Holiday Travel Tips For A Merrier Christmas

By: Catrina Leone, intern


Christmas is fast approaching! Before we know it, it will be here. This time of year signifies more family time, more holiday cheer and more travel headaches. There are a few ways you can avoid the travel mishaps by following some of the guidelines I will be laying out for you, so you can have more of a worry-free holiday!


Cleveland Hopkins International Airport officials are encouraging travelers to plan ahead this holiday season, planning ahead is the number one way to avoid unnecessary stress. That means giving yourself enough time-arriving about two hours early to get to the airport, check in and go through security and find parking. Once you make it past security, you will be able to enjoy what Cleveland has to offer this holiday season.

There are peak times travelers should make themselves aware of this Christmas season. Those times include: 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., early afternoon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and mid-to-late afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The week of December 16th (which is today) is the day officials predict travel will begin to increase. 

CLE and American Greetings have teamed up to provide FREE gift wrapping to passengers on December 18th, 19th, 20th and 23rd. Passengers can find these gift wrapping stations located on the secure side on concourses A, B, and in the main food court from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than FREE gift wrapping!

Santa Claus is coming to town, this time to the airport to meet with airport officials about his annual stopover on Christmas Eve. Santa will also be taking time to walk the terminal and talk to a few boys and girls he may have missed. He will also be filing his flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration. Here comes Santa Claus!

The airport officials also stress to travelers to arrive two hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, parking, traffic, going through the checkpoints, and checking-in. In addition to these tips, travellers have five separate on-site parking options, which include: CLE Curbside Valet–$21 per day; The CLE Smart Parking Garage at $15.50 per day, or $11.50 per day after 3 days; The Red Lot at $11.50 per day; The Blue Lot at $9.50 per day and the new Orange Lot at $8.00 a day!

Are you picking up friends or family members from 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 sings for easier parking.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority offers convienant service to and from CLE. RTA’s Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station. Taking less than 30 minutes, this would be a quick and easy trip. Trains depart from CLE every 15 minutes for the majority of the day.

Make sure to also have a government-issued ID ready to present at the airline ticket counter and security checkpoint. You should also 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 machines for passenger screening. Metal detectors will also be in place. Remember the TSA 3-1-1- rule for carry-on items, three ounces per container, in a clear one-quart bag. Items such as knives, scissors with pointed tips, and pepper spray are also forbidden. Carry-on luggage is restricted to one bag and one personal item per person. A personal item includes a purse, briefcase, or laptop bags. Children under the age of 12 will not have to remove their shoes before going through security. These tips will ensure a safer traveling experience for you and your fellow travelers.

Who doesn’t love a cup of fresh coffee? Whether it is a gingerbread latte or a regular iced coffee, Starbucks has it all. A Starbucks will be open in the airport for travelers this season, warm up with some Starbucks!

With the Holiday season upon us, make sure to also stayed tuned to TV20 for our special Christmas programming, running through the holiday! Be safe out there and have a great holiday season!



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