FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – On one of the busiest travel days of the year, things seemed to be flowing quite well at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; this despite a computer glitch that knocked out Spirit Air’s computers nationwide.
Nearly nine thousand people use Spirit Air out of Ft. Lauderdale daily. To minimize delays, the airline brought in additional personnel who checked bags in manually and wrote out boarding passes by hand. Spirit passengers were checked in according to their departure times instead of on the usual first come-first served basis. By doing so, all of Spirit’s flights were able to take off on time.
Some Spirit passengers, like Debbie Boyd who was on her way to Orlando, didn’t know about the computer crash but arrived hours early just in case. Floyd said she got to the airport around 7:30 a.m. even though her flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until about one in the afternoon.
“I didn’t want to take any chances. I didn’t know how crowded it was going to be,” said Boyd.
Many travelers who had international flights booked arrived three hours early.
“Today it’s going to be a nightmare at this airport for people coming in,” said Gabriel Perez.
Another reason many arrived early was because of all the hype about the full body x-ray scanners and the detailed pat downs for those who refuse to be scanned.
Mauricio Lopez said he arrived early because he was afraid of security line delays but he thought the stricter measures were a good idea.
“I think they’re necessary because of threats and terrorism, the government needs to make us safer,” said Lopez.
“When I get on a plane I want to be safe. That’s why the scanners are important and I don’t see what everyone is so worried about. They are not that revealing,” said Falon Cartwright.
According to the TheDailyBeast.com, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood was ranked as the tenth worst for holiday travel based on a poor arrival time for flights. Airport spokesman Greg Meyer said those numbers might be skewed.
“If there’s a delay coming to us, what can we do,” said Meyer. “It’s out of our control.”
He pointed out that Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood will see nearly half a million travelers from Tuesday through Monday — a 7% increase over last year.
If you plan to catch a flight Wednesday out-of-town on Wednesday for the long Thanksgiving holiday, there are some things you can do to make the screening process at the airport go smoother.
Before you head out the door, check to make sure you are in compliance with the Transportation Security Administration’s rules if you’re bringing liquid in your carry-on bag; three ounces or less per bottle in a one quart clear plastic bag, limit one bag per passenger. If you’re bringing say larger bottles of shampoo or lotion, pack them in your checked bags.
As far as getting through security, don’t wear heavy coats, multiple layers of clothing or baggy clothes because they could cause delays if you are selected for a pat down. Also, tight skirts could be an issue for women going through security.