Short-staffed, busier RDM urges passenger to arrive earlier for flights


The Redmond Airport is reminding passengers that air travel is once again booming and you risk missing your flight if you don’t show up at least two hours before takeoff – especially early in the morning.

A passenger contacted Central Oregon Daily News early Wednesday morning saying the security check was out the door because TSA was short-staffed.

The woman said Alaska Airlines was delaying its 5 a.m departure to get more people through security and boarded. yet some people still missed their flight.

Redmond Airport officials say the vaccine mandate has led to staffing issues for the airlines and TSA, but also that the airport is just busier now.

“RDM is not that small airport where you can just show up half an hour -hour before your flight anymore!” Erinn Shaw, an office assistant with the airport said in an email to Central Oregon Daily News. “We had over 1 million passengers in 2019 and we are back up to about 120% of that in 2021!”

She said RDM has for two years posted on its website that passengers need to arrive two hours before their flight.

Shaw said the airline check-in counters close 45 minutes before scheduled departure times so there are no agents at the desk to check baggage or print boarding passes.

She said the two-hour rule was strongly recommended especially if you are flying out of RDM between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. when there are eight scheduled departures.

Ticket counters open at 3:15 a.m. and the TSA checkpoint opens at 3:45 a.m. daily.

“We have had many people miss their flights in the morning and get mad because they do not get rebooked because it is their fault that they did not arrive on time,” Shaw said. “When you purchase from an airline ticket you agree to the airlines’ contract of carriage which says that you agree to arrive for baggage and screening within 1.5-2 hours prior to departure.”


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