AUSTIN (KXAN) — Due to a growing population and an always bustling tourist scene, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport opened its newest addition, the South Terminal, back in April.
While airport officials say they have made sure people know where to go, other travelers say they need to do more. Nicole Eversgerd is one of those travelers.
She considers herself somewhat of a globetrotter. “I would say I’m probably in airports about 20 times a year,” she said.
Eversgerd is a frequent flyer who uses ABIA often. So when she got to the main terminal last week to take her Allegiant flight to Cincinnati, she realized it was at the new South Terminal about 15 minutes away.
“Everybody was completely confused, everybody was very very frustrated,” she said.
Eversgerd said she arrived an hour and 45 minutes before her flight. It took her 30 minutes to get a shuttle from the parking lot at ABIA. Once she got to the terminal, she says no driver for the South Terminal ever showed up to take them.
“I, along with 6 other passengers, waited for a shuttle that never came. Someone convinced an offsite parking shuttle to take us to the south terminal and she couldn’t find how to get us there,” Eversgerd said.
She and the others say they were not made aware of the changes. “I’ve been to Austin-Bergstrom 4 or 5 times in the last 6 weeks and for someone travelling as often as I am to still not have awareness that was happening?”
Eversgerd says the group missed their flight that day because once they finally got to where they were supposed to be, Allegiant agents were nowhere to be found.
“To have no ticketing agents available whatsoever for 45 minutes before a flight, there’s not a lot of awareness around that for a flight that’s pretty new to Austin,” she explained.
Allegiant is the only major airline to use the South Terminal. Officials with the airline say it’s company protocol to close down ticketing 45 minutes before a flight. A spokeswoman told KXAN she is looking into this case.
Airport officials say they’ve put up several signs giving directions to the south terminal. They’ve also put up billboards along Highway 183. In case people want to park at the main terminal or accidentally show up at the main terminal, a shuttle is available to take passengers to the South Terminal.
“There’s signage around the property, we have signage on our websites and social media and if you do even come to the Barbara Jordan and you look up at the flight schedules, the South Terminal has its own departure schedule,” said ABIA Spokesman Derick Hackett.
There’s also a parking lot available at the new terminal to avoid having to go to the main terminal all together. Eversgerd said the group she was with all had to pay for a new flight with a different airline — she hopes this will raise awareness for future travelers.
“There needs to be more signage around town, just making sure you have an alert either on your phone on the app. It needs to be in bold lettering that you have to allow for additional time,” Eversgerd said.
Drivers coming from Austin can get to the South Termial by going south on 183, take a left on Burleson Rd. and then a left onto Emma Browning Ave.