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Busy Thanksgiving Travel Season is Underway at Lambert

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will see a surge in holiday traffic beginning Friday, November 20 as the Thanksgiving holiday travel rush begins.  The Airport typically sees an increase of 15-20 percent in passenger traffic during the 10-day Thanksgiving air travel period, which extends through Monday, November 30.  

The biggest single travel day of the holiday weekend for Lambert is projected to be the Sunday following Thanksgiving (November 29), which typically surpasses 20,000 departing passengers on that day. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 25, is projected to be the second busiest day in this travel period.  Load factors on both of those days are projected to above 90 percent for most of the airlines operating at Lambert.  Many flights will be fully booked. The two lightest travel days during the week are Thanksgiving Day, November 26, and Friday, November 27.

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 international
  •         TSA Pre-Check is available at all checkpoints with participating airlines.
  •         Liquids must be in 3.4 ounce containers or less; put in a 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.
  •         Contact your airline for the latest flight information or check the status of all flights to and from Lambert here.

St. Louis Artist Pops Color and Fun Forms into Latest Lambert Exhibit

Lambert-St. Louis International welcomes the innovative works of St. Louis artist Daniel Raedeke, who has introduced a burst of color and fanciful forms into the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lounge with works from his sculpture series “Always Almost New.”

Raedeke has three works on display, each hand fabricated from digital designs out of polystyrene and high gloss enamel paint. The result is a spirited and colorful collection of characters, with names suggesting animated toys, and design-inspired style:  “Woggy,” “PhasO,” and “Landscapy.”

Daniel Raedeke's work explores the connections between contemporary art and commercial culture, offering commentary and critique on each. Currently living and working in St. Louis, he has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and in St. Louis.  “Always Almost New" premiered as a solo exhibition at Laumeier Sculpture Park in 2004. In his work, Raedeke combines his remarkable range of skills in painting, design, animation and fabrication, by painstakingly creating digitally inspired, handmade sculptures and paintings.

The exhibit, which runs through April of 2016, is showcased at Lambert with support from Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis.  The Terminal 1 Ticketing Lounge exhibit space is part of the Lambert Art and Culture Program which supports art works and cultural experiences throughout Lambert Airport. For the latest art installations and exhibitions, visit flystl.com/art.

'Tis the Season: Lambert Photo of the Week

A decorator from Three French Hens adorns a Christmas tree in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Level Tuesday. 

Like the classic Christmas song goes,“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go!”  We are still a couple weeks away from Thanksgiving, but Holiday cheer and themed decorations seemed to pop up all over St. Louis this week!  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was no exception.  In a process that takes weeks, garland, bows, wreaths, ornaments, boughs of holly and even Santa’s sleigh are beginning to make appearances on site.  The crown jewel, standing over 9 feet tall, is the glittery tree in Terminal 1.  With seemingly too many adornments to count, the installation took nearly four hours and three people to complete.  The airlines, vendors and concessionaires at the airport are also beginning to look merry and bright with their own festivities.  Even if you don’t yet see holiday decorations in all parts of the airport just yet, the waft of seasonal flavors from one of our six Starbucks coffee shops will have you holly and jolly in no time. 

Window Seat: Lambert Photo of the Week


A view of Lambert’s ATC Tower from the cockpit window of an XTRA Airways’ Boeing 737-800 parked outside Concourse B.

The new charter for Apple Vacations, XTRA Airways, had an introductory event at Lambert Airport this week.  Travel agents and their clients could visit sponsor booths and tour the airline’s 168-seat Boeing 737-800 jetliner.  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is kicking off a new year of charter vacation travel with a season that will offer more flights and one of the newest of planes for trips to Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean.  In December, XTRA Airways will begin operating solely from St. Louis, charting flights to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Liberia, Costa Rica, and Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco, Mexico.    Daily, year-round service to Cancun, Mexico, operated by Frontier Airlines, rounds out the 2015-2016 schedule of vacation charter destinations.  The pilots may have the best seat in the house, but we think any seat is a great one when you’re on your way to a vacation! 

New Plane Highlights Expanded Season of Vacation Travel from Lambert

Lambert-St. Louis International is kicking off a new year of charter vacation travel with a season that will offer more flights and one of the newest of planes for trips to Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean.

In partnership with Apple Vacations, Lambert is hosting a familiarization tour on November 2 for hundreds of travel agents and their clients to see a Boeing 737-800 from XTRA Airways, which will operate solely from St. Louis to five charter destinations beginning December 2015.  XTRA Airways will operate flights on its 168-seat 737-800 to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Liberia, Costa Rica, and Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco, Mexico. Departure days and duration of service varies for each destination through December of 2016.   

Daily, year-round service to Cancun Mexico, operated by Frontier Airlines, rounds out the 2015-2016 schedule of vacation charter destinations.  Visit applevacations.com for the latest destination and ticket information.

“We’re excited to see a schedule that provides the highest number of seats to these exciting vacation destinations that we’ve seen in years,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.

"Apple Vacations is happy to be working with XTRA Airways for our Exclusive Vacation Flights this season from St Louis," said Tim Mullen, President of Apple Vacations. "We think XTRA Airways' exceptional service record and on-board hospitality will make Apple Vacationers extra happy en route to their vacation destination."

Based in Miami, FL, XTRA Airways has been a leading provider of safe and reliable group air charter flights operating Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft.  Visit xtraairways.com for more information.

Clean Sweep: Lambert Photo of the Week

A sweeper makes runs to clear debris from a newly reconstructed section of the airfield ramp.

Fall brings closure to a lot of weather-sensitive airfield projects at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. One of those was the reconstruction of the north apron at the L-pad; an area just east of Concourse C.  The pavement had reached or surpassed its designated lifespan, and this week marked the end of the final phase of the improvement project that replaced 27,000 sq. yards of concrete. Even with a new and smooth concrete finish, there's still one more job before the area can be re-opened.  A pavement sweeper is brought in to make sure the new section is debris-free and meets the same safe conditions as the rest of the airfield's runways and taxiways.  This new section of pavement is also the deicing area for Southwest Airlines.  The black and white painted sections are designated to stage deicing trucks, which could be called up for duty any day now with the first frost of winter fast approaching.

Southwest Adds Three New Destinations from St. Louis for spring 2016

Southwest Airlines is expanding its operations in St. Louis with the announcement of new non-stop service between Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) and Pittsburgh, PA (PIT), Des Moines, IA (DSM) and Wichita, KS (ICT) in the spring of 2016. In all, Southwest is adding eight daily departures to its late spring schedule across six destinations.  

Daily non-stop service to Pittsburgh begins March 10, 2016 and will replace service currently being offered by American Airlines (previously, US Air) until December 2015.   

Beginning April 12, 2016 Southwest will begin service to two new markets for St. Louis, with two daily flights each to Des Moines and Wichita. That same day, Southwest will begin year-round service to Seattle, WA (SEA), upgraded from seasonal service in the summer in past years. The airline is also adding a second daily flight to Tulsa, OK (TUL) as well as a second daily flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (MSP). Tickets to all these destinations are available now on Southwest.com.

 “Southwest has continued to show its commitment to St. Louis with this announcement of new flights which really expands our connectivity across the U.S.” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.  “We quickly regain Pittsburgh service and we gain new and important Midwest markets in Des Moines and Wichita, to allow travelers to fly direct or to connect through St. Louis to every major market in the Southwest system.”

The new flights are in addition to two other new destinations announced earlier this year.  Southwest will begin a daily non-stop flight between STL and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Los Angeles, CA on November 22. In early January, Southwest will begin daily service between STL and Little Rock, AR (LIT).


When the April 12 flights begin, Southwest will serve 39 destinations from St. Louis for a total of 97 daily departures. Lambert will be the 12th busiest airport in the Southwest system.

Fall Flight: Lambert Photo of the Week

Fall colors are on full display in the sky as storm clouds clear and the sun rises over Lambert Airfield on Friday. 

The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler, and even the sky appeared to take inspiration from the color-changing fall leaves Friday morning.   The sunrise gave a truly beautiful display, as clearing storm clouds became a vibrant palette of oranges, reds, yellows and purples.  Fall is definitely here, and it’s a season that can make us want to cozy-up with pumpkin spice and the ones we love.  Those of us who work at Lambert Airport get to be a part of bringing people together every single day- and also serving those favorite fall flavors our travelers crave.  In passenger statistics just released, year-to-date through September, Lambert has boarded 4.75 million passengers- up from 4.67 million a year ago.  With more people to make happy, and new destinations on their way, the changes fall is bringing are definitely good ones!

September Boosts Lambert Passenger Traffic for Third Quarter of 2015

(Oct. 22, 2015 - St. Louis) Lambert-St. Louis International Airport saw a strong month of passenger traffic in September with an increase in passenger enplanements of 4.1 percent over the same time period a year ago (521,851 vs 510,709). The boost helped increase 2015’s third quarter enplanements by 3.1 percent. Year-to-date through September, Lambert has boarded 4.75 million passengers compared to 4.67 million a year ago for a 1.7 percent increase. 

Check out the latest year-to-date statistics here.  

Just prior to the third quarter, Lambert added new non-stop destinations to Austin, TX (Southwest), Portland, OR (Alaska) and Jackson, TN (Air Choice One). Additional service to Seattle, WA on Alaska Airlines also carried through the summer months in 2015. 

On November 22, Southwest will launch daily Boeing 737 service to John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA), which will provide a second airport option in the Los Angeles market.  In early January, Southwest will launch two daily non-stops to Little Rock, AR (LIT).

Southwest Airlines is the largest carrier at Lambert, with a 53 percent market share through September 2015. American Airlines is second in market share in St. Louis with 20 percent. Delta is third with 13 percent. Lambert served 12.4 million passengers in 2014 with more than 250 daily departures to 67 non-stop destinations during the peak travel season.

Signing Off: Lambert Photo of the Week

US Airways’ name has been removed throughout the property in preparation for completion of the merger into American Airlines on Saturday.

Airports all around the country are removing signage for US Airways, as the name is set to disappear this weekend when the merger with American Airlines is made final.  The last US Airways flight arrives in Philadelphia Saturday morning.  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport began the process of removing the airline’s signage throughout the property early in the week, when the US Airways ticket counters and gate areas in Terminal 1 were rebranded for American Airlines.  Both USAirways.com and AA.com have a large “Becoming One Airline” front page section with helpful information for travelers adjusting to the transition. The merger now makes American the world’s largest airline.

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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