TAMPA - If you are flying out of Tampa International Airport tonight, you may want to give yourself some extra time to check in. TIA officials expected thousands of passengers to fly out of the airport today, now that the Republican National Convention is over.
It didn't take Rohn Bishop long to check in at TIA. Bishop said, "It's been great. I got dropped off at the curb. Got in line right away. The guy's been very friendly. I just got to wait to turn in my bag and then I've got my boarding pass and see if I can find a beer or something somewhere while I wait for my plane!"
Bishop traveled to Tampa from Wisconsin for the RNC, as a guest of an alternate delegate. He got to the airport early today to avoid any delays. Bishop said, "I figured it would be like traveling at Thanksgiving because I knew the whole convention would empty out today and everyone was anxious to get home. They've been here a week. Some people longer than that. I knew I wanted to get home and see my wife and daughter as much as anyone."
Airport officials say 25,000 passengers will fly out of TIA today. That's a couple thousand more than an average day. The staff plans on moving people as quickly and efficiently through the facility as possible. Christine Osborn is the TIA Community Relations Coordinator. Osborn said, "As far as the TSA, with so many people traveling, all of our checkpoints are open. They're fully staffed. There will be no delays at the screening checkpoints. We were expecting the heavy traffic and we're prepared for it."
But, we're told a hand full of planes were delayed or canceled, which they say is normal. In some cases remnants of Isaac are still causing problems. Osborn said, "Today, we still see a couple canceled flights out of New Orleans. We we're looking at their situation there related to the airport. We know that they had power issues."
TIA doesn't have long before the next busy day. They expect another rush of passengers on Labor Day.
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