Again, I don't think the author was specifically referencing the FAA airport designation of TPA, but rather simply abbreviating Tampa International Airport as TIA.
Maybe some Tampa residents will chime in and provide us with the local terminology for the airport.
TPA is the code for the Tampa International Airport just as MCO is the code for Orlando. However, locals refer to the Tampa International Airport by its abbreviation, TIA.
I think you are correct as to the author's intent, but a reading of Mayflower Sister's post reveals that it is a mistatement of fact.
Buy a ticket to TIA, and you won't be getting a Florida vacation.