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Normalcy At Houston’s Airports Marked Departure Of Thousands Of Football Fans After Super Bowl 51

Many travelers heeded the advice from local authorities about arriving three hours before their flights.

(Updated: 2/6/2017 4:53 p.m.)

With the Super Bowl over, thousands of visitors left Houston on Monday.

The Houston Airport System estimated more than a 150,000 people would travel through Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports after the game.

To avoid long lines, the City of Houston had recommended travelers arriving three hours before flying and to give themselves some leeway.

Patriots' fan Heather Cole, who was returning to Providence, Rhode Island, did precisely that.

"We listened to the warnings that we saw posted when we arrived in Houston, which were leave your home or your hotel four hours in advance," Cole told Houston Public Media at Bush's Terminal A just before getting her boarding pass.

Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System, explained one of the major challenges of the day was "making sure that the security check points, that all the machines worked, that we had extra TSA security check point personnel, dog teams, canine teams, viper teams, and that the passengers felt secure as they departed Houston."

Airport officials also encouraged travelers to carry their Super Bowl programs in their hands, instead of inside their luggage because the size and hologram technology of the programs could trigger additional screening by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).


The Houston Airport System estimated that more than 150,000 people would travel Monday through Bush Intercontinental and Hobby Airport with approximately 70 percent of them departing from our city, in many cases because they came for Super Bowl 51.

Airport officials early Monday said, so far, the morning was going smooth.

The City of Houston was recommending travelers to arrive at the airport ideally three hours before for domestic flights — while normally getting to the terminal about two hours in advance is enough.

Several travelers that came to see the game said they were following that advice and the lines were not long at the ticket counters.

The Transportation Security Administration had additional employees working Monday to deal with the increased volume of travelers. Airport officials said they anticipated the peak times would be between 10 and 11 a.m and from 3 to 5 p.m.

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