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Published on : Wednesday, November 27, 2013
With Thanksgiving one of the most popular travel times of the year, flights are typically very full and airports extremely busy on peak days during the week of the holiday. This year, that will be met with slight increases in airline capacity at IND, reversing a local trend in recent years of declining airline capacity and passenger demand
According to Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade group, 25 million passengers will fly nationwide during the Thanksgiving travel period (November 22 through December 3), an increase of 1.5 percent from 2012. The busiest travel days will be Wednesday, November 27, Sunday, December 1, and Monday, December 2, when flights are projected to be more than 85 percent full despite a 2 percent increase in available seats versus last year’s Thanksgiving holiday period.
Meanwhile, according to Travelocity, the average domestic airfare for a roundtrip ticket during the Thanksgiving holiday this year is $415, including taxes, up almost 7 percent from the previous year.
AVAILABLE FLIGHTS AND SEATS
The six-day peak Thanksgiving travel period this year is November 27 – December 2.
Following are some statistics about capacity at IND, with a comparison to 2012:
Flights available Seats available Nonstop destinations
2013 762 70,778 32
2012 750 70,154 32
Percent change 1.6 .89 0
*Two new destinations not reflected above will be added to the IND nonstop network within the next two months: Montego Bay, Jamaica and San Francisco.
Below are highlights of new features at IND this holiday season and holiday travel tips:
NEW HOURLY PARKING AND HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS AT TERMINAL GARAGE
A new feature at the Terminal Garage is perfect for people meeting or dropping off holiday
travelers. IND’s Hourly Parking offers a dedicated section with the best parking spots in the Terminal Garage, on the third floor adjacent to the walkway to the terminal. Even better, the dedicated area can be used at no additional cost to standard garage spaces for parking stays of 4.5 hours or less. To access the area, guests should follow signs on the third floor for Hourly Parking.
For those traveling, from November 22, 2013 through January 5, 2014, garage stays of seven days or longer on the fifth floor will be priced at only $14 per day. No coupons are necessary; the reduced pricing will be calculated automatically upon payment. Customers must enter the garage between November 22 and January 5 and park on the fifth floor in order to receive the reduced price. The promotion is not valid with any other offer and cannot be used for a stay that includes earned parkIND Plus free parking days
DIGIBOO PROVIDES NEW ENTERTAINMENT OPTION TO IND TRAVELERS
Holiday travelers in Indianapolis now have a quick and easy way to rent and buy entertainment while traveling, as Digiboo (www.digiboo.com), a digital retail entertainment download service, launches at IND. Digiboo has installed three interactive touchscreen kiosks on Concourses A and B, so travelers can easily rent or buy entertainment on-the-go. Movie fans can choose from Digiboo’s library of more than 800 movies and 300 television shows, including new releases such as “Man of Steel,” “Grown Ups 2,” “White House Down,” “The Conjuring,” and “Red 2,” as well as popular catalog titles. TV lovers can enjoy their favorite episodes of “The Walking Dead,” “Revolution,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Weeds,” Breaking Bad,” and “Mad Men,” among others. These movies and TV programs can be downloaded in as little as 30 seconds to a thumb drive, or directly to a device in just minutes via Wi-Fi and played back on any iPhone®, iPad®, iPad mini®, iPod touch® or any Android or Windows-enabled PC, laptop, tablet or phone.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS
Be aware of fees for checked bags and surcharges that may apply for traveling on certain holiday dates.
Watch the weather: When freezing rain, ice, or snow is predicted – whether in Indianapolis, at a final destination, or a connecting airport in between – flights may be delayed or cancelled.
Check the status of flights online before departing for the airport:
o Passengers can check the real-time status of flights on the airport’s home page at www.indianapolisairport.com. Select arriving or departing flights by airline to find information about estimated arrival and departure times, gates, and flight status. The information is refreshed every 60 seconds.
o Obtain real-time airport status and the latest information on flights across the U.S. at www.fly.faa.gov, which utilizes the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center. Their color-coded, state-by-state flight-delay information includes details on delays as well as airport closures.
Arrive early: for stress-free travel, passengers should allow ample time for parking, checking bags and obtaining boarding passes, and clearing security. Passengers should check with their airlines for specific arrival time recommendations. Checking in online/printing a boarding pass at home can save time at the airport.
To save even more time, premium parking, including both valet and self-park options, is available on Level 3 of the Terminal Garage. For those who self-park, there are about 6,000 spaces in Economy Parking and nearly 6,000 spaces in the garage.
Drivers who simply want to park and wait until passengers arrive should use the new dedicated hourly parking on Level 3 of the Terminal Garage or the Cell Phone Lot, which has 100 first-come, first-served spaces.
For the latest news and information about airport security procedures and policies, visit www.tsa.gov, the Transportation Security Administration website. In general,
travelers should be aware of the following:
o Passengers 75 and older or 12 and under can leave shoes on when going through security checkpoints
o TSA’s Secure Flight Program is in effect. The program compares the names of passengers booking flights against names on national watch lists, fulfilling a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. This program requires airlines to collect passenger information including full name, date-of-birth, and gender as it appears on the government-issued photo IDs presented to TSA screening officers at airport checkpoints. Be sure you use the information that appears on your photo ID when booking your flight or your airline may not be able to issue a boarding pass
o All passengers are now subject to varied layers of security screening protocols, including pat-downs by TSA officers to detect hidden, dangerous items between legs, around the chest, and other areas of the body. Other security layers include Advanced Imaging Technology, explosives trace detection, and canine teams, among others.
o Wear slip-on shoes, if possible, avoiding those with laces and zippers. Pack properly. Remember TSA requires travelers follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels, and aerosols in all bags going through security checkpoints. This includes holiday food and gifts.