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Cleveland Hopkins International Airport offers travel tips for the holiday season

An estimated 200,000 people will travel through the airport between now and January 4.

CLEVELAND — As the holiday season continues, the city of Cleveland and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) have provided some helpful trips to ensure that travelers have a positive experience during this busy time.

The holiday travel period extends from December 18 to January 4, in which an estimated 200,000 guests will travel through CLE.

Airport officials say the key is for travelers to plan ahead before arriving. Allow for plenty of time to get to the airport, find parking, check in and pass through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security. It is advised that travelers arrive at least two hours before scheduled departures. The airport’s peak activity times are early morning from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., early afternoon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and late afternoon to early afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hopkins Airport also wants to remind travelers that masks are required in the building due to COVID-19. Hand sanitizers are located throughout the building and in all restrooms. Social distancing markers are also throughout the building, but please use your judgement where they are not.

Parking and Public Transportation

Travelers have many parking options, including:

  • The Smart Parking Garage, $20 per day
  • The Red Lot, $18 per day
  • The Blue Lot, $16 per day
  • The Orange Lot, $15 per day

If you are picking up friends and family at the airport, you don't need to endlessly circle around the driveway. Park and wait in the CLE Cell Phone Lot located off State Road 237 South. Follow the blue directional signs for easy parking.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's (RTA) Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station. The trip takes less than 30 minutes and trains depart from CLE every 25 minutes for the majority of the day. For more information, visit the RTA web site at www.riderta.com or call The RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.

TSA Travel Tips

Always have a government-issued ID ready to present at the airline ticket counter and security checkpoint and be prepared for the screening process:

  • Know what is in your carry-on bags and checked bags. Do not bring any prohibited items with you. Don't know if an item is allowed or prohibited? Here's how to find out: Send a tweet to @AskTSA, Ask via Facebook Messenger: http://www.tsa.gov/has a feature in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage: Can I bring my? Click there and type in the item. Download the free myTSA app, which has the same "Can I bring my?" feature.
  • Many people travel with food during the holidays. Foods like cakes, pies and cookies are allowed through a checkpoint, but may be subject to additional screening. However, spreadable and pourable food items must go in checked bags (maple syrup, jams, jellies, preserves). Not sure? See above on how to ask TSA.
  • Snow globes that are 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit into the 3-1-1 bag can go in a carry-on bag. If it's larger, pack it in a checked bag. Not sure? The basic rule of thumb is that if the snow globe is larger than a tennis ball, then it should go into a checked bag.
  • It's a good idea not to wrap gifts using tape. If the gift triggers an alarm, TSA will need to open it to find out what the item is to ensure it is not a prohibited item. Instead, it is recommended that you:
    • Use a gift bag or unsealed gift box
    • Wrap the gift upon arrival
  • TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers can expect that these containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to their checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be allowed at the limit of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.
  • TSA Pre✓™ is available at CLE. TSA Pre✓™ allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs who are flying on participating airlines, to receive expedited screening benefits. Eligible participants use dedicated screening lanes for screening benefits which include leaving on shoes, light outerwear and belts, as well as leaving laptops and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in carry-on bags. Central Checkpoint is exclusively a TSA Pre✓™ checkpoint. During peak hours, South Checkpoint will open a lane as well. For more information on TSA Pre✓™ visit http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.

For more information on status of your flight, airline contact information, status of airport parking, and status of TSA checkpoint wait times, visit www.clevelandairport.com.

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Editor's Note: The below story aired on November 10, 2020