Holiday- Holiday travel predicted to be heavy; Midwest blizzard in forecast- Tulsa World

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

December 20, 2012

One of 2012’s busiest travel periods begins Thursday and is expected to remain hectic through Jan. 2, airport and industry executives said.

At Tulsa International Airport, airlines are forecasting planes will be near capacity Thursday through Monday, airport officials said.

“Our reports from the airlines are that the busiest days will be Thursday and Friday,” said Daniel Meier, coordinator of air service & business development at Tulsa International Airport. “It probably will be fairly busy Saturday and Sunday. We are advising passengers flying out between 5:45 a.m. and 7 a.m. Thursday through Sunday should arrive two hours prior to their flight.”

In recent years, Tulsa passengers have been advised to arrive at the airport 90 minutes before their flight’s departure.

Passengers in Tulsa whose flights depart after 7 a.m. are still advised to arrive at the airport 90 minutes prior to departure, airport officials said.

Complicating travel plans for thousands of Christmas travelers is the forecast of a Midwest blizzard in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, airline executives said.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are offering passengers options to change their travel plans without penalties.

American said on Wednesday that passengers ticketed on American, American Eagle or AmericanConnection flights on Thursday and Friday and whose ticket was issued no later than Wednesday may have their ticket reissued without a change fee for one ticket change provided their flight is to, from or through the following cities: Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; Dubuque, Iowa; Grand Island, Neb.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Green Bay, Wis.; La Crosse, Wis.; Madison, Wis.; Manhattan, Kan.; Marquette, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Moline, Ill.; Omaha, Neb.; Rochester, Minn.; Sioux City, Iowa; Traverse City, Mich.; Waterloo, Iowa; Wausau, Wis., and Wichita, Kan.

To change travel dates, contact American reservations at 1-(800)-433-7300.

Delta said passengers should consider departing earlier, postponing or re-routing their travel to avoid possible flight delays and cancellations. Passengers may make one-time changes to their travel schedules without incurring fees, Delta officials said.

Customers booked on Delta-ticketed flights to, from or through airports in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin between Wednesday and Friday may rebook for travel with the same origin and destination, Delta officials said. New flights may occur before or after original travel dates as long as they are ticketed and rescheduled for travel on or before Dec. 28.

Passengers may make changes to their travel plans on Delta’s website or by using the Fly Delta app.

Airlines for America, the industry trade group, is predicting nearly 42 million passengers will fly between Monday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 6.

Planes are expected to be about 85 percent full over the holiday period, and the busiest days could reach 90 percent, the trade group said.

The busiest travel days are expected to be Friday through Sunday, the day after Christmas and Jan. 2.

“U.S. carriers are reporting strong bookings relative to capacity this winter holiday period,” said Airlines for America Chief Economist John Heimlich. “This is a great time to travel, as carriers are staffed to accomodate the influx of holiday travelers and air fares remain a bargain, having significantly trailed U.S. inflation.”

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=45&articleid=20121220_45_E1_ULNSho481418

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