Airlines Expect Strong Passenger Traffic For Memorial Weekend Travel

WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association (ATA) announced today that it expects more than 21 million passengers to travel globally on U.S. airlines over the 2006 Memorial Day holiday.

"We are seeing continued growth in the number of people planning to fly this year, and the Memorial Day holiday will be no exception," said ATA President and CEO James C. May. "It is imperative that we act now to increase system capacity and efficiency by modernizing our nation's airspace, in order to improve service for passengers and shippers. Modernization is also critical to preservation of the environment."

The nation's airlines are expecting to transport 2.1 million passengers per day between Monday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 31. Systemwide, passenger volumes during this period are projected to rise 1.9 percent from a year ago, principally due to 9 percent growth in international air travel.

Given the millions of people expected to pass through U.S. airports over this short period of time, air travelers should keep the following tips in mind:

* Travel with a government-issued photo identification card and allow adequate time to get to the airport, park your car (if you drive to the airport), check in, go through security and get to your gate. Most carriers request that passengers arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, and up to two hours in advance for international flights. It is important to check with your carrier for specific recommendations. * Leave lighters and other Transportation Security Administration (TSA)- prohibited items at home. For a comprehensive list of permitted and prohibited items, see the TSA Permitted and Prohibited Item List. * To expedite the screening process, place all metallic objects (e.g., loose change, keys, cell phone, watch, camera) in a carry-on bag before arriving at security checkpoints. * Make sure that all of your bags, checked and carry-on, include your name and contact information on both the inside and outside of each bag. Also remove all old destination baggage tags from previous trips. * If you wish to lock your checked baggage, use a TSA-approved luggage lock.

* Federal rules limit each customer's carry-on baggage to one standard- size bag and one personal item (e.g., purse, briefcase, laptop computer). * Save time at the airport with automated check-in options, offered via airline Web sites and at airport kiosks, up to 24 hours before departure.

ATA suggests travelers also visit other helpful Web sites prior to traveling, including:

* Your Airline's Web Site * FAA Airport and Flight Delay Map * TSA Security Checkpoint Wait Times * TSA Travel Tips

ATA airline members transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. ATA Airline Members comprise: ABX Air, Inc., Alaska Airlines, Inc., Aloha Airlines, American Airlines, Inc., ASTAR Air Cargo, Inc., ATA Airlines, Inc., Atlas Air, Inc., Continental Airlines, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Evergreen International Airlines, Inc., FedEx Corporation, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp., Midwest Airlines, Inc., Northwest Airlines, Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., United Airlines, Inc., UPS Airlines and US Airways, Inc.; ATA Airline Associate Members: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air Jamaica Ltd. and Mexicana; ATA Industry Members: Aero Instruments & Avionics, Inc.; ARINC; ATR Aircraft; BAE Systems; Benfield Insurance; Bombardier Regional Aircraft; Cendant Travel Distribution Services; Embraer; Honeywell Aerospace; Jeppesen; KPMG; Metron Aviation, Inc.; Pratt & Whitney;; RK Harrison Insurance Brokers Ltd.; The Royal Bank of Scotland, plc; Sensis Corporation; SITA; TDG Aerospace, Inc.; TIMCO Aviation Services; Unisys Global Transportation; Universal Air Travel Plan, Inc. (UATP); USI Insurance; WinWare, Inc.; and World Fuel Services.

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SOURCE Air Transport Association

CONTACT: Elizabeth Machalek, +1-202-626-4205, or Victoria Day, +1-202-626-4141, both of Air Transport Association