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03-21-18 - Airport Offers Spring Break Travel Tips

With the surrounding mountains still blanketed in snow and chilly temperatures in the city, many in the region are thinking about spring break travel.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) has more than 12,000 passengers arriving and departing daily and late March and early April are some of the busiest times of the year at the airport. In the past year RNO has also added new flights and destinations, and as many students are set to be on break over the next few weeks, planning ahead will help smooth passengers’ experience through the airport.

To ease the travel process, passengers are encouraged to arrive early, at least 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure, in order to allow time for parking, airline check-in and TSA security lines.

To expedite busy travel, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will staff the Security Checkpoint starting at 4:00 a.m. and will have the Pre-Check line open for registered Pre-Check travelers. TSA has committed to keeping the Pre-Check lane open at RNO all hours that the Security Checkpoint is open.

For some travelers, bigger crowds can mean extra stress, but the airport’s Paws 4 Passengers therapy dogs will be on hand periodically through spring break to help calm passenger fears and ease the travel experience.

Although Reno-Tahoe International is known for being a quick, convenient airport, it is important to remember that with increased passengers, travelers should arrive early to avoid unnecessary stress.

Below are additional travel tips that can help make the airport experience a pleasant one:

  • Arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, or two hours before international flights.
  • Call the airline or visit their website prior to departure to check flight status. Weather across the nation can impact flights at RNO.
  • Be an educated traveler and know the baggage fees: visit your airline’s website to learn how much each bag may cost to check. All airlines at RNO except Southwest Airlines charge for the first checked bag.
  • At the Security Checkpoint, empty your pockets, remove your shoes and jewelry, and place them in the bins provided. TSA requires removing personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone (e.g. laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles) from your carry-on bag.  Place these items in a bin with nothing on or under them for X-ray screening. Remember to retrieve all your items once through screening.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to remove coats, jackets and all outer wear. Place them in the bin for screening.
  • Know the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags at www.tsa.gov. Liquids, gels and aerosols such as shampoo, lotion and perfume must be packed in a one quart plastic baggie, one baggie per customer placed in its own bin.
  • Food brought through security usually requires extra screening.
  • Allow extra time to return rental cars and watch for signs to guide you to the appropriate drop-off lane.
  • To save time, download boarding passes at home. If checking luggage, remember to allow enough time at the airport to check your bags. For specific luggage check-in cut-off times, please visit your airline’s website.  
  • If sending off a departing unaccompanied minor or a senior traveler, talk to airline ticket counter personnel if you wish to accompany the passenger to the gate. Proper identification is required to drop off and pick up the child.

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