[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Index]
"Packed Oakland airport pushes passenger lines outside"
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Packed Oakland airport pushes passenger lines outside
By Paul T. Rosynsky
The Oakland (CA) Tribune
OAKLAND - Air travelers flying Southwest Airlines out of Oakland
International Airport during the next week should remember to bring two
things - identification and a warm coat.
The ID is to get on a plane.
The coat is to keep warm while waiting to check bags.
A combination of increased passengers, the federal government's stringent
screening procedures and an outdated, overused terminal has left patrons at
the airport waiting outside to check bags for Southwest flights.
At worst, lines to check bags occasionally have extended outside, along the
airport's curbside all the way to the Terminal 1 entrance and back again. In
those cases, some passengers have had to wait up to an hour to check bags.
The Transportation and Security Administration is partially at fault, as are
holiday gifts, airport officials say.
New screening guidelines established in the summer - which banned large
bottles of liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on bags - has forced more
passengers to the baggage check-in line.
Holiday gift giving is also a culprit, as more passengers have more things
to pack into their suitcases.
A terminal designed to accommodate only half of the passengers it currently
does also adds length to the line.
"Currently, we don't have enough space in the bag check-in queuing area and
extending the lines outside, under canopies, is our only option at this
point," said Rosemary Barnes, an airport spokesperson. "We are aware of the
inconvenience to Southwest's passengers ... and continue to ask for their
As originally built, Terminal 2 was designed to carry about 4 million
passengers a year. Currently, more than 8.5 million pass through the
terminal each year.
It gets even more crowded during the holidays.
>From Dec. 20 to Jan. 3, at least 48,000 passengers are expected to pass
through Oakland International Airport, with about 60 percent using Southwest
Terminal 2, Barnes said.
While the airport was able to weave its passenger security lines inside a
new baggage claim building, there is no room inside for the bag check-in
Airport officials believe completion of the Terminal 2 renovation this
summer will prevent a recurrence. That renovation will expand Southwest's
bag check-in area.
Until then, officials recommend arriving at the airport at least 90 minutes
Do you have an opinion about this story?
Share it with other readers in our CAA Discussion Forums
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you have any queries regarding this issue, please Email us at email@example.com