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Travel Tips


Before you leave for the Airport

Check Flight Status

Our website 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.

Arrive 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. Check parking availability

Travel Documents

For domestic travel, all passengers 18 and older will need a current, government-issued, photo identification (ID) for the security screening process. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID. If traveling internationally, a passport and other documentation may be required. Please visit the TSA website for acceptable ID.

Please be aware that beginning May 7, 2025 every traveler 18 years and older will need a REAL ID-compliant, state-issued driver’s license or federally approved ID (passport, military ID) to fly within the United States. Learn more about REAL ID here


Prohibited Items

Thoroughly check your baggage before leaving for the airport to avoid mistakenly carrying on prohibited items. 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. For more information on security screening and smart packing tips, visit


Please keep batteries and electronic equipment, including laptops, cell phones, personal digital assistants and cameras with you, or in carry-on baggage - not in your checked baggage.

Place all electronics larger than a cell phone (for example, laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles) in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. Do not place anything on or under the electronics when putting the items in a bin.


Leave holiday gifts unwrapped; TSA may open wrapped packages to check the contents, even if placed in checked baggage.


Pack medications and other required items in your carry-on bag, including liquids or gels for diabetic or other medical needs. You must declare liquid or gel medications if they are over 3.4 oz.

At the Airport


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 our Parking page for rates and more detailed information.


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 (see Parking Map). The cell phone waiting lot has 94 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 all of our Terminal parking structures. All parking structures are accessible from the Departure (upper) Level only. 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.


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.

Self-Service Kiosk: For your convenience, self-service kiosks are available throughout the ticket counter lobby in close proximity to all airline ticket counters. You may check-in and print your boarding pass at any kiosk.

Curbside Check-in: Curbside check-in is provided by Skycaps at the main entrance to Terminal C for Southwest Airlines. Curbside check-in for other airlines is temporarily out of service until further notice.

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 locations.

Be Security Ready

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. The TSA offers information and multiple tips on their website at:

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.

3-1-1 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.

International Travelers

Welcome to our guests arriving from Mexico and Canada. Passengers arriving from Mexico will be processed by Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) upon arrival at JWA. Travelers arriving from Canada will take advantage of customs preclearance in Canada prior to departure to the US.

Global Entry

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.

Please note: JWA is not a designated Global Entry enrollment center.

For more information, visit CBP Global Entry.