Hartsfield-Jackson security ready for record travel since pandemic
ATLANTA - For the first time about 16 months, travel experts predict there will be almost as many people taking to the skies as before the coronavirus crisis.
Authorities say more people could mean more opportunities for crime.
There’s no doubt people are excited to travel, but airport workers and Atlanta police say you should leave your weapons at home — or at least put them in your checked bags.
Stephen Johnson just took his first flight since the pandemic to see his newest granddaughter in Forsyth County.
"There was one person on the plane the flight attendant had to ask him to put his mask over his nose, but it was pretty good," he said of his flight.
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He's visiting from Louisville, where he says the airport was a breeze and nothing like what's expected of Hartsfield-Jackson: 1.5 million people or so will pass through the world's "most efficient" airport starting Wednesday.
Airport workers say that means long lines, like life before the pandemic — not just for the holiday, but also in coming months.
"We are excited to see a return to the traveling public and we have hired many agents in prep for increased travel this summer," TSA's Robert Spinden said.
Atlanta Police say they'll be out in full force this Memorial Day weekend. Don't be surprised to see officers with long guns and green suits. Police in plain clothes will patrol the airport as well.
"We cannot do it alone. We need assistance from traveling public," Atlanta Police Major Reginald Moorman said.
More than 170 firearms were found in carry-on bags this week alone. Airport workers showed reporters bins filled with power drills, kitchen knives and baseball bats Tuesday.
Authorities say they arrest about 62% of people who have a firearm in their carry-on — postponing highly anticipated reunions after a long year apart.
Using the MyTSA application use the "Can I bring my" tool that allows passengers to determine if their items are allowed in a carry-on bag before they arrive at the airport.
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