Tampa Airport in Florida is one of the most popular international airports in the US. Covering nearly 1,300 ha, it’s known to be the fourth largest of its kind in the sunshine state.
But for various reasons, flying from Tampa Airport can be a little challenging for anyone, especially for a first-timer.
Thankfully, this piece rounds up a few tips to make your experience easy and less overwhelming when flying from Tampa Airport.
1. Getting There: Choose Your Routes Wisely
For starters, Tampa airport is just a mere seven or so miles from downtown Tampa to the west. It’s also not too far from some of Florida’s most amazing destinations in case you’re here for a casual or business trip.
And depending on the road you use, you can get there in as little as eleven to eighteen minutes, using Interstate 275S and E State Road respectively. A drive to the airport via the I-275 and Boy Scout Blvd will take approximately 15 minutes.
If you don’t have your own car or you don’t prefer driving, you can also get there by bus, take the shuttle, or rent a taxi to the airport.
2. Get There Early
Just like with any other international airport, Tampa International has a lot of ongoing activity. The flights are also super-prompt as far as takeoff is concerned.
This means that the slightest snarl-up in traffic could possibly make you miss your flight, and that’s among the most devastating experiences for anyone – more so if you’re attending an important business meeting or social event.
This is why The TSA and the airport itself recommend getting there at least 2 hours before your flight. Besides, it gives you ample time to park your vehicle and go through security checks before finally getting settled at the gate.
3. Best Times to Fly from Tampa Airport
As earlier mentioned, it pays to get to the airport at least two to three hours before your scheduled flight time. According to the TPA airport guide, this also gives you enough time to park your vehicle and pass through your chosen security checkpoint with minimal delays.
The wait times at the airport may also vary depending on how busy the day is, the number of people traveling, and the season of the year. This means that if there’s a major holiday, the wait times will probably be longer.
If you constantly use the airport, you might want to sign up for their precheck program, which grants you access to a fast security-check lane, usually at a cost of 85 dollars annually. Pre-checks usually run from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays. They are closed from noon to 12:30pm!
4. Consider Connect Your Flights
So, you still want to save some bucks off your flight from Tampa international? If so, consider booking a flight with a layover in Atlanta. These “connecting flights” are often cheaper, and sometimes promise shorter travel times compared to direct flights to most cities.
5. Get All Documents Ready
When flying from Tampa, or any other airport for that matter, it pays to have copies of your travel documents on you and in a digital location, just in case.
Make sure to pack all your documents from your passport to your luggage tags, your boarding pass, and any other important documents which you may not be able to produce during check-in.
6. Pack Your Patience and Relax
When trying to get somewhere, the lines and the endless amounts of processing can easily get you anxious and feeling overwhelmed. But a little patience never hurt anyone. To make it through the ordeal, you have to really be able to relax.
Take a deep breath and don’t focus on your anxiety. Instead, keep your mind and your emotions in check. This can also come in handy once you’re on board in case you have aerophobia.
With these tips in mind, flying from Tampa International Airport can be less taxing for you. It could actually turn out to be a smooth, unforgettable experience!