Spring break air travel crowds pouring through Hartsfield-Jackson


An estimated 3.6 million persons are anticipated to move by way of the Atlanta airport from March 27 by way of April 7, the busiest stretch of the spring break journey interval that began in mid-March.

Some locales in Florida generally known as prime spring break locations in years previous, together with Miami, have sought to limit the rowdy crowds and associated crime. However Miami Worldwide Airport says remains to be seeing file crowds, with passenger volumes up about 9% year-over-year.

And Orlando Worldwide Airport is having its busiest weeks of the yr over the spring break interval, seeing an 11% enhance in passengers year-over-year.

In Atlanta, airport officers are advising vacationers to get to the airport at the least 2.5 hours earlier than home flights and three hours earlier than worldwide flights.

Whereas Friday will convey the most important crowds streaming into the home terminal, Saturday is predicted to be a peak day for worldwide journey to the Atlanta airport, in line with Zachary Thomas, U.S. Customs and Border Safety Atlanta port director.

“This Saturday is equal to our busiest day final yr,” with about 23,000 worldwide passengers arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson, Thomas stated. That’s on par with worldwide volumes final July in the course of the peak summer time interval.

Travelers wait in line for security clearance at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport international terminal in Atlanta on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

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Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

“Individuals are desirous to journey, desirous to see relations,” Thomas stated. “All through the pandemic, there have been a whole lot of pent-up journey needs that basically weren’t met and now they’re desirous to get again out and see the world.”

Worldwide site visitors is up about 18% year-over-year in Atlanta, in line with Thomas, taking a look at figures for the fiscal yr began in October.

“We have now surpassed pre-pandemic ranges fairly considerably,” Thomas stated. Usually, spring is a slower season, however “we’re seeing numbers which might be commensurate with final yr’s summer time season.”

Port Director Zachary “Clay” Thomas poses for a portrait at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport international terminal in Atlanta on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

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Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Atlanta-based Delta Air Strains has added flights, with plans to fly its largest-ever trans-Atlantic flight schedule this summer time. On Thursday, it launches flights from Atlanta to a new airport in Tulum, Mexico, as a part of its largest-ever spring break schedule to Mexico.

Together with home and worldwide journey, Delta Air Strains is seeing file demand for spring break, with plans to deal with almost 15 million clients over the interval from March 9 by way of April 14.

Atlanta has additionally gained some new carriers — together with South American airline Latam launching flights to Lima, Peru final October and Scandinavian Airways planning to launch service to Copenhagen, Denmark this June. Low cost service Avelo Airways plans to supply flights from New Haven, Connecticut, to Atlanta in Might.

Different carriers are including service in Atlanta, together with Aeromexico saying plans for extra routes to Mexico pending government approvals and Alaska Airways launching a route to Portland beginning Oct. 1.

Thomas, the port director, warns vacationers ought to “pack their endurance,” with some Customs wait instances reaching 1-2 hours throughout peak durations.

“It’s very crowded,” stated Alex Krijgsman, who arrived in Atlanta on a flight from the Netherlands this week to go to with household on a spring break trip in Massive Canoe, Georgia, earlier than driving to Florida. Nonetheless, he stated going by way of Customs on Wednesday was “very fast.”

A Customs and Border Protection officer conducts a global entry interview at the U.S. Customs Passport and Control area of the Hartsfield-Jackson airport international terminal in Atlanta on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

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Credit score: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

There are alternatives to expedite your manner by way of Customs, together with a Global Entry trusted traveler membership, which prices $100 to enroll for 5 years and now has an app, or the free Mobile Passport Control app.

At Hartsfield-Jackson, CBP affords interviews seven days every week for arriving international passengers who have applied for Global Entry membership. The company additionally goals to finally open a World Entry interview location at Hartsfield-Jackson for passengers departing on home or worldwide flights.



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