You Asked – We Answered! FAQ’s of SHD Travelers

Since our new United jet service powered by SkyWest launched in April, we’ve seen more travelers than ever coming through our terminal. Like the savvy travelers you are, you’ve asked some great questions about the service, the process, and what you should expect. So, we’ve put together a Q&A of the top questions we’ve received. Do you have a question that’s not listed in this email? Contact us anytime, and we’ll be glad to help! In the meantime, take a look at these SHD FAQ’s about enhancing your travel experience.

What’s the best way to book a flight to/from Shenandoah Valley Airport?
The easiest way to book a flight is on using our airport code – SHD. Be leery of third-party travel sites promising the cheapest fares. We have found these sites have the same fares (or higher – yikes!) than booking with the airline directly, and sometimes details can be lost in translation between the website and airline causing headaches down the road. If you aren’t comfortable booking flights on your own, there are several great travel agencies in our area that can help, or you can call one of our Fare Specialists for assistance.

How early do I need to arrive at SHD? What’s the latest I can board the flight?
United’s suggested arrival and check-in time at SHD is one hour prior to departure. This ensures that you have plenty of time to deal with any unexpected issues and still board your flight on time. System-wide United’s policy is to cut off checked luggage 45 minutes prior to departure time. Passengers without checked luggage must be checked in for the flight a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure. The self-service kiosk, United mobile app, and customer service computers will not allow you to check-in for a flight inside the 30-minute window.

Security lines at SHD are still much shorter and faster than a larger airport but with an increase of passenger traffic comes the need to plan accordingly for the screening process. Per United guidelines, travelers must be through the TSA process and on board the aircraft 15 minutes prior to departure.

More details on United’s policies can be found here.

What are United’s baggage policies and/or fees at SHD?
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 Information page. You can also calculate fees for your specific trip using United’s Baggage Calculator tool.

Will United match my frequent flyer status on another airline?
YES! We know Valley travelers may be members of other airlines’ frequent flyer programs and those perks are well-earned. That’s why we are so excited about United’s MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge where you can receive comparable status! Submitting your request is an easy online process and you could be enjoying United perks in as little as 7 days! Click here to get started.

I haven’t flown for a while; can you remind me of TSA guidelines? TSA luggage guidelines for travelers.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) makes it really easy to find out what items can be packed in your carry-on bag and checked luggage, and what items should be left at home. A simple rule to remember for liquids in carry-on luggage is the 3-1-1 rule. also has a great search feature where you can put in just about anything to see if it can be packed. Would you rather just snap a picture while you are packing and get a quick answer? You can do that too by sending a photo to @AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter.

Whether you’re a frequent SHD traveler or planning to try us for the first time, use these helpful tips to make the most of your travel experience!