Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is a civil-military airport located between Savannah and Pooler, Georgia. Almost half of the passenger traffic going through the airport is headed to the beautiful vacation area Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The airport first opened in 1929 as Savannah Municipal Airport. In the first decades of its existence, the Airport was used by the U.S. Army Corps and the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing.
History of the Airport
After the airport was taken over by the military, the name was changed to Travis Field, in honor of the Brigadier General Robert F Travis. By the late 1950s, construction began on the first six gate terminal. Some 30 years later, a new $21 million, 275,000 square foot terminal with 19 gates was opened. The airport also built a four level parking garage that added 1,700 additional parking space. Savannah/Hilton Head has two concrete runways; one runway is 9,351 feet and the other is 7,002 feet. Incidentally, grave markers of the two original owners sit at the end of the runway. Runway expansion threatened to disturb family plots located there since 1857. Family members opted not to relocate graves, but place markers on the asphalt.
Passenger Services at Savannah Airport
Savannah/Hilton Head offers several passenger services to ease the tension of long flights. The business center is a quiet place to conduct business, surf the Internet, check emails, and even watch television. The Passport Club is a more private place to work, relax, drink a cup of coffee, and read the newspaper. This area also has free Internet data ports and newspapers. The Visitor’s Information Center provides brochures and information about the surrounding areas. The center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Several services are available for passengers with disabilities. Savannah/Hilton Head suggests passengers make prior arrangements so that they can be promptly accommodated upon arrival. Passengers should arrive at the airport at least 30 minutes in advance. Officials recommend viewing the TSA website regarding prohibited items.
The Ambassador Program is one of the most important services at the airport. Ambassadors are volunteers who greet customers and serve as airport representatives. Ambassadors help customers with a number of services such as directions, ground transportation, flight information, and other detailed information. Ambassadors can be identified by their bright red blazers. The Ambassador positions are unpaid, and retirees devote their time due to a sense of civic duty and sheer love of their state.
Parking at the Airport
The airport provides short and long-term parking, economy parking, and valet parking. Economy is the best option for individuals on a budget. The parking areas are under 24-7 video surveillance, and security officers patrol regularly. CAT buses run on a regular basis to and from the airport. K-Shuttle is the official service provider for Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Taxicabs routinely line up curbside outside the lower level claims area. A number of limousine services can be pre-arranged through various companies. For passengers who need rental cars, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Thrifty, and Alamo are located right outside the airport’s baggage claim area.
Airlines Serving Savannah Airport
As an entry point into Georgia’s fifth largest city, Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport is well served by several major U.S. airline names. All of the ticket counters are located right before the entry to the Savannah Square area that leads to the main departure concourse at the terminal.
Based in the city of Fort Worth, American Eagle connects passengers at Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport to the company’s headquarters. This major regional airline carrier offers daily trips to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which is Texas’ busiest airport. American Airline customers can enjoy quiet flights in the company’s fleet of small sized Bombardier and Embraer jets.
Delta Air Lines claims the busiest airline status at Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport. This major carrier links the city of Savannah with Georgia’s largest and most important city, Atlanta. In fact, Delta Air Lines uses the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as the company’s main headquarters. With that said, it’s not surprising that there are eight daily departures from Savannah to Atlanta. Delta also operates non-stop flights to two other major domestic hubs. The trip to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport allows passengers direct access into the biggest city in the state of Michigan. The Delta flight to New York LaGuardia Airport is the only direct service to New York City. For the flights to Detroit and New York, the airline uses its small Delta Connection jets that have seating capacities of under 100.
United Airlines controls the second busiest schedule at Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport. The timetables at the airport list George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport for the United Airlines schedule. Having headquarters at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, United Airlines naturally takes Savannah’s passengers to the company’s home. All of these flights are operated by the carrier’s United Express name, which is a regional service.
Some of the largest cities on the East Coast are only accessible through exclusive US Airways service at Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport. This major American airline offers daily flights to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in the largest city of Georgia’s neighboring state North Carolina. Philadelphia is a major northeastern destination that can be reached via US Airways service. By offering daily departures to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, US Airways operates the most convenient route into the nation’s capital. The US Airways Express service takes care of all these regional flights.