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The Heat is On - Summer Travel has Arrived!

June 5, 2012

  © Houston Airport System

If you couldn’t tell by the mosquitoes, blazing hot sun and crowds everywhere you turn, summer is here! But, don’t worry, we’re here to help with a few travel tips to help get you and your family through both George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) Airports as best as we can.

Know Before You Go
Whether you’re a novice traveler or seasoned traveler, it’s always a good idea to know the latest rules from the Transportation Security Administration, better known as the TSA. Their website is filled with tips for getting though security and letting you know what you can and cannot pack in your carry-on luggage and/or on your checked luggage. For example:

• 3-1-1 (liquid-ban) Rules are still in effect: Click Here

• Passengers 75 years & older can now wear light jackets & shoes through the checkpoint: Click Here

• Children 12 years & under can now go through the checkpoint with their shoes on. For more info on traveling with children, Click Here

• For a list of Prohibited Items, Click Here 

• ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints: Click Here 

• Find out more about the TSA Pre✓™ Program: Click Here

Arrive Early
We always encourage Houston travelers throughout the year to arrive early, but in the summer months, there are an extra amount of travelers at the airports with families that do not travel often and need extra time getting through the airport. We strongly suggest you allow extra time for the following:

• Unpredictable traffic: Whether you are driving to or from the airport, we highly encourage you to check your traffic route. This can help you decide if you need to leave earlier or if you need to change your route. If you’re driving to the airport, please consider leaving early. We don’t want you missing your flight. A great website to use to monitor traffic is Houston TranStar. They also have mobile phone applications too.

• Parking:

o For HOU: The main parking garage at Hobby Airport tends to fill up quickly. You may need to resort to parking in ecopark 1 or ecopark 2. You can monitor parking in real-time on the Hobby Homepage; just Click Here.

o For IAH: Parking is usually plentiful. You can choose to park in the parking garages near the terminals or at the ecopark economy lot located off of JFK Blvd. Real-time monitoring is also available on the IAH Homepage; just Click Here.

• Checking-in: Several airlines now charge for checking your luggage. You’ll need to make sure all is taken care of at the ticket counter, including weighing your bags. Plus, ask any questions you might have.

• Security wait time: More people equals longer wait times at the security checkpoint.

o For IAH: TSA at IAH is recommending domestic travelers to arrive at least two (2) hours before their flight is scheduled to depart and at least three (3) hours for international travelers.

o For HOU: TSA at HOU is recommending travelers to arrive at least an hour and half (1 ½ hours) to two (2) hours before their flight is scheduled to depart.

• Finding your gate: If you’re at HOU, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, if you’re at IAH, the five-terminal airport can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you don’t know the airport very well. Make sure you give yourself enough time to arrive, so you and the big airport can get acquainted. Airlines are known to change gates from time-to-time.

• Try to relax before your flight: After all of this, who doesn’t want to sit down and unwind a little? Grab a meal, a snack and/or a drink. Or, do some shopping! We’ve got plenty of restaurants and shops! Which brings us to…

Need Help Finding Something at the Airports? Use Our “Search For…” Web Tool
There is a lot to see and do at Houston’s Airports and we’ve got you covered! has a great search tool to help you decide where to dine, shop and find services that you need and that are closest to you at the click of a few buttons. The tool can be found in the middle of the homepage, right at the bottom. Choose which airport you’re at, what you’d like to find and what terminal you are in. If you need more help – Tweet us!

Twitter to the Rescue!
Do you have a question that is not listed in this article or that you simply can’t find on our website or anywhere else? Tweet us we will do our best to help you when we can.

• For IAH, follow us @iah:

• For Hobby, follow us @HobbyAirport:

Construction at the Airports
Houston Airports are growing, there’s no doubt about it!

• At HOU: The U-Ramp is still under construction at Hobby Airport. Although there is minimal impact to operations, traffic is still being re-routed through the parking garage. The upper level entrance hours are 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. If you need to arrive to the airport earlier than 5:00 a.m., or later than 9:00 p.m., please use the lower level entrance. For more information on the construction at Hobby, visit

• At IAH: IAH is undergoing major construction on both Terminal B and Terminal D. To get the latest on construction projects at the airports, Click Here.

Use Our FREE Passenger Pick Up Lots
Both Airports have FREE Passenger Pick Up Waiting Lots. Follow the purple signs and avoid circling the airport while you wait for your party’s phone call to let you know they are ready to be picked up at baggage claim.

• At IAH, the Pick Up Lot is located off of Will Clayton Pkwy. For more info, visit

• At HOU, the Pick Up Lot is located off of Airport Blvd. For more info, visit

Promotions at the Airports

From time-to-time, the restaurants and shops at both IAH and Hobby Airport offer discounts and specials for everyone to enjoy.

• For IAH, visit us at or follow us on Twitter @iah.

• For HOU, visit us at or follow us on Twitter @HobbyAirport.


With all that said – we hope you enjoy your summer travels!


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