Record holiday crowds expected at Hartsfield-Jackson


Record crowds are expected over the busy Thanksgiving travel period at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, with the rush kicking off this Friday.

About 331,000 passengers are expected to pass through the world’s busiest airport this Friday, with many local school districts allowing students the week off for Thanksgiving.

Airport officials recommend passengers arrive in the terminal at least two hours before their flight. Extra time may be needed to navigate through traffic, find parking, take off-airport parking shuttles, check oversized bags or get any other special assistance.

The busiest day of the Thanksgiving travel period is expected to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when the Atlanta airport expects to handle 335,000 passengers.

While most of those are connecting passengers, a record 97,000 people are expected to pass through security checkpoints that day. That’s up nearly 20 percent year-over-year, surpassing the previous record of 92,421 passengers set earlier this year on the Friday before the Fourth of July.

During the busiest periods, “We’ll have all hands on deck and all lanes open,” said Mary Leftridge Byrd, federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson. Security lanes will open earlier to handle crowds. TSA is phasing in a requirement to take electronic tablets like iPads and other large devices out of carry-on bags and put them in a separate bin during screening. The airport will also step up security, including more canine inspections in public areas.

Throughout the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period, the airport expects to handle more than 3 million passengers. That’s up from 2.8 million to 2.9 million last year.

Hartsfield-Jackson will curtail most construction causing airport road closures during overnight periods — but some lanes will remain closed to use as staging areas for the construction of a massive canopy over the Terminal North curbside area.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

In other Airport news:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

UPS mechanics union takes out ads to turn up heat in contract talks
UPS mechanics union takes out ads to turn up heat in contract talks

The Teamsters union representing UPS aircraft mechanics is taking out ads amid heated labor contract talks with management. The national advertising campaign running in the Seattle Times and editions of USA Today in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other areas, as well as on Facebook and Instagram, says: “What every American should...
Atlanta’s Equifax faces bumpy road, but expected to survive
Atlanta’s Equifax faces bumpy road, but expected to survive

Equifax is nearing the end of an embarrassing, awful year. Since announcing in September that hackers had accessed its data on more than 145 million consumers, the Atlanta-based company has been dealing with sustained backlash. And there’s more to come as the credit reporting agency steers through a slew of obstacles, from the costs of placating...
CBS, PBS fire Charlie Rose following allegations of unwanted sexual advances
CBS, PBS fire Charlie Rose following allegations of unwanted sexual advances

CBS said Tuesday that it has fired Charlie Rose "effective immediately," following an extensive Washington Post report that detailed alleged unwanted sexual advances toward women by the 75-year-old broadcaster. His firing was announced by CBS News president David Rhodes, who wrote in a midday memo to the network's staff that the action "...
Kempner: Confessions on the laziest, most-popular Christmas gift idea
Kempner: Confessions on the laziest, most-popular Christmas gift idea

Year after year, we return to the holiday season and ponder what special gifts would bring joy to friends and loved ones. And, once again, most Americans somehow arrive at the same answer: a plastic card. Or, increasingly, a digital equivalent of one. Gift cards are pretty much the easiest, fastest gift to give on the face of the Earth. (I know: unless...
City sells Civic Center to Atlanta Housing Authority for redevelopment
City sells Civic Center to Atlanta Housing Authority for redevelopment

The Atlanta Housing Authority has closed on its purchase of the Civic Center property, a key step in a planned $300 million-plus redevelopment of the aging performing arts center into a mixed-use, mixed-income development. Mayor Kasim Reed and Catherine Buell, the CEO of AHA, said 30 percent of future housing units will be designated as affordable...
More Stories