Jokes and travel tips: Who is behind Tampa International Airport's social media accounts?

Before they hop on their plane, travelers at Tampa International Airport flock for pictures around the airport's social media star, the big flamingo.

"People are obsessed with the flamingo. Almost daily I see people that are tagging us in photos they're sharing about it," explained C.J. Johnson.

As a communications specialist for TPA, he's the one creating those engaging posts for the airport on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

"Oftentimes, people don't think of airports as being fun or having any kind of personality. A lot of the community management is of the people responding to us on Twitter, messaging us on Facebook. I'm often the one who's responding on behalf of the airport. I love to camp out sometimes right by the flamingo because there's always something happening," he described.

READ: How did a flamingo end up in the main terminal at TPA?

Like travelers and planes, Johnson is always on the move. He's capturing content from every angle and runway.

"People love seeing plane content. They love seeing planes taking off and landing. It's just kind of a fascinating view that you don't really see," said Johnson.

He's also catching those airport reunions to share and other moving moments.

"We had a WWII veteran, named Spike, who came through here a couple of months ago. He was flying back to Normandy to march in a parade, and it was just a cool experience to meet someone. Literally, a legend and I get to help share his story on social media," said Johnson.

Photo: C.J. is seen shooting video of a plane taking off the runway.

C.J. is seen shooting video of a plane taking off the runway.

And he's got hacks for travelers – such as the Blue Express curbside, which allows passengers without checked bags to quickly get to their plane.

The airport was the first in the country to open express curbsides. The service is for passengers without checked bags who already have a boarding pass. They'll bypass the ticketing and bag claim levels, going straight to the gate tram level.

And for those who just want to visit the airport, there is one hour of free parking.

"So, if people want to come out and do their Christmas shopping while they're here, and if they want to come and try out some local restaurants," Johnson said. "We also offer a dedicated art tour for those interested in seeing the public art that's all throughout the airport."

MORE: St. Pete community gets close-up look at Tampa International Airport's new Airside D plans

He said exploring Tampa International is its own adventure, and he loves letting you in for the ride.

"No matter how long you are at the airport there's almost always something you're going to learn, and I'm almost always finding out new things here," said Johnson.

Tampa International also has a Facebook page for plane enthusiasts called "The Plane Spot." For more information, visit

Learn more about the guided tours at TPA here:

You can follow TPA on the following social media accounts: