From the SHD Family to Yours

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is at its peak! What makes the holidays memorable though are the special people we spend it with and the traditions we create over the years. From the SHD family to yours, we’d like to share some of our favorite holiday traditions with you.

We wish you a safe and joyful holiday season filled with special memories!

My favorite tradition: 
Every Christmas Eve as a child I always looked forward to getting to open one special present early – new Christmas pajamas to wear that night. It always seemed to make the wait for Santa Clause even more exciting. Now that I have two daughters of my own, we carry on that tradition gifting them matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. At 5 and 7 years old they still think it’s pretty cool to look like twins!

For 30 years now, I have hosted brunch at our house on Christmas morning. We used to have about 25 family members joining us but as children have grown up and moved away to start families of their own, we are down to about 10 of us. Even with brunch being a little bit quieter now, we still really enjoy this special time together.
– Tammy Powell, Fare Specialist/Customer Service Representative

When our kids were younger, we would rush home from wherever we were to put out milk and cookies for Santa, and sometimes sprinkle reindeer food on the sidewalk. Then we would all sit together on the floor, and I would read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ before the kids went off to bed so the magical night could begin. My children are now 14 and 17 so those times have passed, but I still have the same copy of this book that I read to them for many, many years.
– Chris Hoover, Operations/Public Safety Officer

One of my favorite memories growing up was when we would go as a family to look at Christmas lights around where we lived in Parkersburg, WV.
– Becky McNemer, SHD Operations

Every year, we go to Tastee Freez and get a Christmas cone, which is soft serve ice cream with red and green sugar sprinkles, and ride around for hours looking at Christmas light displays all around Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County. We always listen to Christmas music and share stories of years past while driving around. It never really feels like Christmas until we have done this tradition. And even though I have the DVD and Blu-Ray, I still watch “24 hours of A Christmas Story on TNT” at least once through.
– Justin Kyle, Operations/Public Safety Officer

My parents were divorced and each December my three sisters and I would watch the mail for a big package to arrive from my dad. If we were lucky, it would show up while my mom was still at work and we could carefully open each one with a butter knife to see what was inside. Then we would wrap it back up like nothing ever happened. I’m pretty sure my mom still has no idea we did this!
– Debbie McAllister, Facilities & Shuttle Coordinator

Travel Gifts Everyone Will Love!

If you’re like us, your holiday shopping is in full swing! For the travelers on your list, we’re making your gift giving a breeze with the best travel gifts, gadgets, and gizmos. From commemorating world travels to making travel more comfortable, there’s something for everyone in this gift giving guide.

Multiway Travel Bag
Travel like a pro with this 3-in-1 travel bag. Attach it to your suitcase, transform it into a backpack, or use it as a shoulder bag. Multifunctional pockets, straps, and compartments are perfect for organization that can adapt to your needs. Take a look at why the Multiway Travel Bag by Mochimakes our top 5 list!

Stocking Stuffer Bonus: Add a bag luggage straps make navigating the airport with multiple suitcases a breeze. Every traveler will appreciate the convenience and practicality of this gift!

Portable Power Bank 
Every savvy traveler will appreciate a compact portable power bank to keep their gadgets charged on the go. Take into consideration the type of device being charged when choosing the milliamp hours (mAh). Higher milliamp hours mean more charges.

Stocking Stuffer Bonus: Never dig through a bag, pocket, or suitcase for device cords and accessories! Keep them organized in one place with a travel cable organizer. It will soon be a must-pack item for your busy traveler.

Noise Cancelling Headphones 
If you’re a frequent business trip flyer or flying internationally, noise cancelling headphonescould be your saving grace for working without distraction or getting a good night’s sleep. Unlike passive headphones, noise cancelling headphones reduce unwanted ambient sounds and allow you to listen without having to increase the volume. While noise cancelling headphones are typically more expensive, you can find quality options starting at around $40.00 per set.

Stocking Stuffer Bonus: To compliment the noise cancelling headphones, add an inexpensive 3D sleep mask for blocking light. Your favorite traveler will love the gift of good sleep!

Stocking Stuffer Bonus: Keep the good rest coming with an inflatable ergonomic travel pillow that provides maximum comfort. The best part? When it’s not in use, it’s easy to deflate and pack away.

Socks That Rock 
Flights can be a challenge for good circulation in your legs and feet. Give the gift of fashion and good health with stylish compression socks that anyone will be proud to wear! Fun designs and patterns make them indistinguishable from regular socks.

Remember the Journey 
scratch-off world travel map is a unique way for travelers to remember their adventures and track their adventures. Avid travelers will love commemorating their globe-trotting with this map that doubles as a work of art!

Holiday Travel Problems Solved!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and if you read this email to the end, it can also be the season of enjoyable holiday travel! We’ve compiled our top travel hacks for staying sane during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. With tips for pre-planning, packing, and making your flight, we’re making sure this really is the most wonderful time of year for travel!

Download a Personal Assistant 
Before you even pack your bag, make sure to download the United Airlines app! Give yourself the (free) gift of real time flight status alerts, mobile check-in, baggage tracking, boarding notifications, and more through one convenient app. It’s your personal assistant on the go for holiday travel and beyond!

Other pre-planning tips include:

  • Take photos of all your travel documents (your passport & itineraries for example) and email them to yourself in case these items are lost or stolen.
  •  Invest in a power bank or two and make sure they are fully charged so you can quickly charge your devices.
  • Remember to turn your phone to airplane mode prior to takeoff so your battery doesn’t drain during flight.

Pack Like a Pro
Packing during the winter season comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of our best seasonal travel hacks, along with tips  you can use any time of year! Don’t forget to check TSA.gov in advance for guidelines and resources about what you can pack.

Holiday Packing Hacks

  • If you’re traveling to a place with winter weather or rain, use a hard-sided suitcase that can repel outside moisture more effectively than soft-sided suitcases.
  • Plan to wear your heaviest clothing items like your winter coat and boots on the plane to make your checked bags lighter.
  • If you’re packing gifts, plan on wrapping them when you arrive at your destination. Wrapped presents could cause delays when you’re going through security. Better yet, give experiences instead and save yourself the hassle of pack bulky gifts!

Bonus Hacks

  • Keep your clothes smelling fresh longer, by packing a dryer sheet in your bag.
  • Try rolling your clothes instead of folding them to create more space.
  • Pack your shoes in shower caps to keep them from touching your clothing.
  • Put plastic wrap over the opening of bottles and screw the lid over top of the plastic wrap to prevent liquids from leaking.
  • String necklaces through straws to keep them untangled.

Time Is Your Friend
One of the biggest travel mistakes people make is not allowing themselves enough time catch their flight. Arrive at least one hour prior to your departure at SHD.This ensures that you have plenty of time to deal with any unexpected issues and still board your flight on time. Many airlines, including United at SHD, will not allow you to check-in for a flight inside a 30-minute window.

Give yourself the gift of time, by signing up with TSA Precheck! Keep your shoes on, your laptop in your bag, liquids packed away, and more. With average wait times of less than 5 minutes, TSA Precheck saves you time and stress. Click here to apply today! (Remember, even with TSA Precheck, you’ll need to arrive one hour before your flight.)

With these tips in mind, we hope you’ll have your best holiday travel experience yet! And remember, SHD is always here to answer any travel questions you may have.

Happy Thanksgiving From SHD!

If you are like me, the Thanksgiving holiday tends to make you feel a bit sentimental when you reflect on what you are the most thankful for. The same is true for all of us at SHD!

I know I’ve already shared with you what amazing growth we’ve seen in passenger traffic since the start of United in April but has it really sunk in that YOU are the reason we can celebrate? Every single one of you that have purchased a ticket from SHD in the past 8 months have made a big impact on the future growth of your local airport! There is no doubt YOU are what makes us the most thankful!

On Tuesday WHSV came out to report on local holiday travel, and we had quite an exciting story to tell! The airline terminal has been buzzing more than ever this week with full flights arriving carrying visitors to the Valley and full flights departing with locals heading out for the holiday. Knowing that SHD can make it easy for you see family and friends for Thanksgiving this year makes us incredibly happy.

I started thinking earlier this week it would be so fun if we could just show up at your door and say “Thanks” in person today. The problem is we would hate to keep you from tending to the turkey, interrupt your dinner conversation with Aunt Ethel about politics, or awake any of you “watching” football (we all know you’ll actually be dozing off from the tryptophan).

A close second will just have to be this short video we made especially for you! Maybe you can even open the front door and pretend we’re there while you watch it? Or you can remain on the sofa resting from your great feast. We won’t be offended!

Warm wishes for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from Team SHD!

You Helped Us Break a Record!

As many of you know, last month SkyWest/United began direct flights to Chicago. We knew this flight would be popular in the community, but the number of you who flew from SHD in October blew us away! With your help we broke a 20-year old record for monthly passenger traffic!

To be exact, 3,362 of you took advantage of the convenient, cost-effective, and time-saving flights at SHD –  for that we can’t say thank you enough!

Another reason to celebrate? SkyWest also had a 100% completion rate of scheduled flights at SHD. That means there wasn’t a single flight cancellation for the entire month of October! SkyWest continues to prove why it’s ranked #1 in regional airlines for reliability. If you haven’t flown with United powered by SkyWest, we invite you to experience the difference firsthand!

For many of you, travel will be a part of your Thanksgiving holiday, and you aren’t alone. TSA is predicting this Thanksgiving holiday season (November 16-November 26) will be the busiest travel season on record with more than 25 million people flying on commercial airlines!

To make your travel experience a great one, here are a few reminders:

  • Plan to arrive at the airport early. At SHD that means one hour prior to departure. If you are returning from a larger airport you will want to be sure to allow at least two hours or more for the check in and screening process.
  •  Review TSA guidelines before you pack. Check the TSA website or MyTSA app for the most up to date information. You can even send a picture of what you aren’t sure about to Ask TSA on Facebook Messengeror Twitter to get a quick response.
  • Get familiar with airline baggage policies.  Baggage policies and fees vary with the type of ticket purchased, your destination (domestic or international) and your status in the United Mileage Plus program. For the most up to date information it’s best to visit United’s Baggage Informationpage. You can also calculate fees for your specific trip using United’s Baggage Calculator tool.

Wishing you safe and stress-free Thanksgiving travels!

Chicago Ranks #1 – Here’s Why

One of the things I’ve heard time and again from visitors traveling to the Shenandoah Valley is that we have the best of both worlds.

We enjoy the personal touch of small-town living but welcome the innovation of industry, technology, and a thriving higher education community. We’re surrounded by natural beauty but within easy reach of big cities through our proximity to air, rail, and highway travel.

Now that United powered by SkyWest is available at SHD, we’ve connected travelers to two major airport hubs – Washington-Dulles and Chicago O’Hare – allowing for seamless connections to the world right from your backyard.

In fact, OAG, a leader in airline data analysis, recently announced that Chicago O’Hare ranked #1 in the United States for flight   connectivity – an astounding 81,913 possible one-stop domestic flight connections during a three-hour window to be exact! Not to mention that there are over 128 daily direct flights to 50 international destinations from Chicago O’Hare.

Plus, United offers 30 daily nonstop flights from Dulles to 30 international destinations as well as 195 daily domestic flights to 74 airports across the United States.

Combine this with SHD’s direct flights to Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles, and we have another best of both worlds option for our SHD travelers. We can literally get you anywhere you want to go.

With an airport so close to home that connects to two major hubs and a tremendous number of destinations within reach, we’re helping record numbers of Shenandoah Valley travelers do business, see the world, or take that vacation they’ve been needing!

And guess what? We can get you there affordably.  Our in-house fare specialists provide free booking assistance to make sure of it. Simply call 540-234-8304. 

There’s not just one reason to fly with SHD – there’s 81,913! Let us help you reach your next destination.

SHD Attracts New Business

This month SHD is proud to be featured in Virginia Business Magazine, a publication that has covered economic activity in every sector and region of the state since 1986.

Since we’ve started our new service with United powered by SkyWest we’ve been excited to connect travelers to destinations across the country and the globe through two major hubs – Washington-Dulles and Chicago O’Hare.

As the Gaining Altitudes article in Virginia Business Magazine explains, the opportunity to bring the best in regional aviation to the Shenandoah Valley with United and SkyWest is a game changer for travel to and from our region. In fact, since May we’ve had a 50% increase in passengers using the service, and that number continues to climb.

The impact of this partnership also plays an essential role in economic development. As Carrie Chenery, former executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP) points out, access to commercial air service is a key factor for business prospects.

“They hear about our location and our transportation assets,” Chenery says, “What had been missing there [until recently] was quality, reliable air service. So, now to have that in our fold is significant for our efforts.”

Support from travelers like you is essential for the continued growth of SHD. When you fly with us, you aren’t just getting great reliable service; you’re also supporting a larger vision of a thriving Shenandoah Valley – the place we love to call home.

WWII Aircraft Coming to SHD

You’ve seen them in movies and read about them in the history books, but now is your chance to experience rare WWII aircraft like never before!

SHD is excited to host the Wings of Freedom Tour with The Collings Foundationfeaturing the WWII era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” bomber, and P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” fighter plane. Click here for a video sneak peek!

The Wings of Freedom Tour is celebrating its 29th year of traveling the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew the aircraft, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers they helped protect, and the citizens that share the freedom they helped preserve.

Join us on Wednesday, October 17th at approximately 1:30 pm to watch these majestic aircraft touchdown at SHD, or plan to visit during the walk-through tour times listed below!

Wings of Freedom Tour featuring rare WWII aircraft.
This living history exhibit brings you up close and personal with these rare and extraordinary aircraft. In fact, the B-17 is one of only nine in flying condition in the United States. The B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the world. Learn more about how the B-25 was crucial in the daring Doolittle raid, and why the P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend” – saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters.

Walk-Through Tours
Explore these awe-inspiring aircraft inside and out during walk-through tours – $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 years and younger. Discounted rates are available for school groups.

Tour times are: 10/17 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, 10/18 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and 10/19 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Once in a Lifetime Flights
Schedule a once in a lifetime epic adventure that you’ll never forget! Enjoy a 30-minute flight aboard one of these rare bombers or take your thrill-seeking to new heights by taking the controls of the P-51 – the world’s greatest fighter!  For flight information and reservations, call 800-568-8924 or visitwww.collingsfoundation.org/flight-experiences/.

Ready to Win a $250 Travel Voucher?

How does $250 towards your next trip sound in exchange for less than 5 minutes of your time?

Sounds good, right?

We’ve launched a (very) brief survey to gather information from you about your travel experiences.

Simply complete the survey and enter your information at the end for a chance to win a $250 travel voucher!

Your input and opinions matter to us and completing the survey will help us to serve you better.

Thank you for your participation!

You’re Invited to Chicago!

Fall is the perfect time of year to travel to some of the Valley’s most popular destinations. With summer tourist crowds at bay, mild temperatures, and nonstop flights starting at $210 roundtrip from SHD – Chicago is a great place to plan a trip this fall.

Known by the nicknames Chi-Town and The Windy City, Chicago is an excellent destination for a long weekend getaway or full-fledged vacation. To make your trip memorable, we’ve put together some of our favorite must-do activities and attractions!

Get to Know the City 
The architectural influence of Chicago enchants the novice and expert alike. Home to world famous architects and buildings, architecture is key to truly appreciating Chicago. Don’t miss our top pick for exploring Chicago Architecture!

Chicago Architecture Center
Making its debut in August 2018 the new Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, combines education, interactive exhibits, and storytelling in a way that brings the city to life like never before. The CAC is fun for the entire family and affordably priced at just $12 for adults, $8 for students with ID, and free for children under 5 years old.

Current experiences and exhibits include:

  • Architecture River Cruises Get up close and personal with the city from a unique vantage point with a 90-minute guided cruise on Chicago’s First Lady. Capture Chicago Photography Cruises and Twilight River Cruises are also available. Prices vary based on cruise type.
  • Chicago Model Experience This interactive exhibit weaves the tale of the growth and rebirth of the city.
  • Chicago Gallery Learn about the architects and their creations that make Chicago “the city of architecture.”
  • From Me to We: Imagining the City of 2050 Get a glimpse into the future and explore the trajectory of change for cities to accommodate a global increase in population.

Get Lost in Arts & Culture
Chicago’s vibrant arts and culture scene sparks the imagination and offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in these top picks for adding the arts to your next Chicago visit.

The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University  
Look no further for award-winning theater, music, opera, dance, and experimental arts. From Broadway to ballet and everything in between, you can experience it at the Auditorium Theatre. With a story all its own, this historic venue has brought culture center stage for 127 years. Click here for a full list of upcoming performances including The Joffrey Ballet’s Swan Lake, October 17th-28th.

Museum of Science and Industry
With a slogan like “Long Live Curiosity,” the Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see for all ages. Since 1933, it’s welcomed visitors to explore, imagine, and discover the wonders of science and industry. Ticket prices vary based on experience and exhibit packages. Discounts are given for ordering tickets online.

Current experiences and exhibits include, but are not limited to:Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

  • The Science Behind Pixar: This exhibit features over 40 interactive elements that showcase the filmmaking process of family favorites and brings beloved characters to life right in front of you. This exhibit runs through January 6th.
  • Flight and Ridge Simulators & Space Walk: Where else can you launch into space, ride a Red Baron from World War I, or complete a spacewalk mission outside the International Space Station? Trust us; you’ll be talking about these exhibits for years to come!
  • Coal Mine: From descending a mine shaft to riding the rails, experience a true-to-life coal mine in this unforgettable exhibit.

 For the Foodies
From deep dish pizza to the dazzling cuisine of famous chefs like Grant Achantz, you can easily eat your way through a trip to Chicago. From downtown to uptown, here are some top picks for food destinations that are sure to satisfy.

Chef Grant Achantz at Alinea in Chicago.$$$$ Alinea 
Awarded the prestigious 3-star Michelin ranking, Alinea will delight your senses and open the world of cuisine in a whole new way. Much more than a restaurant, this engaging experience is bucket list item for the ultimate foodie. Chef Grant Achantz is world renowned and when you dine at Alinea, you’ll understand why. Plan your trip carefully as bookings are often filled months in advance.

$-$$ Hit the Streets
From pizza to lobster rolls, Chicago streets are filled with delicious cuisine. Believe it or not, Chicago’s food trucks serve up some of the best meals in the city. With cult-like followings, get the latest locations and menu offerings by following them on Twitter. To get you started, click here for a list of favorite food trucks in Chicago.

Navy Pier Food & History Tour
Take a delicious deep dive into Chicago cuisine and history with this foodie favorite tour. Enjoy the iconic landmark, delicious food, and informative guided tour in this all-in-one activity. Departures take place multiple times a day and tickets range from $35-$50.

Ready for a trip you’ll never forget? Click here to book your Chicago flight now!