Passengers react to Sonoma County Airport’s new boarding area and baggage claim renovations

The first flights at the new Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport terminal arrived and departed Wednesday morning with passengers applauding the revamped boarding and baggage claim areas.

The overall reaction has been, “Wow,” said airport manager Jon Stout.

“This is the first time we’ve done a renovation this big,” he said. “Everybody’s pretty excited about it, and a few people have said, ‘This is way better.’”

Shelley Redding and her daughter, Cassie, live in Sebastopol and were hopping on a plane Wednesday to go to Disneyland.

Shelley said they have always flown out of the Santa Rosa airport, even when taking international flights, because of its convenience. Shelley said the newly designed terminal feels “welcoming and bright.”

“I just like the comfort of having this place in our backyard and it feels wonderful,” Shelley said. “I”m proud of this airport, especially now that we have the new design.“

A flight from Los Angeles was the second flight to arrive and exit through the newly renovated terminal.

Jamie Certa is from Los Angeles and flew up to Santa Rosa for the first time to go wine tasting in Napa.

She said it was a bit of a shock to see the Charlie Brown decorations and didn’t know “Peanuts” founder and cartoonist Charles Schulz was from Santa Rosa until she saw the signs about his history in the baggage claim.

“It’s really nice,” Certas said. “It’s a beautiful airport.”

Jeremy Shepherd, another passenger on the Los Angeles flight, is from Kentucky. In the 17 years he has visited Santa Rosa, he always flew to San Francisco.

This year, he wanted to fly into the Santa Rosa airport for convenience.

“The airport is more convenient than (San Francisco’s airport),” he said. “It’s brand new, easy to navigate and it’s a breath of fresh air vs. the Los Angeles airport.”

You can reach reporter Sara Edwards at 707-521-5487 or Follow her on Twitter @sedwards380.

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