Air Travelers Urged to Arrive Early, Check with Carriers and Use Mass Transit
With more than 15 million travelers expected at the Port Authority’s airports, bridges and tunnels during the 16-day holiday period, the agency is offering some advice to help prepare travelers for their holiday journeys.
“We ask travelers to help us make their trips easier by remembering to check on the status of their flights before departing for the airport and leaving adequate time to check in at the airport and pass through security,” Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Ernesto L. Butcher said. “In addition, airport parking, especially long term, may be limited. We urge our customers to take advantage of services such as AirTrain JFK or AirTrain Newark to travel to and from the airports.”
Mr. Butcher also suggested air travelers arrive 30 minutes earlier than recommended by the airlines.
Port Authority Director of Public Safety/Superintendent of Police Samuel J. Plumeri said, “As the Port Authority Police continue their mission of ensuring safety for the traveling public, we ask that our customers assist by familiarizing themselves with new baggage screening procedures and remembering to leave prohibited items at home. This will help to reduce the wait at security checkpoints.”
For the latest regulations, travelers are urged to check the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration’s Web site, www.tsa.gov.
More than 4.4 million passengers are expected at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports during the 16-day holiday period, from December 17 through January 1. About 1.9 million travelers will use Kennedy Airport, 1.5 million will use Newark Liberty Airport and 1 million will use LaGuardia Airport. This compares to last year’s volumes of 1.7 million, 1.4 million and 1 million respectively – an increase of 4.1 percent.
Travelers requiring information on airport parking or public transportation can call 800 AIR-RIDE or tune radios to 1630 AM when approaching Kennedy Airport and 530 AM when near Newark Liberty. Information also is available online at www.panynj.info.
Approximately 10.7 million vehicles are projected to use Port Authority bridges and tunnels during the holiday period. Travelers are urged to use mass transit and travel during off-peak hours whenever possible. To ease congestion, the Port Authority has suspended all scheduled construction and maintenance work at the George Washington Bridge, Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the Staten Island bridges from Friday, December 22, to Tuesday, December 26, and Friday, December 30, to Tuesday, January 2. Emergency work will be done if needed.
Mr. Butcher advised travelers who use the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station to allow extra time, as lines may be longer than normal due to higher passenger volumes.
Traffic advisory information is available online at www.panynj.gov and by calling 800 221-9903, 24 hours a day.
PATH will operate weekend schedules on Christmas Eve and Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, PATH will run trains every 15 minutes between Newark Penn Station and the World Trade Center, and every 10 minutes between the Journal Square and 33rd Street stations to accommodate passengers traveling for New Year’s Eve celebrations. On December 25 and January 1, PATH will operate on a Sunday schedule.
For detailed information about PATH schedules, call 800 234-PATH or visit www.panynj.info.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.