Thousands Expected to Arrive and Depart from the Airport This Week
The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport Terminal will be operating a full summertime capacity when as many as 2,000 travelers a day arrive this week to attend the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen June 17 - 19. It’s not the arrivals that has airport officials concerned. The biggest worry is the risk of travelers missing their flights when they depart beginning Sunday by not allowing enough advance time to park, check bags and be screened by TSA.
“We’ve got 6 flights departing our airport prior to 9:30 a.m. daily this summer,” said Airport Director, John Kinney. “Post Food and Wine this Sunday all of those flights are full. That means we’ll have close to 500 people who need to get through security in time for their flights. There is no way we can promise anything but long lines and crowded conditions so we implore our guests to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to their departures,” Kinney said.
The airlines and TSA recommend passengers with checked bags arrive 120 minutes prior to departure and 90 minutes prior with carry-ons, especially if your flight departs before 9:30 am. TSA will be open at 5:15am, ticket counters open at 5:30am.
“Another thing that could slow things down as Food & Wine folks depart is if they forget they have a full bottle of wine and perhaps a bladed corkscrew in their carry on bags. Our guests who have been having fun all week at the event sometimes forget that they can’t carry more than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) onto the plane with them. We want them to remember to check things like bottles of wine and sharp objects like culinary implements and corkscrews, “ Kinney said. “We will take no pleasure in confiscating their favorite wine,” he said.
Airline, TSA and airport officials promise to do everything they can this weekend to move crowds along and ensure everyone catches their flights.