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World's busiest airport prepares for Thanksgiving travel

Officials say they are ramping up security efforts ahead of the busy travel week.

ATLANTA — Travelers flying out of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for Thanksgiving should expect to see bigger crowds than what has been seen in the last couple of years.

The world's busiest airport is expecting a whopping 3.2 million people to fly in and out next week. Hartsfield-Jackson airport officials said they are expecting about a million more passengers to travel for Thanksgiving this year compared to last year.

As always, they are saying passengers need to get to the airport early and expect delays, especially with construction shutting down several parking lots and part of the main security checkpoint.

TSA is ramping up staffing – as is the Atlanta Police Department – to help move people as quickly as possible through security and ensure everyone’s safety.

“If you see something - say something. And what you may be seeing could be a suspicious package, vehicle, a conversation that you overhear," Chief of Atlanta Police Department Darin Schierbaum said. He added that little details can help police keep the public safe.

Last year, just days before Thanksgiving, a passenger accidentally discharged a gun causing chaos in the domestic terminal. Authorities are reminding passengers to not pack any prohibited items in their carry-ons, adding firearms must be unloaded, locked, and checked.

RELATED: What you need to know about carrying a gun in an airport

“So far this year, our TSA agents in Atlanta have intercepted almost 400 firearms and almost 90% of them have been loaded," said Robert Spinden, federal security director of the TSA.

Airport officials said passengers should check their flight information ahead of time, arrive at least two and half hours early, and prepare for crowds and long lines as well as delays and cancelations.

“Preparedness, promptness, and patience will go along while you’re traveling,” adds Jan Lennon, deputy general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Authorities said they're expecting the holiday rush to begin picking up on Sunday with most people expected to fly Wednesday and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving.

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