TPA prepares for record spring break travel period

(February 28, 2018) Tampa International Airport expects its busiest spring break on record with an estimated 3.1 million passengers traveling through the airport, a 7.1 percent increase compared to last year’s spring break. TPA’s spring break travel period officially begins Friday, March 2, and runs through Monday, April 16. Southwest Airlines lined up for departure

Forecasts of enplanements target Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18 as peak days when nearly 82,000 travelers pass through the airport. That’s approximately 30,000 more passengers than an average, non-peak-season day.

Southwest Airlines, TPA’s biggest air carrier, will add between 13 and 39 daily departures to all of its existing destinations beginning March 8. To handle the increased passenger traffic, TSA is adding two permanent security lines beginning March 2 in Airside C to handle up to an extra 300 passengers per hour.

TPA is also adding extra staff and resources throughout the terminals, SkyConnect stations and Rental Car Center and surrounding roadways to ease congestion and assist guests. This includes adding extra janitorial staff, adding 20 percent more concessions staff, increasing baggage handling staff, increasing police presence and mitigating construction activity to minimize its impact on guests.

For a more smooth traveling experience at TPA during spring break season, guests should remember the following tips:

  • Arrive at TPA two hours before boarding to ensure plenty of time to get through terminals and screening checkpoints
  • If you use the Rental Car Center or the Economy Parking Garage and arrive 90 minutes before boarding, stop and check your luggage at the Rental Car Center’s new remote bag check center, where you can also print your boarding pass
  • When picking up passengers, use the Cell Phone Waiting lot, which has restrooms and free Wi-Fi
  • Always double check your pockets, briefcases and carry-on bags for weapons, liquids or other items prohibited by the TSA
  • Per TSA rules, remove all laptops, tablets or any devices larger than a cell phone from carry-ons or purses for separate screening at the checkpoints
  • Always double-check your flight status before arriving at the airport to confirm the departure time

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