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Flying to Austin for ACL or F1 this October? Here's what you need to know

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is expecting several high-passenger days, meaning days where there are 30,000 or more departing passengers.

AUSTIN, Texas — October is expected to be a busy month in the Texas capital, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is preparing for the anticipated influx of passengers. 

Coming off of record-breaking travel volumes during the summer, the airport is preparing for more potentially record-breaking days with major events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix happening this month. AUS said the events are expected to bring in a new record of single-day departing travelers. 

High-passenger days at AUS are days with upward of 30,000 departing passengers. Such days are expected on: 

  • Sunday, Oct. 9, through Tuesday, Oct. 11, for ACL Week One
  • Sunday, Oct. 16, through Tuesday, Oct. 18, for ACL Week Two
  • Thursday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 21, for Formula One
  • Sunday, Oct. 23, through Wednesday, Oct. 26, for Formula One

AUS shared some tips on how travelers can prepare for the busy days: 

When to arrive at AUS

  • Passengers using general Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening should arrive at least 2.5 hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours before departure for international flights.
  • Passengers that need to check luggage, return a rental car or complete other activities before joining the TSA security line should arrive even earlier.
  • TSA PreCheck and Clear users can expect a faster security process than those using general TSA screening. On-site TSA PreCheck enrollment is now offered to departing passengers after they are cleared through security through a new enrollment program, which you can learn more about online.
  • Highways near the airport are expected to be busy, especially during the Formula One race weekend. Passengers should plan accordingly for their route and travel time to the airport.

Security screening and packing

  • AUS has four security screening checkpoints and all checkpoints lead to all gates. The checkpoints open at 3 a.m. and TSA PreCheck and Clear are available at Checkpoints 1 and 2 West.
  • AUS Department of Aviation staff will be throughout the terminal to assist passengers.
  • The TSA has reported that AUS passengers continue to bring a record number of guns to security checkpoints this year. Bringing prohibited items, like firearms and liquids exceeding 3.4 oz. will cause delays for passengers. Passengers can visit the TSA website for guidance on how to pack and what items are allowed in carry-on luggage.
  • Event promotional items, bulky souvenirs and giveaways should be packed in carry-on luggage to prevent delays in the checked baggage security screening process.

RELATED: Six guns found at Austin Bergstrom-International Airport TSA checkpoints within a week

Parking and dropping off passengers

  • Check out the airport's parking website if you're planning to park at AUS. You can reserve a parking space and check for real-time parking availability before arriving at the airport.
  • Passengers should budget in extra arrival time for shuttle service to the terminal as shuttle service to the terminal runs approximately every 15-20 minutes.
  • Use either the upper level for departures or the lower level for arrivals to drop off passengers. And vice versa - if you're picking up someone and the lower level for arrivals is backed up, have them go to the upper-level departures and pick them up there.

Mobility assistance and accessibility needs

Passengers who require wheelchair assistance need to contact their airline prior to their travel date to set up the service. 

Learn more about accessibility services at AUS, including TSA screening procedures, parking options, terminal curbside rideshare pick-up from the airport's Mobility Assistance Zone, and other travel tips on the airport accessibility webpage.

RELATED: Here's a look at the lineup for this year's ACL Fest Nights

Checking into your flight

  • Passengers without checked luggage can bypass the busy ticket counters and head immediately to TSA screening checkpoints using these time-saving flight check-in options:
  • Use a mobile boarding pass to skip the airline ticket counters.
  • Use a self-service kiosk located inside the terminal to print boarding passes.
  • In addition to traditional check-in procedures, some airlines offer outside curbside check-in on the upper level.

Allegiant and Frontier travelers: Know your terminal

Passengers flying Allegiant or Frontier will depart from the South Terminal, which is a separate terminal located near US 183 and Burleson Road, at 10000 Logistics Lane and is not accessible from the main Barbara Jordan Terminal.

Allegiant and Frontier passengers are encouraged to park onsite at the South Terminal to save time.

To get the most out of the Austin airport and find your way around, check out the AUS digital wayfinding map.

The airport said it has been working with the Department of Aviation, the TSA and others to prepare for the busy days by hosting a job showcase and hiring fair to address the ongoing labor shortage. 

Additional TSA officers are also at the airport through the end of October, AUS said in a release. 

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