Sullivan County

Airport officials urging passengers to arrive early for their flights

30 minutes prior to departure is not early enough

Tri-Cities Airport arrival issues

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - Compared to bigger airports, the Tri-Cities Regional Airport is pretty easy to navigate. However, that doesn't mean you can show up 30 minutes before your flight and still make it on the plane.

Airport officials are urging all passengers to show up an hour and a half to two hours prior to departure, especially with the holiday travel season just around the corner.

"That gives hopefully plenty of time for you to get here, park, get their luggage, bring it to check in, get through security, get to the gate, and get on the plane," Kristi Haulsee, a spokesperson for the airport, says.

It seems like common sense, but Haulsee says more and more passengers are showing up later causing hold ups in security lines. Amber Row saw it happen first hand.

"TSA couldn't keep up with everyone so we were the last people to get on the flight," Row says. "They were about to close the doors so about 50 people were not able to get on the flight."

The TSA is rolling out new security procedures that would require you to take out any electronic larger than a cellphone out of your bag. The TSA is using the Tri-Cities Airport as a testing site and that's also slowing down lines and causing more stress for passengers.

"Even getting here an hour early I still feel like I'm rushing," Tommy Campbell says.

Victor Vanover is flying back to Floriday for the first time since fleeing from Hurricane Irma. He says this trip home was too important to risk being late.

"When you're traveling you want to eliminate the possibility of something bad happening so it's better to stay early," Vanover says.

If you're not early, you risk the chance of not flying at all.

"They will not open the doors for you," Haulsee says.

TSA's new security procedures will be implemented nationwide by October.

 


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