ORLANDO, Fla. – With just one week away from Thanksgiving, experts are anticipating once again a lot of people set to travel during the holiday season.
That’s the reason why Orlando International Airport says timing will be crucial as people prepare to travel and officials say it’s important to know what’s called the “3-2-1 guide.”
The guide warns people to get to the airport three hours before being at the ticket counter, and if you are skipping the counter, make sure you are at least two hours early to get through security.
No. 1 comes into place as the guide advises to be at your gate one hour before your departure time.
Kevin Thibault, the CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said, “We are fortunate especially opening up Terminal C to be able to divest some of that volume to now three checkpoints instead of just two.”
Thibault warns people need to make sure their luggage follows TSA guidelines and plan ahead before coming to the airport, even if they are flying in.
During a news briefing, News 6′s Brian Didlake asked, “Have we had any conversations with our car rental companies?”
“Right now, all rental cars have prepared for what we anticipate is the volume that’s coming here over the Thanksgiving holiday,” Thibault said.
Airport officials say the preparations don’t stop there, while at the airport, News 6 saw several construction sites near Terminal C which the airport said is a part of a bigger operation to build new surface parking lots that are set to be ready to handle these large crowds.
“Two of the lots will undergo a soft opening next week, the third lot will be set by the Christmas holiday,” Thibault said.
Thibault said those improvements will add more than 1,000 parking spots compared to last year
Marquez Griffin, Vice-President of Operations for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said that for the airport, parking will be key as more people start to travel.
“What we discovered is more local travelers, more of the community that’s been traveling... this means more folks are actually coming here using us as an origin versus a destination,” Griffin said.
Griffin said another tip for passengers is to check their website and social media so they know how long it will take to get through security.
News 6′s Brian Didlake also asked about TSA staffing through the holiday season. He asked, “For our TSA staffing, are we fully prepared for those crowds as well?”
“Absolutely. TSA has those data numbers, as well, and they got the staff here and are ready to deploy staff to help if they need to, but they’re ready to man those different checkpoints,” Thibault responded.
Both Thibault and Griffin said that going forward, they will see how these improvements impact holiday travel and will adjust accordingly if there are any issues.
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