Airport officials: Arrive extra early, thousands expected to be traveling for Super Bowl

Volunteers at Bush Airport are helping out passengers traveling in and out of Houston for Super Bowl LI.

HOUSTON -  It's going to be a busy few days at Bush and Hobby Airports as thousands of people make their way to Houston for the Super Bowl.

A steady stream of football fans are expected to arrive through Saturday.

They’ll be greeted at baggage claim by Super Bowl volunteers and high school cheerleaders.

However, airport officials say the biggest travel day will be Monday, when everyone heads home after the big game.

That’s why they are taking steps to make sure travelers catch their flights without too many delays.

On Monday, people are encouraged to check out of their hotels a full five hours before their scheduled departure time.

Visitors should return rental cars four hours early.

MORE: Complete Super Bowl LI coverage

“Three hours before your scheduled flight departure, you want to be at the ticket lobby and you want to be checking in to make sure you’re divesting yourself of all your luggage so you can proceed through the security check point,” said Mario Diaz, Houston’s Director of Aviation.

To handle the influx of travelers, TSA Federal Security Director Gerry Phelan says all security lines will be open at both airports Sunday night and Monday.

Airport officials also have a specific security recommendation for people traveling with Super Bowl souvenir programs.

Those travelers should not place programs in carry-on or checked bags. Instead, the programs must go through security in a separate TSA bin, similar to laptops.

While filming at Bush Airport on Wednesday, KHOU 11 reporter Stephanie Whitfield and KHOU 11 photographer Nathan Kvinge noticed football fans at baggage claim in Terminal C. 

About a dozen men were sitting with large duffel bags. After waiting for hours, the group jumped up when they spotted former Pro Bowl NFL quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck.

While waiting for his luggage, Hasselbeck signed deflated footballs for the fans. 

One of the fans explained the group didn't know which former or current NFL players they might see while at the airport, but they were ready for anyone who might show up. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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