Fort Benning soldiers at Hartsfield-Jackson heading home for the holidays for two weeks. Credit: John Spink / AJC

More than 3.7 million passengers expected at Hartsfield-Jackson over holiday season

Domestic terminal North pickup zone for Uber and Lyft passengers relocates Dec. 22.

More than 3.7 million travelers are expected to pass through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during the year-end holiday travel period, making it one of the busiest times of the year.

The busy holiday travel period at the Atlanta airport started Sunday Dec. 16 and runs through Jan. 2, according to airport officials.

That’s expected to bring the total number of passengers handled at Hartsfield-Jackson for 2018 to a record level of roughly 106 million.

Travelers should plan to be in the airport terminal two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, airport officials say

>>MORE: AJC’s 2018 Guide to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Also, passengers who use Uber or Lyft should be aware that one of the airport’s pickup zones for Uber and Lyft will be in a new spot starting Dec. 22.

The pickup zone that’s moving is the Domestic Terminal North zone, which will be in a new location 750 feet closer to the terminal. Uber and Lyft users at Terminal North will still need to exit through the Lower North exit door. Signs and customer service staff will direct passengers to the new location underneath the MARTA tracks just outside the North parking deck.

>>MORE: Hartsfield-Jackson to relocate pickup zone for Uber, Lyft

Nationally, the Transportation Security Administration estimates 41 million passengers will pass through security checkpoints across the country during the period from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5. That’s up 6 percent from 2017.

“We have experienced several record-breaking travel days this year, to include the busiest travel day this past Thanksgiving, so we are prepared for a very busy period leading up to Christmas and through the New Year holiday,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a written statement. 

In regular TSA security lanes, passengers should remove laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles from their bags to be screened separately. TSA says its officers may also instruct travelers to separate food, powders and other materials that can obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.

Those who are TSA PreCheck members can go through expedited screening, meaning they do not have to remove shoes, approved liquids, laptops, light jackets or belts.

>>MORE: TSA’s “trusted traveler” PreCheck program

TSA advises that solid foods like baked goods, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables can go into carry-ons. However, “Liquid, creamy and spreadable foods, like your delicious spinach dip, must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule” -- meaning you can bring one quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint, of 3.4 ounces or less per item.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.