Gerald R. Ford International Airport is preparing for the busiest time of the year.
If prior years are any indication, the airport will see its largest number of passengers traveling on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“There is something about West Michigan we lot to get out of here during spring break,” said Tara Hernandez, the marketing and communications director.
Every year, on those days, the airport holds its Annual Passenger Appreciation Days. It is a tradition that has spanned almost two decades.
“It is a chance for us to say thank you,” said Hernandez. “Last year we saw 2.8 million people come through our airport. There is a select few of them coming through this weekend. I think helps set off on your Spring Break in a good mood. Grab something to eat. Fill you belly up a little bit.
“We have some fun contests and games, Frisbees, squish airplanes and bags you can use while you are out on the beach. We give free bottles of water too, for after security. They can pick those up. You can’t help but look at people come through here with a smile on their faces.”
The annual bon-voyage celebration will take place from Thursday, March 29 through Saturday, March 31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the airport’s Grand Hall Meet & Greet area.
Passengers will be treated to free refreshments, food, giveaways, prize drawings, contests and more.
While the celebration may alleviate some travel stress, Hernandez advises passengers to do their part too. Her best advice is “be prepared and be early.”
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends passengers arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure time and observe the 3-1-1 rule when packing.
“One thing to remember is the plastic one-quart zip-top bag. The liquids you fit in there have to be 3.1 ounces or less. Sometimes people forget the large bottles of aerosol sunscreen count as liquids. So be mindful of that,” Hernandez cautions.
The TSA website has additional information on its website. That information includes the following:
Additional 3-1-1 Information:
- Deodorant: Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 ounces or less, but gel or spray deodorant is.
- Suntan & Sun Block Lotion: Lotions fall under the 3-1-1 procedures mentioned above. As well as the aerosol spray lotions. Sunblock sticks do not fall under this rule.
- Makeup: Any liquid makeup cosmetics such as eyeliner, nail polish, liquid foundation, etc. should be placed in the baggie. That goes for perfume as well. Powder makeup is fine.
- Beverages: Wine, liquor, beer, and all of your other favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 ounces or less bottles in yourcarry-on bags in the 3-1-1 baggie.
- Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, lacrosse sticks, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc. are all prohibited from being carried onto the plane. However, you can have them checked as luggage.
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