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FlyHIA Blog

HIA Traffic up in February 2015

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Mar 26 : 12:00AM

February 2015 traffic up

A total of 89,597 passengers used HIA during February 2015—a 2.6% increase when compared to February 2014.  Year-to-date traffic has totaled 182,123 passengers which is 2.3% increase when compared to the first two months of 2014.

“Delta, American, Allegiant, and Frontier all served more passengers this February than February 2014,” said Edwards.    Click here to see February by the numbers.  

International Bookings up 12.4% in January

There were nearly 7,100 International travel bookings at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) during January 2015 (most recent month for which data is available) an increase of 12.4% when compared to January 2014.  Toronto, Cancun, St. Thomas, Shanghai and Mexico City were the region’s most popular foreign destinations. 

The combined American and US Airways served 34% of HIA’s international travel market followed by United, Delta and Air Canada.  “Providing international travelers to our global airline partners is extremely important to maintain and grow flight options at HIA,” said Tim Edwards, executive director.  “While International travelers make up only about seven percent of all passengers, they generate about 15% of all airline revenues.”

HIA Intl Bookings



% Change





















Central America








South America




Middle East













Source: Sabre


HIA Announces Date of 3rd Annual Open House

SARAA announced August 22, 2015 as the date for it's 3rd Open House.  "With over 5,000 attendees in 2014, we are very excited to see the excitement carried over to 2015," said Scott Miller, Deputy Director, Business Development and Strategic Marketing.  The airport opens the airfield to the community for a static display of aviation equipment as well as airport equipment.  The event is rain or shine from 9am-2pm, Saturday, August 22, 2015.  Visit for updates.  

Tags: air travel, aircraft, airplanes, airshows, equipment, Harrisburg International airport, international travel, MDT, SARAA,

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Making HIA Alogether Better

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Mar 13 : 12:00AM

Everyone knows Harrisburg International Airport is the convenient choice. However, we are working to make the HIA airport experience Altogether Better. What is Altogether Better? To us, Altogether Better means easy access, ample parking, shorter lines at check-in and security, a clean and safe facility with quality food, news and gift choices, free Wi-Fi, and flight options to get you where you need to go. We believe an airport shouldn't be confusing or stressful.

Yet, every day, people have questions or something unexpected arises.

Department Spotlight – Customer Service

“Where are the rental cars located?” “Where do I get the shuttle to long term parking?” “What hotels are nearby?” “Can you tell me when my family member’s flight will arrive?” These are just a few of the many questions our customer service staff answer as they help the 3,500 people a day who choose HIA.  Whether dealing with flight delays and diversions or simply helping a plane full of families returning from Disney, the HIA customer service staff work to make the passenger and visitor experience Altogether Better by providing timely answers and pointing people in the right direction. The customer service team answers HIA’s main phone line, staffs the information desk, and works in the Susquehanna Club, HIA’s frequent flyer club located in concourse A. Our customer service staff has more than 25 years of experience and plays a crucial role in keeping airport operations running smoothly.

Here are some tips from our customer service staff on how to make your time at HIA Altogether Better:

1.       Write down the row number or take a picture of where you parked so you can easily find your vehicle.

2.       If you are picking someone up at the airport, make sure you have their flight number so we can help you check the status.

3.       Put something on the exterior of your suitcase to make it easily identifiable – all those black suitcases look alike!

4.       If you are staying at a hotel, make sure you have the name and address as there are many hotels from the same brand in             the area.

Thank you for choosing HIA. We look forward to seeing you again soon! 

Customer Service Team

Lola, Al, Cheryl and Carol







Tags: communication, customer information, customer service, employees, Harrisburg International airport

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Cargo at HIA

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Mar 11 : 12:00AM

Many people do not realize that Air Cargo is an important part of HIA’s business.  In fact, because FedEx and UPS do the bulk of their flying at night, many times people do not notice the UPS and FedEx planes sitting at the cargo ramp, toward the east end of the airport. In 2014, HIA had just shy of 100,000 tons of cargo flown in and out of the airport.  

Due to the amount of warehouses and manufacturers in the region, there is significantly more outbound cargo than inbound cargo. Everything from electronics and household items to temperature controlled medical products are flown in and out of the region daily. FedEx brings approximately 23,500 tons of air cargo into the region annually and UPS brings approximately 22,800 tons.  Additionally, some cargo is delivered by private planes and on some of the larger passenger planes. 

Typically, air cargo is flown in from Williamsport and Scranton and is combined with cargo delivered by truck. It is then flown by FedEx to New York, Indianapolis and Memphis, or by UPS to Louisville. During the holiday season, UPS will add a daily 747 flight to the regular schedule. Check out this video from December 15, 2014, when it arrived for the season.



Tags: airplane, fleet, Harrisburg International airport

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Air Route Development at HIA

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Mar 11 : 12:00AM

We are often asked what SARAA is doing to bring new airline service or destinations to HIA. On a regular basis, SARAA staff is monitoring airline activity, researching regional business travel trends, and building relationships with airlines to hopefully convince them to offer more flights to/from our region. The process of getting a new destination (and particularly a new airline) is a lengthy one, many times taking years.

Based on conversations with businesses in the region and in looking at trends and opportunities, we are currently trying to gain new service to Houston, Dallas, and Minneapolis. If service to any of these markets is important for your company, please let us know! As mentioned above, it helps us build a stronger business case for service when we have specific data on the business connections and regular travel patterns between Harrisburg and other markets.

Should you have any questions or if you have any travel ties you wish to share, please contact Marie Cartwright, Manager of Business Relationships at or 717-948-3900.

Tags: Air Service Development, airport, business travel, community, dfw, nonstops, planning

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Nearly 1.3 Million Passengers Connect to the Global Economy

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Jan 28 : 12:00AM

The purpose of Harrisburg International Airport is to provide global air access for our region.  During 2014, 1,289,487 passengers spent more than $300 million on airfare at Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) when flying between our region and more than 300 destinations worldwide.  Chicago remains the airport’s most traveled business destination, while Orlando is number one for leisure travelers. Total international bookings increased nearly 20 percent overall.  Generating more international traffic and revenue will be critically important for our region to bring more airline service to the region.

Domestic travel Highlights

Air Canada, Allegiant, American, US Airways and Frontier all posted increased passenger traffic at HIA in 2014 compared to 2013.  The traffic declines posted by United and Delta generated a slight decrease in passenger traffic compared to 2013.  United’s decline was as a result of the elimination of service to both Cleveland and Newark while Delta eliminated service to Cincinnati.  Both airlines continued to tweak their route networks in 2014 as a result of recently completed mergers.




Pass Percent Change vs. 2013

US and AA















Air Canada











Orlando Intl






Orlando – Sanford






Tampa – PIE





International travel highlights

Sabre estimates that International bookings to/from HIA increased 19% between January and November 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013.  When combined, US Airways and American (which are in the process of merging) become the airports top international carrier with 36 percent of the international travel market followed by United (29 percent), Delta (24 percent) and Air Canada (10 percent).  Interestingly, bookings to Mexico City increased by 75 percent in 2014 when compared to 2013The ten most popular destinations in 2014 were:












Mexico City


Punta Cana






Montego Bay




Generating more international traffic and revenue for these four global network airlines will be extremely important to maintain and grow flight levels at HIA.  

Tags: air travel, Allegiant, American Airlines, business travel, Delta, Harrisburg International airport, international travel, Orlando, United

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The Battle Against Winter Weather

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Jan 28 : 12:00AM

As soon as winter weather is forecast for our region, the HIA switch board lights up with hundreds of people calling to ask:  “Will the airport stay open if it’s snowing?” The answer is simple:  YES!!!  While all flight delay and cancellation decisions are made by the airlines, HIA staff will keep the airport complex open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

Even before any winter weather hits, about 50 men and women spring into action to prepare more than $5 million in equipment for the challenge of keeping 35 plus combined miles of runway, taxiways, apron and roadways safe and operational.

Based on the temperature and amount of moisture in the air, planes need to be deiced for safety. There are 2 parts to this process. The first is the application of  Type 2 propylene glycol or the orange deicer which removes any ice currently on the plane. The second is the application of Type 4 propylene glycol or the green deicer, which keeps ice from building up on the plane.  

No Salt here!
Unlike PennDOT which spreads road salts and ciders on roadways, road salt damages aircraft.  As a result, liquid potassium acetate is used on runways and taxiways as it is more environmentally friendly and less corrosive.  The down side to potassium acetate is its cost.  One gallon can cost as much as $4.50.  At HIA, the staff needs about  4,000 gallons to treat the runway and taxiway system each time.

Numerous pieces of equipment are used to clear the runway and ramp areas of the airport.
Click here to watch a video about HIA’s snow broom.  

Tags: airport, personnel, winter

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Escape the cold with more flights to Orlando!

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Jan 28 : 12:00AM

Between now and the end of April, there are 60 percent more low fare seats available to sunny Orlando, Florida from HIA!  Allegiant—HIA’s most popular airline to Orlando—will increase service to six days a week in March to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) while Frontier will offer flights five days a week until April 29th.

SFB is central Florida’s version of HIA—easy access, shorter lines and convenient rental car, taxi and shuttle bus options to destinations throughout the Orlando area. Since November 2012, more than 100,000 central Pennsylvanians has flown Allegiant to Orlando Sanford.  To learn more about SFB, please watch:

This summer Allegiant will offer four SFB flights a week up from three flights per week last summer.  If these new, additional seats are filled at profitable levels, we are hopeful that Allegiant will add even more flights to Orlando Sanford this fall.

Update on Frontier

After being purchased by an investment group in 2013, Frontier Airlines has committed to a new strategy, focused on redeploying aircraft from medium and smaller markets and moving them to very large markets, in an attempt to seek higher profit margins.  As a result, effective April 29, 2015, Frontier will no longer serve HIA and a number of other airports in the U.S.   

Tags: None

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Holiday Travel Tips

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Nov 21 : 12:00AM

Turkey Travel Tips

Like most Americans you will probably travel to be with family for the holidays.  For a few of you air travel is required.  Here are a few common travel tips to help you through the holiday season.  


Traveling is both mentally and physically exhausting.  Mishaps, delays, lost luggage all combine for interesting table fodder, in hindsight of course.  But when you are experiencing it, the best thing to do is remain calm, take a deep breath and remember spending time with family makes it all worthwhile, right?

2.—Plan for the Unexpected

It’s inevitable, the weather man missed the freak ice storm that has delayed your travel or traffic is snarled on the expressway.  Plan ahead; make sure you check travel conditions and flight status before you leave home.  Make sure you leave early and add some cushion time for anything that might be between you and the airport.

3.—Travel on the off-peak days

If you can travel on Tuesday or even on Thanksgiving itself and avoid the busiest travel day of the year (Wednesday) than do it!  This will help you to avoid long lines and crowds associated with the day before Thanksgiving travel.     And hopefully keep your stress level in check. 

4.—Pack Light

With baggage fees reaching record numbers its best to pack light and try not to check bags.  Layer as much as you can when traveling and leave unnecessary items at home.  If you do have to check luggage, make sure you have your necessary medications and a change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case your luggage becomes lost. 

5.—Travel early or travel late

New studies show that early morning flights have a less likely chance of being late and if by chance the flight would be cancelled you have a better opportunity of catching a later flight that same day.  Early morning flights or late night flights help lessen the volume of people you will encounter. 

These are just a few tips that we hope will help as you embark on your holiday travels.  Even the best laid plans can hit some turbulence, just remember to breath and try not to sweat the small stuff.  As always, safe travels and happy holidays from your friends at MDT!  

Tags: Harrisburg International airport, holiday travel, Thanksgiving, tips, travel tips

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Surviving Holiday Travel: Week 1

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Nov 7 : 12:00AM

The 2014 Holiday season is upon us, hard to believe, we know.  We have put together a list of travel apps that might just help you through the hustle and bustle of travel. 


GateGuru is a travel app that provides all of your flight and airport information to help you manage your travel day.   The app includes real-time flight status with notifications and specific airport information based on your travel plans.  GateGuru helps you navigate the airport with weather, flight info, amenities and even airport tips. 


PackPoint is an “intelligent” packing list builder.  It will formulate a list of packing needs based on the length of the trip, destination, and activities planned during your trip.  PackPoint will take into consideration if your trip is business or leisure, activities you have planned, forecasted weather, and even if you are traveling abroad. 


Yelp is a business review app and website.  Yelp is your local guide for reviewing restaurants, shops and services.  The app also provides phone numbers, maps, menus, directions, pictures and more!


Have your heard about Uber?  It’s fast growing transportation option.  It’s a private driver at your fingertips.  Uber is an on-demand transportation service not requiring reservations or waiting in lines. Available in more than 40 countries, simply input where you are, where you want to go and what type of vehicle you would like to ride in and voila, Uber! 

There are thousands of other travel apps available; test them out and let us know what works best for you!

Tags: air travel, apps, blog, GateGuru, Harrisburg International airport, planning, tips, travel

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HIA Skybridge goes Pink!

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Oct 23 : 12:00AM

HIA Skybridge goes Pink!
Capital BlueCross and Harrisburg International Airport Partner for Breast Cancer Awareness

Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is pleased to partner with Capital BlueCross in turning HIA’s SkyBridge Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.  For the remainder of October, visit the bridge connecting the parking garage to the terminal and learn about six Central Pennsylvania women and their fight against breast cancer. 

“With people from around the world using the facility daily, we feel this is a great opportunity to showcase the impact the battle against breast cancer has had on the lives of some of our neighbors,” said Timothy J. Edwards, Executive Director Harrisburg International Airport.  “It is also a reminder of how breast cancer affects all ages, races and demographics within our community,”

“We are humbled and honored to share the stories of these inspiring women,” said Dr. Jennifer Chambers, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Capital BlueCross. “They are strong and active and so full of life. And they are dedicated to making sure that others who are facing breast cancer know that support is available. We are grateful to HIA for helping us spread their message to thousands of travelers each day.”

In addition to breast cancer survivor stories, the Capital Blue blog ( features fresh and original stories each week on nutrition, fitness, wellness, area events and healthy recipes. The blog is written by local contributors and Capital BlueCross employees.

The story of these six women and their strength is inspiring.  Please join Harrisburg International Airport and Capital Blue Cross in bringing awareness to this disease which affects approximately 1 out of every 8 women.  

Tags: community, customer information, Harrisburg International airport, health, local, terminal

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