HIGHFILL, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year and thousands of flights across the country are canceled due to the winter storm.
Alex English with the Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) said there are a few options to get you to and from the airport including, nearby hotels with shuttles, rideshare apps, or driving yourself. Once you get off the interstate, the roads to XNA are taken care of by Benton County road crews.
Melody Kwok with Benton County said this is one of the areas with the highest traffic in the country, so the roads surrounding XNA will be the most treated.
“We’re going to hit those really hard and just be careful though because not everybody is used to weather like this. It’s going to be really, really windy as well, so it’s going to shake your car a bit. I would just be a little bit more careful,” said Kwok.
English said when there’s snow, ice, or low temperatures there is always concern about the roads around the airport including the runway. English said XNA’s team has been using chemicals to treat runways, and airlines are deicing planes.
They don’t expect there to be any other weather-related problems leaving XNA. Instead, your flight might be delayed or canceled because of weather-related issues at airports around the country.
Make sure to allow enough time to get to the airport, and then plenty more time to go through TSA.
English said you’ll want to be at the airport two hours before your flight, especially if you’re checking a bag. She said boarding starts 45 minutes before takeoff.
Remember, liquids like perfume or drinks can’t be more than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on or you’ll have to toss them. No firearms, ammunition, alcohol over 140 proof, knives, or box cutters are allowed in your carry-on.
English said it helps speed up the TSA process if you’re up-to-date on the rules which is extra important now because she said the airport is busier than it has been the last couple of holiday seasons.
“It’s been really exciting and the energy has been really warm. I think there have been a lot of families, loved ones and friends that haven’t been able to see each other during the holidays for quite some time. It feels much more like pre-pandemic energy and people are excited,” said English.
English said the holiday cheer in the air is what makes working at the airport special this time of year. Don’t forget your holiday spirits and a photo ID like your driver’s license or passport.