Airlines Prepare for Storms Ahead of Thanksgiving - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Airlines Prepare for Storms Ahead of Thanksgiving

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"This is kind of a depiction of the weather, as we see it right now, across the United States."

At JetBlue's system operations center, they're trying to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature - while keeping track of 750 daily flights.

"It's definitely a logistical challenge. You cannot move one piece on the chess board without it impacting others."

Along with a team of weather experts - dozens of employees use an intricate system of maps and radars to help pinpoint any potential trouble.

"This basically shows all the flights that are in the national air system right now."

Rob Maruster is JetBlue's Chief Operating Officer.

"We're acutely aware that things can go wrong relatively quickly."

That's exactly what happened on Valentine's day, 2007 during an ice storm. Thousands of passengers were left stranded, some stuck for more than six hours. Maruster says surveys have shown customers would rather have their flights delayed than canceled.

"The last thing anyone needs over Thanksgiving with two kids, strollers, and a lot of first time travelers is real-time cancellations in the airport environment so we know one thing is for sure in a week like this: people want to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible and they want to get what they paid for."

Here are some helpful tips for flying this holiday season from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport:

Arrive 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, or two hours before international flights.
 
For specific flight information, contact the airline. During periods of inclement weather, call the airline or log on to their website prior to departure to ensure that the flight is on time.
 
Be an educated traveler and know the baggage fees: log on to your airline's website to learn how much each bag may cost to check. All airlines at RTIA, except Southwest, charge between $20 and $25 for the first checked bag.
 
At the Security Checkpoint, empty your pockets, remove your shoes and jewelry, and place them in the bins provided. Remember to retrieve all your items once through screening.
 
Wear comfortable clothing, such as pants, and be prepared to remove coats, jackets and all outer wear; place them in the bin for screening.
 
But be sure to know the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on bags at www.tsa.gov. Liquids, gels and aerosols such as shampoo, lotion and perfume must be packed in a one quart plastic baggie; one baggie per customer. Remember that snow globes fall into this category of unacceptable items.
 
To save time, download boarding passes at home. If checking luggage, remember to allow enough time at the airport to check your bags. Cut-off times vary by airline.
 
The holidays are a time when many young children fly unaccompanied to their destination. If sending off a departing unaccompanied minor or a senior traveler, talk to airline ticket counter personnel if you wish to accompany the passenger to the gate. Proper identification will be required to drop off and pick up the child.
 
Pack your patience and log on to www.renoairport.com for a list of airlines and their contact information.
 
From the Reno-Tahoe International Airport

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