The luggage conveyor belt at Des Moines International Airport.

Iowans who are headed to the state’s busiest airport this morning will find it even busier than usual as this is among the heaviest air travel days of the year.

Kevin Foley, executive director of the Des Moines Airport Authority, says you should expect longer lines at security, more traffic, less parking and plenty of company. Despite all of that, Foley says try to maintain your holiday spirit.

“Everybody in the entire airport wants to get you to where you’re going as quickly and smoothly as possible and they’re doing their best, those airline agents are doing their best to accommodate you,” Foley says. “Patience and a smile go a long way. They go much further than becoming impatient and upset.”

Even infrequent fliers know they’re not supposed to bring firearms onto the plane, yet several people still try every year.

While the TSA rules have relaxed since Nine-Eleven and once-banned items like nail clippers are now okay to bring on board, many passengers continue bogging down security checkpoints by making poor packing decisions.

“People forget about weapons of any type, knives or any of those types of things just aren’t going to go through in carry-on luggage,” Foley says. “That doesn’t mean you can’t take them, you just have to put them in your checked luggage.”

Check the website before heading for the airport to familiarize yourself with the latest protocols. Also, it’s a wise idea to log on to your airline’s website to double-check your flight status. While you’re at it, visit the airport’s website, too, especially if you’ll be parking your vehicle there.

“This time of year, typically long-term and several of the economy lots that are very close to the terminal will fill and you may not be able to park where you normally park,” Foley says. “Know where our additional lots are. We will not run out of parking, however, it may not be where you normally park.”

To be safe, arrive 90 minutes before your flight. Remember to skip wrapping any gifts. Wrap them at your destination as they’ll have to be unwrapped to go through security.