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March 14th 2018 | Written By Press Release | Share

GFIA Spring Break Passenger Appreciation Days Return; TSA Offers Advice for Faster Screening

GFIA Spring Break Passenger Appreciation Days Return; TSA Offers Advice for Faster Screening
Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is preparing for its busiest time of year with helpful travel reminders, and a bit of fun mixed in.

Due to additional passenger volume beginning this month and continuing through April, parking lot demands will be greater, and airport facilities are expected to be busy. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects longer security lines and urges passengers to arrive at the Airport at least two hours prior to departure time.

In order to expedite the security screening process, passengers should carefully consider the contents of their checked luggage and carry-on bags. The TSA recommends wearing shoes that are easy to remove, having identification and boarding passes ready to present at security checkpoints, removing all items from pockets, avoiding bedazzled and jeweled clothing, limiting heavy jewelry, and ending all cell phone conversations prior to screening. In addition, removing heavy food items such as cheese and fudge, along with granular and powdered items like sugar, from your carry-on bag, will also greatly speed up security screening.

“We are looking forward to another Spring Break season, which is our busiest time of the year. Because of that, it is important for those traveling – especially if you haven’t flown recently – to review TSA’s website,” said GFIA President & CEO Jim Gill. “Our TSA staff does a wonderful job, and the more prepared travelers are, the smoother the screening experience will be for everyone.

” Passengers traveling through GFIA on select Spring Break travel dates will be treated to the annual Passenger Appreciation Days, compliments of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority Board. This bon-voyage celebration will take place from Thursday, March 29th through Saturday, March 31st each day from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. in the Airport’s Grand Hall Meet & Greet area. Passenger Appreciation Days events include free refreshments, food, giveaways, prize drawings, contests, and more!

“Our Spring Break travelers who return year after year know how much fun you can have prior to your vacation with our Passenger Appreciation Days,” said Gill. “This is one of the ways we are thanking our community for supporting our airport, and our passengers will have some fun before heading out on their trips.”

For passengers wanting to partake in the Passenger Appreciation Days festivities, the Airport encourages them to allow even more travel time. GFIA is coming off a 2017 year which saw a record 2.8 million passengers, and high volumes continue into 2018. The TSA also encourages passengers to utilize the 3-1-1 rule with liquids, gels and aerosols. Put all liquids in containers with a 3.4 ounce maximum capacity, and place them in a clear, plastic onequart zip-top bag.

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 your carry-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. 

Questions about TSA procedures and upcoming travel can be addressed to the TSA Contact Center at 1-866-289-9673 or @AskTSA on Twitter.

About GFIA

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3.58 million passengers in 2019 and over 9,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 34 major market destinations with more than 140 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority 5500 44th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512-4055 ph 616.233.6000 fx 616.233.6025 managed and operated by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. GFIA generates over $3.1 billion in annual economic output throughout West Michigan and employs over 2,000 people. For more information on GFIA visit: or follow the airport on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @FlyGRFord

Topics: Press Release, Events