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RELEASE – Tips to Help You Fly Through Reno-Tahoe International Airport during the Holidays

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Kindness Takes Flight to Spread Christmas Cheer

Reno, Nev. – As record crowds pass through Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) this holiday season, the airport staff is working around the clock to make the travel experience seamless and stress-free.

RNO’s Kindness Takes Flight team has planned myriad customer service initiatives to spread joy throughout the terminal, encouraging passengers and visitors to take part in the fun while waiting for a flight or picking up loved ones. Some of the activities include:

  • Christmas Caroling:  Airport staff will hand out candy canes and sing in both pre- and post-security locations from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on December 20.
  • Holiday Performances:  Music and entertainment at RNO are underway. Starting December 17, Washoe Carolers; Local Pianist and Guinness World Record Book Holder Barbara “Squeek” Steele and Silver Dollar Chorus on Dec. 20 will perform holiday tunes throughout the airport.
  • New Year’s Resolution Wall: With the great success of RNO’s Gratitude Wall during Thanksgiving, the airport will unveil a New Year’s Resolution Wall after Christmas just past security where passengers and employees can share their resolutions for 2019.
  • Paws 4 Passengers Therapy Dogs: On December 21, 23 and 28, the airport’s canine therapy program will be on hand to add smiles and tail wags, and to provide extra comfort to anxious travelers.

The airlines are expecting full flights with more than 14,000 passengers arriving and departing RNO each day during peak travel times that include the two weekends leading up to Christmas and New Year’s.  It’s important for passengers to arrive early and allow time for parking, airline check-in and TSA security lines. 

Staff has also made arrangements to increase the airport’s parking options, as the garage and surface lot are expected to be at or near capacity. Travelers should be aware there will be overflow parking clearly marked with signage as guests enter the airport.

These additional travel tips will also help make the airport experience a pleasant one:

  • Arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled domestic departure and two hours before international flights.
  • Call your airline or check flight status on their website prior to departure. Remember that weather across the nation can impact flights here locally.
  • Be an educated traveler and know your airline’s baggage fees by checking their website. All airlines at RNO, except Southwest and California Pacific 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. All personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone (e.g. laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles) must also be removed 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 outerwear. Place them in the bin for screening.
  • Know the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags at 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. Remember that large snow globes fall into the category of unacceptable items.
  • 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. 
  • Allow extra time to return rental cars and watch for signs to guide you to the appropriate drop-off lane.
  • The holidays are a time when many young children fly unaccompanied to their destination. If sending off a departing unaccompanied minor or a senior traveler, request permission from airline ticket counter personnel to accompany the passenger to the gate. Proper identification will be required to drop off and pick up a child/senior.
  • Do not wrap gifts. Wait until you reach your destination to wrap holiday gifts as the TSA may need to un-wrap them for inspection.


The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority receives no state or local funding. All operating revenues are derived from tenant and concession fees. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is the 63rd busiest commercial airport in the United States, with more than 4 million passengers per year. For more details, visit