MEDFORD, Ore. — With summer now underway, many people from Southern Oregon will be flying out of town for vacation — and most of them will be going through the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport. The Jackson County Airport Authority says that the added traffic could make for longer wait times at security.
More than 1 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018, the Airport Authority said, and it expects a "record breaking" year again. In May of last year, the airport saw 84,825 people — this year the number increased by almost 10 percent, to more than 93,000 passengers.
"The combination of a consecutive record breaking growth, and the busy summer travel season means passengers should give themselves a little extra time when flying out of the Medford Airport," the Airport Authority said.
Passengers are advised to arrive two hours before their scheduled departure time to allow for plenty of time to park, check in, and get through security.
In addition to recommending a little extra lead time, the Airport Authority has offered a few packing tips to help get travelers through security faster:
- Fireworks - Fireworks are not allowed on airplanes, in checked or carry-on baggage.
- Golf Clubs - There is no better time than the summer to hit the links, so here are a few tips for traveling with golfing gear. Before flying, clean off clubs to reduce the likelihood of triggering screening equipment alarms. Remember to pack clubs in a travel bag and consider leaving it unlocked.
- Summer Campers - Every summer, thousands of kids travel to summer or scout camps. Be sure to check the camp's suggested supply list against the TSA prohibited items list to avoid headaches at the security checkpoints. Items like pocketknives and mace are not permitted in carry-on luggage. Parents and camp counselors can call ahead to airlines for permission to escort children to and from boarding gates. Children under 18 are not required to show identification.
- Sporting Goods - Summer is also a great time to go scuba diving, catch some fish or go camping. Scuba tanks are not allowed on commercial airlines for safety reasons. Consider renting a tank at your destination. Sporting gear — such as bats, golf clubs and lacrosse sticks — must be checked. Campers traveling with gas containers for grills or stoves must find another way to send them, because gas containers cannot be checked or carried onto a plane.
- Lotions, Spray and Foods - Outdoor enthusiasts will pack sun tan lotion, bug repellent and other skin-care products. In general, it is fine to pack these items in either checked or carry-on bags, but travelers should check with their airline before flying with aerosol canisters as some canisters are flammable. Summer travelers who want to bring back favorite foods from their destination can do so, but all liquids going through the checkpoint must not be larger than 3.4 ounces, and must fit in a quart-sized bag. Remove these items from carry-on and place in a bin.
- Packing Bags - Use the bins at the Security Checkpoint to keep things organized. TSA has enhanced security measures, which may add a few minutes to the screening process. To make the security process flow a bit more smoothly:
- All liquids going through the checkpoint must not be larger than 3.4 ounces, and must fit in a quart-sized bag. Remove these items from carry-on and place in a bin.
- Shoes must be in a bin by themselves, or placed directly on the conveyor belt (nothing on top or below the shoes).
- If wearing a hat, belt, coat, sweatshirt and/or scarf remove it and place in bin.
- All electronics must be removed from carry-on and placed in bin(s) — including cell phones, laptops, tablets, Kindles, and video game consoles.