Record crowds are expected at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday as travelers set off for 4th of July trips.
The airport expects more than 90,000 passengers to pass through security checkpoints that day, surpassing the previous record set over the Memorial Day holiday travel period.
A total of 3.4 million people across the country are expected to fly over Independence Day weekend, according to AAA. Hundreds of thousands will pass through Hartsfield-Jackson’s terminal and concourses.
Airport officials say travelers should get to the airport at least two hours early to allow time to park, check in and get through security and to the gate.
Richard Duncan, assistant general manager for public safety and security at Hartsfield-Jackson, noted that fireworks and sparklers are not allowed on planes in either carry-on or checked bags.
Prohibited fireworks include aerial repeater and aerial shell fireworks, bottle rockets, chasers, firecrackers, flying spinners, fountains, ground spinners, missiles, parachute fireworks, poppers, Roman candles, skyrockets, smoke fireworks, snakes, snaps, sparklers, strobes and wheels, according to the federal Transportation Security Administration. Those items are flammable, made from explosive materials and are considered hazardous, TSA says.
Travelers caught with fireworks may be delayed while a TSA officer retrieves the bag, checks it for prohibited items and any other traces of explosives, and puts the bag back through the X-ray machine, according to TSA.
The airport’s goal is to keep security wait times under 20 minutes, but waits can be longer during peak periods.
“If someone gets frustrated if it takes longer, I would just ask them to have a little patience,” Duncan said. Travelers may also notice uniformed police officers throughout the terminal, which he said can serve as a deterrent.
Hartsfield-Jackson is in the middle of a $6 billion expansion and modernization plan, with construction on roadways around the domestic terminal and in the concourses. Duncan said the airport will minimize construction during the Fourth of July travel period.
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