Travelers report smooth going at airport on ‘busiest travel day’ for Labor Day weekend

Travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport describe smooth going Friday, the day officials said would be the busiest of the Labor Day weekend.

About 330,000 travelers were expected to pass through Friday, and 1.7 million for the entire weekend.

Calli Hixenbaugh of Alpharetta was bound for Washington, D.C. for the weekend.

“It’s more relaxing than I thought it was gonna be,” she said. “It’s not as hectic and stressful.”

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Hixenbaugh said arriving at the airport well before her flight was key.

“(Have) plenty of time to check in and feel like you’re not running through the terminal trying to catch your flight the last minute.”

Airport officials urge travelers to arrive two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international.

Andy Gobeil, an airport spokesperson, described Friday as smooth, with operations “normal and efficient.”

At 5 p.m. Friday, flight status monitors showed only a handful of delays at Hartsfield-Jackson. FlightAware reported 213 delays and three cancellations at the airport for the day.


The weekend comes after Hurricane Idalia raked across the Southeast, delaying and canceling numerous flights. Kevin Kelly of Atlanta, who’s flying to Dallas for the weekend, said he wasn’t worried about Labor Day crowds or the possibility of delays.

“Idalia’s gone, so the concern is gone for us for the most part. It’s back to a normal routine,” Kelly said.

The Transportation Security Administration says air travel is up 11% this Labor Day weekend compared to the same time last year.

It also says volume is heavier than it was in 2019 – before the pandemic.

The number of travelers passing through Hartsfield-Jackson checkpoints has made 2023 the busiest year on record, according to the TSA.

Ruth Murcia was on her way to Florida for the holiday weekend, though she generally prefers not to fly on holidays.

“Usually we travel on (days) that are not holidays, but we figured why not, so we’re headed that way,” Murcia said.

Cindy Ahrens was just in from Albuquerque to visit her son in Georgia for the weekend. She said her flights were full and the airport lines long, but she wasn’t stressed.

“No, not at all,” she said. “Waiting for our bags seems to be the longest part.”

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