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Holiday Travel Tips

The Thanksgiving holiday travel week is traditionally one of the busiest leisure travel weeks of the year. Beginning on Tuesday, November 23rd and continuing through Monday, November 29th, approximately 25,900 passengers will fly to and from Harrisburg International Airport. 

"Wednesday, November 24th, looks to be the busiest day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” said Scott Miller, Deputy Director, Marketing and Public Relations. “Overall traffic at HIA over the Thanksgiving travel period projects to be up 15% when compared to 2009, due to more available seats, competitive fares, an improving economy and fuller planes.”

The key for a successful and less stressful trip is to be prepared. By following these simple suggestions, traveling to/from HIA can be easy and convenient: 

1) Know the security rules before you pack. Follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 3-1-1 campaign to know what you can pack in your carry-on baggage. For specific details, visit the TSA's site before you pack your bags.

2) Call your airline’s toll free flight tracking phone number for an update on your flight before coming to the airport. Flight status information is also available on each airline’s website.  You may want to consider signing up for email/text flight updates, they can be sent directly to your smartphone or mobile device!

3) Arrive at an HIA parking facility about 90-minutes before your scheduled departure.

4) Follow the signs and park in the Long Term Economy Lot ($8.50 per day). Shuttle buses run every 8-10 minutes from the numbered shelters in the lot and bring you directly to the terminal building.

5) When picking up or dropping off a passenger, park on the second or third floor of the garage (rate information). Or consider parking in our cell phone waiting lot.  Federal security mandates prohibit parking along the terminal curbside. Only the active loading and unloading of a vehicle is allowed in front of the terminal building.

6) The TSA security checkpoint at HIA has increased security measures including the body scanners in place.  You have the option to OPT OUT of the scanners.  If you choose to opt out of the body scanners, you will pass through a metal detector and may be subject to a patdown.  Any comments, questions or concerns that you have regarding these TSA policies and procedures can be directed to TSA Contact Center.

The TSA offers insight on how to get through the checkpoint line faster with their holiday travel tips!

Finally, we ask that you remember to bring a smile and be patient. Generally the weather looks good nationwide for the upcoming holiday travel week, however delays can happen at any time. The airlines want to get you to your destination safely and on time, while the TSA has a responsibility to make sure that everyone getting on an aircraft is doing so without any prohibited items.

Do you have a helpful travel tip that you think we missed?  Visit our blog to share your suggestions or if you need a real-time response to your travel questions call us at (717) 948-3900, or follow us on Twitter or fan us on Facebook.

As always, thank you for choosing to save Money, Distance and Time by flying to/from HIA and HAPPY THANKSGIVING from all of us at MDT!

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110