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Christmas travel: Plan ahead, arrive early, wrap packages later

With nonstop service to 19 cities and 24 airports, Charleston International Airport and the airlines that provide service here are making it easy for passengers to travel this Christmas.
“It’s bIMG_4295-insta.jpgeen a great 2015 at Charleston International Airport. We have added new service and our terminal redevelopment is a few months from wrapping up. Already, passengers can see what’s to come when the renovation is completed in 2016,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
Christmas week is a busy time of year at CHS.  In 2014, approximately 59,000 travelers flew in and out of the airport during the week of Christmas.  Another 60,000 or so people flew in and out of CHS during the week of New Year’s in 2014.
“We think we will see even more this year because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a Friday,” Campbell said. “It will be easier for people to take a long weekend to travel and to spend more time with family and friends.”
To make traveling easier, here are our 2015 CHS Holiday Travel Tips.
Day of travel
Allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park and check in with your airline. Lines in the Ticketing Hall and security checkpoint can be longer during the holidays so plan for that.
Wrapped gifts are not prohibited by the Transportation Security Administration, but if packages prompt an alarm during a security screening, TSA agents may have to open it. Passengers are encouraged to ship gifts ahead of time or wrap them at their destination. For more information on what’s permitted through a security checkpoint, go to and click on “Traveler Information.”
There are several parking options available at CHS:  Surface Parking ($8 a day), Deck Parking ($15 a day), and Valet Parking ($18 a day). The seasonal remote lots ($8 a day and includes free shuttle service to terminal) open on Dec. 23. Parking is at a premium during the holidays so also consider alternatives to airport parking. CARTA bus service and taxi services are also widely available in the Lowcountry.  For picking up passengers, parking is free in the 40-space cell phone waiting lot.
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