or download the MyTSA app which includes a "Can I Bring My …" tool.

Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions can call the TSA Cares helpline toll free 855-787-2227, 72 hours prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

FLIGHT STATUS:

Weather can certainly impact flights at this time of year. It is always recommended to check your flight status at flyokc.com, WRWA's mobile site www.flyokc.com/mobile, or the FlyOKC App for iPhone and IPad.

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