If your July 4th holiday begins at the airport, read this first:

The crowd that will work its way through Atlanta airport security ahead of the Fourth of July will be large. In fact, the number of passengers on Friday may beat the record set the Monday after the Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2019.

Here are some things to know:

  • If you plan to park at the airport, consider reserving a parking spot ahead of time at park-ride lots. Parking at the airport is constrained because of ongoing construction work at the domestic terminal parking decks, and many airport decks and lots reach capacity during busy periods.
  • Consider taking MARTA to the airport instead of driving, to avoid road congestion and parking hassles.
  • Arrive early: Plan to be inside the Atlanta airport terminal at least two hours before your flight. Allow extra time to navigate traffic and congested airport roads and to find parking.
  • Check Hartsfield-Jackson’s website for parking availability and security wait times, which can change by the minute.
  • Lines for airport concessions can be long. You can bring an empty reusable water bottle that you can fill at water refilling stations at the airport.
  • Check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport. TSA’s website lists items not permitted through security checkpoints, including guns and other weapons.
  • If you’re dropping off friends or family at the airport and want to avoid congestion at the curbside, the airport will now allow motorists to park for free in airport-run decks for up to 30 minutes. Airport officials say that will take effect by Friday morning June 30.
  • If you’re picking up friends or family at the airport, be aware that the airport last October moved its cell phone lot. Watch for the dynamic signs that direct you to the new location, which is farther from the domestic terminal than the old location. If you’re coming from I-85 South, the signs will direct you to drive past the terminal, following signs toward the ATL West Parking/Rental Car Center while staying in the right lane to drive around a loop to the cell phone lot.
  • For international travel, be aware that you’ll arrive at the international terminal on the east side of the airport when you return. Delays on the shuttles between the international terminal and domestic terminal have left passengers fuming.
  • If you are driving: To avoid the heaviest highway congestion, leave in the early morning or after 6 p.m. The worst times to travel are afternoon periods on peak days.

Source: INRIX, Hartsfield-Jackson

Guide to July 4th in Atlanta from the AJC