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FlyHIA Blog

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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Family Fun in Philadelphia

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

If you are visiting the City of Brotherly Love, a great way for your family to see Philadelphia is to purchase the City Pass.  This discounted ticket offers you admission to your choice of five museums in the Philadelphia area, including the Big Bus Company Trolley Tour.  The Trolley Tour is a great tour to take when you arrive in the area to familiarize yourself with the sights and sounds of Philly.  The bus has numerous pick up locations, including all the main attractions.  Also included in your CityPass is admission to the Franklin Institute and Adventure Aquarium.  In addition, you can choose between Philadelphia Zoo or National Constitution Center and Eastern State Penitentiary or Please Touch Museum.  These are nice options depending on the age of your group.  The National Constitution Center is a great spot for children learning about American History.  The Freedom Rising theatrical production is awe inspiring and inspirational.  The kids will also enjoy Signers’ Hall, where you will find 42 life-size bronze statues of the founding fathers and kids can sign their own copy of the Constitution. 

If you are sticking with a historical theme on this trip, don’t forget to stop at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  While you will have to stop at the Visitors Center to get a walk-up ticket, these attractions are free and part of the National Park system.  The ticket will set a time for you to enter the hall.  Plan ahead and get your tickets early so you have time to see some of the other sights surrounding Independence Hall.   

Philadelphia is rich in history mixed with fun museums for all ages.  The CityPass tour gives you an opportunity to experience both, and hopefully inspire our next generation.  

Tags: family travel, family vacation, siteseeing, travel tips

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Money Saving Tips for Your Disney Vacation!

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Sep 19 : 12:00AM

If you are planning on taking your little prince/princess to Disney World, here are a few quick money- saving tips.  A trip to Disney World wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  Disney offers several BBB packages, but in order to save some money, visit your local Disney Outlet after Halloween and stock up on the Princess gear.  Sometimes you can score the Princess costumes and accessories at more than 50% off.  Then pack a separate bag with your findings, and have your little princess awake to find her magical dress ready for her day at the park.  Put a note from the Princess that says she looks forward to meeting her later that day.  Your child will be delighted and so will your wallet!  By doing this you can purchase the smaller princess package at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and not incur the costs for the dress and accessories.  If you don’t live near a Disney Outlet Center, watch the website, they often will have good sales after holidays, including Authentic Park merchandise. 

For your Pirate adventurer, you can find good deals at the outlets or during the Black Friday sales.  If you know you are traveling in the near future it doesn’t hurt to stock up on a few extras to use as a treat during your vacation. Your travel options to Orlando are growing!  Frontier Airlines will increase nonstop service between Harrisburg and Orlando International Airport (MCO) starting December 7th, operating Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Allegiant Air will increase nonstop service to Orlando/Sanford Airport (SFB) towards the end of December 19th, 2014.  Both airlines continue their expanded schedules through February 2015.  So if you’re planning to surprise your loved ones with a trip to Orlando this holiday season, now is the time to book! 

Tags: Allegiant, family travel, family vacation, flying with children, Frontier, kids, MCO, Orlando, Savings, travel tips

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Summer Storms

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Jul 15 : 12:00AM

Everyone expects airports to report delays in the winter months, but people often forget that summer weather can wreak havoc on travel plans too!  Did you know that 70% of flight delays are caused by bad weather? And it doesn’t have to be weather happening at your airport, it could be weather happening between points A and B.  Summer weather can actually be worse than winter weather because the storms sneak up quickly, giving airlines less time to prepare. Winter storms tend to take more time to develop, allowing for more preparation. 

Thunderstorms can be very tricky for pilots; the key is for the pilots and the air traffic controllers to work together.  Sometimes planes are re-routed 20 miles or more, just to avoid thunderstorms or bad weather.  The most dangerous part of the storm is their ability to cause microbursts or downdrafts, which are unpredictable.  A downdraft is a vertical movement of air that can resemble tornado like damage.  And don’t forget about hail and turbulence, the two biggest hazards to aircraft during a storm. 

All of these factors play a role in summer weather delays at airports.  If you learn that weather may cause your flight to be delayed or cancelled, get in line at the ticket counter and get on the phone with the airline.  This will maximize your chances of rebooking your flight and hopefully minimize the disruption to your schedule.  You can also check out social media, as some airlines are using platforms like Twitter to rebook flights and give additional customer service information.  

Tags: Harrisburg International airport, MDT, summer travel, thunder storms, weather

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Packing Tips

Subscribe to RSS 0 Comments Jul 3 : 12:00AM

Summer vacation season is upon us and many of you are getting ready to dust of the suitcases and start the packing process.  Our friends at AAA Central Penn have put together a number of packing tips to help ease the daunting task of what and how to pack.  Here are some of the tips put together by their Travel Store staff:

Packing Tips:

1.       Know your airlines baggage policy!  Each airline has its own baggage policy with size and weight limitations.  It’s                
          important to be aware of such policies so you aren’t surprised when you get to the ticket counter. 

2.       Make a packing list.  Start making a list a few weeks in advance, this way you less likely to forget something if you plan

3.       Pick a basic color scheme such as black, white, and red or khaki, black, and white.  Then you can mix and match your
          clothing and layer.

4.       Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothing such as boots, sneakers, sweaters, or jackets.

5.       Place all other heavy items at the bottom of your suitcase so when you stand up your luggage everything falls to the
          bottom.  These items may include shoes, a toiletry bag, or a hair dryer.

6.       Place a cardboard divider between the heavy items on the bottom and your top layer with clothing.  This serves as a
          divider and easy access to the bottom layer. 

7.       Roll up all knit items such as sleepwear, workout clothes, t-shirts, and sweatpants.

8.       Keep all valuables in your carry-on.  These items may include your wallet, phone, keys, camera, jewelry, and medication.

9.       Always follow the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Only liquids less
          than 3.4 ounces, in a 1-quart zip lock bag per person are allowed in carry-on luggage/bags.  If you are traveling for an
          extended amount of time, it’s best to place those liquids in your checked luggage. 

10.   Pack patience!  When traveling there are things that often “pop-up” unexpectedly, always best to pack patience and a
         sense of humor!

AAA Central Penn also has a great packing checklist which is a great place to start!  

Tags: air travel, luggage, summer travel, travel tips

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