18:07 PM

SPRING BREAK: TPA projected to shatter all-time record for most passengers in a single day

The Airport is gearing up to handle close to 3 million passengers over the 2024 Spring Break Travel Period, with the possibility of more than 100,000 passengers in a single day for the first time in TPA history.

Spring break has officially arrived at Tampa International Airport. The weeks surrounding March and April are traditionally the Airport’s busiest time of year, with more passengers than even Christmas or Thanksgiving. This year, with the continued growth of the Tampa Bay area and increased airline capacity, TPA is projecting the Airport will once again break an all-time record for the most passengers in a single day. 

TPA already broke its single-day passenger record last week, when 93,334 passengers passed through the Airport on February 25. Projections utilizing airline booking data suggest TPA could once again set new all-time passengers records with more than 100,000 passengers expected on both March 9 and March 17. The Airport is preparing to accommodate 90,000 to 100,000 passengers every Saturday and Sunday over the 38-day spring break travel period. 

With all the extra people coming and going, here are some tips to help your spring break travel experience run as smoothly as possible:

ARRIVE EARLY: We know, we know… TPA is usually super-fast with passengers often bragging about getting from their car to their flight’s gate in 15 minutes or less. But this spring break, arriving early is more important than ever before. With the massive volume of extra people and several ongoing construction projects, TPA passengers should arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before international travel. This is especially important for passengers traveling out of Airside A or Airside E, where construction crews are working to expand the security checkpoints. Until that work is done, there is less room for people to line up and, for that reason, you may see lines beginning to form inside the Main Terminal before boarding the shuttles. Passengers traveling on Delta, Frontier or Air Canada should expect longer than usual wait times during the morning rush, especially during the 5:00 a.m. hour. A separate project to install brand new shuttles at Airside A and Airside C means only a single shuttle lane is in use as crews continue their work on upgrades.

CHOOSE EXPRESS: Traveling with carry-on luggage only? The Blue Express Curbsides are an easier alternative to the regular Departures and Arrivals curbs and allow those who don’t need to stop at the Ticketing or Baggage Claim levels to get in and out of the Main Terminal more easily and quickly. Drivers can follow the signage to Express for a much less crowded drop-off and pick-up experience, especially during peak hours when traffic may start to back up.

REMOTE BAG CHECK: Spring break is one of the busiest times of the year for our Rental Car Center, when people are flocking to Florida on vacation. If you are returning a rental car at TPA, consider checking your bags at our Remote Bag Check location. Located on Level 4 of the Rental Car Center, the Remote Bag Check allows passengers to drop off their bags and get their boarding passes before they board the SkyConnect train and make their way to their gates, alleviating the stress of hauling luggage through the Airport and allowing passengers to skip the ticket counters at the Main Terminal. The service is available for passengers arriving at least 90 minutes before their flight and traveling on JetBlue, American, Delta, United, Spirit, Frontier or Southwest.

SKIP THE LINES: Spring break fun is enough to make anyone work up an appetite. Early morning flight? You already know you’re going to need some coffee. Why not order ahead and have your latte or burger waiting when you arrive? Customers can use the Uber Eats App at TPAtoGo.com, or the Starbucks mobile app to order and pay. The app will provide an estimated wait time, allowing you to avoid standing in line and swing by the counter when your order is ready to pick up.

PLAN AHEAD FOR PARKING: TPA offers online booking for parking, which has discounted pricing on its Short Term, Long Term and Economy garages, some of which may reach capacity during peak days. Online bookings also help TPA anticipate demand and manage its garage space availability, making parking easier for everyone.