Staffing shortages causing long lines at businesses inside Atlanta’s airport

ATLANTA — COVID-19 is getting part of the blame for staffing shortages at Atlanta’s airport.

Those shortages are leaving customers standing in long lines waiting for service.

Business owners at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that this is a problem nationwide.

Now, the airport is holding job fairs to try and bridge the gap.

Customers say they have to deal with flight delays and cancellations, and the long lines don’t help at all.

Jones saw lines Monday at restaurants near the atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson. Customers say the wait for food is frustrating.

“Frustration. Cancellation of flights. It’s just getting out of control,” traveler Reggie Caicedo said.

“I just think they need more help back there,” another traveler said who did not identify themselves.

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Staffing shortages are getting the blame for the long lines.

Many employees haven’t returned to work for several reasons, including fear of COVID-19.

The airport is holding monthly job fairs to get positions filled. Still, the long lines persist.

“We live to please and serve the customer. That’s why we’re here,” said Alicia Ivey with Goldbergs Concessions Corporation.

Ivey’s company owns three restaurants at the airport: The Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill, Goldberg’s Bagel and Deli and a Subway.

She told Jones that the staffing shortages are a pain and that the airport and city leaders are doing what they can to attract workers.

She’s also doing her part by going into the community and recruiting workers.

“We’re getting our boots on the ground. We’re talking to people in the faith-based community. Some customers think some people are used to staying home instead of working,” Ivey said.

“It’s going to take time for people to realize they got to go to work,” another traveler said.

Ivey says some workers are discouraged after learning they have to undergo a federal background check and that her colleagues will have to offer more incentives to get people to work.

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