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OAA emphasizes preparing ahead of your flights this holiday season

Posted at 8:13 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 09:13:01-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The winter holiday travel season is here, and TSA expects near pre-pandemic travel volumes at security check points. Eppley airfield is no different.

The winter holiday traveling period stretches from December 17th to January 3rd.

In this time Eppley Airfield expects around 232,000 arriving and departing passengers in Omaha.

For reference, there were approximately 103,000 in 2020.

The Omaha Airport Authority says the airport has increased staffing to make travel run smoother, but they ask that you please bring your patience.

They say the best way to ready yourself for travel is to prepare ahead. They recommend travelers arrive at the airport two hours before their flight, and three hours before if flying internationally.

With the rise in COVID cases the country has experienced, they also say it’s important to know what you should expect when coming back to the U.S. and how to plan accordingly.

“Make sure you check with your airline for the respective COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, because it can vary from location to location,” OAA Chief Information & Development Officer Steve McCoy said. “So, make sure you see your airline's website. They will have plenty of information on what travelers will need to do before going to their destination and before returning here.”

Currently when flying back to the states you must get a COVID test within 24 hours of your departure.

Another reminder - face masks are still required by federal mandate at all U.S. airports and flights.

A few other tips: before coming to the airport be sure to check your flight’s status with your airline and check the forecast in all the cities you are flying to and from.

Lastly, refresh yourself on TSA requirements. Know what is allowed in checked bags and carry-on bags, including any Christmas gifts you may be bringing.

“Don’t show up to the airport with packages prewrapped and packed into your suitcase, because those will be opened by the TSA as part of the security screening process,” McCoy said. “So make sure if you are traveling with presents, not to have those wrapped when coming to the airport.”

You can find an entire list of what is and isn’t allowed by clicking here.

To learn more about parking prices and availability, along with all things Eppley Airfield, visit