breaking news

Braves trade Matt Kemp to Dodgers in major salary swap

Hartsfield-Jackson Thanksgiving crowds fail to set record at world’s busiest airport

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport officials were girding for unprecedented crowds over the busy Thanksgiving travel period.

Airport and Transportation Security Administration officials were expecting an eye-popping 97,000 passengers to pass through security checkpoints at the Atlanta airport on Sunday, up nearly 20 percent year-over-year.

Well, the record forecast turned out to be a real turkey.

The total turned out to be 87,933 passengers passing through security checkpoints on Sunday, the busiest day of the Thanksgiving period.

That fell short of the record 92,421 passengers on the Friday before the Fourth of July this year.

For the year-to-date, passenger counts through security at the world’s busiest airport are still up more than 5 percent year-over-year.

Over the winter holidays, traffic is sometimes spread across more days, creating a busy period overall but less congestion on any one particular day. Business travel also declines significantly over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said the positive outcome of the less-than-record traffic was that wait times were more manageable. 

He said the longest wait time at Hartsfield-Jackson over the Thanksgiving period was 25 minutes at the international terminal, and most passengers waited less than 15 minutes.

Delta Air Lines said it flew more than 2.35 million customers over the Thanksgiving period from Wednesday to Sunday, and operated without any flight cancellations.

— Stay up to date on the latest news on Atlanta airline travel by following Atlanta Airport News Now on Facebook.


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, including these stories:

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

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Travel

In London, two solid weeks of tea for one
In London, two solid weeks of tea for one

The Duchess of Bedford was hungry. It had been hours since the lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria had eaten breakfast at Belvoir Castle, and dinner - as always - would be served at 8. What was a famished functionary to do? She called for tea and a light repast to be served in her chambers, and the enduring English custom of afternoon tea soon became...
Talk Travel: Street food in Singapore? We have you covered.

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:  Q: I have a business meeting downtown in Singapore on a Wednesday. If I travel Saturday to Saturday, will that be enough time to see the important parts of the city? I figure on being a tourist on Tuesday...
The US Virgin Islands clean up for the holidays
The US Virgin Islands clean up for the holidays

When Hurricane Irma hit St. Thomas in mid-September, residents Remo, Romulo, Omar, Rose and Freddie moved to the Marine Gardens at Coral World Ocean Park for safety. When Maria blew in two weeks later, they hunkered down inside the Dolphin Education Center; the previous shelter no longer afforded them protection. The islanders shared the space with...
New water taxi service lets you cruise South Florida’s coast
New water taxi service lets you cruise South Florida’s coast

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—A new water taxi service will allow you to sightsee from the mansions in Lighthouse Point to the condo canyons of Hallandale Beach. But be prepared for a leisurely tour — between transfers and wait times, it will take you a full day to do so, the service operators say. The Pompano Beach Water Taxi will open to the...
Travel to US is lagging: security policies blamed
Travel to US is lagging: security policies blamed

International travel to the U.S., once a surging source of revenues for hotels, airlines and tourist destinations, is cooling off, raising concerns from leaders in the travel industry that strict security measures are scaring off visitors. A report released recently by the International Air Transportation Association, the trade group for the world&rsquo...
More Stories