Hartsfield-Jackson expects a record-setting 110,000 passengers going through security on the Monday after the Super Bowl. The airport is recommending a 5-4-3-2-1 rule for travelers leaving Atlanta after the game. Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Super Bowl in Atlanta: What you need to know about traveling through Hartsfield-Jackson

If you’re flying from Atlanta after the Super Bowl, be aware that the big game will make the world’s busiest airport even busier.

More than 3.2 million people are expected to travel through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport during a 12-day Super Bowl travel period.

If you’re traveling through the Atlanta airport anytime during that period, prepare for the possibility of big crowds during peak times

The rush is expected to run through Tuesday Feb. 5. During the Super Bowl travel period, MARTA expects to handle 183,000 passengers traveling from the Airport Station.

The busiest day will be Monday, Feb. 4 after the game, when a total of 302,800 passengers are expected to travel through the world’s busiest airport. Of those, a record of nearly 100,000 are expected to pass through security checkpoints.

Airport management has removed chairs from the domestic terminal atrium in anticipation of the record crowds arriving at the airport Sunday night and Monday.

Security checkpoint lines are expected to extend through the terminal, and removing the chairs “gives us more capacity to queue up people here,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager John Selden. By reducing the number of seats to sit in, it’s also a way “to get people to go through” security, he said.

Selden said the airport has all security checkpoints open through the open, and every lane will be open from 3 a.m. Monday through the rest of the day.

If you’ll be among the travelers flying out of Atlanta on the Monday after the Super Bowl, here’s what you need to know.

That day, checkpoints will be open 24 hours and there will be eateries and newsstands open round-the-clock on every concourse, the airport says.

The airport is recommending a 5-4-3-2-1 rule for travelers leaving Atlanta after the game: 

  • 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 

Thousands of travelers are expected to head straight to the airport after the game and spend the night in the terminal until their flights the next day.

Delta is preparing with plans to hand out blankets and amenity kits to passengers who bed down in the airport. Passengers will be able to pass through security up to 24 hours before their flights, meaning some can spend the night on the concourses in gate areas.

The airport is also advising travelers not to pack their Super Bowl programs in checked luggage. That’s because it’s made of materials that will trigger machines that screen bags. Instead, when going through the TSA checkpoint, take the program out of your carry-on bag and put it in a separate bin.

On the concourses, Delta will have Sky Clubs on Concourses T, B and F open 24 hours on Super Bowl Sunday and the Monday after.

Bags Inc. says it is offering remote baggage check-in for Delta and Southwest passengers who hold Super Bowl tickets or are guests of three Atlanta hotels: The Sheraton Atlanta downtown, the Renaissance Concourse at the airport and the Westin at the airport. The Bags station at the airport Westin is also serving American Airlines passengers.

The company said the service is available 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and bags must be dropped off at least three hours before the departure time.

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About the Author

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

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