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 a 4.9 percent increase over the same period in 2011. Wednesday and Sunday are expected to be the peak travel days with an estimated 53,000 people flying on each of those days.
To help customers navigate through the airport during the holidays, we remind travelers and guests that it pays to plan ahead and prepare for departure.
- Avoid curbside congestion - If you’re picking up family or friends, 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 under one hour, and enjoy the added benefit of greeting your guests as they exist the shuttles from the airsides.
- Choose your best parking option - There are plenty of covered garage spaces in all four airport parking locations, and reservations are never required. The Long Term Garage has affordable rates and easy walking or monorail access to the main terminal. Economy Parking has plenty of available space and 24-hour complimentary shuttle service. It’s the best value on the airport at only $9 a day. Want to come home to a shiny, polished, spotless vehicle? Consider the auto detailing service available in Valet Parking, with a full menu of interior and exterior detailing options. You can see all of your parking options on the airport website TampaAirport.com.
- Leave gifts unwrapped - Whether you pack gifts in your carry-on luggage or pack them in checked baggage, items that cannot be identified in the screening process may have to be unwrapped, causing delays. Avoid the hassle and “wrap on arrival” or send gifts in advance.
- Remember: Liquids, aerosols and gels apply to everything in carry-on luggage. Thinking of picking up a bottle of perfume as a last-minute gift? 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 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.
- Plan ahead - Guidelines for passenger baggage allowances and possible fees vary by airline. Travelers should visit the airline website for information related to your reservation and travel plans.
- 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.