Flight Blog

Oct 14 2019 Traveling With a Pet BY sgf-adminTAGS

 

A fur baby is one of the most important things to you. Their comfort and happiness sometimes outweighing your own. So how do you keep your furry friend happy, calm, and safe when deciding to fly? Here are some tips for a safer and more stress-free flight for you and your pets.

•   Check with your vet before flying. Traveling with a pet can be stressful. If your fur baby is prone to anxiety, flying may be scary. There are also physical traits that can make flying potentially dangerous for animals with short snouts. Check with your vet before making flight plans to ensure your little buddy stays safe.

•   Many airlines require proof of up-to-date vaccinations and immunizations. Be prepared with this information when traveling, so you don’t get caught in a stressful situation. You might also consider getting your pet microchipped in the event they get lost on your travels. There are also veterinarian-approved sedation options for very high-anxiety pets.

 

 

•   Check with your airline. While the Springfield-Branson Airport loves its furry passengers, the rules and regulations regarding pet travel are directed by each individual airline. Before booking your flight, be sure to check out the rules regarding pets on your airline’s website.

•   Plan for your pet’s Comfort. Flying can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to ensure your furry friend is comfy and cozy. Per most airline specifications, and recommendations from veterinarians, your pet should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down in the kennel. Include a favorite toy or blanket to make them feel more at home. A soft, absorbent bedding can not only ensure your pet is comfortable, it can address potential accidents.

•   Practice. If your animal has never been in a kennel, buy your travel kennel a few weeks in advance so they can adjust. Include the same toys and bedding you’ll use during the flight to help ease anxiety and make the transition easier.

•   Day-of routine. It’s time to make your way to the airport. Have your schedule timed out and know as much information as you can about how the airport will host your pet. The Springfield-Branson Airport provides a gated, grassy area in front of the terminal for pets to use before boarding. It’s stocked with waste bags and a trash receptacle. Check out more info on our customer service page.

The bottom line: being well prepared will make your trip go more smoothly.

 


Are you ready for the holiday flying season? It'll be here before you know it so we've got some holiday flying tips for you!

The holidays are the time of year when infrequent (or first time) fliers fill airports across the country. With that thought in mind the we offer the following tips for new and infrequent fliers -

  • Don't procrastinate –– buy that airline ticket sooner rather than later. If you wait until the last minute you'll very likely pay a higher price. Fares tend to be lowest between six and three weeks before the flight.
     
  • Use an airline app. Nearly all airlines have free smart phone apps that let customers make and change reservations. The apps also offer real-time flight updates and downloadable boarding passes. Using an airline app can save lots of time at the airport.

  • Get to the airport early - at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. That's generally plenty of time to get checked in, through security, and to the gate. But if something goes wrong, say a problem with the scanners at the security checkpoint, you'll need every bit of two hours. Please note: you must be checked in to your flight no later than 30 minutes before departure.
     

  • Don't over-pack. Take only what you absolutely need -- an overstuffed bag can slow down the security screening process. Carry-on items can be no bigger than 9" X 14" X 22" or a total of 45 linear inches.
     

  • Before you get to the security checkpoint make sure you have a government issued photo ID if you're 18 or older. Make sure the name on your boarding pass matches the name on your photo ID.
     

  • At the security checkpoint take all food out of your carry-on bags and place in the conveyor bins. All food must be visually inspected by screening personnel.
     

  • You’re allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item. Put the bag in the conveyor bins for inspection.
     

  • At the checkpoint take all electronic devices (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) out of carry-on bags and place them in the conveyor bins. They must be visually inspected.

    And finally –– don't wrap presents. Security screeners may unwrap them for inspection!


 

The busy summer travel season is here and we want to encourage everyone flying this summer to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight is scheduled to leave.

We know, that sounds like an awful lot of time. But these days there’s a good chance you’ll need every bit of it. Take a look at the photo. It’s the line at the security check point yesterday afternoon, about 3:30. The folks at the end of the line had at least a 40 minute wait ahead of them. That’s a problem for some because they arrived at the airport less than an hour before departure.
 

 

The airline lobbying organization, Airlines for America, expects more than 257 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and the end of August. It’s part of a continuing trend of robust growth in the airline business — in Springfield, for example, passenger numbers have grown 43% over the past five years. The end result is two-fold:

  1. Airport parking lots are near capacity. It often takes longer to find a parking spot than it used to (the airport will expand the lots in the near future).

  2. Wait times in lines have increased substantially; especially at the security check point and airline ticket counters. The long waits sometimes result in missed flights.

Here are some ways to avoid missing your flight —

  1. First and foremost: arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave.

Speed up the line at the security checkpoint by:

  • Have your ID out and ready to show to screening personnel.

  • Take all food out of your carry-on bags and place in the conveyor bins. All food must be visually inspected by screening personnel.

  • You’re allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item. Put the bag in the conveyor bins for inspection.

  • Take all electronic devices (phones, computers, tablets, etc.) out of carry-on bags and place them in the conveyor bins. They must be visually inspected.

Other ways to speed things up:

  • Avoid the line at the airline ticket counter. Unless you have to check a bag, you can bypass the ticket counter entirely by checking into your flight on your airline’s website, or mobile phone app.

  • Avoid departing during very busy times. Typically, the busiest times of day are in the morning; between 5:30 and 7:00, and between 10:30 and 12:30. The busiest days of the week are Wednesday and Saturday.

  • Apply for TSA PreCheck from the Transportation Security Administration. Flyers that are PreCheck approved do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets when going through the security checkpoint. More information here: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck

Bottom line:  the summer travel season is here and long lines will be common. Don’t miss your flight; arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave!

 


Our airport’s “new” terminal is almost 10 years old. It opened May 6, 2009.

Depending on your point of view, it seems like yesterday, or ages ago. Either way, the building isn’t that “new” anymore and things have changed a lot in the past ten years.

That being said, it's a good time to begin looking backwards and forwards. Over the next five weeks we’ll share photos of the airport’s historic terminals, along with the current one.

You’ll notice that there’s a constant at the airport: change. As our first director, Lester Jones, put it, “There are two kinds of airports: obsolete and those under construction.”

Begin at 5000 West Kearney Street — the location of the airport’s first and second terminal buildings.

The first photo shows the airport's first terminal building in July 1945. That’s the month the airport opened. The white frame colonial style building was meant to be temporary — it served for 19 years! Notice how quickly it changed. Additions and annexes popped up, then a control tower, quickly followed by a radar tower.

The last photo foretells big changes. That’s Lester Jones in the middle, the airport’s first director. It’s November 1961. We’re not sure, but the trio appears to be looking at site plans for the second terminal. But wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. That will have to wait until the next post!
 

The airport's first terminal in July 1945. Click for a bigger version.

 

Wildlife control in 1951. The first terminal is in the background. Click image
to see bigger version.

 

The airport's first terminal seen here in the 1950s. Click for bigger version.

 

Troop movements in the 1950s. Click image to bigger version.

 

Radar equipment being installed in the 1950s. Click for bigger version.

 

The first terminal in 1958, seen from an arriving airliner. Click for bigger version.

 

 

The first terminal, 1958. Click for bigger version.

 

The first terminal seen here in 1958. Check out the 23 window VW bus! Click image for 
bigger version.

 

November 1961. The airport's first director in the middle, Lester Jones, views site plans.

 

 

 


 

The federal government shutdown hasn’t had a significant impact on security checkpoint wait times at our airport — not yet.

In the past few days, the folks who run airport checkpoints (TSA) report that about 7% of the national work force hasn’t shown up for work. Compare that to 3% last year. Presumably, the uptick is due to workers not showing up because they’re not being paid.

With twice as many workers absent it seems logical that checkpoint wait times should go up dramatically. But so far, they really haven’t. Why? Probably this: at most North American airports January is the slowest month of the year. When I say slow, I mean fewer people are flying.

 

 

At our airport January passengers numbers are less than half what they are during the busiest month of the year, which is June.

Bottom line: we haven’t seen checkpoint slowdowns yet because it’s the slowest time of the year.

This doesn’t mean long lines won’t eventually form; it’s a matter of time. How long will the shutdown last — will it run into the busy time of the year? How long will TSA employees show up without a pay check? How long can they afford to show up?

Think about all that if you’re flying during the shutdown. Take a long look at the TSA folks in the checkpoint. And thank them.

And think about the workers at the Federal Aviation Administration. They staff the control towers at airports; they direct air traffic in the sky.

And let’s not forget the National Weather Service. Its weather forecasts help guide pilots through weather’s uncertainty.

And finally …

If you know a federal worker make sure they know about a loan program announced on Monday by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Multipli Credit Union. Federal workers who live or work in Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk and Webster counties are eligible for the loan program.

Click here for more information about the loan program.