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Everything you need to know if you're flying this holiday season

If you're flying out of the Ford Airport for Thanksgiving, here's everything you may want to know before heading out.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thanksgiving holiday is always one of the busiest travel times of the year, but according to the Gerald R. Ford International, this year will be record-breaking.

Ford Airport passenger numbers are up as October 2019 was the busiest October in GFIA history, and the airport has already served more than three million passengers this year. GFIA has seen passenger traffic increase for 25 consecutive months.

13 ON YOUR SIDE Angela Cunningham was at the airport early Wednesday morning giving travelers a look at what they can expect as they head out for the holidays.


According to FlightAware, there are quite a few cancellations and even more delays in U.S. airports Wednesday morning. Flights coming in and out of the Ford Airport seem to be on-time, but that does not mean things can't change due to rain and snow in other parts of the country.

Keep up-to-date with your travel and flight information through tracking sites like FlightAware and on the airport's real time flight tracker page.


The airport is currently under construction on Phase II of its Gateway Transformation Project, and along with the busy holiday traffic, lines could be longer than normal. The airport encourages passengers to arrive at least two hours before their flight.

RELATED: Ford Airport adding 8 new gates, Midwest Express as new airline

Getting through Security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expecting a record-breaking number of flyers this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period with more than 26.8 million passengers traveling through security screening checkpoints around the U.S. from Nov. 22 through Dec. 2.

TSA encourages passengers to stay up-to-date on the latest travel notices and information about what you can or cannot bring on your flight by visiting: www.tsa.gov

RELATED: Volunteers to greet U.S. service members with a handshake at Ford Airport

Additionally, travelers should keep these top three tips in mind:

1. Pack smart. Prepare for security when packing and ensure that there are no prohibited items in baggage. As always, passengers can bring pies, cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints; however, liquids such as eggnog and maple syrup, and gels such as preserves and jellies, should go into checked bags. Liquids in carry-on must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Download the MyTSA app or use the "What can I bring?" tool on www.tsa.gov. This allows you to type in an item to find out if you can bring it in your carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither.

2. Renew your TSA PreCheck membership. Individuals who obtained TSA PreCheck five years ago are now able to renew their TSA PreCheck membership online. Individuals who do not have TSA PreCheck should enroll now to get TSA PreCheck benefits, available at more than 200 U.S. airports, in time for their holiday travel. Travelers enrolled in a trusted traveler program, like TSA PreCheck, do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. To find the trusted traveler program that best suits your travel needs, use the DHS trusted traveler comparison tool.

3. Ask for passenger support. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying with any questions about screening policies, procedures and to find out what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares also arranges assistance at the checkpoint.



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