The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (as they request to be referred to) is the world’s busiest, and broke a pretty incredible record this week. Atlanta Airport is the first airport to pass a hundred million passengers in a single calendar year. As you’d expect, they’re having a pretty big celebration to commemorate this milestone, including throwing a huge party for their hundred millionth passenger.
However, as noted by View from the Wing, the process by which they’re selecting the hundred millionth passenger is arbitrary at best:
As there is no single entryway to count passengers entering into the terminals on a one by one basis, the accounting firm will help the airport pinpoint to the record day when the 100 million threshold is crossed. According to the airport spokesperson Reese McCranie, a passenger will be randomly chosen from that day and be given a prize to be determined to celebrate the occasion.
Well, this past Sunday the airport finally had its hundred millionth passenger of 2015, which also happened to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. The randomly selected passenger, Larry Kendrick, was traveling from Gulfport to Chicago via Atlanta, and was caught off guard by being the “lucky” passenger.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 27, 2015
The passenger was greeted by Atlanta’s mayor and given quite a prize, including a Nissan Altima, two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in the world in Delta business class, a $500 gift card, and wireless headphones. While I don’t want to think of the tax obligations, that’s quite a prize!
Here’s a local NBC news story about the milestone:
I do wonder how they “randomly” chose this guy, and if he really had no clue he was going to win as he exited the plane. That’s quite a welcome committee to get upon arrival!
It still blows my mind that the airport is the world’s largest, given that it’s built largely on connecting traffic and isn’t even geographically that convenient.
Regardless, congrats to Atlanta Airport on this very impressive milestone.