Atlanta airport prefers to be called ‘most-traveled,’ not ‘busiest’

Story highlights

No longer will Atlanta be called "the world's busiest airport"

Officials want to call it the "most-traveled"

Atlanta handled more than 100 million passengers last year

CNN  — 

Could it be the airline passengers complaining about long waits in security lines, the long walks (or train rides) between concourses, or the overpriced food and drink?

True or not, suddenly, it doesn’t seem so fabulous to be “the world’s busiest airport.”

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has long claimed that title, holding off Beijing, London’s Heathrow and other foreign hubs for 17 years in a row.

Now, Atlanta’s will be known as the “world’s most-traveled airport,” General Manager Miguel Southwell said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Some really smart marketing people” have learned that the word “busy” has a negative connotation, Southwell told the Atlanta City Council’s transportation committee on Wednesday.

ATL24: A day in the life of the world’s busiest airport

The airport is an economic engine for the southern United States and the country, attracting big business that needs reliable access to markets around the world.

Never mind that. It seems that “busiest” doesn’t sound so good to people traveling for work or pleasure.

“So it’s ‘world’s most-traveled,’ ” Southwell said. “Please note that we’re no longer using the term ‘the busiest airport.’ “

Whatever language they choose, it’s undeniably true that the Atlanta airport moves a lot of people: In 2015, it became the first in the world to handle 100 million passengers in a year.