Eastern Iowa Airport on track for second busiest year

Eastern Iowa Airport
Passengers interact with ticketing agents at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

Thanksgiving travel will be busy at the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), and officials say the airport is on track to record its second busiest year since 2019.

Marty Lenss, CID director, said the number of seats in the market are more than 2019 and flights are expected to be nearly full with Thanksgiving travelers.

“When comparing available seats in the market for the same Thanksgiving travel period in 2019 (Monday-Thursday), compared to this year, we have 8% more seats this year,” Mr. Lenss stated in a release. “In addition, we are seeing much larger aircraft than in 2019. The average number of seats per departure is at 109 per flight. In 2019 that number was 78 seats per flight.”

That is a 37% increase, which is a direct reflection of the airlines’ pilot shortage issue, Mr. Lenss said. The airlines are removing most of the smaller, 50-seat regional jets from their fleets, replacing them with larger mainline aircraft.

“What we are seeing is that our airline partners continue to invest in the CID market – and the region’s passengers are responding,” he said. “It is essential people use CID to not only maintain the air service we have, but to show airlines there are opportunities here to add service.”

Mr. Lenss said even during the pandemic, airlines added service: Allegiant to Sarasota Bradenton (SRQ) and Frontier to Orlando International (MCO), giving CID nonstop flights to 16 destinations.

For Thanksgiving travelers, here are some travel tips:

  • Arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your departure. Even though CID is smaller than O’Hare International Airport, if you are here early, you can relax on the concourse at one of the airport’s restaurants/bars: The High Porch and Cedar Ridge Barrel Room.
  • Check the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/travel to read about travel tips for going through security checkpoint (the 3-1-1- liquid rule still applies), and what is allowed in your carry-on or checked luggage.
  • CID offers full-service valet parking: Go to https://flycid.com/valet-parking/ to reserve the curbside service.
  • When you are picking up a passenger – park for free in the airport’s cell phone waiting lot. Watch for the signage when you enter the airport, it is located kitty corner from the “In Transit” statue of running people.
  • For flight delays and cancellations, it is always best to monitor your airline website. Sign up for their email or text alerts for the latest information.
  • And, finally, pack your patience. Travel can be stressful and even more so at the holidays. Everyone at the airport is working to ensure you have a pleasant experience and safe travel.