Over 300,000 passengers to pack Orlando International Airport over the holiday weekend

For anyone flying in or out of Orlando International Airport (OIA) this Saturday or Sunday, officials say pack your patience.

Saturday is predicted to be the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday season, with nearly 170,000 passengers anticipated. On Sunday, the airport expects just over 163,000 travelers.

Overall, traffic at OIA is expect to increase by 6-percent with more than 1.75 million travelers expected during the 12-day travel period. 

“In anticipation of this historically busy holiday travel season, Orlando International has been upgrading the nation’s busiest TSA checkpoint,” says Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We have remodeled the West Checkpoint, maximized the use of space and added more lanes for TSA agents to process more passengers.”  

A major winter storm approaching the Northeast could leave many travelers stuck who are trying to get home, so be sure to check your flight status.

The Transportation Security Administration says that Gates 1- 59 at OIA is the busiest checkpoint in the entire country.

Travelers so far tell FOX 35 News it's been an easy process.

"So far it's been great. I'm a little concerned about security. You never know how long that's going to be. But so far, I've been impressed with the airport. In the past when I used to travel, they used to have long lines to get to Southwest, but now they have the nice little booths. So far, it's been much quicker."

The TSA is also making an important reminder to folks about firearms. Any firearms in luggage must be declared and checked in your suitcase with the airline. If it is found in your carry-on, you could be arrested.

The airport offered the following tips to help make the airport hustle and bustle a bit smoother:

  • Pack your patience
  • Arrive 2 hours prior to your departure time for domestic flights/ 3 hours prior for international.
  • Follow TSA/checkpoint rules 

OIA is Florida's busiest airport, with around 50 million passengers passing through annually.