Spokane International Airport offers tips on traveling this holiday

SPOKANE, Wash. - In looking ahead towards the Christmas and New Year holiday, the Spokane International Airport has released some pertinent information on traveling this season:

Inclement weather in Spokane or in another city can cause flight delays. The airport encourages travelers to visit their website for real-time flight information, which has been optimized for mobile devices as well. 

In addition, you can contact the airline you are traveling with for flight information.

The airlines serving Spokane can be reached at the following:

                        Alaska, or 800-426-0333

                        American, or 800-433-7300

                        Delta, or 800-221-1212

                        Southwest,  or 800-435-9792 

                        United, or 800-864-8331

Because mid to late December is one of the busiest travel times of the year for Spokane International and U.S. airports in general, to help make traveling a little less stressful, they are offering the following tips:

Allow Extra Time!  Arrive at the Airport a minimum of 90 minutes prior to departure.  Earlier is preferable. Most airlines recommend arriving two hours prior to departure. Most flights begin boarding more than 30 – 40 minutes prior to departure.

Travelers should review the TSA’s website. Prior to leaving their home, families should familiarize themselves with screening processes, prohibited items, and special circumstances. New security protocols regarding carry-on bags require all electronics larger than a cell phone (e.g., tablets, notebook, cameras, etc.) be placed in bins for x-ray screening when going through the security checkpoint. The electronics should be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for several years. 

Check I.D. to make sure it is not expiring while traveling. Your Washington driver’s license is valid for air travel.

Do not include wrapped packages in checked or carry-on luggage. Security measures will require the examination of these items.

People should observe airport pick-up and drop-off procedures. If you are picking up family members, we would encourage you to park in our Cell Phone Waiting Lot, which is cost-free, and have your party text or call you once they have landed and collected their luggage. This will help expedite the process and lessen curbside congestion. Motorists can drop off and pick up travelers curbside, however, because of the significant numbers of travelers, we ask that drivers stay with their vehicle and not dwell at the curb.

Tag Every Bag. Tag every piece of luggage with your name and address.  Include additional addresses inside each bag in the event the outside tag falls off.

Limit Carry-Ons. The FAA has restricted travelers’ carry-on luggage to one bag, plus a personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop computer.  Remember the TSA's Liquid's Rule: You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. 

Placing these items in the small bag separate from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage. Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that alarms during screening will require additional screening. For more information, click here.

Traveling With Children. At ticketing, if they are under the age of 12 and are planning to travel unaccompanied OR if your child is two years of age or younger and you are planning to have them travel on your lap or un-ticketed, you need to provide proof of age. 

A birth certificate is an acceptable proof of age.  In flight, for small children, the key is to keep them occupied.  Bring snacks, play their favorite game or surprise them with a new toy or book. Talk to them about where they are going, whom they are going to see, and what they are going to do when they arrive.