Oakland Adds Security Lanes, Checkpoint Staff for Holiday Travel
Contact: Jo Murray, 510-238-8430 or 800-492-9786 (pager)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland International Airport plans to open new lanes at security checkpoints and to bring in additional staff to speed up security screening procedures during the Memorial Day weekend. The airport expects approximately 40,000 travelers a day on Thursday, Friday and Tuesday, a 20 percent increase over the average daily total of 33,000.
Three additional security lanes will open Thursday morning, giving the airport a total of six lanes in Terminal 1 and five lanes in Terminal 2. There currently are four lanes in each terminal, up from three lanes prior to Sept. 11.
The airport also is adding staff to answer questions about security procedures and to remind passengers to place coats, laptop computers and other electronic devices in special plastic bins for security screening.
"We place a high priority on customer service," said Rosemary Barnes, spokesperson for Oakland International Airport. "We have accelerated our construction schedule so the additional security checkpoints will be ready at the start of Memorial Day weekend. In addition, we have learned that most bottlenecks develop when the areas for people to remove laptops and collapse baby strollers are too small, or when passengers are unfamiliar with the new requirements. We believe the combination of extra staff and newly remodeled and expanded checkpoints will help the lines move faster."
In addition, the following tips will make traveling easier for passengers:
Allow extra time to check baggage and go through security lanes. Oakland International Airport normally recommends two hours for domestic flights departing prior to 9 a.m. and 90 minutes during the remainder of the day, but additional time may be needed on the heaviest travel days. Travelers on international flights should arrive three hours prior to departure. Check with your airline for advice on specific flights.
Remember that on-airport parking lots are expected to fill by Thursday morning. Travelers can get current on-airport parking status by calling TravInfo at 817-1717 from any Bay Area area code, then dialing Option "5114" for Oakland International Airport when prompted. Travelers also can visit the airport's Web site at http://www.oaklandairport.com for current parking lot conditions. For general on-airport parking information, call 1-888-I-FLY-OAK (435-9625). Travelers should watch for roadway signage at the airport entrance that will indicate which parking lots still have available space.
For toll-free information assistance on public transportation and alternative parking lots, call 1-888-I-FLY-OAK (435-9625) or visit the airport's Web site at http://www.oaklandairport.com.
Consider allowing additional time to reach the airport because of construction work on Interstate 880 and roads leading to the airport.
Have your reservation locator or flight number and a photo ID available for the ticket agent or skycap and keep it with you at all times. You will need to present a ticket or electronic confirmation of your reservation at the security checkpoint and again before boarding. A photo ID will be required once again before boarding.
Remember that passengers are now restricted to one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a laptop, briefcase or handbag.
Maintain control of your baggage at all times - unattended bags are subject to confiscation.
Clearly mark your name and phone number inside and outside of all carry-on and checked baggage and remove old destination tags. Free baggage ID tags are available at all airline ticket counters.
Your carry-on baggage should contain necessities such as medicine, cash, jewelry, passports, visas, business papers and valuables. Check everything else. For a list of permitted and prohibited carry-on items, go to Good Rules for Flying located on the airport's Web site at http://www.oaklandairport.com, under the Traveler Advisories link or to the FAA's Web site at http://www.faa.gov/newsroom.
Safety and security are top priorities for all airport personnel. Jokes and off-hand comments about illegal activities can result in an arrest.
Check with your airline before coming to the airport to reconfirm your flight schedule. Also, you can visit the FAA's air traffic Web site at http://www.fly.faa.gov to check on airport status across the country. To view Oakland International Airport's page, from the air traffic home page click on Southwestern States, then click on OAK.
Oakland International Airport served 11.4 million passengers and handled more than 600,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2001. Oakland International has nearly 200 flights a day on 13 domestic and international carriers to 34 nonstop destinations, including the Hawaiian Islands, the New York area, Atlanta and Mexico. The airport is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland.