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Austin airport tips during SXSW

Kristin Finan
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport customers navigate the new pick-up location for taxis, rideshare services and off-site rental car drop-off services in November. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

South by Southwest is a notoriously busy time at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which saw a record-breaking 15.8 million passengers in 2018. If you're passing through the airport in the next 10 days, here are five things you need to know.

1. The pick-up location for those using rideshare apps and taxis has changed.

If you're planning to use Uber, Lyft, Ride Austin or another rideshare or taxi, be aware that the pick-up location is now in the airport's new rental car facility. You'll have to follow signs and dedicated walkways through the close-in parking garage to get there. Find detailed instructions in a video released by the airport at The curbside passenger drop-off location remains the same, on the upper level of Presidential Boulevard.

2. The airport is bigger than you may remember.

Phase 1 of the airport's nine-gate expansion, which adds nearly 175,000 square feet of space, was completed last month. The expansion will increase the total number of gates to 34 and increases the airport's international flight gates from two to six.

3. Frontier, Allegiant and ViaAir now fly out of the South Terminal.

The newly remodeled South Terminal is a separate facility located about a 15-minute drive from the main airport at 10000 Logistics Lane. Access it by taking U.S. 183 to Burleson Road, and be aware that off-airport parking does not serve this terminal. That said, as long as you plan for it, the South Terminal can offer a surprisingly pleasant experience, with more than 1,000 on-site parking spaces, a food truck, an outdoor patio and an on-site bar. Learn more at

4. You may see some extra maroon in what's usually burnt orange territory.

Texas A&M University has launched a "takeover," incorporating more than 70 digital and print installations across the airport through March 24. “The airport takeover is an exciting way for us to share with not only Texans but national and international visitors just how proud we are of our university," says Amy B. Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. “It seems especially apropos since Austin-Bergstrom is named for an Aggie: Air Force Captain John August Earl Bergstrom, Class of 1929. We think he would get a kick out of seeing his alma mater represented at the Austin airport.”

5. You can now sample more new Austin institutions.

From legendary Hut's Hamburgers to beloved taco joint Tacodeli, there are plenty of ways to experience authentic Austin at the airport. Oh, and that music you hear? Those are local artists, too. There's even a Toy Joy in the works. Find a full list of vendors at