Thousands expected to fly out of Norfolk International Airport ahead of Christmas

NORFOLK, Va. — Author’s note: The video above is on file from December 9, 2021. 

Holiday travel is ramping up across the country, with millions of people expected to fly this season.

TSA expects to screen nearly 30 million travelers now through January 3, 2022.

Norfolk International Airport said the flow of travel has been constant on Monday, with some people hanging out in the common area.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said traveler Michael Fuller. “I thought, like you said, that there would definitely be a lot more people traveling right now.”

Airport leaders told 13News Now that many travelers flew out late last week and over the weekend.

While many people are flying to be with their families, Michael Fuller is saying “see you soon” to his new wife.

“We hadn’t seen each other before a couple weeks ago for two and a half years,” Fuller said.

“I’m leaving Virginia Beach, I’ve been here for the last couple of weeks seeing Lauren, and I was here for school for a little while, but I’m going back to Japan now to finish out my tour out there.”

He’ll be gone for about eight months for his job, which makes it such a hard goodbye.

 “We had such a great time here, just a little slice of living together and a little slice of the future, so it’s hard to say goodbye to her for right now,” he said. 

While they cherished the time they have left together, others rushed to get to their flight.

Airport staff members say from now until Wednesday, roughly 14,000 people are expected travel through Norfolk International Airport every day. 

Holly Dalby with AAA Tidewater says more people are flying this year than last.

“People are vaccinated now and feeling more comfortable with traveling, and so many people were cooped up last year and couldn’t go and see their families because they haven’t been vaccinated yet, so they really want to go out and see their family or friends or maybe take that vacation that they had to postpone last year,” she said.

AAA predicts airlines will see an 180% increase this holiday season.

If you are flying out of Norfolk International this holiday week, you’ll want to arrive early so you can make it through security and get to your plane’s gate on-time.

The Transportation Security Administration wants to remind travelers what they can and cannot take through security, especially when it comes to holiday foods.

They said if it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint, but if it’s an item you can spill, spread, spray, pump it or pour, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.

Food items often need some additional security screening, so it’s a good idea to remove food items from a carry-on bag and place them in a bin for quicker screening at the checkpoint.

This also is the time of year that passengers frequently travel with gifts. TSA recommends packing gifts in gift bags or gift boxes instead of wrapping them, because if a gift triggers an alarm, it will need to be opened to resolve the alarm. 

Wrapped gifts that trigger an alarm will need the gift wrap removed, but if the gift is in a bag or a box, it’s simple to look at the item to resolve the alarm.

Snow globes, a popular holiday gift, should be packed in a checked bag if the globe of water contains more than 3.4 ounces of liquid. As a rule of thumb, if the globe is smaller than a tennis ball, it’s less than 3.4 ounces and so it is permitted to be carried through a checkpoint. Just pack those larger snow globes in a checked bag.

Holiday foods that can be carried through a TSA checkpoint:

  • Fruitcake
  • Cookies, cake, pies
  • Chocolates
  •  Candy canes
  • Fruit and nut baskets
  • Spices
  •  Ham (frozen or cooked)

Holiday foods that should be carefully packed with your checked baggage:

  • Egg Nog
  •  Champagne, wine, sparkling apple cider
  • Cranberry sauces, (homemade or store-bought,) are spreadable, so check them.
  •  Preserves, jams and jellies, (homemade or store-bought,) are spreadable, so best to check them.
  •  Maple syrup