Snow caused long security lines, cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson


The world’s busiest airport took a hit from the snowstorm that chilled Atlanta this week, with icy conditions causing flight cancellations, delays and hours-long security lines at Hartsfield-Jackson International on Wednesday.

Security wait times were more than two hours long at the airport on Wednesday afternoon according to Delta Air Lines, due to limited Transportation Security Administration staffing.

The long security wait times at the Atlanta airport came in the wake of a snowstorm that led to flight cancellations starting Tuesday evening. When passengers flooded back into the terminal to catch flights on Wednesday, security lines backed up and delays persisted.

On Thursday, some flight cancellations will continue.

Southwest Airlines has already canceled at least 58 departures from Atlanta. Dallas-based Southwest is the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson, behind Delta.

Atlanta-based Delta expects its operations to recover, but some flight cancellations will persist in the morning. By Wednesday afternoon, the airline had canceled about 15 flights scheduled for Thursday.

Southwest is allowing passengers with flights scheduled in Atlanta, New Orleans and Raleigh-Durham through Thursday to rebook without paying an extra charge.

Delta is also allowing passengers with flights booked through Thursday in Atlanta and dozens of other Southeast cities to change their travel plans to avoid potential flight disruptions without paying certain change fees.

Passengers planning to fly should check their flight status on their airline’s website or app and sign up for notifications if possible.

Due to the long security lines Wednesday, Delta encouraged passengers to get to the airport three hours before their departure time to allow extra time to get through security.

The main security checkpoint was open in the domestic terminal, but TSA had closed the North and South security checkpoints.

“Due to dangerous road conditions, traffic and public transportation delays and school closures, a number of employees were not able to come to work or arrived when they were able to do so safely, as was the case for most Atlanta residents,” TSA said in a written statement.

TSA said it “made the decision early this morning to close T-North and South checkpoints and consolidate operations at the main checkpoint to more efficiently screen passengers with available resources.”

In addition to the long security lines, more than 500 flights were canceled Wednesday at the Atlanta airport by Delta, Southwest and other airlines, according to data on FlightAware.com. The Atlanta airport typically handles close to 2,500 flights a day.

Hartsfield-Jackson got more than 1.5 inches of snow, and some of the airport’s runways were closed early Wednesday morning, according to Delta Air Lines.

Delta canceled a total of about 900 flights Tuesday and Wednesday.

Delta brought in deicing workers from its Minneapolis hub to help deice planes at the Atlanta airport. Deicing can require more time and cause delays, contributing to delays.

Flights arriving in Atlanta were being delayed an average of more than two hours due to snow and ice Wednesday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. A ground stop was also affected flights Wednesday afternoon.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Cyber security fears spark training, hopes for lots of Georgia jobs
Cyber security fears spark training, hopes for lots of Georgia jobs

Even Georgia’s first lady worries about cyber attacks. “I keep telling her that’s not going to happen; we don’t have enough money for them to fool with,” Gov. Nathan Deal quipped before cutting the ribbon on the new $100 million Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta the other day. He fished out his pocketknife when giant ceremonial...
Three Atlanta sports teams suspend Papa John’s affiliation
Three Atlanta sports teams suspend Papa John’s affiliation

Three Atlanta sports teams are reevaluating their partnerships with Papa John’s after the company’s founder admitted to using racist language.   The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United suspended their relationship with Papa John’s Pizza following reports John Schnatter used a racial slur during a conference call in May, a...
Toy stores, makers face life after Toys ‘R’ Us
Toy stores, makers face life after Toys ‘R’ Us

Buckhead-based toy store Kazoo Toys knows what its customers want. In fact, customers sometimes even call ahead, ownder Joe Novak said, telling Kazoo information about a child they are buying a present for. When the person arrives, the employees can have a product already picked out and wrapped. “There is a passion in local toy store owners you...
Atlanta real estate: Home prices rise strongly
Atlanta real estate: Home prices rise strongly

Home prices continued their long rise as summer began, according to a report the Atlanta Realtors Association. The median price of a home sold in metro Atlanta during June was $285,000 – a jump of 7.5 percent from the same month a year ago, the group said. Higher prices are a sign of strong demand, said Bill Murray, president of the Atlanta Realtors...
Delta to trim growth plans for flights this fall
Delta to trim growth plans for flights this fall

High fuel costs are translating into higher air fares for Delta Air Lines and other U.S. carriers. Atlanta-based Delta announced Thursday it will trim its flight schedule for this fall as it grapples with the rising price of oil. The airline plans to focus on under-performing routes when making its cuts. That means some flights booked for fall travel...
More Stories