Holiday Traveling Tips with BHM
Ready to fly? Let’s Go! It is the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays. At the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM), we know the holiday travel season looks different and we want our passengers to know that we have been doing everything we can to promote a safe and healthy environment for travel through our airport. To help take the stress out of your travel, below are answers to frequently asked questions during this time.
Q: How can I protect myself while traveling?
A: To protect yourself while traveling, follow CDC guidelines and other helpful tips by doing the following:
- Wear a face covering.
- Use mobile boarding, contactless payments and carry-on luggage to reduce touchpoints.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing from others not in your household when possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Q:Are face coverings required at BHM?
A: At BHM, we encourage all travelers, employees and visitors to wear a face covering following the guidelines set by the statewide health order. All airlines at BHM are requiring face coverings. Check with your airline for their specific policy.
Q: What is BHM doing to promote health and safety in the terminal?
A: We are doing around-the-clock cleaning and sanitation throughout the terminal to ensure that our passengers and workers are safe. We are utilizing EPA-approved cleaning solutions and doing deep cleanings each night with electrostatic spray technology. Protective shields are in place at customer service counters, hand sanitizer stations are strategically placed throughout the terminal along with signage to promote social distancing.
The airlines have also implemented several changes to their operations to ensure passenger safety such as cleaning all high-touch areas before every flight, and requiring passengers and employees to wear face coverings. High-Efficiency Particle Filter (HEPA) filtration systems are also being used on aircraft to clean air of 99.9% of particles including bacteria and viruses, refreshing cabin air every few minutes.
In addition, TSA has implemented several changes to its security screening process at checkpoints nationwide to reduce the potential for cross-contamination in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more here.
Q: What am I allowed to bring on the plane in my carry-on?
A: TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in carry-on-bags until further notice. All other liquids, gels and aerosols are limited to the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces. Be sure to check your bag for prohibited items and review TSA’s website for information on what is permitted through security checkpoints.
Passengers traveling with food should be familiar with what can be transported in carry-on and checked baggage. TSA says, “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, pack it in a checked bag.” If you’re traveling with food in your carry-on, keep it in a separate clear plastic bag and place it in a separate bin at the checkpoint, as food items can sometimes trigger a security alarm. More holiday tips from TSA can be found here.
Wrapped gifts are not prohibited, however TSA recommends that you wrap your gifts on arrival or ship them ahead to avoid delays at screening. If an item cannot be cleared through screening and needs to be further evaluated, unwrapping can cause delays for everyone.
Q: How long before my flight should I arrive at the airport?
A: We recommend that you arrive at least 90 minutes before scheduled arrivals. While elements of the TSA screening process may take longer due to COVID-19, BHM has not seen an increase in checkpoint wait times. Visit TSA’s website for the latest screening protocols.
Q: What restaurants and shops are open?
- Chick-Fil-A (Monday-Saturday) – Concourse A/B food court
- Red Mountain Grill (Monday-Sunday) – Concourse B
- Great American Bagel (Sunday) – Concourse A/B food court
- Hudson News Alabama Theatre Store – Concourse A/B food court
- Hudson News Vulcan Store – Concourse B
- Ebony Newsstand – Concourse C
- Talladega Grille – Concourse C
*please note hours of operations may vary according to passenger activity.
Q: How can I make sure that my flight hasn’t been cancelled?
A: Passengers should contact their airline directly about any changes and developments to their schedule before arriving at the airport.
Q: What parking options are available at BHM?
A: Convenient parking is available in the parking deck directly across from the terminal.
Although COVID-19 has changed the way we currently travel, passengers can still expect an easy and convenient experience at BHM. For more information of how BHM is keeping passengers and airport workers safe, please visit the BHM Info and Updates page and learn more about our Let’s Go Campaign. Happy Holidays!