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the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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South Economy Parking Lot closes at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, impacts holiday travels

Sierra Pape
On Oct. 23, the South Parking Lot at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport shut down for construction.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the world’s busiest airport, officially shut down a 3,000-spot parking lot on Oct. 23. for renovation/construction. The newly constructed lot, set to open in 2026, plans to have double the spots to accommodate the rise in visitors.

Scott Lerner, a Midtown parent and prominent traveler, said he feels that the closure negatively affects convenience.

“As someone who typically parks at the airport, I will not be using the parking lots in the future and will only be using a rideshare option in the future,” Lerner said. “The closure almost made me miss my last flight.”

Airport leaders deemed the closure of the South Economy Parking lot necessary because it is over four decades old. However, Lerner believes accessible lots would have been a better solution. 

“A better option would be creating more accessible lots and having the capacity to handle the overflow of passengers,” Lerner said. “Some airports have lane indicators that show you the amount of spaces per aisle. This would help move traffic along to find parking quicker.”

Midtown parent Kevin Lyman said that the closure means that he and his family will be traveling to Hartsfield-Jackson differently. 

“I’m not knowledgeable about the overall plan but I assume that their view is that the long-term gain will ultimately outweigh the short-term pain,” Lyman said. “It has affected me and my family slightly in that I will almost undoubtedly take Uber to the airport, whereas before, I would sometimes drive and park for shorter trips.” 

Lerner says that he will be opting to use different methods of traveling rather than flying.

“I’m not traveling this year, but in cases that allow it, I opt to drive rather than fly any time I can,” Lerner said. “In general, I try to avoid the Atlanta airport at all costs.”

Ann Marra, a Midtown parent, and Delta Airlines employee, says that overcrowding is expected because of the parking lot closure.

“Although it does not affect my particular job, I could see it driving more congestion at the airport,” Marra said. “So, I might try to arrive a few minutes earlier than in the past.”

Marra said that the renovation could be beneficial in the long term..

“Long term, it seems like a good thing,” Marra said. “I think in the interim, there are several options during travel rather than airport parking, so we will adapt. I think with the improvements and expansion needed, we probably have little choice but to endure the inconvenience in the short term.”

To avoid dealing with parking time and excessive parking fees, Marra plans to use ride-share for her holiday travels.

“We usually travel north to see out-of-town family for the holidays and will continue to do so,” Marra said. “I plan to arrive a few minutes earlier and to use rideshare, so I don’t have to deal with parking time or the high cost of parking.”

Marra who is a frequent holiday traveler, says vacation planning and expecting setbacks should be maintained, especially with the recent closing of the South Parking Lot. 

“We’ll keep our expectations that delays can happen at different points on the travel journey,” Marra said. “We should always give ourselves a little extra time in arriving at the airport.”

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About the Contributors
Mariam Darb
Mariam Darb, News Section Editor
Mariam Darb is a sophomore and this is her first year on The Southerner. Outside of school, she is involved in Fashion Club and MSA. She is excited to be on staff and start writing.
Sierra Pape
Sierra Pape, News Managing Editor
Sierra Pape is a junior and this is her third year on the Southerner staff. When she is not writing, you will find her running for the Midtown cross country team, working for Midtown Votes and political organizations outside of school, and singing and playing the guitar. She is excited to contribute to the paper for years to come.

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