Holiday travel tips for a merrier Christmas

Holiday travel tips for a merrier Christmas
Hopkins Airport travelers. (Source: WOIO)

Unlike Thanksgiving Day travel, which is packed into a single weekend, Christmas travel is spread out over multiple weeks. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport officials are encouraging travelers to plan ahead this Christmas season. That means giving yourself plenty of time - arriving at least two hours early - to get to the airport, find parking, check in and go through security. Once past security, travelers can begin to enjoy what CLE has to offer this holiday season.

Travelers should be aware of the peak times which include early morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., early afternoon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and late afternoon to early afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Holiday Cheer

Back by popular demand, CLE and American Greetings have teamed up to provide FREE gift wrapping to passengers on December 19th, 22nd ,and 23rd. Passengers can find gift wrapping stations located on the secure side on Concourse A outside checkpoint A from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m., and outside security checkpoint B and outside security checkpoint C from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On Friday, December 19th , Santa Claus will stop by the airport to meet with airport officials about his annual stopover on Christmas Eve. Santa will also take some time to walk the terminal and talk to a few boys and girls he may have missed on December 22nd and 23rd. He will also file his flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Travel tips

Airport officials encourage travelers to arrive at least 2 hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, traffic, parking, checking-in and going through the checkpoints.

CLE's web site is a one-stop shop for travelers looking for travel information. Visit the web site at to the following:

  • Traffic and weather
  • Status of your flight
  • Airline contact information

Follow CLE on Twitter at @GoingPlacesCLE and on Facebook at for airport travel conditions and parking availability.

Consider using the airline's website to do advance check-in to print your boarding pass up to 24-hours before departure.

Travelers have five separate on-site parking options, including:

  • CLE Curbside Valet -- $25 per day, located on the upper roadway near the Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines ticket counters.
  • The CLE Smart Parking Garage at $17.00 per day, or $13.00 per day after 3 days.
  • The Red Lot at $13.00 per day.
  • The Blue Lot at $11.00 per day.
  • The new Orange Lot at $11.00 a day (formerly the long term parking garage location).

Picking up friends and family at the airport? Don't circle the airport waiting for the call they have arrived. Park and wait in the CLE Cell Phone Lot located off State Road 237 South. Follow the blue directional signs for easy parking.

RTA Red Line to the airport The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers convenient service to and from CLE. RTA's Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station. The trip takes less than 30 minutes and trains depart from CLE every 25 minutes for the majority of the day.

For more information, visit the RTA web site at or call The RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.

TSA travel tips

Always have a government-issued ID ready to present at the airline ticket counter and security checkpoint.

Be prepared for the screening process:

  • Be sure to look through your luggage to ensure no prohibited items are in the bag prior to coming to the airport.
  • All three CLE checkpoints now have Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines for passenger screening. Metal detectors and x-ray machines for carry-on items are also in place for passenger screening.
  • Remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on items – Three ounces (3 oz.) per container, in a clear one-quart bag, one per passenger.
  • Knives, scissors with pointed tips, pepper spray and other such items are prohibited as carry-on items. For a comprehensive list of banned and permitted items, visit the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Web site at
  • Carry-on luggage is restricted to one bag and one personal item per person. A personal item includes a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag.
  • Outer coats, jackets and other such garments must be removed and put through x-ray screening.
  • Children under the age of 12 years old will not have to remove their shoes before going through security. TSA Pre?™ is now available at CLE. TSA Pre?™ allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs who are flying on participating airlines, to receive expedited screening benefits. Eligible participants use dedicated screening lanes for screening benefits which include leaving on shoes, light outerwear and belts, as well as leaving laptops and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in carry-on bags. TSA Pre?™ has two available lanes at Checkpoint C and one at Checkpoint B. For more information on TSA Pre?™ visit

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.