I often fly to and from the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID by its International Air Transport Association airport code), thanks to my family living far away, and it is always a great experience. It has many of the amenities of a larger airport, with the ease that accompanies smaller crowds. I love having this little gem so close and am always excited to head on my next adventure. Book your trip and let’s get going!
Travel to and from the airport
With its proximity to I-380, the airport is easily accessible to many Eastern Iowa residents. Whether you choose to be dropped off by a family member or park yourself, CID offers a list of possible services to use for ground transportation. Depending on your flight time, rise sharing is also an option.
CID offers two parking options: long term and short term. 2019 rates for short term are $14/day and $8/day for long term. The first 20 minutes are free on either lot. Pay with a credit card at the end of your trip. The lot is divided by sections, so note your parking area or drop a Google maps pin to be able to easily relocate your car when coming back. It stays pretty full year-round, so account for parking time when traveling. Usually, my partner drops me off with the luggage for check-in while he goes park.
Tip: don’t leave your ticket on the dash or exposed to the sun as it might fade and make the bar code unreadable when leaving.
If possible, check-in online as it saves when you can go directly to the security checkpoint. Most airlines allow this feature up to 24 hours from departure. If not, visit your airline’s kiosk or counter where an associate can assist you with boarding passes and luggage. Each airline has its carry-on and luggage policy, so make sure to check with them before your trip. Afterward, head to the security checkpoint, a one minute walk from the check-in area.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
The lines to get through security are usually short and fast-moving. You’ll need your current ID and boarding pass at the checkpoint. Here are the basic guidelines: liquid limits (no container more than 3.4 oz and must all fit in a quart-size bags, with exceptions for infant food needs and pumping mothers), electronics out of the bag, shoes off (toddlers can usually keep their shoes on), no metal items, and coats/hats/extras off. Of course, no firearms or explosives are allowed. Make sure to check for the latest updates at the TSA website before your trip. Items are placed on a belt and scanned, while you will either walk through a metal detector or get a full-body scan (you have the option to be patted down). Grab your items and head to the terminal.
Locate your gate and take a seat or walk around and get some blood flowing before your flight. Inside the terminal, you’ll find amenities such as a bar/restaurant (there’s also a bistro pre-security), concession stand (snacks, coffee, magazines, etc), bathrooms, water fountains, seating and charging stations. There’s even a literary kiosk sponsored by the University of Iowa that offers free short stories.
Arriving back at CID
When returning home, once you’re out of the plane and the security area, you’ll either head back to the parking lot and on your way or to the baggage claim area. Find your luggage and head out the door. If needed, they also have a variety of car rental companies ready to help with your vehicle needs, located across from the baggage claim area.
Your arrival time depends on your check-in needs and ease of mind. If it’s your first time traveling, allow extra time to make sure you don’t feel rushed. I usually arrive 60-90 minutes before departure with a checked bag and 45-60 minutes before departure if I only have carry-on luggage. Allow about 15-30 extra minutes if traveling during holidays or school start/end due to higher traffic.
The airport provides Guest Services for any assistance necessary. This can be from just answering questions to helping patrons with luggage, parking lot needs, or other assistance. If a wheelchair is needed to get to the gate, this is usually coordinated directly with the airline. The Guest Service number is 319.398.7077
There is a Mother’s Room to accommodate nursing or pumping moms. The key is available at the information desk. Since it is pre-security, make sure you follow TSA guidelines on how to handle stored milk through the checkpoint.
Note: The Eastern Iowa Airport is currently going through some renovations, so be aware of changing transportation patterns and construction inside the terminal until the project is completed.
Do you fly often? What’s your favorite thing about the Eastern Iowa Airport?
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