There will be more than 3,000 passengers flying out of The Eastern Iowa Airport for the University of Iowa Hawkeye football team’s game at the Rose Bowl.
Airport officials began working with airport stakeholders, local travel agencies and tour operators before the Hawkeyes’ had even secured the Rose Bowl berth, knowing the team would travel somewhere for a post-season bowl.
The busiest day for charters will be Tuesday, Dec. 29, when 13 public charters depart Cedar Rapids, heading to California. The first charter is scheduled to depart at 5 a.m. and the last charter flight at 8:30 p.m. There is one public charter departing on Dec. 30.
The following information is to help customers plan for their travel day:
• Arriving at the airport:
o Charter passengers are encouraged to arrive 2.5 hours before their flight departs.
o Customers on regularly-scheduled commercial flights should arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight.
o The airport’s long-term and short-term lots will be available for use by all customers. The cost to park in long-term is $6 per day. The cost to park in the short-term lot is $11 per day.
o When the long-term lot is full, overflow parking will be opened. Staff will be onsite to direct customers.
• Check-in for charter passengers
o Charter passengers are being asked to use the airport’s west-end entrance along the terminal drive – the first set of doors along terminal drive – to enter the terminal. A section of the terminal currently under construction will be opened on Dec. 29 to allow for charter passengers to check-in at a separate area from the airline ticket counters. The construction area will be transformed into a “football field” to give Hawkeye fans a jumpstart on the excitement for the Jan. 1 bowl game. Field sponsors are Mead & Hunt, Foth and Diamond Vogel.
o Staff will be on hand to help direct charter passengers to the correct ticket counters.
o Skycaps will be available to provide luggage and wheelchair assistance.
• Security checkpoint
o The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will have additional staff and equipment on hand.
o There will be two lanes for charter passengers. Customer service representatives will direct passengers.
o Passengers on regularly scheduled commercial flights will have their own security checkpoint lane. There will be no expedited screening on Dec. 29.
o Once through the checkpoint, passengers should stay in the secure area.
• Post security checkpoint
o There will be special concessions available that day throughout the B and C concourses.
o Airport staff also plans to have trivia games and other activities to enhance the festive atmosphere.