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View Full Version : Air travel on December 23rd out of St.Louis?


mckinley
11-09-2009, 08:37 PM
We are flying out Dec 23rd with Airtran from St.Louis airport. Our flight leaves at 7:05 am. I am sure that the airports are all much busier than any normal day. We normally arrive approx 2 hours early & normally have lots of extra time to wait. But can anyone tell me does St.Louis airport become extra busy during that day & time. Should we arrive earlier than 2 hours before depature.

Anjelica
11-10-2009, 06:38 PM
We are flying out Dec 23rd with Airtran from St.Louis airport. Our flight leaves at 7:05 am. I am sure that the airports are all much busier than any normal day. We normally arrive approx 2 hours early & normally have lots of extra time to wait. But can anyone tell me does St.Louis airport become extra busy during that day & time. Should we arrive earlier than 2 hours before depature.

As long as there is no inclement weather you should be fine. St. Louis is no longer the airport it was 20 years ago in terms of major flights, etc. but any kind of inclement weather and it will cause a little snag. The good news is with leaving out that early AND flying out of St. Louis you have a MAJOR chance of getting out on time. That is the one nice thing about STL is that ontime flights leaving St. Louis that are not dependent on other flights is one of the best I have ever experienced.

NotUrsula
11-11-2009, 09:59 AM
Weather used to be much more of a problem than it is now, because our new runway *is* open, though these days there are not too many flights needing to use it. Still, they will open it if there is weather. (The problem at Lambert used to be that the only two runways were parallel and rather close together. If visibility was low they didn't have sufficient clearance between them for aircraft flying on instruments, so they ended up using only one runway for both takeoffs AND landings, which slowed things to a crawl. Now there is another runway that has much greater clearance, which makes that precaution unnecessary.)

Your biggest issue on December 23rd is going to be Security. Lambert recently moved two of the scanner stations from the Main Terminal to the East Terminal because it now has more traffic than the Main Terminal, so there are two fewer security aisles over there now. Also, you can no longer walk between the two terminals airside the way that you used to, as they have put up crashwalls to block off the unused D concourse so that they can shut off the heat in there.

Airtran uses Concourse B. You can use the main security line (under Lindbergh's plane) to get in there, or if it is crowded, look along the wall to the left of that checkpoint. There is another smaller checkpoint on the west airside wall behind the escalators, but they don't have it open at all times. My suspicion is that it will probably be open on December 23rd. If you are actually inside the airport two hours before departure, I think you'll be fine.

Jestocost
11-12-2009, 12:07 PM
Airtran uses Concourse B. You can use the main security line (under Lindbergh's plane) to get in there, or if it is crowded, look along the wall to the left of that checkpoint. There is another smaller checkpoint on the west airside wall behind the escalators, but they don't have it open at all times. My suspicion is that it will probably be open on December 23rd. If you are actually inside the airport two hours before departure, I think you'll be fine.

I use the small B Concourse security line whenever the main line is busy, but I'm getting reports from the TSA officers there that the B Concourse security line will be permanently closed as of December 1 (in advance of the next big round of American cuts in STL).

Another wild card around the holidays can be when the military bases (Ft. Leonard Wood and Scott AFB, primarily) ship out for the holidays. They tend to dump busloads of every soldier or airman travelling that day first thing in the morning even if they aren't flying out until late. If that happens to be the day, it's a real nightmare for civilians trying to check in early in the morning.

Even if it's NOT that day, then early morning check in at Lambert can be a nightmare around that time of year. You'll usually be able to get through in time for your flight if you get there two hours in advance; however, that may be JUST in time, so if you get stressed by last-minute gate arrivals you might want to get there earlier.

NotUrsula
11-12-2009, 12:57 PM
Another wild card around the holidays can be when the military bases (Ft. Leonard Wood and Scott AFB, primarily) ship out for the holidays. They tend to dump busloads of every soldier or airman travelling that day first thing in the morning even if they aren't flying out until late. If that happens to be the day, it's a real nightmare for civilians trying to check in early in the morning.

Very true, but IME the real military don't hold up the lines nearly as much as the kids from the Missouri Military Academy. I've been stuck behind them at security, and they are a nightmare, because they wear tunics with no real shirt underneath, and their shoulder cords and buttons are STAINLESS STEEL! They always end up trying to remove the chains rather than removing the tunic because they don't want to go through in an undershirt; it takes forever. However, I looked up their calendar and the OP is safe this year, they leave on the 20th. ;)

I hadn't heard about the impending closing of the second B concourse security checkpoint (95% of my travel is through the East Terminal), but it really doesn't surprise me. That line never did get much action, and with so many fewer flights departing through that terminal, it's probably a luxury Lambert can no longer afford.

Anjelica
11-12-2009, 01:30 PM
I hadn't heard about the impending closing of the second B concourse security checkpoint (95% of my travel is through the East Terminal), but it really doesn't surprise me. That line never did get much action, and with so many fewer flights departing through that terminal, it's probably a luxury Lambert can no longer afford.

I wonder when East Terminal will get more traffic that the main concourse - maybe after all the AA cuts are done? Maybe move SW, etc. over to main concourse and put AA in East...:goodvibes

NotUrsula
11-12-2009, 03:45 PM
The word that I've heard is that the balance will shift in terms of flights in April, when AA cuts flights and SWA adds 9 new ones.

The East Terminal just opened a new checkpoint this week; it's down by the Starbucks. DH used it yesterday morning.

mckinley
11-12-2009, 08:13 PM
Thanks for all the info. We will for sure be inside the airport 2 hours before our flight. We will prepare ourselfs for the major crowd & wait, but hope for slow & not many people

Jestocost
11-16-2009, 09:14 AM
Very true, but IME the real military don't hold up the lines nearly as much as the kids from the Missouri Military Academy. I've been stuck behind them at security, and they are a nightmare, because they wear tunics with no real shirt underneath, and their shoulder cords and buttons are STAINLESS STEEL! They always end up trying to remove the chains rather than removing the tunic because they don't want to go through in an undershirt; it takes forever. However, I looked up their calendar and the OP is safe this year, they leave on the 20th. ;)

I hadn't heard about the impending closing of the second B concourse security checkpoint (95% of my travel is through the East Terminal), but it really doesn't surprise me. That line never did get much action, and with so many fewer flights departing through that terminal, it's probably a luxury Lambert can no longer afford.

The problem with the real military is at baggage check in. The essentially drop off a few hundred people who all line up at once to check bags, even though many of them don't hvae flights for up to eight or more hours away. Things are busy enough without having a couple hundred people lining up to check bags at the same time. I'm traveling on 12/23 too (East Terminal), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.