Finally Flying Again Questions?

Old Mar 30, 21, 10:26 am
  #1  
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Finally Flying Again Questions?

Hi Everyone--it has been almost 13 months since my 3MM Diamond wife and I last flew--really hard to believe as often as we typically had flown. Last flight was on 9 March 2020--returning from--of all places--New York City, just as it was becoming the epicenter for the pandemic here. But we are both way past being fully vaccinated, and tomorrow is the BIG day.

So, feeling like a rookie flyer in terms of the current environment:

1) What are the week-day morning security wait times like at ATL--using the Clear Pre-Check line around 06:00 to 06:30 (and I am assuming that line is still up and running)? And what is the security experience like these days?

2) What will the Sky Club experience be like? For instance, can we still get a cup of ice to put in a thermos?

3). Regarding the boarding process, I know in FC we will be boarding last--not first--and that seems to make perfect sense. Am I (hopefully) correct in assuming that the FAs protect the FC overhead bins from getting filled up by people passing through to the rear compartment?

4) We will be bringing our own food--which we have always somewhat done anyway--but what sort of service or options will there actually be? This is flying out to the west coast--so a several hour flight.

5) Any other tips or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help that can be given.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 11:06 am
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I can't speak to the ATL wait times question (I've only connected there), but I can help with a few of the others.

2) The SCs have a decent array of prepackaged food options. I think the soda fountains were turned off though, at least in the clubs I went to in ATL, so no guarantees about the ice. You might be able to ask a bartender for ice, but I was really trying to avoid how much I had to take my mask off so I didn't get a chance to get a drink from the bar (even in the SC, which is ostensibly less crowded than the terminal, some people were definitely milling about while eating/drinking with their masks off, which made me a little nervous).

3) I've been in F a few times and boarded last for the sake of avoiding being around other people. No issues with bin space, especially since middle seats are blocked. I don't know if the F/As were going out of their way to protect the bins, but it was a non-issue.

4) In Y, you'll get a bag with a bottle of water, Goldfish, a Kind bar, or the like shortly after takeoff and then again before landing (the second round is only offered on longer flights). In F, it's the same with the addition of a snack box. Unless you're okay with prepackaged food, heavily suggest bringing whatever you want to eat (enough is open right now in the airports to find something, although choices are admittedly limited depending on what airport/concourse you're in).

5) Beyond the above, it's nothing that out of the norm, really. Boarding is F class and then strictly by row from the back (they might've done pre-boarding for DMs as well; I honestly tuned out the announcements and just waited until the end). You'll hear a million announcements about wearing a mask, and some F/As are more militant about policing it on board than others. Hand sanitizer is everywhere, both in airports and on the aircraft, and the F/As hand out Purell wipes as you board.

Last edited by Cory6188; Mar 30, 21 at 11:14 am
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Old Mar 30, 21, 11:24 am
  #3  
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FC isn't boarding last. You can if you want but they are boarding first. Lately, sometimes it is all Medallions at first including FC.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 11:35 am
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F can board any time they want, but I have always chosen to wait until they call the last group to board. Bin space is not an issue. Boarding last, I have always found a spot for my bag just above or adjacent to my row. Many airports have most food options open, but there are a lot of airports (even large airports) that have most food options still closed. It is best to pack a sandwich from home.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 12:24 pm
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It's really not that different, just wear a mask. There are plastic shields everywhere. You can board anytime you like, just like before. Security is the same, they may or may not ask you to take off your mask momentarily for identification.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 1:02 pm
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Yeah F and medallions can board early/whenever. I just prefer to be last on currently since there is no need to board early to get overhead bin space and no pre-departure bev... so no point just sitting there watching everyone else walk by.

Now once they revert to full seating capacity in May that'll be a different story, so I'll probably start boarding sooner then as bin space will become tight.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by rylan View Post
Yeah F and medallions can board early/whenever. I just prefer to be last on currently since there is no need to board early to get overhead bin space and no pre-departure bev... so no point just sitting there watching everyone else walk by.

Now once they revert to full seating capacity in May that'll be a different story, so I'll probably start boarding sooner then as bin space will become tight.
Technically only FC and DMs get to board first followed by back to front, but I doubt any GA would stop a PM/GM/FO from boarding with the first group. I’d assume once full flight start back on May 1st, they will go back to the old First, C+, Sky, Main 1/2/3, and Basic groups of boarding as that is what still prints out on BPs.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 2:07 pm
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Thanks everyone for the great and timely responses. I'm thinking we will board last as there doesn't seem much upside of boarding first in the current situation. If it were a 757 we would get on earlier, but it's a 321, so why have everyone stream by you.

If anyone sees this who has info regarding the ATL Clear Pre-Check question I had in the original post, I'd love to see that.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:31 pm
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I originated out of Atlanta about three weeks ago after a meeting. I used Clear and Pre check and i don't think i ever stopped moving it was so fast. It was a Wednesday morning around 8:00 am. Small N of 1 but that's what i experienced.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by atl runner View Post
Thanks everyone for the great and timely responses. I'm thinking we will board last as there doesn't seem much upside of boarding first in the current situation. If it were a 757 we would get on earlier, but it's a 321, so why have everyone stream by you.

If anyone sees this who has info regarding the ATL Clear Pre-Check question I had in the original post, I'd love to see that.
I use ATL Clear Precheck at Domestic all the time. Very end of South Terminal. Never more than 3-4 people ahead of me. State of the art machines where you have to push the trays in. Drops you at T concourse. At international F there is precheck with a card but no Clear. Need to wait in line with all the rif raf.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 7:40 pm
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The ATL Pre [South side] is super fast now as they moved it to the East TSA which has something like 8 stations vs the old cramped setup at the side of the main TSA.

I think Clear is still where it was, have no idea if they have made it as fast as Pre. EDIT: Missed sydney's post, I would accept that.

Either way, you are talking less than 5 minutes.
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