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Traveling for Thanksgiving during a pandemic? Here's some advice.

Tulsa International Airport offers Thanksgiving travel tips amid pandemic
Posted at 12:29 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 10:08:13-05

TULSA, Okla. — Holidays look very different during a pandemic and that includes traveling with new rules and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As Oklahoma sees cases rising, the Tulsa International Airport is offering some advice for travelers to stay safe and avoid added holiday stress.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Oklahoma

Passengers should arrive at least 90 minutes before their departure time. Remember the TIA checkpoint does not open until 3:45 a.m.

Before heading for the airport:

  • Before booking check for international travel advisories and destination-specific COVID-19 risk. Look at state, territorial, tribal, and local government websites for domestic travel advisories and information about quarantine or other restrictions.
  • As a temporary exemption from the 3-1-1 rule, TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Since these containers exceed the standard allowance typically permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. This will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.
  • If your driver's license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state issued ID a year after expiration or 60 days after the duration of the emergency, whichever is longer.
  • Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.
  • The Airport Exit off Highway 11 is closed due to construction. Passengers need to exit at Pine or Sheridan to access the terminal building. CLICK HERE to view map showing alternate route.

At the Airport:

  • Valet Parking Services at TUL is temporarily suspended. Passengers have two convenient parking options when traveling from TUL – garage, economy.
  • The City of Tulsa Mask Mandate is in effect at the airport. Once you arrive at the airport and exit your vehicle, start wearing your mask. This includes on shuttle buses, in the baggage claim areas, waiting areas, and any time you are outside your own vehicle on airport grounds.
  • When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available with their paper or electronic boarding pass. To expedite time through the security screening process, slip on shoes are recommended. All laptops, tablets, portable DVD players or electronic items larger than a cell phone must be removed from suitcases and placed into a bin. Passengers should place keys, cell phones, pagers, and loose change in their carry-on bags before getting in the security line.
  • Travelers with medical conditions or disabilities are encouraged to call the TSA Cares toll free helpline in advance of their trip at 1-855-787-2227 to ask about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the checkpoint. It is recommended to call 72 hours in advance of the trip.
  • Shops and restaurants are operating with limited staff and under limited hours of operation. CLICK HERE to see what options are available
  • The Airport Ambassador program is temporarily suspended. The majority of our 178 volunteers are in the “high risk” group and will be invited to return once business returns to normal. If you have a question for the airport, please call 918-838-5000.

Aboard the Plane:

  • Wear your mask aboard the aircraft, practice good sanitation, and maintain as much social distance as possible. Be sure to pack extra masks for yourself and your party in your carry-on.
  • Visit the airline’s website prior to travel to see their policies and procedures.

Arriving at Destination:

  • State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival.

Returning Home:

  • When returning to TUL, if a third-party is providing transportation, advise your driver to use the cell phone parking lot or park in short-term parking located across from baggage claim on the third level of the parking garage.
  • Parking and waiting at the curb for passengers to arrive will no longer be permitted. Vehicles parked at the curb must be in the process of active loading or unloading of baggage and picking up or dropping off passengers.
  • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take action to protect others from getting sick after you return.

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