The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that people are finding out the hard way that they should have reserved a space for airport parking before they went to the airport.

It’s summertime, and the airport parking ain’t easy.

Travelers flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in recent days have found few parking spaces at the airport itself, while others have confronted crowded-to-full private lots along Camp Creek Parkway.

About 85 million people use the airport, the world’s busiest, each year. About 30 million of those will crowd the concourses during the summer travel season.

“We’re seeing a big summer push this year,” said airport spokesman Herschel Grangent. “Some days, we’ve had all our spaces taken in long-term parking.”

An upswing in seasonal travel, partially fueled by midweek specials offered by some airlines, has pushed always-tight airport parking to the limit and some travelers to the brink.

Patti Morgan of east Cobb County said she missed a June 19 flight because of airport parking woes. Morgan, who owns a construction company, got to Hartsfield-Jackson about 3:30 p.m. for a 5 p.m. flight to Jacksonville.

She wanted to park in one of the long-term economy lots, but signs indicated the lots were full. In desperation, Morgan attempted to park in a more expensive hourly lot. “I drove around for 30 minutes and found nothing,” Morgan said. She gave up on the airport lots and headed for the nearby private lots along Camp Creek Parkway. She finally found a spot there, but by the time she’d parked and taken a shuttle back to the airport she had missed her 50-minute flight.

“I was outraged,” she said. “This has never happened to me before.”

She could have just gone to the APR website and found many different lots that offered reservations…and not had to drive around looking.

Kennesaw resident Kyle Tatum said he did check the Web site Monday just before leaving his home to catch a 9:55 a.m. flight to Philadelphia. Tatum said the site indicated the long-term lots were open, but by the time he got to the airport they were full. He, too, finally ended up parking at a private lot on Camp Creek.

“I barely made my flight,” he said. “It cost me a good 30 minutes looking for a spot.”