Houston Airports remains focused on health and safety measures and urges passengers to mask-up.
HOUSTON (Nov. 16, 2020) – More passengers are expected to depart, connect and arrive to/from Houston this holiday season since the onset of the pandemic — signaling a continued healthy air-travel rebound. Safety measures activated through Houston Airports’ FlySafe Houston program remain a focus as more passengers take to the skies.
George Bush Intercontinental, IAH, and William P. Hobby, HOU, airports are expecting to serve more than 800,000 passengers during the eleven-day Thanksgiving travel period — starting the Friday before Thanksgiving to the Monday following the holiday. While passenger traffic is expected to be down about 50% from the same period last year, air travel has steadily increased since the lowest point of the pandemic in April. Overall, November passenger numbers in Houston are expected to see a recovery of nearly 40% compared to April — a promising new peak.
“Passengers want to travel again, and that’s a very encouraging sign,” Houston Airports Director Mario Diaz said. “It’s been a very difficult year for the air-service industry. Understandably, confidence in flying has taken time to restore. That’s why we have made it a commitment and priority to implement safety and health measures at every step of the travel experience. The airlines, federal agencies, concessionaires, and all our airport partners have also added extra layers of precautions. We all work diligently every day for the well-being of our passengers.”
Being prepared and informed is the best way to start your journey. Passengers should set a reminder to bring their masks, which are required to be worn inside the airport. Complimentary masks are available for free at select locations and times and are also available for purchase in kiosk vending machines and airport shops. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check with their respective airline for other mask guidelines and requirements.
Passengers may also notice more touchless technology has been integrated into the airport to stop the spread of COVID-19. Some airlines have installed touchless baggage service kiosks. International passengers at Bush and Hobby airports will be processed through immigration checkpoints using new facial comparison technology.
TRAVEL TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
Arriving early to the airport is important. Passengers are urged to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled domestic departure or three hours prior to their international departure to ensure plenty of time for parking and unloading.
PASSENGER DROP-OFF AND PICKUP
Friends and family members who are picking-up passengers should use the available cellphone lots at both airports so that they are not crowding the curbside at airport terminals. Using cellphone lots will allow for better social distancing for curbside passengers. Information about the Bush Airport cellphone lots can be found online at this link. For information about cellphone lots at Hobby Airport, please click this link.
PARKING / SHUTTLES
Passengers now have the power to pre-book, adjust, cancel and request a refund at ecopark, the terminal garages or even valet reservations by visiting fly2houston.com. Real-time information is available online regarding parking space availability at Bush Airport at this link, and at Hobby Airport at this link.
Passengers at Bush Airport can use kiosks at the terminals to receive estimated wait times for shuttle bus arrivals. Passengers at Bush Airport can track the shuttles and estimated wait times here.
For information on ecopark options at Bush Airport, check this link.
For information on the ecopark option at Hobby Airport, check this link.
Houston Airports is enforcing proper social distancing on shuttles, and have increased the number of shuttles in operation to avoid delays.
Passenger can monitor TSA checkpoint wait times in real time. For Hobby airport click here and for Bush airport click here. TSA has implemented extra health and safety measures at its TSA checkpoints. Passenger are permitted to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers should continue to follow the 3-1-1 rule regarding liquids in carry-on bags. For other holiday travel tips from TSA click here.
COME EARLY AND RELAX A LITTLE
Houston Airports has plenty of amenities to help enhance the passenger experience before their flight. Harmony in the Air is a live performing arts program featuring some of Houston’s best local talent. Many concessions are open, and passengers can enjoy shops and restaurants featuring local favorites and exciting brands. In addition, Houston Airports recently opened a 1,000-square-foot yoga studio in Terminal A inside security near Gate 3. Children also have a place to unwind in new play areas located at both Hobby Airport—across from Gate 4 and at Bush in Terminal A near Gate 6.
Enhanced cleanings are performed at all high touch point areas of Houston’s airports.
ABOUT FLYSAFE HOUSTON
FlySafe Houston is a safety program launched in June and includes new and enhanced safety measures at all terminals such as masks/face coverings worn by all Houston Airports employees, touchless kiosks at select airline ticketing counters, facial comparison technology at select departing and immigration entry points, deep cleanings, social distancing markers in queues, safety shields, installment of additional hand sanitizer stations, increased frequency of air-filter replacements and public announcements and signage to promote good hygiene and social distancing. More information on the program is available here.