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If you’re traveling for the holidays, here are some tips to ease the pain

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most heavily traveled periods of the year and passengers traveling through John Wayne Airport (JWA) now through Monday, Nov. 28 will experience higher-than-normal passenger traffic.

Passengers are encouraged to plan accordingly to avoid delays and enjoy stress-free holiday travel. Review the following tips to help you go from curbside, through security checkpoints, and to your gate.

Before Arriving to the Airport

Check your live flight status here and tracking information on our website or directly with your airline. Checking the flight status enables travelers as well as those picking up travelers to stay up to date with travel times. 

Arriving for a Flight

All passengers are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes to two hours before scheduled departure times for domestic flights and three hours before international flights to find parking, check luggage, and go through security screening.

If you re traveling arrival level


Airport parking structures are likely to reach capacity during peak travel periods. Travelers should plan to check real-time parking availability online or by calling 949.252.5200.

–Parking Structures A1, A2, B2, and C are located adjacent to and directly across from the Riley Terminal at a rate of $2/hour up to $20/day.

–The Main St. Parking Lot ,located at 15132 Main St. in Irvine, is available for $14/day with free shuttle service to/from the Riley Terminal every 15 minutes between 4:30 a.m. and 12 a.m. Shuttle buses are lift-equipped.

–Curbside Valet Parking is available for $30/day and is located on the Departure (upper) Level curbside between Terminals A and B and Terminals B and C. On your return, call 949.252.6260 or 2-4018 from any White Courtesy phone for service. If arriving after 8 p.m., call the number on the signage posted at the valet booth for service.

–Electric Vehicle (EV) parking spots are located on Level 1 and 2 inside Terminal Parking Structure A and Level 1 inside Terminal Parking Structures B, C and at the Main St. Parking Lot. 

Security Checkpoints

–Know the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule for carry-on bags. Traveling with food tip: If you can spill it, spread it, pump it, or pour it, the TSA considers this item a liquid. 

TSA Pre✓® can expedite the screening process in Terminals A, B, and C.

–There are specific rules and exceptions for passengers traveling with infant care items. Visit TSA Tips for Traveling with Children for more information.

Passenger Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Visitors can wait until passengers are ready to be picked up and temporarily park for free at the JWA Cell Phone Waiting Lot. Located south of Parking Structure C near the corner of MacArthur Blvd. and Campus Dr., the lot has 94 designated spaces, including four ADA designated spaces.

–Color-coded and numbered columns along the white curb on the Arrival (lower level) roadway quickly identify where to meet arriving passengers. Terminal A is pink, Terminal B is blue and Terminal C is orange. 

App-Based Rideshare

Arriving guests should be aware of ride app pick-up locations on the Departure (upper level) in Parking Structures A2 and B2 directly across from the Riley Terminal and in Parking Structure C on Level 3 next to the Southwest ticketing area. Ride app drop-off locations are curbside on the Departure Level.

Healthy Travels

TSA no longer requires masks in transportation settings. Guests and employees have the option to wear a mask during travel or while working. Travelers are advised to check with their airline and destination airport for local guidelines. 

Hoag Health in Terminal B in the Departure level, pre-security, provides COVID-19 Rapid Testing. Results are available within 15-30 minutes. Testing is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. 

John Wayne Airport wishes all airport guests safe travels. For more information about the airport visit


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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