ROMULUS (WWJ) – In preparation for travelers and motorists coming to Detroit Metropolitan Airport this upcoming holiday travel season, the airport is offering some helpful hints and highlight what’s new since last holiday season.

“Being prepared, especially for infrequent travelers, is the first step to a pleasant and stress free holiday travel season,” Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton said in a statement

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Know your airline/terminal before arriving at the airport

Detroit Metro Airport has two terminals; the McNamara Terminal and the North Terminal. Delta Air Lines, Air France, and KLM operate from the McNamara Terminal. All other airlines, including charters, operate from the North Terminal. For airline contact information, click here.

Arrive early!

Everything is easier when you aren’t rushing. During the holidays, the airport welcomes a higher percentage of inexperienced travelers who may need extra time. It is important to arrive early to avoid the stress of rushing to your flight. We recommend arriving 90 minutes before a domestic flight, and 2 hours before an international flight. Allowing extra time will enable you to park, check your luggage, proceed through TSA screening, and travel to your departure gate.

Check your bags for prohibited items BEFORE arriving at the airport

Attempting to proceed through TSA screening with prohibited items in your bag will delay the screening process for you and other passengers. To find out what exactly is considered a prohibited item visit: http://www.tsa.gov, and remember it doesn’t have to be a weapon to be considered a prohibited item. All liquids and gels over 3.4 ounces are prohibited in carry-on luggage.

Know your luggage

When checking bags, attach a colorful ribbon on your bags. Doing this will help distinguish your luggage from similar looking bags. Having your bag stand out will expedite its retrieval and get you on your way more quickly.

Arriving into DTW, or picking someone up?

Never leave your vehicle on the arrivals or departure curb unattended. Unattended vehicles may be ticketed and towed.

The arrivals curb can become extremely crowded, so it may be worth the money to park and greet your party inside. Short Term Parking at both terminals is $4 for thirty minutes or less, and $6 for up to an hour.

Whether you are flying or picking up a passenger, be sure to check the flight status before departing for the airport. Flight schedules can change, and checking before you leave will save some time. Flight status can be checked directly on each airline’s website.

Pre-plan a pick up location with the person you are picking up, and use the cell phone lots. There are Cell Phone Lots on the north and south sides of the airport.

If the person you are picking up doesn’t have luggage, it might be easier prearranging to pick them up on the departure level, or international arrivals level. The domestic arrivals level can get very crowded, so pre-plan to avoid the crowd.

Arrange for special needs in advance

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The Airport Authority and its partners are committed to providing a welcoming and convenient travel experience for all travelers. Travelers who may require special assistance should advise their airline ahead of time directly on the airline’s website. More information for travelers who may have special needs can be found online.

Keep medications with you in your carry-on luggage

Always carry needed medication with you in your carry-on luggage. It is important to keep medication with you in the event you get separated from your checked luggage for an unexpected period of time.

Don’t wrap gifts

Packages that are wrapped may have to be opened by TSA.

TSA Pre-Check sign-up

TSA Pre-Check sign up office located near Gate A-38 by the water feature allows passengers to sign up for TSA Pre-Check quickly and easily in the secure gate area of the terminal. For more information on TSA Pre-Check, click here.

New this year — Two airlines

JetBlue Airlines started non-stop service to Boston in March, and Alaska Airlines started non-stop service to Seattle in September. Both airlines are located in the North Terminal and are brand new to the Detroit market.

New this year — Retail transformation in the McNamara Terminal

Thirty-six new retail shops are now open in the McNamara Terminal – a complete transformation of the retail offerings in the terminal. Exciting new shops like Dylan’s Candy, Sound Balance, Desigual, and EA Sports now are open. New at the North Terminal are a CNBC Smartshop and Detroit Marketplace. For a complete list of the shops and restaurants, click here.

New this year — Automated Passport Control Kiosks

Estimated to reduce wait times by 25 to 40 percent for travelers using the kiosks. Automated Passport Control is an easy-to-use self-service kiosk that allows passengers to submit their declaration and biographic information electronically, and reduce the time they spend with a Customs and Border Protection Officer.

New this year — Service Animal Relief Area in the McNamara Terminal

A new facility uniquely designed for service animals, and pets to use the bathroom without having to exit the secure area. The Service Animal Relief Area is located near Gate A-34.

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