(TAMPA) – Tampa International Airport will be busy this holiday season. Over the Thanksgiving travel period, the Wednesday before the holiday through the Sunday following, the airport is estimating close to 240,000 passengers. Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the peak travel days with an estimated 58,000 people flying on each of those days.
Travelers leaving Tampa this holiday season may notice something new: Pre-check, the TSA’s expedited screening program, is available at all four airsides. Passengers eligible for PreCheck include members of existing Customs and Border Protection Trusted Travelers programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI; U.S. Armed Forces service members with a Common Access Card; and U.S. citizens who are frequent fliers on participating airlines. Travelers may also be selected through the Secure Flight system while traveling on participating airlines. PreCheck allows travelers to keep their 3-1-1 bags of liquids, aerosols and gels in their carry-on bags and laptops in their cases. PreCheck travelers do not have to remove belts, shoes or light jackets.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, keep the following in mind:
Arrive early – The airport will be fully staffed and prepared for the extra volume, however, travelers should allow at least 90 minutes for the check-in and screening process to get to their gate for boarding.
Avoid curbside congestion – Avoid traffic congestion at the baggage claim curbside by using the Cell Phone Waiting Lot, where you can wait for an arrival with free Wi-Fi, restrooms, vending machines, electric vehicle charging stations, and a real-time flight information display. Another option: Use the Short Term Garage, which is free for parking under one hour.
Restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels apply to everything in carry-on luggage including sealed food items and gifts Bringing a gift basket with jams, jellies, or a bottle of wine? That counts as a liquid, even if it’s in an unopened package. Visit www.TSA.gov for the latest information on the policy. Families with young children and infrequent travelers are advised to review the current guidelines posted on the TSA website for the latest information on screening procedures.