Memorial Day 2024: Busy holiday travel surge begins at Atlanta airport

The summer travel season is getting underway and air travel officials say it’s going to be the busiest one since before the pandemic. 

According to TSA, officials are expecting an increase of more than 6% in travelers compared to this time in 2023.

Thursday was one of the busiest travel days at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with thousands of people getting a head start on their holiday weekend travel. 

According to the FAA, Thursday is expected to have the biggest flight surge with 53,000 scheduled flights nationwide. Friday will be the busiest day in Atlanta, where officials expect more than 100,000 passengers to come through Hartsfield-Jackson. 

Atlanta airport officials say they are expecting more than 119,000 more travelers than last year. 

Leigh Ann Paugh said her family booked an early flight to try and beat the holiday rush. 

"We’re going to see our son graduate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis. We just wanted to make sure it wasn't a problem with our travel plans," she said. 

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Atlanta airport officials have plans to make sure everything runs smoothly. They added more officers and additional screening lanes starting as early as 3 a.m. to help make sure you get through security in less than 30 minutes, and less than 10 minutes if you have pre-check.

"I'm glad I have TSA Pre-Check. I was quite shocked when I arrived to see so many people here on a Thursday at 4 a.m.," one traveler said.

The best thing you can do is get to the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.