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March 11th 2019 | 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 coming off a 2018 year which saw a record 3.2 million passengers, and the Airport expects to see the high volume trend continue through its busiest time of the year – Spring Break.

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.

“With a record-setting 2018 and over three million passengers served last year, we are busier than ever and that means it is crucial for our travelers to arrive early because our passenger numbers continue to grow,” said GFIA Interim President & CEO Brian Picardat. “Our TSA screening will be staffed with more officers to accommodate the extra traffic, but passengers can do their part by simply arriving early to allow adequate time for screening and some fun as well.”

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 28th through Saturday, March 30th 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!

“We are excited to bring back our Passenger Appreciation Days – a tradition at the Ford Airport for 17 years,” said GFIA Board Chair Dan Koorndyk. “This is one way we can thank our community for supporting our airport, and our passengers will have some fun before heading out on their vacations.”

For passengers wanting to partake in the Passenger Appreciation Days festivities, the Airport encourages them to allow even more travel time.

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 one-quart 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.

Live broadcasts are welcome and encouraged and can be scheduled prior to and during Passenger Appreciation Days at the Airport.

About GFIA

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is the second busiest airport in Michigan. The Airport served over 3 million passengers in 2018 and over 8,000 travelers pass through GFIA each day. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers nonstop service to 29 major market destinations with more than 120 daily nonstop flights. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is 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