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05-22-2019 - Memorial Weekend Kicks-off Heavy Travel Period at RNO

Memorial Day weekend will kick-off the start of what is expected to be a very busy travel period. With an increase of more than 800 passengers each day through Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and five additional daily flights over last summer, mostly in the early morning hours, getting to the airport early will help ensure you have a less stressful travel experience.
    
RNO will see more than 13,000 passengers arriving and departing each day this holiday weekend and this summer those number rise to about 16,000, especially on peak travel days, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. With increased non-stop service to Portland and Seattle on Alaska Airlines, increases to Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix on American, to Houston and San Francisco on United and to San Diego on Southwest, you can get more places more often. But it also means a busier airport.  

Passengers are encouraged to arrive early, at least 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure, to allow time for parking, airline check-in and TSA security lines.  Although Reno-Tahoe International is known for being a quick, convenient airport, travelers arriving 90 minutes early will avoid unnecessary stress.

The increase in passenger travel affects not only aircraft in the sky, but vehicles on the roadway. Some of the airport’s parking areas will be at or near capacity. Airport staff will open or close overflow parking areas depending on vehicle parking demand. Passengers are encouraged to watch for signage, or follow the airport on social media to be alerted to these times of extra vehicle traffic.

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 throughout the summer to help calm passenger fears and ease the travel experience.

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.
  • 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 and handheld game consoles) from your carry-on. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 
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