On eve of spring break, Tampa International Airport expects record numbers (again)

Millions of people are expected to pass through the airport between tomorrow and mid-April.

click to enlarge On eve of spring break, Tampa International Airport expects record numbers (again)
Don Miller/CC BY 2.0

As if we need another reminder of how lucky we are to live in the Tampa Bay area, Tampa International Airport is bracing for the busiest spring break ever.

The season officially starts tomorrow, and by the time it ends on April 16, officials project that some 3.1 million people will have passed through the growing facility.

That's a 7.1 percent increase over last year, according to a media release.

Peak travel time is Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18, when airport officials expect 82,000 travelers to pass through each of those days. That's 30,000 more than the average non-season day.

Last year's spring break season also broke records, and the whole of 2017 itself went on to set a new record with 19.6 million passengers.

To deal with the influx, the airport is adding extra staff to its janitorial, concessions, baggage and police operations.

Southwest Airlines, the airport's largest carrier, is adding at least a dozen flights daily (and up to 39 on some days) over the spring break period.

Given the crowds, officials ask travelers to show up for flights at least two hours early, check baggage at the remote parking garage/rental car center if applicable (a new option) and take advantage of the cell phone parking areas, which now offer restrooms and wifi when appropriate.

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