News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Long TSA wait times prompt traveler tweets sharing complaints, photos of lines

Long waits at the "world's most traveled" airport's security checkpoints have generated some of the world's most annoyed tweets by travelers stuck in the long lines.

For the past year, lines at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have regularly stretched into the atrium during busy times of the day. During peak travel periods, the line sometimes stretches all the way to baggage claim.

The issue prompted Hartsfield-Jackson officials earlier this year to threaten to privatize security screening. More recently, airport manager Miguel Southwell says the airport is working with TSA to add staff and canine units and test new checkpoint setups and is satisfied with TSA's response.

For those who are less than satisfied, TSA spokesman Mark Howell said passengers can tweet questions to @AskTSA, leave a comment in the comment boxes at checkpoints, ask for a supervisor or contact TSA via its website.

But for most passengers at the airport, this is the routine: Travelers approach the checkpoint, see the long lines and get a sinking feeling in their stomach. They mentally calculate how much time they have to get through security and get to their concourse and gate. They either settle into the line and hope for the best -- or become increasingly anxious.

Then, they wait. While standing in lines that can be close to an hour long, some pass the time by posting complaints or pictures of the long line.

Certain tweets could not be posted here due to the profanity. But here are some more:

Some travelers are pleasantly surprised when the line moves faster than they expect.

Others compare the line for TSA PreCheck expedited screening versus the regular line -- with varying results.

Some praise the classical musicians and other musical performers Hartsfield-Jackson brings in to calm the crowds waiting in line.

Other travelers express different opinions on the creature comforts.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.