From Thanksgiving until after January first, roadways and airports are jam-packed. If you’re planning holiday travel, actually getting to your destination is probably not the part you’re looking forward to. You could fly out of DFW, but Tyler Pounds Regional Airport offers a more stress-free travel experience. Read on to find out why you should board your plane in Tyler and how to make the most of your local departure.
Flying Out of Dallas Stinks
Bloomberg ranked U.S. airports in terms of hassle. They interviewed travelers on the stress they felt getting there, clearing security, waiting at the terminal and so on.
Dallas-Ft. Worth International ranked high on the list of most frustrating airports. Travelers named it among one of the most irritating places to catch a plane in the United States and Canada.
Here’s what you’ll have to do if you fly out of Dallas:
- Drive to the DFW airport, dealing with notoriously difficult Dallas traffic.
- Circle the parking lots and garages in increasing frustration as the minutes slip by and you can’t find a spot.
- Rush for the airport hoping you’re at the right terminal.
- Stand in long lines to check your bags, print your boarding pass, go through security etc.
- Walk what feels like a marathon distance to your departure gate.
- Stand around with a bunch of other irritated people waiting for your flight.
The airport covers 27 square miles. The sheer size of the facility makes it daunting to travelers. It has a 76 percent on-time performance, which means 24 percent, almost a fourth of the time flights are late or canceled.
A Tyler Departure Avoids DFW Airport Stress Points
Boarding the plane in Tyler is a completely different experience. The parking spaces at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport are right in front of the terminal building. If you live in East Texas you can probably have someone drop you off or take a Lyft to avoid parking fees altogether. If you have to leave your car, short-term parking is $10/day and long-term parking is $6/day. There are always plenty of spots and you don’t have a long walk to get where you’re going.
The Tyler airport is in compliance with security mandates. Passenger and baggage screening is quick and easy, usually with no wait. Once you’ve cleared security in Tyler you don’t have to go back through in Dallas if you have a connecting flight.
It’s a small airport, and friendly staff is on-hand to help. You don’t have the stress associated with figuring out where to go and how to get there at a 27-mile facility.
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Travel Tips
For most people, just flying out of Tyler instead of Dallas makes the critical difference. For an even better experience, try these travel tips.
Parking is easier and East Texas traffic beats driving in Dallas, but it’s still a good idea to be early. During the holidays more people fly, and Tyler traffic this time of year is still a challenge. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination so you don’t end up rushed and stressed.
If you’re carrying on your bags, you’ll have plenty of time if you arrive at Tyler Regional Airport an hour before your scheduled departure time. For domestic flights, if you’re checking bags give yourself another half hour. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends arriving two hours ahead for international flights.
One of the best things about flying out of Tyler is it’s generally not packed. If you run a few minutes behind you’ll probably still be okay. Plus, once you check your bags and clear security there are spacious, comfortable seating areas where you can relax until it’s time to go.
Enjoy The Easy Security Check
Yes, you read that right. This security check is so much more painless than a large airport it will make you smile. The airport has state-of-the-art security equipment, so you board in safety. The difference is the employees. Highly trained federal screeners treat passengers with courtesy, respect and dignity. They value your time and protect as much of your privacy as possible. The whole experience will give you back a little bit of your faith in humanity.
You’ll still have to follow all the standard security rules. Check guidelines for what’s acceptable to carry on, weight limits for checked baggage and what else could get you red-flagged.
Plan For Food
Inside the terminal there aren’t restaurants like you’ll find in larger airports. You’ll only find vending machines. If you want a hot meal you’ll have to eat ahead of time. However, the vending machines have healthy and junk food options. If you don’t have time for real food it’s easy to find something to tide you over, and the vending machines are reasonably priced.
Use This Carry-On Checklist
Your flight will be more comfortable if you toss these items in your carry-on:
- Chewing gum — Helps ear popping during takeoff
- Destination-appropriate clothing — A T-shirt if you’re going to the beach and an extra layer if you’re traveling to colder climates. Note: a drape bulky coat or sweatshirt over your arm, it won’t count as a carry-on. A large scarf can also double as a blanket.
- Snacks — Trail mix, dried fruit, beef jerky, chocolate and crackers travel well. Get drinks on the plane since your water bottle or coffee won’t make it through security.
- Entertainment — Remember a magazine or book for times you can’t use electronics. Pack your charger too.
- Anything you’ll need if checked baggage gets misrouted — Pack daily medication, a toothbrush, eyeglasses etc.
- Tissues and lip balm.
Other than that, travel light.
It’s almost second nature to get wound up when traveling. Once you’ve checked in for your flight, tell yourself it’s okay to relax. You chose to fly Tyler to make life easy, so step back from that feeling of chaos and enjoy some of the perks.
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport lets friends and family wait in the lobby or outside restaurant area so you can stay with them until your flight is called. Use the free wi-fi to reply to work on your online to-do list. Plan the trip ahead or dig into your travel chocolate.
When You’re Landing in Tyler
If you’re flying into Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, this might be your first trip to East Texas. Welcome!
You’ll find the airport just as easy to navigate when you land as if is for departures. Hertz and Avis have locations in Baggage Claim if you need to pick up a rental car. Once you get unpacked, our article Top 8 things to Do When You Visit Tyler can help you make the most of your visit.