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Options for an avid planespotter with a day to kill at ATL?

Options for an avid planespotter with a day to kill at ATL?

Old Jul 10, 16, 7:42 am
  #1  
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Options for an avid planespotter with a day to kill at ATL?

Hey Guys,

Been a while since I posted. I have a work event being hosted at an airport hotel near ATL coming up in a few weeks. The event does not start until 6:30PM, but being an avid planespotter and former ATL resident, I decided to fly into ATL early, getting in around 11AM so I have a good half-day to kill and want to be able to relax and watch some planes while working a little. Any recommendations on best places to do this?

I thought about the SkyDeck at the club in F - wondering if it is worth the one-day pass entry fee. Also open to alternative suggestions from the crowd. I can stay airside after I land since I won't be checking a bag. Appreciate any thoughts!
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Old Jul 10, 16, 8:51 am
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Hilton

It's been a while and not sure if you need status for this, but I've had good luck getting Hilton ATL to let me hang out in the exec lounge during (intentional) long layovers. Pretty decent spotting there and a good work environment during the middle part of the day when the lounge is deserted.
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Old Jul 10, 16, 8:53 am
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Isn't there a good view from the Renaissance also?
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Old Jul 10, 16, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by baccarat0809 View Post
Isn't there a good view from the Renaissance also?
IIRC that may require getting a room for the day, though that may be within OP's budget.

What hotel is your event in? Hilton and Renaissance are the best IMO, but if you're at an airport properly there's a decent chance that they have a good spot.
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Old Jul 10, 16, 10:02 am
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Depending on how much time you have, a visit to the Delta Flight Museum (off Virginia Ave) is a must. You can get right up close to a Delta 757 & 767 (in widget colors) and a Northwest DC-9 (in current DL colors). A NW/DL 747 will also be on display soon. Also there are vintage planes and interesting exhibits on display. It is great that the museum in now open to the public.
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Old Jul 10, 16, 1:18 pm
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- Renaissance ATL on the north side of the airfield
- North and South Terminal parking garages
- If you have a decent lens the A SkyClub above PF Changs (not A17 but the one in the center of the concourse) when ATL is departing to the west
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Old Jul 10, 16, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by WidgetHead View Post
I thought about the SkyDeck at the club in F - wondering if it is worth the one-day pass entry fee. Also open to alternative suggestions from the crowd. I can stay airside after I land since I won't be checking a bag. Appreciate any thoughts!
I'll put in my vote for the F skydeck. If you like smelling the fumes off the JT8Ds when the MD80's take off, this is your spot. If they're taking off east, it's great.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by sspontak View Post
Depending on how much time you have, a visit to the Delta Flight Museum (off Virginia Ave) is a must. You can get right up close to a Delta 757 & 767 (in widget colors) and a Northwest DC-9 (in current DL colors). A NW/DL 747 will also be on display soon. Also there are vintage planes and interesting exhibits on display. It is great that the museum in now open to the public.
The 747 is there,but not ready yet. AFAIK,the museum was always open to the public. I was there in '11. It's supposed to be much nicer,now.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 10:08 am
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At the flight museum you can drop a couple of hundred $$ and fly in the simulator! Its a 737-200.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Seat1A View Post
I'll put in my vote for the F skydeck. If you like smelling the fumes off the JT8Ds when the MD80's take off, this is your spot. If they're taking off east, it's great.
F is great for watching. Not great for photography though in my experience, if that matters to the OP.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 11:30 am
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Yeah, whether you're taking pictures or not makes a big difference. The F skydeck has good views, but the glass "windows" surrounding it give a TON of glare and make good pictures pretty difficult. Some of the best pics I've gotten at ATL have been from inside the E skyclub, but you only have views of a small portion of the south runways from there.

There are some really good views at the A skyclubs as well, especially for ramp ops.
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Old Jul 11, 16, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by DLGrkItalNY View Post
At the flight museum you can drop a couple of hundred $$ and fly in the simulator! Its a 737-200.
Highly recommended. It is amazing.

It's even better when free because you are good friends with one of the engineers that programs them. Just schedule some time when not in use and fly the sim
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Old Jul 12, 16, 9:25 am
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If you have the time for security and can stand the heat and humidity, go stand at the top of the SOUTH parking deck near Rwy 9L/27R. It is the longest and gets all of the heavies heading overseas in the afternoon and evening. If they're taking off to the east, they start right in front of you.

A known spotter puts videos on YouTube that are kind of hilarious with the commentary https://youtu.be/5RtxBEFoEfU
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Old Jul 12, 16, 12:37 pm
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The runway by Renaissance is only for smaller planes like MD90 and smaller, so you're not going to see any 747 a380 up close.

The Delta Museum is great if you want to pick up some Delta swag and once a month they have huge sale on old Delta stuff.
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Old Jul 12, 16, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by GateGuardian View Post
The runway by Renaissance is only for smaller planes like MD90 and smaller, so you're not going to see any 747 a380 up close.

The Delta Museum is great if you want to pick up some Delta swag and once a month they have huge sale on old Delta stuff.
Maybe not takeoffs but 26R/8L will get used for heavy arrivals. I have photos of a DL 777 landing on 26R, taken from the Renaissance.
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