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Salt Lake Airport braces for Christmas travel crush

Travelers make their way through Salt Lake City International Airport on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Photo: Deseret News File

SALT LAKE CITY — This weekend is expected to be hectic at Salt Lake City International Airport, and airport officials have some advice to get you through the Christmas travel crush.

First, spokeswoman Nancy Volmer advises, make sure you know the rules for taking packages through security so you don’t hold up the line. Those rules are online at tsa.gov.

“Oftentimes, we find that if there is an item that is not allowed, that just delays the security screening lines, because the officers have to stop and go through the bag,” she said.

That goes double for wrapped presents, which TSA officers may ask you to unwrap. Best bet: wait to wrap until you get where you’re going.

There will be friendly faces on hand to help travelers navigate the Christmas crowds, Volmer said.

“We do have airport volunteer ambassadors. They’ll be on hand in identifiable shirts,” Volmer said. “Their purpose is to help travelers with any questions, and make the trip a little less stressful.”

And some of those helpers are more fun than functional. Volmer said the airport’s halls are decked out with poinsettias and other decorations, and local singers and even Santa Claus are stopping by to make the wait a little more festive.

The airport has an app that helps travelers view security line wait times before they get to the facility. It also tracks the parking shuttles in the lots. For your destination, though, Volmer says you should check your airline’s website or app for any information about delays or cancellations.

“Oftentimes the weather here in Salt Lake City is wonderful, but at the destination, the weather may impact the time the flight leaves,” she pointed out.

Volmer says the busiest days for Christmas travel in Salt Lake are expected to be Saturday, December 21, and then the day after Christmas.