Capital Region International Airport 2012-13 Winter Holiday Travel Total Passenger Volumes Soaring Over Last Year

Return of Allegiant, strong advance sales on flights to Mexico spur 13% increase

LANSING ­– Capital Region International Airport forecasts an increase of approximately 13 percent in total passenger volumes for December 2012 and January 2013 during the winter holiday travel season, based on a year-to-date ridership analysis.

"During the holiday travel period, we will see thousands of travelers fly in and out of Capital Region International Airport,” said Nicole Noll-Williams, the airport's director of regional market development. “The Airport team is committed to getting passengers to their destinations safely and efficiently. Our goal is for our passengers to relax and start enjoying their holiday vacation from the moment they arrive at our airport."

Officials attribute the projected 13 percent surge in travelers at Lansing’s airport to the return of Allegiant Air service from Lansing to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) after a three-year absence. Advance sales on flights to Cancun, MX (CAN), Punta Cana, MX (PUJ), Las Vegas (LAS) and Orlando (MCO) from Lansing on Sun Country Airlines and Apple Vacation packages during the winter travel season also will contribute to the rise in passenger volumes. Advance reservations filling Sun Country flights on Apple Vacations inventory for flights from Lansing to Punta Cana, Mexico, for example, shows 93 percent occupancy in December and 83 percent occupancy in January.

“Our advice to travelers is to start making reservations now for the warm-weather destinations before these flights sell out,” Noll-Williams said. “On the busiest days some of these planes will already be 100 percent full, as carriers have better matched seating capacity to demand to cope with record fuel prices and other rising costs.”

To view the complete winter schedule or to book your flight, please visit FlyLansing.com, contact the Fly Lansing Travel Center Concierge at 517-321-4688 or go to the Fly Lansing Facebook page at facebook.com/FlyLansing.

Capital Region International Airport's holiday travel forecast far exceeds the national average projections based on data from Airlines for America (A4A), the trade group for U.S. carriers. The A4A estimates that U.S. airlines will carry nearly 42 million passengers during the holiday travel period, a reduction of less than 1 percent or about 300,000 passengers from 2011. Industry experts say the essentially flat demand nationally is based on the still-sluggish U.S. economy and high unemployment.

The A4A analysis reported the busiest days in December-January 2013 will occur before Christmas, beginning Friday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Dec. 23; the day after Christmas, Wednesday, Dec. 26; and the day after New Year’s, Wednesday, Jan. 2.

To help simplify air travelers' journeys during the busy holiday period, Noll-Williams offered a quick list of tips recommended by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that include:

  • Plan ahead. Airport security screening lines are fast and efficient in Lansing, but during peak periods, travelers should arrive at least one-hour before a flight.
  • Have ID ready. Please have identification and boarding passes out when approaching the security checkpoint.
  • Follow the 3-1-1 rule: 3-ounce bottles or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols, placed in a 1 quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag to hold all small bottles; and 1 bag per passenger. Larger quantities of liquids may be packed in checked baggage.
  • What to wear: Wear comfortable clothing and easy to slip on shoes. Take everything out of pockets before screening. Don’t wear clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security.
  • Wrapped presents: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also recommends that passengers do not travel with wrapped packages in their carry-on bags.

Travelers are encouraged to go online for more security and travel tip information (http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/11/tsa-2012-holiday-travel-tips-news.html) or to FlyLansing.com to check other travel information from Lansing, including booking flight reservations and checking arrival and departure times of scheduled flights.