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Air travelers ready for busy holiday weekend

Posted at 6:26 AM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 08:54:06-05

The holiday travel season is upon us and a record six million people will fly out to their destinations. More than 13,000 passengers are expected to travel through Tucson International Airport on a typical day during the holidays. That represents an in crease in travelers, 10-12 percent above average.

The busiest days are expected to be December 21, 22, 23 and 26-29 and January 2. 

There have been some changes to the airport and security guidelines you might want to know about before heading out the door.

Here are the changes you should know about: 

  • Construction in the terminals: it is always good to double check the latest regarding the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) screening.
  • TSA Security checkpoints have moved: Passengers departing on Southwest, Sun Country and United airlines enter the A gates from the east end of the terminal (next to the United check-in counter) and passengers departing on Alaska, American and Delta airlines enter the B gates from the west end of the terminal (next to the American check-in counter).
  • Carry-on Electronics requirements: As of October, the TSA requires all carry-on electronics larger than a cell phone be removed from their cases and placed separately in bins for screening. 
  • Wrapped gifts: it is best not to wrap gifts before traveling. According to the TSA, wrapped gifts are permitted but they may need to be unwrapped if further screening is required.
  • Before you leave for the airport check the status of your flight online. 

The usual recommendation is to be at the airport at least 90 minutes ahead of scheduled flight departure.

That's the minimum this time of year. On most days, the airport is busiest for departures before 9 a.m. and from noon to 2:30 p.m. Most airlines stop checking bags 45 minutes before departure.