Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is bustling with passengers arriving for the Super Bowl Friday, and airport officials are ramping up operations for even heavier traffic to come.
“This will probably be our biggest day for arrivals, but they’ve been coming all week,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager John Selden on Friday morning.
Uber and Lyft pickup zones are likely to be crowded as passengers catch rides downtown. Delta Air Lines will greet passengers arriving on flights from Boston and Los Angeles with celebrations on Friday.
While Friday is a big day for arrivals, airport officials have been preparing for as many as 110,000 passengers going through security checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson on Monday after the Super Bowl.
Forecasts based on airline bookings have not yet reached that level, but there are still expectations for record passenger counts with nearly 100,000 passengers forecast to go through security, Selden said.
“I expect the terminal to be very busy,” Selden said. He said the Transportation Security Administration is preparing to have lanes open as passengers arrive after the game ends Sunday night into Monday.
Airport and airline officials have been bracing for long lines and waits for passengers flying out Monday.
Delta will hand out amenity kits and blankets to passengers spending Sunday night into the concourses. Delta passengers will also be able to go through security at the international terminal Monday.
Hartsfield-Jackson is advising passengers flying out of Atlanta after the game to follow a 5-4-3-2-1 rule:
Check out of your hotel 5 hours before departure
Turn in your rental car or call Uber or Lyft 4 hours before departure
Check bags 3 hours before departure
Get in line for security 2 hours before departure
Be at your gate 1 hour before departure
The airport is also advising passengers not to pack their programs into their checked luggage because it is made of materials that could trigger checked baggage screening machines, and travelers should instead put their programs into carry-ons.