Checkpoint upgrades causing longer lines, wait times for travelers at Atlanta airport

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Heads up travelers, you might want to arrive at the airport earlier than usual.

If you plan on traveling out of Atlanta for the holidays, you can expect longer waits at the airport. The longer wait times are due to construction work and closed lanes, which are causing longer security checkpoints.

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Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was live inside Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Channel 2 Action News This Morning on Friday.

The work to install new, higher-tech 3D scanners for carry-on bags will go in phases. It will shut down three or four of the 19 screening lanes at a time at the main checkpoint.

Travelers will have to get used to this for a while because the work to upgrade the scanners at the main checkpoint will last the next 18 months.


Construction started this month and it’s already causing longer waits during peak travel times.

On Friday, Gehlbach saw over 40 minutes with lines backed up through the atrium and into the baggage claim area. Some waits were even longer for travelers using Clear and TSA pre-check.

The new scanners, similar to work already done to upgrade and expand the south checkpoint, will eventually make screening smoother and faster.

But it won’t be finished until early 2024, so plan for more time.

The airport encourages people to arrive two and a half to three hours before domestic flights.

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