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Lambert Ready for Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Rush

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Lambert airlines will soon see a steady increase of passengers as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The Airport typically sees an increase of 15-20 percent in passenger traffic during the Thanksgiving air travel period, which extends this year from Friday, November 21 through Tuesday, Dec. 2.   

The airline industry is expecting more than a one percent increase in air travel this year with more than 24 million passengers flying on U.S. airlines during the 12-day holiday travel period.  Because of the volume of travelers flying through Lambert and airports across the country, passengers are urged to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to their flights, especially if they’re checking luggage or traveling internationally.  

The biggest single travel day of the holiday weekend for Lambert is projected to be the Sunday following Thanksgiving (November 30), which typically surpasses 20,000 departing passengers. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 26, is projected to be the second busiest day in this travel period.  Load factors on both of those days are at or near 100 percent for most of the airlines operating at Lambert. This means there will be few to no vacant seats on those flights. The two lightest travel days during the week are Thanksgiving Day, November 27, and Friday, November 28.  

Lambert, TSA and Airline officials offer a number of travel tips to make it easier for passengers during the busy travel season.

·        Arrive 2 hours ahead of a scheduled flight, especially if checking-in luggage or flying internationally.
·        TSA Pre™ is available at all checkpoints with participating airlines.
·        Liquids must be in 3.4 ounce containers or less; put in quart size, clear, plastic zip-top bag.
·        Do NOT wrap holiday gifts.
·        Remember to retrieve all items from the checkpoint after they pass through the security scanners. 
·        If picking up a passenger from Lambert Airport use one of the free cell phone lots instead of the parking garages.
·        For more information on prohibitive items, traveling with children, food and gifts, go to www.tsa.gov.
·        Access Lambert Airport information easily via your mobile phone at www.flystl.com.   

Shelter Up: Lambert Photo of the Week

Crews work on installing the second of five new weather shelters on Arrivals Drive at Terminal 1.

With the first arctic blast of the season hitting the U.S. the timing couldn’t be better. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is adding new weather shelters for passengers on Arrivals Drive at Terminal 1. This is the roadway for passenger pickup by vehicles and shuttles. The Airport is replacing three existing shelters and installing an additional two shelters between exits 11 and 18. The steel and glass structures, measuring 6ft x 18ft, feature curved overhangs, which matches the design of nearby covered walkways and entries into the terminal. Each of the five new shelters will have lighting and heating elements. The installation will be completed before the Thanksgiving holiday.


Moon Glow: Lambert Photo of the Week

A Frosty Moon rises in the sky above Terminal 1 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on November 6, 2014.

It’s not yet winter, but the signs are in the sky for its impending arrival. We captured November’s full moon peaking over Lambert’s historic Terminal 1 this week (Nov. 6). The November moon is often referred to as Frosty Moon or Full Beaver Moon. The latter is a reference from Indian tribes that noted this was the time beavers were building dams and preparing for winter. Either way, when you combine the glow of November’s full moon above the historic architecture of Minoru Yamasaki’s Terminal 1, plus the splash of color from the terminal’s LED skylights, you get an amazing shot that can’t be found at any other airport around.

Fading Away: Lambert Photo of the Week

The AirTran name will be removed by by November 2, 2014 on all signage at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Like so many airlines before it, AirTran Airways is fading away into history. AirTran is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, which completed its acquisition of AirTran in 2011. Since then, Southwest has been intergrating AirTran’s operations into the larger Southwest network, while keeping the two identities separate. That will end this weekend at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. By Sunday, all AirTran signage at Lambert, whether on the roadways, ticket counters, gate areas or flight displays, will be removed. This will have no impact on passengers, but it officially leaves Southwest Airlines as the only airline in Terminal 2. Passengers may still be boarding AirTran planes, with the signature "A" tail design, for some time longer. AirTran’s history goes back to the early ‘90s, when it was formerly ValuJet Airlines. The Air Tran Airlines name was adopted in 1997. The airline started serving St. Louis in late 2007. Check out the full history, here. 


New Look: Lambert Photo of the Week

A Southwest jet featuring a brand new new paint scheme stands out at Terminal 2 among other jets carrying the existing paint scheme.

A whole new look for Southwest Airlines was announced just a month ago. A new livery or paint scheme for its entire fleet is just part of a branding overhaul for Southwest, which is Lambert’s busiest carrier. This week, we captured one of the "new look" jets at the gate in Terminal 2. You can see a sharp contrast between old and new. The redesign includes brighter tail colors, a deep blue fuselage, and the Southwest named moved to the body of the plane. Southwest reports it will take seven years to repaint its entire fleet. The rebranding will spread beyond just planes. The airline’s logo and website have been updated. Changes to airport ticketing and gate areas as well as employee uniforms are also coming soon.

Lambert Passenger Traffic Increases for Third Straight Month

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport posted a nearly three percent increase in passenger traffic for the 3rd quarter of 2014, serving a total of 3,329,069 passengers.  Just released statistics show Lambert served a total (departing and arriving) of 1,018,950 passengers in September, a 1.6 percent increase year over year.  This follows increases in total traffic of 5.1 percent and 1.6 percent for July and August, respectively.  The rebound in the third quarter helped narrow the gap in total traffic declines posted in the first six months. The Airport saw a significant drop in traffic in the first couple of months of 2014, attributed to winter weather cancellations. Year to date, Lambert has served 9,349,174 passengers, off by 1.5 percent over the same nine months in 2013. 

Southwest Airlines, Lambert’s leading carrier, has seen a 2.4 percent increase in the number of departing passengers (enplanements) in the first nine months of the year. It currently has a 50 percent market share out of the 11 scheduled airlines that service St. Louis.

Lambert saw a significant jump in cargo traffic (departures) in September with a 22 percent increase. Year to date, cargo departures are up nearly 10 percent.  Air cargo freight for September, 10,587,593 lbs, was up nearly one percent for September.

Click here for full year-to-date statistics.

Rip and Smash: Lambert Photo of the Week

A Southwest Airlines jet takes off in the distance while crews demolish a former postal facility to make way for more parking near Terminal 2.

A non-descript warehouse that once processed U.S. mail operations at Lambert-St. Louis International met its end this week to an agressive demolition crew. The steel and concrete shell building was attacked by a duo of excavators with a mean punch and fierce jaws. Crews ripped and smashed the building into pieces, small enough to transport for recycling or waste streams. The building was vacant. The building is being demolished to make way for the new parking. The surface lot will become Super Park Lot E, featuring 250 spaces with a short walk or shuttle ride to Terminal 2. The lot should ease parking shortages in the Terminal 2 Garage, once its completed by year’s end.

Hero's Homecoming: Lambert Photo of the Week

Missouri State Representative Mary Nichols (D-72) gives Sgt. 1st Class Corey Remsburg a resolution after arriving at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

It was a hero’s homecoming for Sgt. 1st Class Corey Remsburg and his parents when they arrived Thursday at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. They were met by more than a dozen joyous supporters including the Mayor of Overland, Missouri State Representative Mary Nichols and a large group from his alma mater, Ritenour High School. The former Army Ranger was permantly injured in a roadside bomb attack in 2009. His story of bravery and recovery from near-death and months in a coma made national news after President Barack Obama honored him in his 2014 State of the Union Address. Remsburg received a two-minute standing ovation. Back in St. Louis, he is being honored this weekend as the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Ritenour High School Homecoming Parade. Standing alongside his parents and his service dog, he shook off all the praise, gave the crowd a thumbs up and said, "Go Huskies."

Lambert States Procedures for Dealing with Passenger Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Projection (DHS) have just released information on steps being taken at airports to prevent the spread of Ebola.


Enhanced health screenings will be enacted at five major international airports:  New York's John F. Kennedy, Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago O'Hare, and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson. These airports receive more than 94 percent of passengers who travel into to the U.S. from affected countries in West Africa.


Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has not received any directive from local or federal agencies to alter its current emergency response plans regarding communicable diseases or illnesses.  Lambert has no direct international transoceanic service. Travelers from overseas must arrive into other domestic airports prior to flying to St. Louis.


Lambert would respond to any report of a threat based on its FAA certification procedures regarding communicable diseases or illnesses.  Procedures to respond to a potential communicable illness include isolating an arrival aircraft away from the terminal. The airport’s first responders would then assess the illness threat and alert other emergency response agencies and local health departments if necessary.

'40s Style: Lambert Photo of the Week

Bob and Tracy Durrell, guests of Art of Travel sponsor Tech Electronics, wowed the crowds with their ‘40s style for the big event this week.

A dark red zoot suit, a petal hat and rose colored gloves were all part of Bob and Tracy Durrell’s ‘40s style dress- up for this week’s 4th Annual Art of Travel party. They weren’t the only ones. In what has become a quick tradition, a majority of the 400 guests this year themed-it-up for the Lambert Art & Culture Program fundraiser, which paid homage to the days of Casablanca, swing dancing, rotary phones and fedora hats. Two antique cars set the stage for the night outside the B Concourse. Inside, guests dined on some amazing food cooked or prepared by a team of chefs from HMSHost. Signature ‘40s style drinks were a hit. So were the custom prints works by St. Louis print studios- Pele Prints, The Firecracker Press and Yellow Bear- which used reclaimed copper from the terminal roof to create printing plates. The event was presented by Spire Natural Gas Fueling stations and supported by nearly 30 other sponsors. Funds help support on-going exhibitions and future new art installations at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Airport Improvements

Free Cell Phone Lots

Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.

Learn More »

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