Thanksgiving Eve at Hartsfield-Jackson airport quieter than usual

Nov. 25, 2020 - Thousands of travelers passed through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the day before Thanksgiving 2020. But due to COVID-19 crowds were about half what they normally are.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

On what is typically one of the busiest days of the holiday season, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has about half of the traffic it has attracted in past years.

Wait times at security checkpoints Wednesday at Atlanta’s airport were often less than 10 minutes as fewer travelers took to the skies.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic is keeping many people close to home for Thanksgiving, in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that people should not travel for Thanksgiving.

Nov. 25, 2020 - Thousands of travelers passed through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on the day before Thanksgiving 2020. But due to COVID-19 crowds, were about half what they normally are.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On Wednesday, U.S. House transportation committee chair Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and aviation subcommittee chair Rick Larsen, D-Wash., said they asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to study the risks of air travel during a public health crisis.

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Despite that, thousands of passengers streamed through the Atlanta airport for trips the day before Thanksgiving, albeit in smaller numbers than typical. Thursday is normally the least busy day of this holiday week.

Airport officials recommend travelers get to the airport two hours before their flights.

The busiest day of the Thanksgiving holiday period at Hartsfield-Jackson is forecast to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when about 50,000 passengers will pass through security checkpoints at the airport.

In past years, the airport has more than 80,000 passengers a day passing through security, and even more on the busiest days of the holidays.

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