Get Ready to Soar into the Holidays at AUS: Stress-Free Travel Tips, Yummy Bites, and Fun Times Await!

The holiday travel season is here!


With around one million more travelers coming through AUS this year than last, for a record-breaking 22 million total passengers predicted for this year, AUS encourages passengers to give themselves the gift of stress-free travel by: planning ahead, arriving early, and following airport travel tips!


Give yourself extra time, arrive early!

  • For those using general TSA screening, arrive at least 2.5 hours before departure for domestic flights and at least 3 hours before departure for international flights.

  • If you have TSA Pre-Check, Clear, and aren’t checking bags, we recommend following TSA’s general rule of thumb for all airport travelers across the country regardless of which airport they’re departing from: Arrive 2 hours before your departure.


Should I park at AUS or be dropped off?

Whatever option you go with, AUS has tactics that make it straightforward.

  • AUS just made parking your vehicle on-site a whole lot easier! Through the airport’s parking system website,, you can save a spot in advance with simply a few clicks. And yes, all on-airport campus parking options are available! No need to stress, reservations can be booked up to 24 hours before travelers’ arrival time at the airport.

  • Keep in mind that spots tend to fill up fast during holiday periods, so it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to transportation options. If you decide you want to park your vehicle at AUS day of the flight, it is highly advised to check real-time parking availability with ABIA Parking before coming to AUS.

  • Drop off on the other hand should be simple! Remember, if you see a long line of cars heading to “Departures” as you approach the airport, veer left and go to “Arrivals” for a quicker drop-off; once dropped off, just head upstairs to go to your airline ticket counter and security screening.


Before packing your bag, read this!

Make the hard work put into packing (and preparing gifts) count.

  • Even though wrapped gifts aren’t prohibited at TSA Checkpoints, if your bag gets flagged in the screening process, TSA agents will have to unwrap your gifts as a security measure. To avoid this inconvenience, we highly recommend that travelers wait until they arrive at their destination to wrap gifts.

  • Do not bring a firearm with you to the checkpoint, under no circumstances are firearms allowed at the security checkpoints. Keep them away from the area and use the TSA’s guidelines on how to pack firearms properly.

  • Before leaving the house, check if what you packed adheres to the TSA rules and guidelines for all types of luggage. If you were to have prohibited items, like liquids exceeding 3.4oz (yes, even bottled water), you could delay not only yourself but also other passengers.


All that travel talk making you hungry?

No problem! Our terminal is a gateway to an assortment of amazing restaurant experiences that will please your appetite.

  • You are sure to get a taste of Austin with over 30 local brands and concepts in the Barbara Jordan Terminal. Check out the food options or other in-terminal experiences at AUS in one click!

  • You can also bring solid, non-liquid food with you in your checked luggage! You just can’t bring any food that isn’t a solid – AKA if you can smear it, spread it, spray it, or pour it, it’s not allowed. So, although your avocado will pass the test, the guacamole will not! Remember, you can always turn an avocado into guac, but you can't turn guac back into an avocado.


Arriving early means free time to explore!

As a reward for showing up early, we provide numerous experiences to enjoy and see while you wait for your flight. Isn't it lovely when you are not the very last one to board or you don't miss your flight completely?

  • At AUS, we love offering music just as much as we love spreading some holiday joy! In the spirit of that, we have an array of talented musicians performing special holiday music all month long. Of course, on December 24th and December 25th, no performances will be going on. Our hardworking teams & local musicians deserve to spend time with loved ones like everyone else. Don't miss out, be sure to visit our website to check the line-ups.

  • Check out our art collection! We are home to permanent art installations, like the viral Intermediary Departures gate, and eight rotating art galleries + spaces. Find them all on our digital map.


To wrap up, keep in mind that we are all human. No matter the person, this time of year can cause stress for a variety of reasons. So, we ask that you show kindness to all AUS employees and people around you. As always, AUS will be scheduling additional Department of Aviation staff during this busy period to help in the terminal with line management, TSA support, and passenger navigation. Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable experience at the airport for everyone. If you have a question, feel free to ask an airport employee. Let's work together to keep the happy holidays, happy!

The AUS Betty Sue character is smiling with a Santa hat on her head; there are ornaments and gift illustrations in the background. Text reads: Holiday travel tips