Because this town just can’t get enough of tourists, it seems, the 2018 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race this weekend will bring another influx of revelers from around the globe. The event brings so many far-flung revelers, in fact, that the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has added more air and cargo service as well as six charter flights that will ferry globetrotting F1-heads from a prior race in Japan to Austin, then on to Mexico City for the next one.
The airport will customer have extra service representatives present in anticipation of the crowds. There will also be special, post-race musical performances Sunday night and Monday afternoon. Special post-race live music performances to ease the pain of departure.
What’s New at ABIA
Fans who haven’t been here since last year’s race will find a number of new features in and around the airport. An ABIA statement issued this week highlights the following:
Renovated free cell phone lot, gas station and store is located at 2901 Spirit of Texas Drive. Wait here for your call to pick up arriving family and friends.
Einstein Bros / Caribou Coffee (near Gate 24)
Tacodeli, (near Gate 24)
Briggo Coffee Haus, app-based robotic coffee barista (near Gate 17)
Departure Lounge, upscale travel respite (near Gate 17)
Hippies & Hops, locally crafted beers and wines by the glass (near Gate 17)
Peached Tortilla, southern and Asian fusion (near Gate 17)
Juiceland, fruit, vegetable, protein juices and smoothies (near Gate 16)
Fig & Plum, tacos and drinks (near Gate 14)
Barton Springs East Dry Goods, western apparel and accessories (near Gate 14)
Ruta Maya Coffee East, organic coffee and pastries (near Gate 14).
Security and Travel Tips
Needless to say, the airport will be busier than usual (although what is usual for incoming visitors these days?). Crowds are expected to be heaviest after the race: Sunday evening, October 21, and Monday, October 22. Passengers are advised to be in the terminal two hours before departure time.
Here are some ABIA tips for navigating the airport and security efficiently.
Departing fans are encouraged to pack large or bulky souvenir and promotional materials in carry-on bags and place in a bin at the security checkpoint for faster screening.
Monitor security wait times and speeds at http://aus.tsa.iinside.com.
While packing, check luggage to ensure no prohibited items are in the bag or its pockets. For a comprehensive list of banned and permitted items in carry-on baggage, visit www.tsa.gov.
TSA’s Pre-Check is available at Checkpoints 1 and 2. To enroll, visit www.tsa.gov.
Remember 3-1-1 for liquids, gels, and aerosols in carry-on luggage. Three ounces per container, in a clear, one-quart bag, one per passenger, and place this in a bin for X-ray.
Pour it out. Bottles containing liquids do not get recycled. Passengers can easily pour out the liquids from bottles at the “Pour It Out” receptacle at checkpoint entries, making the bottles ideal for recycling.
Know your terminal. Allegiant and ViaAir depart and arrive from the South Terminal. Visit www.austintexas.gov/page/terminals-austin-bergstrom-international-airport. South Terminal gates are listed on monitors as S1, S2 or S3.
Allegiant and ViaAir passengers can park at the South Terminal, located at 10000 Logistics Lane. The South Terminal is not accessible from inside the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
Travel time and transportation
Highway construction near the airport, traffic and weather could add to commute time. Allow ample time to get to the airport.
There is a new, guitar-shaped bus shelter in lower level. Take CapMetro 20 bus to downtown for single ride fare of $1.25. Ground transportation options to/from the airport are available at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/ground-transportation.
Check real-time flight status before arriving at the airport, www.abia.org or with your airline.
The first passenger-screening checkpoint opens at 3:30 a.m. in the Barbara Jordan Terminal. All Checkpoints in Barbara Jordan Terminal lead to all gates 2-34.
Call for real-time, 24/7 parking updates at 512-530-3300 before arriving.
For airport information, 24 hours a day, call 512-530-ABIA (2242) or visit www.abia.org.
Looking for more info and insider tips? Check out Curbed Austin’s airport guide and get the Eater Austin scoop on where to eat and drink when you’re there.