Lambert-St. Louis International Airport recorded a dip of less than one percent in overall passenger activity for 2013 serving 12,570,000 passengers. That’s roughly 112,000 passengers fewer than in 2012 when Lambert reported 12,683,000 passengers. This past year, Lambert recorded approximately 6,298,000 in enplanements and 6,272,000 in arriving passengers.
Lambert reported a positive finish in the final month of 2013 with December enplanements up 1.8 percent (515,000 vs. 506,000 in Dec. 2012) and arriving passengers up 0.6 percent (495,000 vs 492,000 in December 2012).
This is a bounce back after November saw the biggest drop in passenger enplanements (-7.2% vs. Nov. 2012) during 2013.
“We expected a downturn in November because of the late Thanksgiving holiday pushed it too close for many with travel plans for Christmas,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Looking at overall trends, this is a just a slight dip after Lambert has seen two straight years of passenger growth in 2011 and 2012.”
For 2013, Southwest Airlines remained the top carrier with a near 48.7 percent market share based on enplaned passengers. Southwest enplaned 3,067,000 passengers in 2013. American is Lambert’s second biggest carrier with a 15.3 percent market share (964,000 enplaned passengers). Delta Air Lines is Lambert’s third largest carrier with a 13.9 percent market share (875,000 enplaned passengers) in 2013.
Lambert recorded 125,000 aircraft operations in 2013 for airlines, general aviation and military aircraft. Lambert’s serves on average 250 daily departures to more than 60 non-stop destinations.
Housekeeper Melvin Edwards spot mops just outside the A Concourse Checkpoint.
When it comes to safety, a mop is one of the key tools on the frontline. They’re in use 24 hours a day in the terminal and concourses at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. More than 100 Airport Authority housekeepers and contracted cleaning staff work to keep terminals and concourses clean. This time of year, it’s a hard job. That’s because of the winter weather. Thousands of passengers and visitors a day track in moisture from snow, ice as well as chemicals. It’s a mix that creates hazards on the Airport’s hard floor surfaces. Until it’s mopped clean. Houskeepers also tackle food, beverage and other spills to make sure the public has a safe path around the through the Airport.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is becoming a bigger gateway to Mexico and the Caribbean with the kickoff of this year’s winter and early spring vacation season.
In 2014, Lambert will see a 12 percent increase in flights to Mexico and the Caribbean. During the peak travel period between February and April, Lambert will serve as many as 14 flights per week to six vacation destinations.
Two new Mexico destinations from St. Louis highlight the increase in flights. Lambert will offer new weekly service to Puerto Vallarto (PVR) and Los Cabos (SJD), starting February 15 and February 17, respectively. The most popular vacation market from St. Louis is currently Cancun, with service to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico operating as many as six days a week. Lambert also has weekly flights to Huatulco in Mexico, Montego Bay in Jamaica and and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
“Our vacation charter partners are seeing a great draw in our region for these trips even if customers have to drive several hours to the Airport,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We’ve witnessed a growth in our leisure travel customer base that extends beyond our normal catchment area for these vacation package trips because of our ability to offer great frequency and destination choice.”
The direct flights are offered on Frontier Airlines, with vacation packages offered through Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations.
Crews remove snow on the top level of the Terminal 1 Garage after one of the biggest winter storms in decades to hit the St. Louis region.
The Polar Vortex turned into a Polar Cleanup across the St. Louis region this week. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport recorded nearly 11 inches of snow in less than 24 hours after the storm pushed through on Sunday, Jan. 5. The snow and high winds pushed ahead of the polar plunge in temperatures that saw negative highs for the first time since the 1980s. The Airport saw hundreds of cancellations but the force of Lambert’s snow removal crews kept the airfield open, roadways driveable and parking lots passable through the worst of it. The Airport snow removal effort and cleanup continued the rest of the week even as another round of snow (1.5") hit St. Louis- the third snow storm just this month.
This new breed of snow machine does double duty on Lambert’s airfield as both a snowplow and a jetbroom.
Big machines are needed to clear snow from Lambert’s runways and make sure our airlines can continue to operate when severe weather hits. St. Louis was hit with its first snow storm of the year this week. To conquer the snow, the Airport has a new breed, a new beast, among its fleet of snow removing machines. It’s a MB5 Multi-Tasking Snow Vehicle (Manufactured in Wisconsin). This snow machine is a double-duty workhorse that can do the job of both a snow plow and a jet broom. It’s powered by two 500 Horsepower engines. Lambert has seven of these machines which will be back on the job this weekend when another storm is expected to hit the area.
Inesia Runnels (far left) and five-year old Za Shaw decide which perfect pretzel they would like from Auntie Anne’s in Terminal 2.
The world’s favorite pretzel place, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is now open in Terminal 2, home of Southwest Airlines and Air Tran Airways. Auntie Anne’s is known for it’s delicious hand-rolled soft pretzels and freshly baked treats. Wherever Auntie Anne’s opens, it’s guaranteed to draw a crowd! Inesia Runnels and Za Shaw of Dallas, Texas stall for a minute as they choose from Auntie Anne’s tasty menu. The menu includes the yummy original salted pretzel and other popular flavors like cinnamon, jalapeno and garlic. Shaw was excited to get her favorite cinnamon flavored pretzel. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is in partnership with Lambert’s master food concessionaire, HMSHost.
Military men and women from Fort Leonard Wood occupy time before catching a flight home by using their electronics. Lambert Airport hooked up extra outlets to accomodate the soldiers.
The Christmas holiday season is already a busy time at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The annual Military Holiday Block Leave provided a bigger boost this week with a sea of green as far as the eye can see in the terminals. The mass exodus of soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood is when more than 5,000 military men and women head home for the holidays. The USO, the Airport and many other groups ensure the soldiers get in the holiday spirit with numerous events and special apperances (Santa Claus) for the soldiers. The biggest hit, however, were temporary plug-in stations set up for the day so soldiers could charge up their electronics for games, videos and holiday phone calls.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is preparing for a busy holiday travel period surrounding the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Passengers should expect an increase in passenger traffic of 15-20 percent at times in the next two weeks versus non-holiday travel periods.
The kickoff begins this week with the Airport expecting 19-20,000 departing passengers on December 20. Friday marks the annual Military Holiday Block Leave with more than 5,000 soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood being transported to Lambert for flights home and elsewhere. The TSA will plan on opening all checkpoints on this morning by 3 a.m. Any passenger flying out prior to 9 a.m. Friday should expect long lines and congestion in Lambert terminals and concourses.
The USO of Missouri is planning a series of events at both terminals for military personnel who will begin arriving as early as 1:30 a.m. Friday. Events include the annual appearance of Santa and Mrs.Clause, music, military giveaways and a live broadcast of 97.1 FM’s Allman in the Morning from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. in Terminal 1.
U.S. Airlines are predicting a two percent increase in air travel over this winter holiday period with passenger loads on planes to be 80-90 percent full. Friday is expected to be the busiest air travel day across the U.S. prior to Christmas.
Passengers should arrive 90 minutes to two hours prior to their flights during holiday travel period. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding passengers that they can help reduce wait times at security checkpoints with the following tips:
·3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. and all bottles must fit in 1 quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening.
·Gifts: TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.
·Food: Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection
· Children 12 and under and adults 75 and older: TSA has modified the screening procedures for children 12 and under and adults 75 and older.
·Check for prohibited items: Travelers can use the “Can I bring my...” app on www.TSA.gov or www.TSA.gov/mobile to check what items are allowed/not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.
·Prepare for security: Have a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID and boarding pass out and remove liquids and large electronics, including laptops, from carry-on baggage. Remember to remove shoes, outerwear, and bulky jewelry and empty pockets. Place valuable items in a carry-on bag.
·TSA’s Wounded Warrior Screening program: This program allows expedited screening and curb to gate service for this trusted group of citizens. Wounded warriors or their care coordinators can contact TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline.
·More Travel Tips: Check out TSA’s helpful Traveler Information site for more useful information to help ease the traveling public through security checkpoints. Additional holiday travel tips are available: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/11/tsa-2013-holiday-travel-tips.html
Picking Up Passengers: Use Free Cell Phone Lots
The impact of this busy travel season also applies to those picking up passengers at Lambert. The Airport recommends motorists use one of two cell phone lots to wait for passengers to arrive. These free waiting zones are conveniently located within a few minutes from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and feature display boards to help check the status of incoming flights. Motorists should contact arriving passengers via a mobile phone before leaving the Cell Phone Lot to confirm they are ready for immediate pickup at the terminals. Passenger pick up zones at each terminal are for active loading only; no waiting is allowed. For cell phone locations and more information, click here.
Seven-year old Corben Phillips gives a Marines Master Sergeant a high-five on his way to the gate for American Airlines annual Snowball Express.
Eleven families from St. Louis and Illinois will share a special Christmas celebration thanks to American Airlines’ Snowball Express. Snowball Express started in 2006 to provide hope and new memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. This year, eighteen children from the St. Louis and Metro East area will enjoy a four- day Christmas party with other families of fallen heroes in Dallas, Texas. Organizers say the main goal is to honor the sacrifice the families of the fallen have made and make sure that children who lost a parent can connect with other children who are experiencing the same. This is Corben Phillips (pictured) second year attending the Snowball Express. Corben’s dad was killed in 2012.
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Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.