Contributed photo – “Sequoiascape” in the central terminal lobby, pays tribute to nearby national parks.
By Carole Grosch, Reporter
Summer and vacations go hand in hand – this season is projected to reach an all-time high for air travel. From June 1 through August 31, more than 231 million passengers are expected to travel on U.S. airlines, according to Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for U.S. airlines.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport is also expecting an increase in air traffic. Thanks to recent renovations to airport customer services, the travel experience should be a pleasant one.
The new Customer Service Ambassador Program offers additional assistance for travelers, especially during peak travel times when airline representatives are busy.
The ambassadors are multi-lingual and can be identified by their blue vests and “How Can I Help” buttons. Working with airline personnel, the ambassadors are located in baggage claim and throughout the terminal lobby.
The Rental Car facility in baggage claim has been revamped with a new look, highlighted company names and a more efficient and user friendly Ready-Return area.
Ground transportation is readily available to national parks. Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) connects passengers to Yosemite National Park and Big Trees Transit connects passengers to Kings Canyon National Park.
We’ve been fortunate that the long security lines and missed flights have not materialized here the way they have at many of the nation’s airports. However, it’s still suggested to arrive two hours prior to domestic flights and three hours for international flights. This is for several reasons, including allowing a healthy cushion of time to get through the airline check-in process and security screening. With the summer increase in both passenger traffic and carry-ons, the process simply takes longer.
“Arrive early and plan for the unexpected,” advises Vikkie Calderon, airport spokesperson. “Most airlines will send passengers flight status alerts on their phone or mobile device, so they can stay informed. The majority of flights depart first thing in the morning, so that’s something else to keep in mind.”
Should weather be an issue anywhere along your route, arriving early will allow the airline time to reroute you.
Travel is easier and more time efficient if you plan ahead. Here are a few things you should know:
- 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. You are allowed to bring a quart size bag of liquids, aerosols, gels creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or loess per item.
- Any alcohol, sodas, or medications must be in theiroriginal packaging. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel must discard all unmarked containers.
- Do NOT wrap gifts.
- Unless you are using the TSA’s newly approved Brookstone locks,do not lock check bags. Valuables, including medications, are safest while in your personal control in your carry-on baggage.
- No vehicle may stop at the curbexcept to briefly unload passengers and/or bags.
- ONLY ticketed passengers may go through security screening.Be sure to bring current government-issued picture identification for all traveling adults over 18 years of age.
- Generally,items prohibited at security screening include sharp metal items, weapons of any kind, sporting sticks/clubs/bats, metal tools or hardware, explosive or flammable items, and martial arts/self-defense items. Specific limitations can be found at the TSA website at TSA.gov.
- Carry-on baggage is limitedto one carry-on and one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase. The federal rule is 1+1.
- Consider bringing aclear large plastic zip bag for personal items such as metal jewelry, a metal watch, loose coins, keys, pagers and phones – anything that will go through security with you. This will make screening faster and help you remember to reclaim your items after they are X-rayed.
- Place identification tags both inside and outside all bags, including laptop computers which must be removed from the case at screening
Fresno Yosemite International Airport currently offers passengers daily non-stop flights to Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Guadalajara, Mexico on domestic and international carriers.