Atlanta’s Airport Predicts Record-Breaking Travel This Thanksgiving

Hartsfield-Jackson airport expects more than 315,000 passengers the Sunday after Thanksgiving, making it the single busiest travel day of 2017.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press
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It’s set to be a record Thanksgiving travel season at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest for years running.

Officials expect more than 3 million passengers during the holiday period, which started Friday and runs through the Monday after Thanksgiving. That’s about 200,000 more passengers than the same time last year.

Much of that rush will happen Wednesday. But airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says many travelers have already left town.

“Many more people are now taking the entire Thanksgiving week off, so the Friday before Thanksgiving is actually now one of the busiest travel days of the year,” he explained.

Still, it’s no competition for the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Hartsfield-Jackson expects more than 315,000 passengers that day, making it the single busiest travel day of 2017.

“Whether or not you leave on Monday or Tuesday or perhaps even the weekend before, everyone’s going to work the following Monday after Thanksgiving, “ Gobeil said.

The airport is preparing for the increased volume with additional staffing at security checkpoints and customer service desks.

Construction on a set of new canopies over the roads at the North and South terminals has also been suspended to help reduce vehicle traffic congestion.

Gobeil’s tips for travelers? Arrive at Hartsfield-Jackson at least two hours in advance of your flight, and follow the airport and your airline on social media for information and updates.