DES MOINES, Iowa -- We know that a record number of passengers came through the Des Moines International Airport in 2018, and the Airport Authority expects that number to increase even more in the new year.
With growth, comes change. One change you should not expect in the new year is a hike in the price of tickets. The Airport Authority expects ticket prices to remain steady this year and prices may even go down because the cost of fuel is down, and the economy is up.
The Airport Authority estimates 2.7 million passengers came through the airport last year and they project nearly 3 million to come through in 2019.
“When we hit that 3 million passenger mark is when we’re really feeling the stress of an undersized facility,” Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Foley said.
It's a good thing construction is already underway for an expanded terminal. However, passengers will not see any noticeable construction in 2019 since it is all on the south side of the airport.
The Airport Authority says spring break travelers have already begun flying and passengers will steadily increase until mid-March. They say it doesn’t hurt to begin buying tickets now, but they have some tips to get you the cheapest spring break tickets.
“Rule of thumb is 21 days prior to your flight will get you the cheapest price. The cheapest date to travel is on Tuesday, simply because people normally don’t travel on Tuesdays and airlines are trying to fill the airplanes,” Foley said.
If you have gotten a new license recently you may have noticed a gold star in the top right corner. This is something you are going to need, not in 2019, but before October 1st of 2020 in order to fly more efficiently. The Real I.D. is a change that is happening on licenses across the country, it is a way to better verify a person since you need several documents to obtain the star on your license. When renewing your license, you need your passport or birth certificate, your social security card, and two pieces of mail with your address. If you don’t have this gold star on your license after October 1st of 2020 you will not be able to just use your license to go through security.
Something new at the airport in 2019 is a system with red and green lights in the parking garage to tell passengers where available parking spaces are. There will also be signs telling you the number of spots available.
“That’s an effort to more fully utilize our long-term parking, many people want to park in the garage. When the garage gets 90% full basically it’s full because you don’t have time to search for those additional spaces. This eliminates that searching,” Foley said.