Members of the extended Strout family greet each other on Wednesday at the exit of the C Concourse.
Before the long weekend of reunions, there are the first reunions...at the airport. Wednesday was a huge day at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for friends and families greeting loved ones arriving on flights for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Young and old waited just outside the Airport’s three concourse exits hoping to get the first glimpses of familiar faces walking their way. This is what makes this time of year so special. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, with approximately 40,000 passengers traveling through the Airport. But it’s not the busiest. Sunday is even busier for airlines and airports as most people have to get home to their usual work and school routines on Monday.
Alaska Airlines announced new non-stop service between Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) and Portland International Airport (PDX) that will begin July 1, 2015.
The daily flights between St. Louis, MO and Portland, OR will be served on new 76-seat Embraer E-175 jets operated by Sky West Airlines. Portland has been one of Lambert’s highest-demand markets without year-round non-stop service.
“Portland has been a key focus for us as a destination because of the strong demand within our business community. Portland is also a top market for leisure and vacation travel, as well,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert Director.
Alaska Airlines, operating out of Lambert’s C Concourse, has offered non-stop service between St. Louis and Seattle since 2010. Last month, Alaska announced it’s expanding its Seattle service this summer with two daily roundtrip flights.
Alaska Airlines announced that the new E175 aircraft were purchased specifically for its St. Louis service and other new destinations in its network system.
"The E175 is new for the Alaska brand and fills a specific need to serve ‘long, thin routes' – destinations that are too distant for our regional aircraft, but currently don't have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet," said Andrew Harrison, senior vice president of planning and revenue management for Alaska Airlines. "The smaller, but spacious, E175 jet will not only open up new cities, but provide feed traffic to our Northwest hubs, while giving customers a comfortable experience on these longer flights."
The new daily service will depart PDX at 10:15 a.m. and arrive in STL at 3:55 p.m. The flight will then depart STL at 4:35, arriving in PDX at 6:45 p.m.
Introductory fares are available for purchase by December 1 for travel between July 8 and September 30, 2015 at www.alaskaair.com.
The FAA issued a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) after 10:30 Monday, Nov. 24 related police activities east of the Airport. Approximately 10 inbound flights were diverted or cancelled. Outbound flights were not affected. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport remains open. The TFR is set to expire shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.
Travelers should check with their individual airlines for the latest flight status regarding Tuesday morning flights.
Carolers kicked off Metro’s Holiday Magic Train at the Airport’s MetroLink station this week.
Metro riders traveling to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport have a chance to catch the Holiday Magic Train now through the end of December. Metro is partnering with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to give riders a festive commute on board a MetroLink train decorated with lights, ornaments, garland, snowflakes and wreaths. Carolers helped kick off the Holiday Magic Train’s fifth year at Lambert’s Terminal 1 MetroLink station this week. Special on-board concerts are also part of the festivities scheduled for either the Red or Blue lines on November 29, December 7 and December 13. Honeyvox, Kevin Mitchel 4 and Retro Boogie are scheduled to perform on the train. Metro hsa also scheduled two high school musical groups to perform holiday concerts at Metro Transit stations on December 2 and 11. For more concert details, click here.
Two new members have joined the executive team at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport filling assistant director vacancies on the staff. Ron Stella is the new Assistant Director of Operations & Maintenance. Antonio Strong is the new Assistant Director of Finance & Accounting.
Ron Stella is the former Assistant Vice President of Operations and Facilities at T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick, Rhode Island. At Lambert, he is now supervising multiple operating departments, including Airfield and Grounds Maintenance, the Airport Operations (Communications) Center, Airport Building Maintenance, Airport and Airfield Electrical Maintenance, Housekeeping, Radio Systems, and Emergency Planning. Stella also manages compliance with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airport operations regulations and standards.
Stella is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management. He’s also held management positions at Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) and Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) in Massachusetts.
Antonio Strong, from St. Louis, was most recently a Financial Analyst III (Iowa Finance Lead) for American Water Works Company working. At Lambert, his responsibilities include strategic financial planning and analysis, budgeting and controls, airport grant management and establishing airline rates and charges.
Strong is a Certified Public Accountant with nearly 20 years’ experience in the field with management responsibilities focused on accounting, auditing, benefits administration, mergers & acquisitions, and internal controls. Prior to American Water Works, he’s held positions with Express Scripts, May Department Stores, Emerson Electric and Unisource Worldwide.
Strong is the former Vice President of External Affairs for the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc- St. Louis Chapter. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.