Milani Kinos, 4, with mother Michelle Rustin wait in long lines at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Thursday as the Memorial Day travel holiday is underway. Photo: JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM

Hartsfield-Jackson expects 1.7 million passengers over Memorial Day weekend

About 1.7 million passengers will fill the terminals and concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport over the Memorial Day weekend, marking the start of the busy summer travel season.

Hartsfield-Jackson International general manager Roosevelt Council said the airport is adding guest relations staff and K9 units, and opening security checkpoints early for the holiday weekend rush.

With construction of a massive canopy clogging up the Terminal North curbside during certain periods, Council said the airport would work to minimize construction during the busy weekend.

Travelers should arrive in the airport terminal two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight, airport and security officials said. Allow extra time to find parking.

Friday is expected to bring the heaviest volumes of passengers through security checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson International. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen more than 91,000 passengers at the Atlanta airport that day. Thursday and Monday will also be busy days.

The TSA will open the North and South checkpoints in the domestic terminal earlier, at 4 a.m., to handle the crowds. Mary Leftridge Byrd, TSA federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson, advised passengers to look through their carry-on bags for any items prohibited through security before traveling, and to “keep them as uncluttered as possible” for X-ray screening.

There have been 100 guns caught at security checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson so far this year, according to TSA. An average of 1,500 pounds of prohibited items -- not including liquids -- are found each month.

Prohibited items caught recently at Hartsfield-Jackson security checkpoints.

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