New Orleans Airport Expects Big Thanksgiving Day Weekend Rush

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport expects a busy post-Katrina Thanksgiving holiday travel period. "As air travel continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the airlines serving New Orleans are predicting heavy passenger loads throughout the entire Thanksgiving holiday travel period," said Roy Williams, director of aviation. The airport has been experiencing heavy passenger traffic since the resumption of air service following Hurricane Katrina and that traffic is expected to surge around Thanksgiving. Travel is expected to be especially heavy on Wednesday and Sunday.

The airport now offers over 5,000 spaces in its two parking garages. The new long-term parking garage offers 2,500 spaces at $10 and is short walk to the terminal through two well lit pedestrian bridges. The short term facility offers over 2,500 spaces immediately adjacent to the terminal building. The rate for the short term facility is $2 for the first hour and $2 for each additional ½ hour with a $15 daily maximum. Valet parking is also available for $17 a day. People picking up passengers at the Airport are encouraged to park in the short term parking garage and enter the terminal to meet their party. Patrons are encouraged to use ticketless parking where a credit card is swiped on entrance and again on exit through the Express Pay lanes. This will speed your time at the exit plaza and eliminate the need for a cashier. All vehicles are encouraged to leave through the new exit plaza and proceed directly onto the Access Road. Circling the roadway system is not encouraged due to congestion.Passengers are reminded that heightened security is in effect at the airport. If you will be traveling during this busy period, the following suggestions may improve your experience:* Arrive at least 90 minutes hours prior to departure time.* Boarding passes and government-issued IDs are required at the security checkpoint.* Carry-on baggage is limited to one bag plus one personal item such as a small purse, briefcase or laptop computer. The less baggage passing through security checkpoints, the faster the lines will move.* Those traveling with gifts should not wrap them as they may need to be opened for inspection.* Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry and accessories that contain metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detectors.* No knives, scissors, blades or sharp objects are permitted beyond security. * All undeveloped film and cameras with film should be placed in carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.* Only ticketed passengers are allowed beyond security checkpoints.* Curbside check-in is available for domestic ticketed passengers. * Passengers mustshow their photo ID at the ticket counter or curbside check-in, again at the entrance to the concourses and at the boarding gate.The Airport is expecting heavy vehicle traffic on the Airport Roadway System. Law enforcement officers will be on duty to reroute traffic as necessary, due to vehicle congestion.

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