Hopkins Airport Hoping to Ease Holiday Travel Woes

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-With six days until Christmas, the holiday travel season is kicking into high gear. There are things travelers should keep in mind to help make their trip go as smoothly as possible.

"When we came in, I was surprised there wasn't that much traffic, and it's not too many people hustling and bustling. I was really surprised at how quiet it was around here," said Marcus Salibellas.

Hopkins Airport officials say unlike Thanksgiving, where travel is packed into one weekend, the Christmas travel season is spread out over several weeks. But now is the peak time.

"You wanna arrive early. We're suggesting people arrive two hours ahead of time, so that they have enough time to park, check in and go through security," said Hopkins Airport spokeswoman Carolyn Widdowson.

This year, after travelers make it through the security checkpoint at Hopkins, there may be a few presents waiting for them on the other side.

Each year, TSA agents remind travelers not to wrap gifts because they may be asked to unwrap them when they reach security. This Wednesday and Thursday, the airport and American Greetings will wrap gifts for free during certain times.

"It's a good thing, getting people wanting to travel, instead of worrying about it all the time," said Chris Aggas, a soldier on leave, visiting family in northeast Ohio.

The airport is also teaming up with the travel website "Travelocity." Wednesday and Thursday, 10 gnomes will be hidden throughout the airport.

Anyone who finds a gnome receives a 100-dollar American Express gift card.

"We're also gonna have Santa Claus here. He's gonna be giving out hot chocolate and candy canes. We're gonna have Christmas carolers," said Widdowson.

"I think that's a good incentive. You got people who are traveling with gifts and everything, and I think that's pretty nice of them to do a free gift wrapping on the other side of the checkpoint. I think that's pretty good, and with the gnome thing, I wish that was now, I could be around here looking for one now," said Salibellas.