Atlanta airport anticipates 3.6M travelers to pass through for Thanksgiving holiday

Atlanta airport anticipates 3.6M travelers to pass through for Thanksgiving holiday
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:57 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:25 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta airport officials are expecting 3.6 million passengers to pass through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport between now and Tuesday, Nov. 28.

“For this Thanksgiving holiday time period, we’re anticipating to screen just under 1.1 million travelers,” said Robert Spinden, the federal security director with TSA. “We expect the overall busiest days to be today, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and then the Sunday after.”

It’s all hands on deck for TSA and airlines.

“We’ve seen significant operational improvements, we’ve hired over 2,100 employees,” said Joe Miller, the ATL VP for Delta Airlines. “In addition, we’re bringing in 300 seasonals who are going to help with wheelchair services, helping with unaccompanied minors, and helping in the lobby.”

Tina Payne parked at the airport’s north deck to drop her kids off for holiday travel.

“Sometimes you can ride around for quite some time,” Payne said. “It’s definitely going to get worst. It’s Friday--it’s a holiday weekend,” Payne said.

She parked there as the South Economy Parking lot is going through an overhaul. It’s been closed since late October and will remain that way until 2026.

There will be a new south deck that will include 6,700 additional parking spots, ticketless entry and exit, and a bridge to the domestic terminal.

“Construction is a total headache. Especially during the holidays, but what can you do? Try to be patient, pack light and get their early,” Payne said.

Officials said this is all a part of a big master plan.

“You’ve probably noticed, Hartsfield-Jackson is undergoing a massive renovation and expansion as part of our multi-billion-dollar renovation capital improvement program—ATL Next,” said Candace Brown, Assistant General Manager at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “That is helping building capacity for future growth,” she said.

Officials said they anticipate minimal construction impacts during the holiday week.

“We are anticipating minimal construction impacts during this period as most contractors will not be working next Wednesday night November 22nd through Saturday night November 25th. Work will resume on that Sunday night for selected projects and will continue in earnest on Monday, November 27th. Just as a reminder, that we closed our south economy lot in October in preparation for construction of the south parking deck phase one, the renewal of north and south decks is now complete and all spaces are available,” Brown said.

In the meantime, here are some possible solutions. You can park at the West Deck, Select Deck, and park-ride lots. They also encourage all travelers to get there early. In addition, you can reserve a parking spot online.

Marta said another inexpensive way.

A press release said the following:

“As the airport works to renovate its south economy parking lot, a reminder that MARTA has inexpensive, long-term parking at six rail stations:

Dunwoody & Sandy Springs Stations - $5 per 24 hours

North Springs, Doraville, Lindbergh Center & College Park Stations - $8 per 24 hours”

“I was actually here last night picking up someone and it’s chaotic out there,” Valary Collier said.

Collier took the Marta train to the airport as she will be gone for a long time for the holidays.

“Marta was very easy. The trains weren’t full. I would take the train, reduce your baggage and take a deep breath,” Collier said.