Digital News Report- During the 21-day travel season (Dec 18 2008- Jan 7 2009) it is expected that 43 million people will travel globally on US airlines. Projections by the Air Transport Association of America show this as a 9 percent year-over-year decrease. ATA President and CEO James C. May said that, “the decline is driven primarily by an extremely fragile economy and falling global demand for travel.”
ATA, once again, is calling for full cooperation with the federal government and airports to ease system congestion during the holiday travel season. “We are pleased that the industry has achieved significant improvements in on-time operations and in improving the customer experience,” said May. “Carriers continue to work internally and with government to find ways to further reduce delays, especially over the holidays.” May said that airlines would remain focused on continuing to provide safe, efficient air transportation.
To help reduce delays and make for smooth holiday travel season, the ATA offers the following tips:
* Pack any gifts unwrapped, as they may need to be inspected by security.
* Use automated check-in options, offered via airline Web sites and at airport kiosks, up to 24 hours before departure.
* Sign up with your airline to receive automated travel notifications delivered to your cell phone or wireless device; in the event of system delays, airlines will keep travelers informed of flight and schedule changes. Passengers can also check on the latest airport delays via the FAA Web site.
* Travel with an unexpired government-issued photo identification.
* Allow plenty of time for checking in and for security screening at the airport. If traveling on the busiest days, plan for longer-than-usual security lines. And remember that families and individuals traveling with medically necessary liquids this holiday season can take advantage of specially-designated Transportation Security Administration (TSA) family lanes.
* Familiarize yourself with the latest TSA 3-1-1 security program rules at www.tsa.gov, and with the list of TSA permitted and prohibited items.
* At the security checkpoint, place metallic objects (including keys, coins, pens, cell phone, watch, camera) in carry-on baggage. Plan to carry small electronics and spare batteries with you. Check DOT restrictions against packing batteries in checked luggage before getting to the airport.
* Tag each bag, inside and out, with traveler name and contact information, and remove all destination baggage tags from previous trips.