Holiday traveling tips for a smooth trip

WICHITA, Kansas – With the holidays now upon us, traveling is on everyone’s mind. We checked in with officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport for information on how you can make sure your trips go smooth.

UPDATE: If you are traveling for Christmas, you will need to stay updated on the weather and prepare for snow.

Here are some tips to make sure everything goes according to plan:

Check-in online for your flight up to 24 hours before departure.

Checking in online will allow you to print your boarding pass and with some airlines, prepay baggage charges. This will also save you time at the ticket counter and in many cases save you a couple of dollars on your baggage fees.  The airlines have Apps that let you check-in and provide the boarding pass on your mobile device.  Print or mobile boarding passes are accepted at Eisenhower.

Do not overstuff your bags.

Weigh your bags before getting to the airport to make sure they are not overweight. Airlines charge extra for oversize and overweight bags. Plus, because of full flights, there may not be room for large bags in the overhead bins.

Gate checked bags.

Full flights mean there will be little storage room in the overhead bins, especially if you are flying on a regional jet.  Make sure you have a long enough connection time if you are connecting so that you can retrieve your gate-checked bag and make your connection.  Otherwise, check your bag.

Baggage Requirements.

Refer to your airlines’ websites for baggage requirements, fees, and other pertinent information. See our Airline Information page.

What to pack in your carryon.

Pack what you absolutely need – medications, toiletries, makeup, and just in case, a change of clothes.  Do not put expensive electronics such as your laptop or iPad in your checked bag.  Bring them in your carryon bag.

Bring your ID

  • Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. You also need your ID when you check-in with your airline.
  • TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

 Traveling with disabilities or medical conditions

If you have a medical condition or disability, prepare in advance by visiting Travelers with Disabilities and/or Medical Conditions. ( Please allow a little extra time to proceed through the screening process. If you need a wheelchair, please reserve one at the time of making your airline reservation.

Arriving and Parking at the Airport . . .

  • Arrive approximately one and a half hours before your flight boarding time to allow enough time to park, check in, and get through security. Ticket counters generally close 30 minutes prior to departure, and the airlines begin boarding at the gate at least 30 minutes before departure.
  • Visit or use our mobile website for helpful airport information such as arrival and departure status and airline contact information.
  • The PARK & RIDE lot, where a free shuttle provides curbside service to and from the terminal.
  • Parking in front of the terminal is prohibited.  The lane immediately in front of the terminal is designated only for active loading and unloading.
  • Please use the free cell phone lot while waiting to pick up an arriving passenger. The cell phone lot is located just south of the Park & Ride lot, in front of the Air Cargo Building.  Once your party is ready to be picked up and calls you, you can pull in front of the terminal to pick them up.
  • See  our parking options

The Screening Process . . .

Being ready to pass through the checkpoint not only helps you get through more quickly, but helps the entire line move faster.

  • If you are 75 years or older or 12 years and younger you do not have to remove shoes at the security checkpoint.
  • Gifts: TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.
  • Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance.
  • Laptops must be removed from their bags and placed in a bin with nothing else.
  • The zip-top bag with your liquids and gels must be removed from your suitcase, purse or briefcase and placed in a bin where it is clearly visible to screeners.
  • Dress so you can breeze through security. Wear slip on shoes and little or no metal.   Shoes, jackets and sweaters must be removed and placed in a bin, unless you are in TSA Pre-Check.
  • Minimize heavy jewelry or wearing items that could alarm at the checkpoint such as jeans with sequins or studs, shoes or boots with metal, large belt buckles, etc.
  • The TSA uses Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) to safely screen passengers at the checkpoint. You are encouraged to remove all items from your pockets and avoid wearing clothing with large metal embellishments and large metal jewelry to reduce the possibility of alarming the machine.
  • TSA has implemented more random screenings at the checkpoints, so you may be asked to have your hand swabbed (a simple swipe on the hands) or your bags may undergo additional screening.
  • You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

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