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Holiday travel amid construction

12/22/2015
 

This month we mark our second Christmas under construction. The terminal redevelopment project kicked into high gear in 2014 inside the terminal. Unlike last year a lot of work is complete, making travel during the holidays a bit easier for passengers.

All lanes of traffic in front of the terminal are open. That means pick up and drop off is easier. All three bag carousels are open so there are more options for retrieving your luggage. All arriving passengers now exit the gates in the Central Hall under the dome.

The week of Christmas is a busy travel period. In 2014, approximately 59,000 passengers flew in and out of the airport that week. We expect more this year.

“We think we will see even more this year because Christmas falls on a Friday,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “It will be easier for people to take a long weekend to travel and to spend more time with family and friends.”

While there are fewer construction detours inside and outside the terminal, most areas after security remain under construction, including the food court. Concourse B is complete. De Sano Pizza Bakery is open next to Gate B6. Also, the Sam Adams bar and mobile food station are open at the top of the Concourse B walkway, serving grab and go and hot food items.

Most of Concourse A, home to Delta Air Lines, remains under construction. A bar is open for passengers that want to grab a drink before their flight. In addition, there is a mobile hot food station that serves a variety of items, including baked potatoes and tacos. Before security the Harvest and Grounds sells coffee, pastries and snacks and grab and go sandwiches and salads as well as breakfast items.

We know travel can be stressful. Our construction can add to that stress. So here are some tips to have a hassle-free travel experience.

Day of travel

Allow plenty of time to get to the airport, park and check in with your airline so you don’t stress over any wait or possibly missing your flight.
 

  • Lines in the Ticketing Hall and security checkpoint can be longer during the holidays so plan for that.
  • Arrive 90 minutes to two hours before scheduled departure. Don’t forget most flights begin boarding 30 minutes before departure.
  • Before coming to the airport check with your airline for delays and cancellations. Weather elsewhere can affect flights in Charleston even when it is sunny here.

Presents

Wrapped gifts are not prohibited by the Transportation Security Administration, but the TSA recommends that if traveling with gifts you wait to wrap them at your destination. If a wrapped package needs to be inspected during screening, TSA agents will have to unwrap the package.

For more information on what’s permitted through a security checkpoint, go to www.tsa.gov and click on “Traveler Information.”

Parking

Airport parking is always at a premium during the holidays. Consider alternatives to parking at the airport:
 
  • Have friends or family drop you off
  • Take the bus
  • Hire a ride through local taxi and ride services

If you decide to park at the airport, give yourself plenty of time to locate a space.

Options for airport parking are:
 
  • Valet – $18 a day
  • Deck – $15 a day
  • Surface lot – $8 a day
  • Seasonal remote lots – $8 a day, includes free shuttle to and from the terminal.

If picking up arriving passengers, 40 parking spaces are available in the cell phone waiting lot on International Boulevard just before the terminal. Remember, for security reasons parking is not permitted in front of the terminal.

 

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