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Pack your patience: MCO expects more than 900k passengers this holiday

The busiest travel day is expected to be Saturday, September 2nd with more than 170,000 passengers flying out.
The busiest travel day is expected to be Saturday, September 2 with more than 170,000 passengers flying out.

Labor Day weekend is expected to continue a pattern of heavy traffic at Orlando International Airport despite recent storms.

More than 900,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport through Tuesday, September 5.

That’s a 14 percent increase over the same time last year.

The busiest travel day is expected to be Saturday, September 2 with more than 170,000 passengers flying out.

To prepare for this surge in travel, the airport will open all its parking facilities, and extra shuttles will run every 10- to 15-minutes.

Passengers should arrive at least three hours before their scheduled flight.

Here are some travel tips from the TSA:

  • "Arrive early. The airport will be busy, especially this Friday, so arrive early to allow for adequate time to park your car or arrive via public transit or rideshare, check bags and go through security screening before arriving at the departure gate.
  • Unpack before you pack. Start packing with a bag that is already empty. Unzip every compartment. Prior to packing that empty bag, check TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” tool to know what is prohibited and permitted in your carry-on, and what must go in your checked bag. Firearms are allowed in checked baggage when unloaded, declared with the airlines and stored properly. Firearms are not allowed at the security checkpoint, secure areas of the airport, or onboard aircraft. 
  • Respect TSA and other frontline airport and airline employees. Violence and unruly behavior in the nation’s transportation systems are not acceptable and will cause delays for passengers. Assaulting a TSO is a federal offense and will result in penalties and/or arrest. Always follow the directions of flight attendants aboard aircraft.
  • Know TSA’s liquids rule and avoid a bag check. Know the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Pack liquids, gels and aerosols larger than 3.4 ounces in a checked bag to avoid having a carry-on bag pulled aside and opened by a TSO. If you are traveling with an infant, most items in your diaper bag are actually exempt from TSA’s liquids rule. Breast milk, powdered formula, baby food and snacks, bottles and sippy cups are all allowed to fly.
  • Car seats, strollers and pet carriers. Be sure to contact your airline before your flight. You will want to make sure your car seat, stroller or pet carrier is able to fly with you. Follow officer instructions regarding pets and never send them through the X-ray machine.
  • Have acceptable ID out and ready. Adult passengers 18 years and older must show valid identificationat the airport checkpoint in order to travel. To strengthen identity verification, TSA has been deploying Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) units to confirm the authenticity of a passenger’s identification credential, flight details and screening status – without having to scan a boarding pass. With CAT, passengers only need to provide their acceptable photo identification to the TSO.
  • Be aware of new checkpoint screening technology. Some airports have installed new state-of-the-art Computed Tomography (CT) scanners which significantly improve threat detection capabilities for carry-on bags and reduce physical searches of bag contents for prohibited items. Passengers screened in security lanes with CT units do not need to remove their 3-1-1 liquids or laptops, but they must place every carry-on item, including bags, into a bin for screening.
  • Just @AskTSA. If you have a question about the security screening process, just ask us! TSA is active on most social media platforms where travelers may send their questions. Tweet @AskTSA or send a Facebook message to AskTSA.
  • Request Special Assistance. Contact TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling if you or someone you’re traveling with requires special accommodations during the airport security screening process. TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA Cares may be reached online at http://www.tsa.gov/contact-center/form/cares or by phone at (855) 787-2227 or federal relay 711."

To check the status of your flight click here. Reserve a time slot to go through the security checkpoint using MCO Reserve: http://bit.ly/3LU2Ph1. Check parking availability at the airport: https://bit.ly/3DZJt8g.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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