Make us your home page
Instagram

TIA's planning showed when Super Bowl fans left Tampa

Security checks boarding passes and IDs at Tampa International Airport on the Monday after Super Bowl XLIII.

MARTHA RIAL | Times

Security checks boarding passes and IDs at Tampa International Airport on the Monday after Super Bowl XLIII.

So many things can turn a flight home into the Travel Day from Hell.

An impenetrable traffic jam at rental car return. The ticket counter line that snakes forward an inch every 10 minutes. That confusing sign that sends you to some remote corner of an unfamiliar airport.

All that could have happened Monday as about 32,000 travelers — 10,000 more than on a typical day — descended upon Tampa International Airport to get out of town after Super Bowl XLIII. By all accounts, it didn't.

Southwest and Delta Air Lines, the airport's two largest carriers, had ticket counters open by 3:30 a.m. to check in the day's first fliers. The Transportation Security Administration brought dozens of officers from Orlando, so all 27 security screening lines were open at peak times.

That morning, officers and airline agents at Airside F handled 2,400 passengers in three hours — as many as pass through in a normal eight-hour shift.

Sure, travelers had personal crises, like always. Steeler faithful Dan and Edith Petrella tried to check in for their charter flight that was leaving from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International.

A guy named Matthew from Connecticut asked if he could fly without a government-issued ID — his driver's license, which disappeared Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. No problem. Just expect a quick computer background check and some extra screening.

Maybe it's not news when Tampa International works like it should, for busy high-profile events or routine travel. But you've got to credit the airport staff for careful planning and attention to detail.

That struck me a few months ago in the parking garage over the main terminal. The clock by the elevators read a couple of hours late. Instead of letting the broken clock confuse passengers, workers covered it with a sign informing travelers it was out of order and would be fixed soon.

Think you would see that at Miami International or JFK?

• • •

A followup to last week's column about the proposed Passenger Bill of Rights. Continental Airlines said last week it adopted a key piece of the bill: allowing passengers to leave a plane that's been stuck on the tarmac for three hours or more.

Continental will "try to accommodate those who wish to deplane using air stairs or returning to the gate," the airline said. Not as strong as the legislation, but it seems like progress on the dicey issue.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

TIA's planning showed when Super Bowl fans left Tampa 02/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  2. Superior Uniform acquires Los Angeles-based PublicIdentity

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — A subsidiary of Seminole-based Superior Uniform Group has acquired Los Angeles-based branded merchandise company PublicIdentity Inc.

    Superior Uniform Group CEO Michael Benstock
[Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  3. FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

    Personal Finance

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms.
[McClatchy DC/TNS file photo]
  4. Walmart expands grocery delivery service in Florida markets

    Retail

    TAMPA — Walmart is formally launching its grocery delivery service in Tampa, the company announced Monday, as it expands its delivery test into Orlando and Dallas. Five locations around Tampa are offering delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  5. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel

    Business

    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

    The owners of Skeleton Key Marina in Hudson have filed preliminary plans with Pasco County to redevelop the site into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.