Full flights lengthen airport lines | CraigDailyPress.com

Full flights lengthen airport lines

Yampa Valley Regional Airport advises holiday travelers to arrive early

Melinda Dudley

Tips for travelers

Make Thanksgiving travel easier:

- Arrive at least 90 minutes before your flight

- Expect waits at check-in and security, as airline counters and Transportation Security Administration checkpoints will not be fully staffed until ski season

- Organize and carefully pack your luggage to make it easier for security personnel to inspect, if necessary

- Wear easily removable footwear

- Make sure you have your boarding pass and photo identification

- Remember the 3-1-1 rule for gels and aerosols in carry-on baggage - each passenger may have one quart-size plastic zip-top bag with containers of no more than 3 ounces each

- For more information, visit http://www.tsa.gov

— Travelers flying out of Yampa Valley Regional Airport for the Thanksgiving holiday should plan to arrive early and expect longer-than-usual check-in and security lines.

Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said passengers should arrive at least 90 minutes before takeoff and keep in mind that airline agents will stop checking in passengers and baggage 30 minutes before departure.

Currently, Delta has one flight a day from Salt Lake City, and United has four daily flights from Denver, all on commuter aircraft.

“We’ve been running fairly strong on these flights through the summer and the fall, and that certainly is carrying on here,” Ruppel said. “The loads are good, but the planes are small.”

Air traffic doesn’t really pick up at YVRA until mid-December, when the additional ski season flights are added and larger aircraft begin landing in Hayden.

Although a winter storm was expected to affect the area beginning Tuesday night, Ruppel doesn’t anticipate any weather-related delays at YVRA. However, he said circumstances at other airports could have a ripple effect across the flight grid.

“The airport will be open, it’s just dependent on whether the planes can take off from their departure points elsewhere,” he said.

YVRA has added an additional car rental company, which will begin offering its fleet to travelers next month.

The airport opens its car rental opportunities to new bidders approximately once every five years, in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, according to Ruppel.

The bids were submitted in September, and Budget Rent A Car was added to the airport’s existing clients, Avis and Hertz.

Budget’s counter is under construction at the airport, and the company’s Web site is taking reservations at YVRA beginning Dec. 1, according to Kay Wiltfong, who manages Avis and Budget rental operations at YVRA along with her husband.

Budget Rent A Car will offer compact through full-size passenger cars and sport utility vehicles, and might add pickups in the future, Wiltfong said.

“The fleet will depend on demand,” she said.

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