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TPA sees record numbers as it heads into the July 4th holiday weekend

With smart and savvy planning, travelers can navigate the July 4th holiday and 2022 summer travel season with ease.

After a record May that saw more than 1.9 million passengers and a very busy start to the summer travel season, TPA is gearing up for another influx of passengers over Independence Day weekend. The good news: Despite the challenges across the industry that have come with the surge of air travel, 96 percent of TPA's flights have been unaffected by cancellations and 80 percent have not experienced delays. In fact, TPA saw less delayed flights in June 2022 than it experienced in pre-pandemic June 2019.

Still, with peak days now exceeding pre-pandemic levels, TPA and its airlines, federal agency partners and other airport businesses are experiencing steady and heavy volumes with more than 60,000 daily passengers seen over some of our busiest holiday weekends. The Transportation Security Administration recently announced its operational readiness in regard to staffing and screening technology and TPA’s Customs and Border Protection checkpoint may see more travelers as the Airport now has several weekly flights to and from London, Cancun, Zurich, Frankfurt and other international cities.

This upcoming Saturday, July 2, is expected to be the busiest day of the long weekend with about 60,000 people traveling. While TPA has seen as many as 75,000 passengers during some peak days during 2022, the summertime travel season sees high and steady numbers sustain over a longer period of time compared to the holiday season or spring break. 

As busier runways combined with the possibility of summer storms can sometimes cause operational hiccups for Florida airports, TPA aims to make the passenger experience as pleasant and smooth as possible. Here are some tips for those planning to take to the skies this Busy day at TPA_runwaysummer.

ORDER AHEAD: Tampa International Airport offers online booking for those planning to park at TPA during their trips, and reserving ahead not only helps TPA maximize its garage space for travelers, but it offers a discounted rate as well.

Think you’ll arrive hungry? The Airport also offers TPA To Go on the Grab mobile app, allowing you to go straight to your gate area and have someone deliver your food, or skip the lines and pick up your order at the counter or restaurant without waiting.  

ARRIVE EARLY: While TPA is known for quick and easy security lines, peak busy days could throw a wrench in those expectations. Avoid the stress of nearly missing a flight – or worse, watching your plane back away as you’re running toward the gate – and plan to get to the Airport at least two hours before departure, or three hours for international flights. Enjoy any extra time relaxing, charging your phone, grabbing a snack or shopping for souvenirs.

SAIL THROUGH SECURITY: For anyone planning to travel more than once or twice a year, the Department of Homeland Security’sFamily walking in the Main Terminal SkyConnect Trusted Traveler programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are your friends. TSA recently announced that in April 2022, 94 percent of PreCheck passengers nationwide waited less than five minutes at checkpoints. International passengers with Global Entry going through Customs can enjoy less paperwork and greatly reduced lines, a relief after a long-haul flight.

TPA also has Automated Passport Control Kiosks, and U.S. and Canadian citizens can download the Mobile Passport app for faster processing.

In any security screening lines, be sure to check all pockets and bags before leaving the house or hotel. Prohibited items such as sharp objects, large containers of liquids and certain food items can cause heavy snags at the checkpoints.

CHOOSE EXPRESS: For passengers traveling without checked luggage, TPA offers a streamlined drop-off and pick-up experience at the recently opened Blue Express Curbsides. Drivers can follow the road signs to Express Departures where the passengers can go straight up to the Transfer Level, or those wanting to bypass the baggage claim crowds can head down to the Express Arrivals curbs to wait for their rides.

For information about TPA, including flight status, ground transportation, restaurants, nonstop routes and more, go to www.tampaairport.com.