Many people relied on Bellingham International Airport (BLI) for safe flights throughout the challenges of 2020 thanks to the Port of Bellingham’s dedication to being proactive about safety now and into the future. It’s a great regional choice for anyone in Western Washington looking to safely travel thanks to BLI’s touchless upgrades!
Check our Travel Advisory Page for current travel restrictions in Bellingham and Whatcom County including COVID-19 related guidelines.
Visit Bellingham asked representatives from BLI about new safety upgrades and the convenience of a regional airport.
1. Can you talk about the touchless changes and upgrades that have recently happened at Bellingham International Airport?
The Port of Bellingham, owner and operator of Bellingham International Airport, recently completed a terminal-wide project to upgrade all public restrooms to touchless technology. The improvements included converting all sink faucets and toilets, along with the paper towel and soap dispensers, to hands-free touchless to better serve and protect our passengers, employees, and stakeholders from germs, bacteria, viruses and other touch transmissible pathogens.
2. The concept of “touchless” is really important for virus-avoidance—but also seems like a great investment into ease, cleanliness, and safety for future travelers. Was that part of the plan?
Touchless restrooms were already becoming the standard for public buildings before the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, the Port had planned to convert all restrooms to touchless by the end of 2021, however, the severity of the pandemic accelerated the Port’s timeline.
The improved fixtures come with other value-added benefits besides mitigating the transfer of bacterial and viral infections, such as ease of replacement and reduced preventative maintenance. Clearly a win-win project overall.
In addition to the improvements to the restrooms, BLI has increased the frequency and methods for cleaning and disinfecting them, as well as those of other high traffic areas, and spaced seating within the terminal to provide social distancing. BLI was one of the first airports in our region to mandate face coverings. The Port is proud to report no COVID-19 cases have been contact traced to BLI.
3. BLI is safe, state-of-the-art, and convenient—so where can you fly nonstop from Bellingham Int’l Airport in 2021?
BLI’s tagline is ‘Close. Convenient. Crowd-Free.’ and we really mean it!
BLI currently offers six non-stop destinations through our airline partners, Alaska/Horizon Air and Allegiant Air. Hop on an Alaska/Horizon flight direct to Seattle or with Allegiant, the airline offers non-stop flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, and Phoenix-Mesa.
San Juan Airlines also offers flights to the San Juan Islands and Point Roberts. These destinations are available right in Bellingham without having to endure traffic or the large crowds of Seattle.
While airlines have reduced their frequency of flights and destinations due to the challenging impacts of COVID-19, including the U.S. and Canadian border closure, the Port remains optimistic of the future once the vaccine rollout has the pandemic under control. BLI is ready to serve the pent-up air travel demand.
4. If regional travelers wanted to come in the night before, are there airport hotel facilities nearby?
Conveniently located within walking distance from the airport terminal is Holiday Inn & Suites, Bellingham. Recently built in 2016, the hotel offers 153 guest rooms along with the pool, hot tub, fitness center and convenience store, the hotel has an excellent restaurant, northwater.
Insider Tip: Check out our blog “High Cleaning Standards at Bellingham and Whatcom County Hotels and Businesses” for more info on the Holiday Inn & Suites!