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ATL: South Security Checkpoint, SkyPriority only

ATL: South Security Checkpoint, SkyPriority only

Old Nov 19, 18, 7:48 am
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ATL: South Security Checkpoint, SkyPriority only

Flew out of Atlanta this morning. I always go to the south checkpoint since it's shorter and easier to use. Plus people using this one tend to know what to do so the wait is minimal.

Today I noticed that there's no general lane there. It's either Clear or SP. Is this normal for early morning flights, or Monday morning? I went through around 7am. Or is this temporary for Thanksgiving? Wasn't like this a few weeks ago.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by Weekend Away View Post
Flew out of Atlanta this morning. I always go to the south checkpoint since it's shorter and easier to use. Plus people using this one tend to know what to do so the wait is minimal.

Today I noticed that there's no general lane there. It's either Clear or SP. Is this normal for early morning flights, or Monday morning? I went through around 7am. Or is this temporary for Thanksgiving? Wasn't like this a few weeks ago.
They made it SkyPriority only for Monday AM up until around 8 AM or so. Not sure if it applies to other mornings as well.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
They made it SkyPriority only for Monday AM up until around 8 AM or so. Not sure if it applies to other mornings as well.
I've only observed it on Mondays - they also make the main Pre-Check "CLEAR Pre-Check" only which is awesome
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Old Nov 19, 18, 3:09 pm
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Clear(ly) I don't fly Monday morning's much.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 12:00 am
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On the rare times I originate in ATL, Iím glad I usually just transit there!
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Old Nov 21, 18, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by DLDiamond2013 View Post
On the rare times I originate in ATL, Iím glad I usually just transit there!
I second that! TSA at ATL is consistently the worst of any airport I frequent. I get it's the World's busiest airport, but something like 70% of the traffic is connecting. There are other airports with significantly higher amounts of O&D that don't have queues like ATL.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by HDQDD View Post
I second that! TSA at ATL is consistently the worst of any airport I frequent. I get it's the World's busiest airport, but something like 70% of the traffic is connecting. There are other airports with significantly higher amounts of O&D that don't have queues like ATL.
Agreed, but Atlanta does have its own challenges (as does any hub airport, but Atlanta is the worst due to scale and dominance). Atlanta is dominated by Delta, which means that their pushes become the breath of the airport (planes land, people connect, planes take off). There are naturally demand spikes for security 50-100 minutes before every big push and then natural lulls between pushes.



Every time you see one of those bright lines - about 60-90 minutes before hand security is going to be a mess. The alternative is massively overstaffing the TSA relative to average demand (so you have folks standing around doing nothing between the pushes).

Other airports heavily concentrated (e.g., CLT) see similar issues.

The difference between ATL at 7:30 AM (before the first big push) and 8:15 AM (right after the big push) is quite noticeable.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Agreed, but Atlanta does have its own challenges (as does any hub airport, but Atlanta is the worst due to scale and dominance). Atlanta is dominated by Delta, which means that their pushes become the breath of the airport (planes land, people connect, planes take off). There are naturally demand spikes for security 50-100 minutes before every big push and then natural lulls between pushes.



Every time you see one of those bright lines - about 60-90 minutes before hand security is going to be a mess. The alternative is massively overstaffing the TSA relative to average demand (so you have folks standing around doing nothing between the pushes).

Other airports heavily concentrated (e.g., CLT) see similar issues.

The difference between ATL at 7:30 AM (before the first big push) and 8:15 AM (right after the big push) is quite noticeable.
This graphic is fascinating! And also something I may save to try to time my arrival in a "lull" if possible.

The other thing people sometimes forget about ATL is that unlike many other airports, ATL is designed to utilize a single primary point of entry to the entire airport (for simplicity I'm combining the North/Main/South lanes as they're all close enough to each other, and setting the int'l terminal entrance aside, as it's far less utilized and far less staffed, IME). So at ATL you have all these people trying to get to all these gates going through one main point of entry, whereas at a JFK/SFO/LAX/etc. the gates and passengers are spread out across multiple terminals each with their own lines and entrance.

If you took all the pax from all the terminals at LAX or wherever and piled them up into a single entry point, it would look quite similar to ATL's main checkpoint. Since it's all in one place it visually looks and feels overwhelming, but I think ATL does a relatively decent job getting everyone through given the sheer volume being dealt with in one location.
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