Travel Tips

John Wayne Airport (JWA) offers the following travel tips to help passengers prepare for a safe and enjoyable air travel experience.

Familiarize yourself with John Wayne Airport

OCAIR.COM contains maps, Airport alerts and other pertinent travel information. To help you navigate your way around John Wayne Airport, we offer the following:

And once you are familiar with JWA, you also can visit destination/origin airports' websites via the Nonstop Destinations page.

Plan on Getting to the Airport Early

John Wayne Airport encourages travelers to plan ahead and arrive at the Airport 1-½-to-2 hours prior to departure time for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international flights. This will allow time to comfortably park and complete the check-in and security screening process, and will ensure you'll be at your gate in time to catch your flight. In the early morning you may require extra time due to the heavy travel volume.

Give yourself a break, come early and enjoy our new shops and restaurants. Get a sneak preview here: Restaurants | Shops

Check Flight Status and Track a Flight

OCAIR.COM offers live flight status and tracking information. You may view a list of Arrivals and Departures and narrow down the results by entering your flight number, city and/or airline and get additional information about your flight. Family and loved ones can observe the flight route from the comfort of their home or while waiting at the Airport.   
View arrivals and departures.

Be Prepared for Security Screening

JWA has security checkpoints in each Terminal (A, B and C) for access to the gate areas. Any gate can be accessed from any security checkpoint. Be sure to have your ID and boarding pass ready when approaching the checkpoint.

The checkpoints are staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel who is responsible for the security screening checkpoints and the checked baggage searches. In addition to the informaton below, the TSA offers information and multiple tips on their website at:

TSA Cares Helpline: Travelers with medical conditions and disabilities can call toll-free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling to ask questions about screening policies, procedures and about what to expect at the security checkpoints. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. PST, excluding federal holidays. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail:

TSA Pre✔® is a pre-screening initiative that allows travelers the ability to move through security checkpoints with greater efficiency and ease when traveling. Dedicated TSA Pre✔® lanes are located in Terminals A, B and C at John Wayne Airport.

The TSA Pre✔® Enrollment Center at John Wayne Airport is located on the Arrival (lower) Level of Terminal C, across from the Airport Information Booth, next to the U.S. Customs exit. While walk-ins may be accommodated, travelers are encouraged to pre-enroll and/or make an appointment online at or by contacting the Universal Enrollment Services Call Center at 855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) Monday through Friday from 8 am to 10 pm (ET). The on-site Enrollment Center is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm (closed 11:00 am-11:30 am).

For additional information including eligible travelers and participating airlines, please visit the TSA Pre✔® website.

Please consider the following tips when preparing for your flight:

Thoroughly check your baggage before leaving for the airport to avoid mistakenly carrying on prohibited items. View prohibited items list.

All carry-on items (including cell phones, lap-tops and film) will be x-rayed. Be prepared to place cell phones, keys, pagers, etc. in a carry-on bag, take laptops out of their carrying case, and take coats, jackets and shoes off for X-ray inspection. Separately, pack all permitted liquids contained in one quart-size zip-top bag to be placed into a security bin.

“1+1” rule: You are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item – such as a laptop computer, purse, small backpack, briefcase, or camera case – through security screening and onto the aircraft.

plastic bag3-1-1 For Carry-Ons: The amount of liquids, gels or aerosols you may carry through the security checkpoints is restricted by the TSA to 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller size containers of liquid or gel in 1 quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag allowing 1 bag per traveler placed in the security bin. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage. View TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted in carry-on luggage if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids. Larger sizes may be packed in checked baggage.

Declare larger liquids: The items listed below are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and are not required to be in a zip-top bag. Passengers are requested to declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Baby formula, breast milk and juice. View more information.
  • Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition.

Do not wrap gifts. Gifts are subject to search, even if placed in checked baggage.

Fireworks are prohibited.

Airline Check-in Options and Boarding Passes

Online Check-in

To save time at the Airport, visit your airline's website from the convenience of your home or mobile phone. With a boarding pass and no baggage to check in, you may go directly to the security checkpoints. Online check-in may not be available or may be limited for international travelers, and a visit to the Airline Ticket Counter is recommended or required.
View a list of airlines and their terminal location.

Use Curbside Check-in for Expedited Service at the Airport

Skycaps are available for selected airlines to assist with your checked baggage and boarding pass. This option bypasses the ticket counter and you can proceed directly to the security checkpoints. 

Curbside check-in service is offered by the following airlines:

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines

Check-in and Print your Boarding Pass at a Self-service Kiosk in the Terminal

Avoid long lines and speed up your travel! For your convenience, self-service kiosks are available throughout the ticket counter lobby in close proximity to all ticket counters.

Airline Ticket Counters:

For more personalized customer service or international travel, the airline ticket counters may be your best or required option. Ticket counters are located on the Departure (upper) Level in Terminals A, B and C.
View a list of airlines and their terminal location

Bring your Government-issued Photo ID

You will need your identification (ID) for the security screening process. Security personnel will check your ID and boarding pass at the entrance to the checkpoints. Having your ID and boarding pass available will cut down on wait time in line. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID. If traveling internationally, please read the Tips for International Travelers below.

Passenger Drop-off and Pick-up

Consider these extra tips for dropping off or picking up passengers:

When picking up passengers, you can temporarily park and wait in the cell phone waiting lot located south of Parking Structure C near the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Campus Drive. The cell phone waiting lot has 18 designated spaces where visitors can wait in their vehicles, free of charge, until they receive a call or text from their arriving passengers indicating they are ready for pick up.

Parking is also available for an economical $2/hour in one of our Terminal parking structures. Two-hour parking spots are available on Level 1 of Parking Structures A1 (best option for Terminal A), B2 (best option for Terminal B and good option for Terminal C) and C (best option for Terminal C). All parking structures are accessible from the Departure (upper) Level only. (More details on parking...) Only ticketed passengers will be allowed beyond the security screening checkpoints. You can say your 'farewell' in the ticket counter area on the Departure (upper) Level, or greet your party in the baggage claim area on the Arrival (lower) Level. A popular meeting point for incoming passengers is the John Wayne Statue, adjacent to the car rental counters. Read here about the Duke: John Wayne Statue.

Parking Options

John Wayne Airport's parking options include curbside Valet Parking, Terminal Parking (Parking Structures A1, A2, B2, and C), and off-site Main Street Parking.
View parking rates and more detailed information.

Ground Transportation Options

Ground transportation options at John Wayne Airport include door-to-door shuttles, hotel shuttles, limousines, rental cars, scheduled buses, taxis and transportation network companies. These options conveniently connect the Airport to surrounding hotels, tourist attractions, businesses and residences.
View detailed information about Ground Transportation options.

Grab a Bite to Eat or Enjoy some Shopping

Arrive early to enjoy the new restaurants, bars and gift shops before you board your flight. Find their location and detailed descriptions at Restaurants | Shops.

Find your Gate

JWA has 20 commercial (Gates 2-21) and 6 commuter gates (Gates 1A, B, C and 22A, B, C), which are numbered from the north to the south. All gates can easily be accessed from any Terminal. View a map of the Terminal.

Tips for International Travelers

JWA welcomes international travelers. Three airlines offer nonstop flights to and from Canada and Mexico. Please find below some important links to help you prepare for your international trip:

Welcome to the United States

Visa and Passport Requirements

passportThe U.S. Department of State offers information on international travel requirements, travel tips and country-specific information at TRAVEL.STATE.GOV.

Traveling to and from Canada

Flag of CanadaPassengers traveling south from Canada to the United States will be able to take advantage of the customs preclearance system in Canada. For faster service, NEXUS members flying to the United States are also now able to use NEXUS cards in designated security lines for pre-board screening at Vancouver International Airport. More information about NEXUS...

Consulate Services: Consulate General of Canada Los Angeles

Traveling to and from Mexico

Flag of CanadaPassengers traveling to and from Mexico are invited to download this brochure:

Consulate Services: Consulado General de México en Los Angeles

Travelers Health Information

Tips on recommended immunizations and destination-specific health information for international travelers: CDC.GOV - Travelers Health

Programs to Expedite International Traveling

GLOBAL ENTRY (U.S. Customs and Border Protection):

Global Entry allows expedited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry members flying into Orange County can now take advantage of this program at John Wayne Airport. Global Entry participants may also be eligible to receive expedited screening benefits via the TSA Pre✔® program.

View the video below or visit the CBP Global Entry website for more information:


Flag of CanadaPassengers traveling south from Canada to the United States will be able to take advantage of the customs preclearance system in Canada. For faster service, NEXUS members flying to the United States are also now able to use NEXUS cards in designated security lines for pre-board screening at Vancouver International Airport. More information about NEXUS...

Consulate Services

Flag of CanadaConsulate General of Canada Los Angeles
Flag of CanadaConsulado General de México en Los Angeles

Currency Exchange

John Wayne Airport does not offer currency exchange services.

The following services are located near the Airport:

Bank of America* link
18622 MacArthur Blvd
Irvine CA 92612
(949) 260-5800

City National Bank* link
Orange County Airport Branch
18111 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 223-4007

Travelex World Wide Money link
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Street, Suite 1874
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 751-1203

Travelex World Wide Money link
Downtown Disney
1565 S. Disneyland Dr., Suite 104
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 502-0811

Wells Fargo - Orange County Airport link
4590 Macarthur Blvd, Suite 150
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 250-3207

* for bank customers only