BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Niagara International Airport’s Transportation Security Administration shared tips for a safe and stress-free travel experience this holiday season.

“Get here early,” said Buffalo-Niagara Airport director of aviation William Vanecek. “You’re better off getting here early, getting through the checkpoint, sitting down, [and] having a cup of coffee or breakfast.”

What You Need To Know

  • The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is offering advice for a stress-free holiday travel season

  • They suggest arriving two hours before your flight

  • Starting with an empty bag when packing can help travelers avoid accidentally bringing something illegal on board the plane

  • You should also wear a mask in the airport, at the gate and on a flight 

Vanecek recommends guests get to the airport two hours before a flight to ensure plenty of time to get through the security checkpoint. 

TSA Federal Security Director UNY Bart R. Johnson also suggested people pack starting with a completely empty bag, to make sure nothing illegal gets brought to the airport accidentally.

“When a person does come through with a gun, and I think we’ve had six or seven here this year, that’s exactly what they say, they forgot that it was in there, which is kind of hard to believe,” Johnson said. “So yeah start with an empty bag.”

When traveling with gifts, TSA also recommends leaving them unwrapped in case it sets off an alarm and needs to be opened. Food items can be brought onto a plane, but only solids like candy and cake are allowed in a carry-on bag. Liquids must be packed into a checked bag.

All travelers must wear a mask in the airport, at the gate and on their flight regardless of vaccination status.

Vanecek said travel through the airport is back to about 95% the rate it was in 2019 before the pandemic.