Super Bowl Exodus Causes Massive TSA Lines at Atlanta Airport
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The conclusion of the government shutdown didn’t mean the end of incredibly long security lines at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL). When the Super Bowl ended Sunday night, it marked the beginning of a mass exodus from the city, and many of those visiting had came to Atlanta via air.
City officials say the airport could see more than 110,000 travelers passing through security — it could be the most travelers that have ever gone through the airport.
“We’re preparing for a potential record-breaking day here at Hartsfield-Jackson airport here on Monday,” said TSA spokesperson Mark Howell, reports WSBTV. The Atlanta TSA normally screens 60,000 to 80,000 passengers per day.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the airport’s general manager says security wait times were about an hour and a half on Monday morning. However, that appears to contradict reports on the ground.
Many on social media are reporting lines of two to three hours, and in some cases even four.
Security lines extended all the way into the baggage claim areas and snaked around the luggage carousels.
“We’ve established a plan to essentially use every available square foot and fill it with queuing,” Hartsfield-Jackson assistant general manager of planning Tom Nissalke told the Journal-Constitution.
Even travelers with TSA PreCheck had to endure long lines. TPG himself, Brian Kelly, is traveling back from the big game today and has reported hour-long PreCheck lines. He says the expedited security service Clear is open, but it may be difficult to find. He was lucky enough to be pulled into a newly formed PreCheck line which helped cut down on his wait time. You can see more on Kelly’s Instagram story.Kelly’s brother was also traveling back from Atlanta but was without PreCheck. He had to wait in the regular security line for three and a half hours, leading him to miss his flight back home.
There are reports that you can go through the international terminal’s security which has significantly shorter wait times — those with mobile boarding passes and Delta passengers are eligible for expedited security. However, you may have to travel a bit to get to the domestic terminals once you’ve made it through.
The Atlanta airport advises passengers to get to the airport at least three hours before their flight’s scheduled departure, but it may be worth giving yourself even more time just incase of any unexpected delays. You can track security wait times on ATL’s website or the MyTSA App.
Finally, the airport also tells those with Super Bowl souvenir programs to pack them in your carry-on bag and not your checked luggage, as the material sets off alarms in checked bags.
And for those privileged enough to be flying private, business jets made their own exodus out of Atlanta last night.
Featured image by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees