Hartsfield-Jackson preparing for record holiday crowds

2:43 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 Business

With record traffic expected at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport over the Thanksgiving period, crowds are already filling the terminals and concourses of the world’s busiest airport.

More than 299,000 passengers passed through the airport Wednesday, based on Hartsfield-Jackson forecasts. Thanksgiving Day itself will be slow at the airport, with only 181,677 passengers expected. But heavy crowds are expected over the weekend.

On Saturday, more than 302,000 passengers are expected at the Atlanta airport.

Sunday is expected to be a record day, with more than 335,000 passengers handled at Hartsfield-Jackson overall. Of those, 97,000 are expected to pass through security checkpoints. That’s up nearly 20 percent year-over-year — and beats the previous record of 92,421 passengers on the Friday before the Fourth of July this year.

But Monday is still expected to be crowded, with more than 315,000 passengers passing through.

Throughout the Thanksgiving travel period, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines expects to fly 4.85 million people.

Airport officials recommend passengers get to the terminal at least two hours before their flight.

Hartsfield-Jackson earlier this year moved Uber and Lyft pickups from the curbside to ride-share pickup zones in the economy lots, which requires a walk from the terminal.

Uber says passengers can take MARTA to the closest station to their home, then request a ride from there. Those who use the code MARTAHOME can get 50 percent off a ride up to $10 from a MARTA station Nov. 21-23 and Nov. 26-28. Passengers without checked bags can take the Plane Train people-mover to the international terminal to be picked up by Uber or Lyft curbside.