Air Travel

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Air Travel

Despite its high passenger volume, lines at the check-in counters and security checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor are usually brisk and efficient, although during busy periods (spring break, holiday weekends, and so on) you should anticipate longer waits and arrive at the airport 30 to 60 minutes earlier than you would otherwise. Because Phoenix is the hub for Southwest and US Airways, it has direct flights to most major U.S. cities and a number of international destinations elsewhere in North America (Calgary, Cancún, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, San José [Costa Rica], Toronto, and Vancouver among them), as well as nonstop service to London on British Airways. Sample flying times from major cities are: one hour from Los Angeles, three hours from Chicago, and five hours from New York City. Keep in mind that several destinations have only seasonal nonstop service from Phoenix (usually from mid-autumn through mid-spring).

Airports

Major gateways to Arizona include Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX), about 3 miles southeast of Phoenix city center, and Tucson International Airport (TUS), about 8½ miles south of the central business area.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world for takeoffs and landings but rarely suffers from congestion or lengthy lines. Its spacious, modern terminals are easily navigable, with plenty of dining options as well as free Wi-Fi. Sky Harbor's three passenger terminals are connected by interterminal buses that run regularly throughout the day.

Tucson International Airport has one terminal that has a smattering of restaurants and free Wi-Fi. Although it services far fewer passengers per day than Sky Harbor, it does offer nonstop flights to a number of major metropolitan areas around the western half of the country (Atlanta is the only eastern city with direct service).

Airport Info

Phoenix Sky Harbor International (602/273–3300. www.phxskyharbor.com.)

Tucson International Airport (520/573–8100. www.flytucsonairport.com.)

Flights

Phoenix is a hub for Southwest Airlines and US Airways. These carriers offer direct flights in and out of Phoenix to most of the country's larger metro areas; Southwest also has direct flights from Tucson to Albuquerque, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and US Airways has numerous daily connections between Tucson and Phoenix. The nation's other major airlines also fly into Phoenix and have a few flights into Tucson as well.

Among the smaller carriers, Alaska Airlines has direct service from Phoenix to Portland and Seattle, and from Tucson to Seattle. Frontier connects Phoenix with Denver. Hawaiian Airlines flies from Phoenix to Honolulu. JetBlue has service from Phoenix to Boston and New York. Sun Country Airlines has regular service from Phoenix to Minneapolis as well as seasonal charter flights to Minneapolis from Tucson and the small airport in Bullhead City (across the river from Laughlin, NV). Canada's WestJet connects Phoenix with Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Within Arizona, US Airways Express/Mesa Airlines (part of US Airways) flies from Phoenix to Flagstaff and Yuma. Great Lakes Aviation flies to Kingman from Phoenix; to Page from Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Farmington, NM (where service continues on to Denver); to Show Low from Phoenix and Farmington; and to Prescott from Los Angeles and Farmington. Scenic Airlines flies from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

Airline Contacts

Alaska Airlines (800/252–7522. www.alaskaair.com.)

American Airlines (800/433–7300. www.aa.com.)

Delta Airlines (800/221–1212. www.delta.com.)

jetBlue (800/538–2583. www.jetblue.com.)

Southwest Airlines (800/435–9792. www.southwest.com.)

United Airlines (800/864–8331. www.united.com.)

Smaller Airlines

Frontier Airlines (800/432–1359. www.flyfrontier.com.)

Great Lakes Airlines (800/554–5111. www.greatlakesav.com.)

Hawaiian Airlines (800/367–5320. www.hawaiianair.com.)

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