5 great things to expect at TPA in 2022
It’s the first week of January and optimism is brimming at TPA. With many cautiously returning to travel, and a better understanding of the pivots and challenges brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Airport is looking ahead to many fun additions and amenities to make 2022 a great year for TPA’s travelers and community.
1. The giant flamingo statue is finally coming home to roost. Tampa International Airport made an international news splash in March 2020 when it unveiled renderings of its massive floor-to-ceiling flamingo statue which was slated to be installed that fall. Alas, the public art piece called “Home” by artist Matthew Mazzotta did not come that fall, nor did it come in 2021 as the result of supply chain-related issues. We’re crossing our fingers that this time’s the charm: The flamingo construction prep is underway and expected to arrive this coming spring.
2. Enjoy more nonstop connections to places you love. It’s hard to imagine that 2022 could beat 2021 in terms of new nonstop connections. This past year, TPA welcomed dozens of new routes and three new airlines, including Breeze Airways, Avelo Airlines and Eurowings Discover. It also saw the return of some nonstop international service, including Panama City, London and Frankfurt routes. With Florida, and particularly the Tampa Bay area, becoming more and more of a desirable destination for those looking for warm weather and outdoor attractions, we expect more new routes coming our way, including the eventual return of Edelweiss Air’s Zurich routes and other domestic targets to serve the projected 20.6 million passengers this year.
3. The beloved TPA 5K on the Runway will return to the airfield. After two years in virtual mode, TPA is bringing its back in-person presence, including participation in parades and other community events. The big one this year will be April’s return of the in-person TPA 5K on the Runway, which drew thousands of participants and was the Airport’s largest United Way Suncoast fundraiser prior to the pandemic. Expect the same great event as in the past and don’t delay registration which opens on Jan. 15, as this 5K fills up fast.
4. Experience enhanced airport convenience with more digital and touchless tech. In addition to boarding pass scanning at the e-gates and biometric screening at select exit and entry points at TPA, the Airport is offering more ways to use technology to improve the customer experience and keep people safe. This includes using the Grab app to order TPA to Go food from any restaurant in the Airport and having it delivered straight to you or skipping the line for easy pick-up. Or if the Starbucks line looks daunting, the Starbucks app now offers mobile ordering at TPA.
5. TPA’s roadways should be less congested and more streamlined. As several roadway projects wrap up, drivers can expect to see less barricades and construction zones along their trips to and from the Airport. Even better, drivers and passengers are getting the hang of the new Blue Express Curbsides, which help decongest the Arrivals and Departures curbsides by providing an easy drop-off and pick-up for those traveling without checked bags. Coming in 2022, rideshares and other commercial ground transportation will also be using the new SkyCenter One commercial curb, and hundreds of employees will park at the new SkyCenter parking garage as well, creating a little more breathing room on TPA’s inbound and outbound parkway.