Airport advises travelers to come early, book in advance, wear a mask | New


As the summer travel season shifts into high gear towards the July 4th vacation, McGhee Tyson Airport officials are asking travelers to be aware of their surroundings and know the travel rules in effect.

According to an airport press release, “Airlines are adding destinations – new flights on Allegiant to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Myrtle Beach (and) resuming flights to Miami on American Airlines – and increasing frequency of flights “.

Regardless of the increase in air travel, McGhee Tyson still adheres to certain national regulations and encourages travelers to educate themselves about ground transportation resources before flying.

The airport has a full mask policy. “By federal mandate, masks are mandatory inside the airport and on planes,” the statement said.

Unlike the July 4 Travelers, that warrant isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and will be in effect until September 13, the statement said.

Given the likelihood of long queues, limited parking lots and demands for ground transportation, airport officials are asking travelers to arrive for their flights at least two hours in advance.

“We are in the process of developing a parking improvement project, which will temporarily close various areas of the parking lot,” the statement said. “If the long-term parking lot is full, additional parking can be found in our economy parking lot, located behind the Hilton Airport.”

Parking maps are available on the airport website.

McGee Tyson also recommends that people arriving at the airport book a taxi or rental car – or similar services – in advance. It posted the phone numbers of 11 different airport licensed transport companies on its social media pages.

“We’re not yet at pre-pandemic numbers, but we’re getting closer and feeling it,” Caitlin Darras said in the latest episode of “From The Runway Up,” an informational podcast that she and Becky Huckaby – both public relations managers with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority – produce.

“Our passengers are around 85% from where they were in 2019,” Darras said.

Flying is even more complex than before COIVD-19, point out Huckaby and Darras.

Rental cars are much more limited, different airports use different COVID-19 screening techniques, deadlines and other elements of air travel have changed, which is why it is important to know the regulations of each location before taking the plane, explained Huckaby and Darras.

Anyone departing or coming to Blount County can find more information at


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