Gulfport-Biloxi Airport Busy With Holiday Travelers

The scene Friday at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport was just like many other airports across the country. Long lines, packed parking lots and little room to sit and wait.

The weekend before Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year. But one of the last words anyone wants to hear is 'delay.'

"I would be a little annoyed. Mainly because I haven't seen my sister in awhile," says Tommy Alsip.

It's been six months since Alsip has seen his sister. Now family members are eagerly waiting for her flight from Memphis. Even with the slight delay, Alsip says his family won't have to change their Christmas plans.

"We are going to Louisiana tomorrow to see my cousin get baptized and then everybody is just coming back to the house," says Alsip.

However, Mother Nature did force some South Mississippians to change their holiday travel plans. Airport director Bruce Frallic says Thursday was a difficult day for airports nationwide.

"Yesterday was a tough day all around the country. Everybody going out to the Denver area had problems. But our particular case, ours was more related to the weather in the area. We had 15 minute, 20 minute, 45 minute, even two hour delays in some cases at various points," says Frallic.

But that was Thursday. And Frallic says that shouldn't be a problem anymore. In fact, with new systems in place, like the state of the art security checkpoint, travel out of this airport should be right on time.

Through the holiday travel period, airport officials say they will provide a one quart ziplock bag to all travelers at no cost. Airport officials also want to remind people not to wrap gifts. They know it's close to Christmas, but because of tight security, TSA screeners may have to unwrap your gift. They say the best thing to do is simply wait until you get to your destination to wrap presents.