Tampa International Airport sees delays on fourth-busiest travel day of the year

The bustle of 4th of July travel was in full-swing Saturday at Tampa International Airport, but passengers prepared for turbulence in their travel plans on the fourth-busiest day of the year for the airport. 

But travelers who spoke to FOX 13 were staying positive. 

"Delta was on it. They were like, ‘We can get you on an earlier flight so that you make your connection,’" traveler Staci Bush said.

Friday, the TSA screened more than 2.5 million people, which is the highest since the pandemic. It's a sure sign the demand for air travel is soaring as airlines try and keep up.

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"I'm assuming my flight will either be delayed or canceled. I feel like that's my motto when I go to the airport now and to expect the worst. My dad always tells me just to breathe positive thoughts into your brain as you enter to the airport and happy mind will go a long way with delays or cancelations," traveler Anna Dekle said.

At TPA Saturday, there were dozens of flight delays. It was similar story 24 hours earlier. Nationwide, airlines canceled nearly 600 flights Friday and more than 7,600 flights were delayed. 

"We've been very proactive over the past many months, everything from increasing our staffing to that routine engagement with those key stakeholders. More than 96% of our passengers are on flights that are not effected by cancellations and that's collectively in and out of our airport," Tampa International Airport Vice President of Operations Adam Bouchard said.

At it's peak, TPA estimates more than 60,000 people will pass through the airport over the long weekend. Currently, TSA wait times at TPA on average are about 20 minutes.

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If you're flying, make sure to arrive to the airport at least two hours before your flight and three hours early if you're flying international and most of all be sure to double-check your flight times before you head to airport. 

"We very much encourage passengers to do that so that if their flight is affected and they can book onto a new flight it's far better and much easier on them to do that when they are not at the airport than when they're here standing in a line of other passengers trying to do the same thing," Bouchard said.