Iowans who will be hopping planes for the upcoming holidays who haven’t flown lately — or perhaps have never flown — will need to do a little homework first. Roy Criss, spokesman for the Des Moines International Airport, tells not-so-frequent fliers those security lines really aren’t that daunting, as long as you’re properly packed and prepared. “You want to check the website tsa.gov and take a look at all of those items you can and cannot carry on a plane,” Criss says. “That’s going to cause you a problem when you try to get through security. Make sure you pack your luggage well and you’re not trying to take something on a plane that you’re not supposed to have.”
It can save precious time to print your boarding passes on your home computer up to 24 hours before the flight, and Criss says you may want to bookmark that page on your browser. “Go to your airline’s website, check the status of your flight, check it early and check it often, because with weather, during the winter, it can change,” Criss says. “Be at the airport at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure of a domestic flight. While you’re here, be sure to pay attention to signage inside the airport so you’re going to the right places and doing the right things.”
Some of us are not “morning people,” but Criss says the wee hours around dawn and shortly thereafter are routinely the most hectic at the airport. “Probably about 65 or 70% of all the capacity, all the seats that leave this airport, do it between the hours of about 5 and 8,” Criss says. “We do have a lot of folks here in the terminal but if people have packed properly and know what to do, the lines move pretty quickly and everybody gets to their planes on time.”
Not long ago, the busiest travel days were around the Thanksgiving holiday but Criss says that’s shifted to the Mondays and Fridays during the two weeks of Spring Break.