TULSA, OK – December 19, 2023 – As air travel traffic is expected to soar this holiday season both regionally and across the country, Tulsa International Airport wants to share helpful tips to make travelers’ airport experience as smooth as possible.
“The holidays are always a busy time of year for us, but this year we’re expecting a 10% increase in traffic over the 2022 holiday season, with an estimate of approximately 145,000 passengers flying through the airport between December 21st through January 2nd,” said Kim Kuehler, Communications Manager at Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust. “With the airport being busy over the next two weeks, a small amount of preparation can transform passengers’ experience and reduce any holiday travel stress. We hope families take advantage of our free services on property, such as the Cell Phone Lot to pick up family, or our new Guest Services Areas in the terminal.”
Planning ahead for your trip:
- Pack smart and remember to check the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines for prohibited items.
- When packing gifts, remember to put items that contain liquids over 3.4 ounces in a checked bag. Pack all valuable items, such as jewelry, in your carry-on bag. While wrapped presents aren’t prohibited, TSA highly encourages passengers to keep their presents unwrapped in case TSA officers need to inspect them.
- Check airline baggage policies and fees in advance.
- Travelers who have medical conditions or disabilities are encouraged to call the TSA Cares toll-free helpline in advance of their trip at 1-855-787-2227 to ask about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the checkpoint. It is recommended to call 72 hours in advance of the trip.
- The Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 7, 2025. This means Oklahomans can continue to use their current driver license or Oklahoma identification card to fly domestically.
Parking and leaving for the airport:
- To avoid the holiday rush, Passengers should arrive two hours prior to their scheduled departure time, keeping in mind the checkpoint does not open until 3:45 a.m.
- Confirm directly with your airline for any last-minute changes prior to leaving for the airport. Utilizing airlines’ apps or websites is the quickest, most accurate way to monitor flight status and gate changes.
- Plan where you will park before leaving for the airport. Passengers have three convenient parking options when traveling from TUL – Garage, Economy and Valet. Passengers can expedite their parking experience by signing up for TUL Parking Perks. This parking rewards program allows for ticketless entry and exit in the parking garage and economy lots, and lets customers earn points for every dollar spent to redeem free parking. To learn more about parking services, visit https://flytulsa.com/travel/parking/parking-options-map/.
- In anticipation of airport parking options potentially reaching capacity, TUL has set up an overflow parking lot that would be utilized when Garage, Economy, and Valet parking options are full. If the overflow parking is needed, passengers would then be guided to the lot off E. Young Pl. and N 73rd Ave, where airport parking shuttles would be running to transport passengers to and from the terminal.
TSA Security Checkpoint reminders:
- The live TUL security wait time is posted on the airport’s home page at flytulsa.com
- When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available. Passengers should pay extra attention that their valid form of ID matches their name on their flight reservation exactly.
- To expedite time through the security screening process, slip on shoes are recommended. Passengers not eligible for TSA’s Pre✓™ program should be prepared to remove shoes and jackets for screening. All laptops, tablets or electronic items larger than a cell phone must be removed from suitcases and placed into a bin. Passengers should place keys, cell phones and loose change in their carry-on bags before getting in the security line.
- CLEAR is now operational at TUL and passengers can sign up for a CLEAR Plus membership at the airport. CLEAR Plus allows passengers to get to their gate faster using your eyes or fingerprints to verify you are at airport security via their own dedicated queueing lane.
Shopping and Dining information:
- Shopping and dining information can be found here: https://flytulsa.com/travel/amenities/dining-shopping/
Airport Amenities and accessibility tips:
- Passengers who may need extra assistance while traveling can utilize the airport’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard program. If requested, the airport will provide sunflower lanyards free of charge to passengers with hidden
- Wearing the sunflower lanyard is a discrete way for a person with a disability to make staff throughout the terminal aware that they may need additional time, patience or assistance navigating the air travel experience.
- TUL’s two new Guest Services Areas are open to passengers, offering sensory rooms, lactation rooms, quiet rooms, family restrooms, and indoor service animal relief areas. Both Guest Services Areas are located on the lower level of Concourse A and Concourse B.
- Airport Ambassadors will be available to answer any questions or concerns that travelers may have at the airport.
- Welcome Waggin’ therapy dogs will be throughout the terminal greeting passengers.
Picking up or dropping off loved ones at TUL:
- When picking up or dropping off family and friends, remember that active loading and unloading is in place curbside. Drivers will not be allowed to park at the curb unless their passengers are outside with their luggage. Drivers can wait in the airport’s free cell phone lot while they wait for their party, or they can park in short-term parking on the top level of the garage if they want to greet them inside baggage claim.
- The TUL Visitor Pass program allows non-traveling individuals to secure a pass to go through security and see friends and family off on their trip, welcome their guests at the gate, and enjoy all the amenities that TUL has to offer. To register for a TUL Visitor Pass, visit https://flytulsa.com/tulvisitorpass
Our Tunes at TUL live music program will have several performances during the holiday travel period. All Tunes at TUL sets are performed at Gate A1. Schedule below:
- December 19th, 1:00-2:00 p.m.: Madame Zeroni
- December 20th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Cavari
- December 21st, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Mark Gibson
- December 22nd, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Emani