Southwest Airlines agent Meika Bowden checks in passengers and their luggage at Lambert this week.
Call it the Luggage Express. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is now operating in-line baggage systems for all passengers. The $46 million dollar baggage system was completed in the last week with the debut of the system in Terminal 2. The system made its debut in Terminal 1 earlier this spring. The system enables passengers to check in their luggage directly to the ticket agent. Since soon after 9/11, passengers have had to carry their luggage to x-ray machines after checking in. Those machines are now built into the conveyor system where security screening now takes place out of public view. It all means a more efficient check-in process for passengers before they go through security.
Memorial Day weekend kicked off the peak travel season at Lambert-St. Louis
International Airport. This summer will bring more flights, heavier passenger
loads and the debut of a new baggage system in Terminal 2.
Lambert is seeing a big boost in flights with
new destinations and more flight options for existing destinations for
travelers. Airlines will be operating
253 daily non-stop flights to 62 destinations in June, an increase of 11 daily flights
compared to May. A majority of the
additional flights are part of the seasonal boost of flights on Southwest
Airlines, which is set to have its busiest summer ever in St. Louis. Southwest
will offer more than 400,000 seats out of St. Louis in July.
In June, Frontier Airlines will debut two new
destinations from St. Louis with service to Portland, Oregon (PDX) and Trenton,
New Jersey (TTN). Frontier is also adding non-stop service to San Francisco
(SFO). American Airlines is also boosting its summer schedule with additional
daily flights to Washington Reagan National (DCA) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
are already reporting lower seat availability with the increase in demand for
tickets this summer. With the spike in the number of passenger, the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds passengers they can have a
significant impact on reducing wait times at security checkpoints. Get
the latest TSA information here.
is helping to ease congestion when it comes to checking in this summer. The new inline baggage system that made its
debut in Terminal 1 this spring is now operating in Terminal 2, which serves
Southwest Airlines and Air Tran Airways. Passengers can now hand off their luggage at
the ticket counter versus having to transport bags to multiple explosive
detection system (EDS) machines that were installed in the ticketing areas
after 9/11. A new 2,259 linear ft.
conveyor system transports the luggage from the ticket counters to the airlines,
with the bag screening machines built into the network and now out of public
The new $46 million in baggage system upgrades
in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 will improve efficiencies in screening
checked baggage and has upgraded the customer experience during the check-in
process. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is covering 90 percent of the
eligible project costs, or approximately $40 million, through grants and
funding that were announced in 2010.
Here are details on additional summer flight activity from Lambert:
June 5: American Airlines adds two additional
daily non-stop flights to Washington Reagan National (DCA) for a total of 5
June 7: Southwest adds additional daily flight
to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) for total of 2 daily flights.
June 8: Southwest adds additional daily
flights to Boston (BOS) for total of 3 daily flights, Denver (DEN) for total of
4 daily flights, Los Angeles (LAX) for total 3 daily flights, Oklahoma City
(OKC) for total of 2 daily flights and Seattle (SEA) for one daily flight.
June 9: Southwest adds additional daily flight
to Chicago Midway (MDW) for total of 10 daily flights.
June 11: American Airlines adds an additional
daily non-stop to Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
for total of 9 daily flights.
June 13: Frontier Airlines begins service to
San Francisco, CA (SFO) and Trenton, NJ (TTN) - new non-stop destination from
June 15: Frontier Airlines will begin service
to Portland, OR (PDX) - new non-stop destination from Lambert.
Andrew Schaub, 4, is ready for takeoff in the new St. Louis International Play Port on the C Concourse at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Parents waiting for a flight on the C Concourse may have a slight problem pulling the kiddies away from the new St. Louis International Play Port. The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum unveiled the 1,500 sq. ft. play area at Gate C2. The Play Port is interactive and includes a kid-sized plane; an air traffic control tower with a slide; car rental counters; a luggage conveyor belt and airport secreening area; and a mock x-ray machine. It’s a great area for children to explore other methods of transportation. Andrew Schaub, 4, is in the driver’s seat of the Play Port’s kids version of a MetroLink light rail train. Schaub seemed to know all the right buttons to push. The MetroLink is a popular mode of transportation to and from Lambert Airport for passengers and employees.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has opened a transportation-themed play exhibit that will help children burn restless energy and inspire their imaginations at the same time.
The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum unveiled the St. Louis International Play Port, a 1,500 sq. ft. exhibit, in the C Concourse at Gate C2. This interactive exhibit features a mini airport where children will use their imaginations to experience what it’s like to travel these days. The play area includes a kid-sized plane, an air traffic control tower with a slide, car rental counters, a luggage conveyor belt and an airport screening area with a pretend x-ray machine. Children can also explore other popular modes of transportation in the exhibit including a car, a truck and a van. They can also take the driver’s seat in kids-version of a MetroLink light rail train, which is a popular mode of transportation to the Airport and across the St. Louis area.
“The Play Port is a welcome addition for the thousands of families who travel through Lambert each year,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. “We are thrilled to have partnered with The Magic House to open this unique space which will fuel the wonder of travel for children and give families a one-of-a kind activity that can only be found at Lambert.”
The Magic House’s children’s exhibit at the airport took off in large part due to the strong showing of community support for the idea through RallySTL.org, a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform where consumers submit, vote for, and help fund ideas that drive progress in greater St. Louis.
“It was gratifying to see the community rally around the idea of an interactive play and learning space at the airport, and we were honored to be asked to create it,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President of The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum. “St. Louis is such a family-oriented city, and we wanted to design an exhibit that would make a positive first impression on families traveling through our airport.”
St. Louis attractions will be featured throughout the exhibit to help tourists and residents discover all of the family fun that St. Louis has to offer. “We are excited to see such a creative way to share the many great things there are to do in St. Louis with travelers at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport,” said Kitty Ratcliff, President of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. “The Magic House has long been an asset to the community, and we are excited to have their work showcased to the many travelers coming through St. Louis.”
Major donors and supporters of the exhibit include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Carr Lane Manufacturing Co., the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, Jane and Dave Peacock, as well as private donations generated through Rallystl.org.
Frontier Airlines is expanding service again in 2014 with another new destination from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The airline announced it will begin flying non-stop service between St. Louis and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) beginning Tuesday, September 8. St. Louis is one of 14 cities with the new service to IAD. Frontier is offering a 12-hour introductory fare sale as low as $15 each way for travel through November 19 at flyfrontier.com.
The non-stop flights from St. Louis will be operated on A319 aircraft three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The same scheduling format is also being used on other new destinations from Lambert which were announced earlier this year. Frontier will begin service on June 13 to San Francisco (SFO) and Trenton, NJ (TTN). On June 15, Frontier will begin non-stop service to Portland, OR.
“Frontier Airlines has really stepped up with new destinations from St. Louis as well as new service that offers passengers flexible schedules with attractive and lower cost fares,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.
Frontier Airlines operates two gates in the C Concourse. It currently operates daily flights to Denver International in addition to vacation destinations in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
This summer, Lambert airlines will operate nearly 250 daily departures to 62 non-stop destinations. For latest airline information, click here.
Fruit smoothies and other specialty drinks are now flowing on the C Concourse at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport with the opening of Jamba Juice. The new location, the third in the St. Louis area, is located near gate C24 in the concourse serving passengers for American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, US Airways, Frontier Airlines, Cape Air and Air Choice One.
In addition to smoothies and juices, Jamba Juice also offers sandwiches, mini-wraps, breakfast wraps, baked goods and snacks. This Airport store is operated by OHM Concessions, a partner with HMSHost, Lambert’s master food and beverage concessionaire.
The Jamba Juice is the latest in a string of new food and beverage options for Lambert travelers. In recent weeks, Lambert has opened Great Wraps on the C Concourse and The Pasta House, featuring Schlafly Beer, in Terminal 2.
Ramos has spent his entire career in civil engineering in the aviation facility sector managing projects in Missouri, Michigan and Florida. Prior to joining Lambert, Ramos was the Aviation Civil Engineer at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in St. Louis County from 2006 to 2014. He has also managed major runway and airfield projects at Miami International Airport and Bishop International Airport in Flint, MI.
Severe winter weather through the first three months of 2014 impacted travel numbers for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Through the first quarter, when Lambert experienced a large number of airline cancellations due to weather across the U.S., Lambert saw a 4.4 percent drop in total passengers. The Airport recorded 2,731,968 total passengers (arriving and departing) vs 2,858,057 in the same time frame in 2013.
The number of aircraft departures dropped 7.8 percent in the first three months versus 2013, another indication of the impact of cancelled flights.
“The impact on our flight activity was not unexpected considering we just faced one of the worst winter seasons in the last two decades. And it wasn’t just here, but across the U.S.,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We certainly don’t see this as a trend that will continue because we’ve moved into the better weather seasons.”
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will shut down runway 11/29 on the morning of Saturday, April 19 to hold a 2-hour full scale exercise of its emergency plan involving the response to an aircraft crash.
During the training, Airport Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) will be the first responders and will attack a live fire produced from a Mobile Aircraft Trainer, a 50-ft fuselage which produces flames to simulate a fully engulfed aircraft (pictured left). The exercise begins at 10 a.m. and will be completed by 12 noon.
The aircraft firefighting trainer will be staged at the east end of Runway 11/29 as part of a mock crash site of a jet.
Airport Police, EMS, and dozens of other departments will be participating in the drill along with support from Lambert airlines and two area hospitals.
As part of the exercise, the Airport’s emergency responders will coordinate the treatment and transportation of crash victims, made up of a few dozen volunteers. Some of the volunteers will be transported to area hospitals to extend the emergency training to those facilities. Airline staff will simulate the operation of a victim support center in the Airport, which is required by the FAA during major aircraft incidents.
The full scale emergency plan exercise is required for all commercial airports by the FAA every three years.
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.