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Airport readies for ‘record-breaking’ holiday season

Lynden Pindling International Airport officials estimate that at least 44,000 passengers will move through the airport’s facilities over the Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas holiday season is projected to be a record-breaking season. 

Ministry of Tourism
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The busy holiday travel season is about to commence at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) with Thanksgiving in just a matter of days. Officials estimate that at least 44,000 passengers will move through the airport’s facilities over the Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas holiday season is projected to be a record-breaking season for NAD.

This projection follows a trend during 2018 of record passenger numbers. The airport saw its highest passenger numbers in over 10 years for September and October 2018, with 204,660 arriving and departing passengers in September and 238,158 arriving and departing passengers in October. In comparison to last year, LPIA saw a 33.53% and 13.52% increase in passengers respectively for September and October.

“Notwithstanding that September and October are particularly slow months for the industry and months where LPIA has been impacted by hurricanes over the past two years, the increase in passengers is significant compared to increases and actual passengers over the past decade and since the redevelopment of the airport,” says Jan Knowles, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD).

With anticipated heavy traffic in and around the terminals, travelers are encouraged to plan ahead when flying to or from Nassau/Paradise Island.

“We’re seeing our numbers pick up as locals travel for holiday shopping, and visitors start making their way home for the holidays or heading to Nassau to celebrate Thanksgiving in The Bahamas. We know that getting to their destination is what matters most to our passengers and we want to ensure that their experience in the airport is as stress-free as possible,” Knowles said. “All of our airport stakeholders have dedicated time and resources to improving passenger movement and overall operations.”

Investments in technology like Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in US Customs, an Electronic Boarding Pass (EBP) system for check-in via mobile devices and electronic call-up features in Bahamas Immigration and Bahamas Customs have all proven to be key in reducing overall wait times for travelers during peak travel periods this year.

Knowles offers additional tips to keep in mind when traveling through LPIA during the holiday season:

  • Confirm travel details in advance. Several days before your flight, check your reservation, determine baggage specifications and see what your airline offers for onboard service.
  • Give yourself ample time. Anticipate extra hustle and bustle at the airport. Check-in at least three (3) hours early for US-bound flights and two (2) hours early for International departure flights. This gives you ample time to clear security and head to your gate area with time to shop, dine, relax and enjoy airport amenities.
  • Airport parking is easy and affordable. Be aware of parking options all of which are available on LPIA’s website.  Dropping off and collecting persons from the airport is hassle free with affordable short-term and long-term parking rates beginning at $2.07 for a half hour.
  • Get mobile! Many airlines offer passengers the option of online check-in and mobile boarding passes. Download all relevant apps and electronic travel documents before you leave for the airport.
  • Choose to travel outside of the peak departure times. Early morning and evening flights are considered off-peak.
  • Pack wisely. Restrictions still apply for liquids, aerosols and gels so remember the 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 ounces or less per container for liquids, gels or aerosols; packed in 1 quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag; limit of 1 bag per passenger.
  • ID? Check. Be sure to bring the right ID for your trip, or you won’t be going far! This includes a valid passport and for local travelers heading to the US, a visa or a police record issued within the last six months.
  • Screen Smart—Take advantage of any wait in security lines by placing coins, keys and any small metal items in the screening bin, removing jackets and outerwear and unpacking your laptop from its bag and be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes that can be easily removed. Leave gifts unwrapped as they may be opened for inspection as part of the baggage screening process.
  • Stay Connected—Check the airport website www.nassaulpia.com for the latest updates on flight schedules and information on parking, in-terminal services or security regulations and procedures. Connect with LPIA on social media at www.facebook.com/NassauAirport and on Twitter and Instagram @nassau_airport. Also, be sure to follow your individual airline carriers on social media for more specific flight details.
  • Use Your Time In-Terminal Wisely– Forgot a token for someone on your list? Pick up last-minute gift items, a snack or magazine at one of our airport stores. Use free airport Wi-Fi to send emails or relax in one of two travel lounges at LPIA.

Source: Bahamas.com.

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