3:43 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Travel Period Begins

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When it comes to passengers, no airport is busier than Atlanta’s. This week is a good example.

Between today and next Monday, Atlanta’s airport expects more than a million people for the Thanksgiving travel period.

Any other time of the year, you’ll see a lot of airport travelers on business. Once November hits, Hartsfield-Jackson International general manager Louis Miller says there’s a shift.

“You don’t have a lot of business travelers around here because business travel is off this time of year,” said Miller. “So, you’re seeing mostly the leisure travelers.”

Louis says that’s an important distinction given the 1.7 million passengers expected in Atlanta for Thanksgiving travel.

“The leisure travelers aren’t as experienced as the business travelers when it comes to going through security checkpoints for example or getting to and from the airport,” said Miller.

So, Miller is focusing on leisure travelers. If that’s you, he recommends following federal guidelines for traveling with liquids and giving yourself plenty of time to go through security. Miller urges passengers with domestic flights to get to the airport an hour and a half before departure. For international flights, he recommends two hours.

This is the first major holiday since Atlanta opened its new international terminal. The terminal is not located inside the airport. Miller hopes separating domestic and international flights will help cut down on security checkpoints lines especially on Wednesday and Monday; two of the busiest travel days of the season.

This is also the first major holiday travel season when children under the age of 12 and people 75 years and older won’t have to take their shoes off to go through security. The change was made after the federal government and airports received criticism over the security practice.