Travelers flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) should make sure they are fully prepared as the airport recently reclaimed its crown as the busiest airport in the world.
Whilst the airport, which serves as the primary hub of airline giant Delta, may still be some way from the passenger totals it saw in 2019, recent figures have shown a significant improvement in the number of travelers passing through its doors – and that figure is expected to rise further still this summer as the demand for travel continues to grow.
Here’s a look at how the airport won the title of being the world’s busiest airport once more, and how travelers flying from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport can better prepare themselves for a smooth experience from arrival to departure.
World’s Busiest Airport – Information For Travelers
Air travel is on the up once more, with airports around the world reporting a total of 4.5 billion passengers in 2021. This is a significant rise when compared to 2020’s figures – the year that the pandemic first caused major disruptions to travel around the world. The world’s top ten airlines – eight of which are located within the US – handled around 10% of the global air traffic in 2021, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport busier than any other airport.
After losing out on the crown in 2020 to China’s Guangzhou airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is now back on top. The airport saw more than 75 million passengers in 2021 – a figure that is 76.4% higher than the totals it reported back in 2020, which is an impressive bounce back to form. Yet whilst the figure may be high by pandemic standards, it is still some distance away from the totals it recorded back in 2019.
In 2019 – the most recent year that was unaffected by the pandemic – more than 110 million passengers flew from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is around 32% more than the current totals it is reporting. As more and more countries continue to ease their travel restrictions and more routes are being restored and added to airlines’ networks, hitting pre-pandemic travel figures looks like a strong possibility this summer.
Yet with various different Covid-19 related disruptions afflicting the industry, including crew, pilot and staff shortages, travel this summer from a busy airport such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport could be set to get messy – which is why it’s now more important than ever for travelers to ensure they are well prepared for their trips.
Time management is key to ensuring trips get off to the best start. By setting off early towards the airport, not only can you hope to beat traffic on the way in, but you should beat the check-in and security queues too – not to mention buying yourself enough time to prepare for the worst.
If it’s been a while, it may even be worth re-reading the airline’s baggage policies to make sure you’re not over your weight limit or packing anything you shouldn’t be, with hold-ups in the check-in line or baggage screening the last thing you want before starting your vacation.
In light of the current situation in the aviation industry, it may also be worth keeping an eye out for any delays or cancellations – and keeping up to date with the airline’s cancellation or rebooking policies to avoid having to make any rash decisions.
Finally, whilst the number of restriction-free countries around the world may be growing, it’s still extremely important to ensure you take the time to double-check the entry restrictions for a country – and ensure you have all the relevant documentation to hand when you get to the airport. Don’t be the traveler who needs to find a last-minute Covid-19 test or needs to fill in a health declaration whilst in the queue.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories