18,000 Burners expected at Reno airport this week

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There was a big crowd outside Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday as Burners who just landed in Reno gathered to get on a shuttle that would take them to the Playa. It's just one of the many conveniences this week for those flying in for the Burning Man Festival.

"They take a load off because they know we go through a lot to get here," says Natasja Desombre, a Burner visiting from Miami.

The Burner Express has more than 10,000 Burners signed up for a ride to the festival. Inside the airport, a special welcome area has been set up for Burning Man attendees. It's where volunteers and airport workers greet burners to give information, directions, and assistance. The airport says its Kindness Team is passing out sunscreen and sanitizers.

Heidi Jared, a spokesperson for the airport, says they noticed a need for this special customer service more than ten years ago.

"We saw Burners coming into the terminal just sleeping anywhere they could, on the floor. They were a little lost, confused. Many of the international travelers a decade ago had no idea where Black Rock City was. They thought they could just catch a cab from the airport," says Jared.