ATLANTA — Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport told Channel 2 it expects 2.5 million passengers over the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Meanwhile, AAA says those driving should leave early.
AAA says 1.6 million Georgians will travel on the roads over the holiday period, but even more will pass through Atlanta’s airport. This means long lines and possible delays and cancellations.
The WSB Triple Team Traffic app has coverage with weather and traffic updates for what you need to know before you hit the roads.
Air travelers breezed through the main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport with little to no waiting in line last week, but that will change drastically starting Wednesday.
“During peak holiday travel, long lines at the main domestic checkpoint are possible, in fact, is expected. Therefore we strongly recommend travelers arrive at the airport at least two and a half hours early,” said Jan Lennon, airport deputy manager.
Compounding the problem, some checkpoint screening lanes are closed while new X-ray screening equipment is installed.
“We will have additional officers on duty to insure all available security checkpoint lanes are open staffed and operational,” said the Transportation Security Administration’s Robert Spiden.
Delta Airlines expects to handle 5 million passengers over the Thanksgiving holiday period. That could lead to delays and cancellations. The airline says it’s boosted airport staffing to keep passenger traffic moving.
“We have hired about 3,000 people at Delta here at the airport over the past 12 months. So we are ready for the demand, ready for our customers this week,” said Matt Spark of Delta Airlines.
The most congested travel days will be the day before Thanksgiving and the following Sunday.
Extra Atlanta police officers will be on hand to patrol and keep the peace. They’re asking passengers to keep an eye out as well.
“If you see something that is unusual, that you know is unusual, call 911 or text 911, or stop one of the officers you see here, or any employee of the airport or federal authority,” said Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum.
The TSA also warned travelers not to carry a weapon in their carry-on bag.
They say so far this year, they have intercepted 400 firearms, 90 of which were loaded. If you’re flying, they say to plan on arriving at the airport 2 1/2 hours before your flight.
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