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Dave & Dujanovic: Expert shares tips on navigating new SLC airport

May 28, 2021, 7:49 AM

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Officials with Salt Lake City International Airport expect their summer flight numbers to actually exceed what they did in 2019. (PHOTO: KSL NewsRadio)

(PHOTO: KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Before you head off for your flight from the spanking new Salt Lake City International Airport, there are things you need to know.

Nancy Volmer with the Salt Lake City International Airport joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic in to discuss what’s new at the airport and what to expect before you board your flight.

Put your walking shoes on

Debbie started by describing her recent trip to the newly remodeled SLC airport.

“First of all, it doesn’t seem as though there’s been much change at all to long-term parking. I parked in the same place I always park. I got on the bus, everything was smooth until I got to the drop-off point at the terminal. I didn’t get off,” Debbie said.

“The bus driver said, ‘You can get off now.’ I said, ‘But I need to go to the next terminal,’ and he said ‘This is the only terminal, so get off. You can get off now.’ So that was a change. You just get off at the first stop at the terminal. That was new to me. So, there’s lots of walking at the airport, Nancy.”

“There is no doubt about that,” Volmer said.

“Seems like a lot more. Do you agree?” Debbie asked.

“Yes. It’s a much larger airport. We’re really encouraging passengers to allow plenty of time because it is longer. It will take longer to get from the security checkpoint to your gate,” Volmer said.

“The day I flew out I walked 10,000 steps. I think that’s five miles, and not just this airport but also at Sky Harbor in Phoenix. The two airports combined I got five miles in,” Debbie said.

Watch the videos before you fly

“We’re not done building the airport, so that’s something to remember,” Volmer said. “We’re now building Phase 2. Things are going to change with the walk because when we build Phase 2 that includes a new central tunnel to connect passengers from Concourse A to Concourse B. . . . There’s just one central terminal, so we don’t have the three terminals like we had before.

“One thing that we’ve done just to help people better understand the new airport is we have a video that you can watch,” Volmer said. “Just to show you when you’re being dropped off this is what it’s going to look like. 

“I’m suggesting that people not only plan plenty of time. But also do a little bit of planning, just because it is a new airport. Download the SLC international app, go to our website and watch that two-minute video, just so you have a better understanding of what to expect when you arrive,” Volmer said.

Airport screening is faster

“Nancy, has anything changed with security?” Dave asked.

“The security is the same, except for that divesting process,” Volmer said. “Before, when you were waiting for someone to put their items into a bin, and then it would go through the screening process. Now, there can be four people at one time doing so.

“Rather than wait for one person in front of you to go through, it’s actually much more efficient to go through the security screening process. We actually have a short video, so when you’re waiting on the security screening line, you can see how that all works.”

Arrive early for your flight

“How soon should people arrive for their flights?” Debbie asked.

“We encourage those who are flying domestically to arrive at least two hours prior to the boarding time,” Volmer said. “That will give you plenty of time to do parking . . . It gives you time to go through the security screening point and then get to your gate. If you have extra time, we have some wonderful shops and restaurants to enjoy.

“If you’re flying internationally — and I’m really excited to say that today our first nonstop flight to Europe kicks off, so Amsterdam is back. And for those flights, you really need to allow about three hours,” Volmer said.

Know before you go

“I haven’t been there, but I’m going to go to SLC airport.com. There’s the videos you can watch, so if you’re a little nervous [and] you’re not sure what to do, those videos walk you through every step,” Dave said.

“I wish I would have known that,” Debbie replied.

“[The airport] is a lot different. In fact, the check-in [counter] is on a different level than it was before. When you walk in and you don’t see the check-in counters for the airlines, that’s because you have to go up a flight. Thankfully, there was somebody at the airport, Dave, who was traveling out as well. He noticed that I was a little confused, so he became my travel buddy in the moment.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Dave & Dujanovic: Expert shares tips on navigating new SLC airport