ATL airport South Terminal (Delta) issues

 
Old Feb 20, 04, 9:24 am
  #1  
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ATL airport South Terminal (Delta) issues

When arriving at the airport yesterday, I discovered they are routing all pax through Baggage Claim to enter the security lines - all of the entries through ticketing were blocked off. Prior to this, they were making everyone go to the very end of the ticket counters (just before baggage claim). This also includes pax going to the elite line.

One of the problems with this is that I never passed a "Departures" screen, and didn't know what gate my flight was leaving from. Since I was using the elite security line, the "departures" screens were out of my view. A person in line in front of me called Delta while we were waiting, and was explaining the same thing on the phone to an agent and asked them what gate he was leaving from, since he didn't see a screen. I gambled and went to the B concourse, and when I got there and saw the screens there I discovered - you guessed it - the concourse had changed since I had checked in online the night before.

Elite security line in ATL - the past couple of times I've been there they moved slower than any other line. One time I discovered they only had two of the four or five lanes open when I got close enough. So beware - this line might actually cost you more time than it saves you.

As to the first issue, I understand that I can walk around to find a screen so I can find out current gate info - but I'm posting this to point out that someone hadn't thought out all of those issues before changing the flow of traffic at the airport.
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Old Feb 20, 04, 9:36 am
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Thanks for the warning ATLpax. And just think how much fun it will be come May when they start tearing up the traffic lanes in front of the terminal to install the bomb detection equipment. I think they'll be directing us through the hourly parking lots. It's probably a giant conspiracy to get all of us to use MARTA to get to/from Hartsfield.
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Old Feb 20, 04, 10:26 am
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I experienced this for the 1st time last week. This was an unexpected and very unpleasant surprise that makes no logistical sense. I wonder what the reason for the madness is and I hope this is temporary. I also wonder what the store owners and shoe shine guys in that corridor think anbout the reroute. When I went through the only way to access this area was if you went through the elite "entrance" next to the food court.

Regarding the elite security lines, I have always found them to be slower than the other security lines, even if the other lines are long. Unless the end of the elite lines are at the doorway into the separate screening area AND the end of the other lines are back to the wall it is much faster to go in the regular line. Just be careful not to get in a line with too many families.
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Old Feb 20, 04, 3:57 pm
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I have started going straight to the North side as the elite lines are always way shorter - I've also used the AA entrance at the end of the north term. - On these occasions - I call DL and use the automated system to get the gate.
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Old Feb 21, 04, 2:50 pm
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Yes, this new foot traffic pattern is a mess. I have been in one Friday PM crunch and one Monday AM crunch, with the following experiences:

1. If they force you back along the ticket counters before entering the security lines, you can bear right, even going past the rope barriers, and enter the South terminal elite line. My own opinion is that it is still shorter than the main lines during peak periods.

2. In both recent jam-ups, both elite lines on the North Side (main and T-gates) were CLOSED or, worse, had been OPENED TO ALL travellers. Last Friday I had luck going all the way around the lobby on foot, joining the South Terminal line, and using my new AirTran elite credentials along with the Delta folks. They didn't bat an eye, but I don't know yet if that is officially "OK."

A TSA employee said they were short 150 staff in Atlanta!
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Old Feb 21, 04, 3:25 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Justin026:
Yes, this new foot traffic pattern is a ....A TSA employee said they were short 150 staff in Atlanta!</font>
They shouldn't even have 150 staff in the first place. What a waste of our money.

By the way, I think I read somewhere that they are about to reduce traffic lanes to the terminal from 6 to 2 lanes. That should be fun.
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Old Feb 21, 04, 3:42 pm
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Why not reduce traffic lanes to zero? We can't have any of those nasty terrorists driving up to Hartsfield, can we? Shut down MARTA, too! The government may have heard "chatter" that terrorists ride it!

Bruce
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Old Feb 21, 04, 8:18 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by NoStressHere:


By the way, I think I read somewhere that they are about to reduce traffic lanes to the terminal from 6 to 2 lanes. That should be fun.
</font>
Yes, that's right--for several months at least--see my post above.

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Old Mar 2, 04, 8:54 am
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There's an article in today's AJC about the long wait times at security - "Long lines at airport make comeback"

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/...artsfield.html
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Old Mar 2, 04, 10:19 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Tomphot:
I have started going straight to the North side as the elite lines are always way shorter - I've also used the AA entrance at the end of the north term. - On these occasions - I call DL and use the automated system to get the gate. </font>
Northside security used to be the best kept secret at Hartsfield. (Just like West Economy for parking). Now even that line is crazy. During PM Rush a few Wednesdays ago, I waited 30-40 minutes to pass security there. Totally unacceptable, unlike what the TSA claims.

We pay a security fee to pay for the stepped up security. You'd think they'd use the money to staff the queues at peak times. Just another example of government inefficiency.
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Old Mar 2, 04, 11:07 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ATLpax:
There's an article in today's AJC about the long wait times at security - "Long lines at airport make comeback"

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/...artsfield.html
</font>
I was there this past Monday (March 1) and stood in line for about 35 minutes. The wait was this long for the elite line on the south side. To the TSA credit (and I rarely give them any) they had all the screening lines open. Every single machine was being operated and over-manned, as usual. The delays seemed to be caused by my fellow pax instead of the agents.

When in the line for over a half-hour, why must someone wait until they are at the mouth of the x-ray machine before deciding to remove their coat, shoes, laptop and watch? Can't that be done before? I noticed at least a dozen people like that.

The guy in front of me "forgot" he had two laptops in his laptop bag! Not just one, but two. He didn't remove either of them and appeared to be a seasoned road warrior.

The woman in front of him struggled to decide if she should remove her heels. She was waved through the screening whatcha-ma-callit and stopped short, turned around and decided to take them off. She loosened a buckle and then changed her mind. The agent motioned her through again and the woman stopped short a second time. She turned and decided to remove her shoes this time. She then looked around for a bin to put her shoes in. After finding a bin, she had to wait for the belt to run so that some space would be freed up for her bin. Then when she was ready to walk through a thrid time, they told her to wait so that an agent could bring more bins out for the other pax. This seemed to annoy the woman but all the time she wasted before didn't faze her.

I agree the wait is unreasonable but having a 30 minute wait when there are 100 people in line is different than a 30 minute wait when there are thousands of people in line. If pax used more sense, the lines would move much more smoothly.
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Old Mar 2, 04, 2:20 pm
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My experience over the past 6-9 months is that on every Monday morning at about 6:30/7 am, they route the traffic through/around baggage claim. I have complained on several occassions about the lack of screens to see gates, and I just got blank stares from the Delta agents. Now I fly out at 6:30 am, so i don't have to suffer through the chaos.
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Old Mar 3, 04, 11:09 am
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Last Thursday, it took my wife longer to get thru security to her departure gate (T-something) than for me to drive back home to Alpharetta after dropping her off in front of the South Terminal.

P.S. For those not familiar with ATL's geography, Alpharetta is 40 miles north and about 45 mins drive.
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Old Mar 3, 04, 12:13 pm
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Aren't there departure screens down below where the train takes you from the terminal to the concourses ?
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Old Mar 3, 04, 12:26 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by markr33:
Aren't there departure screens down below where the train takes you from the terminal to the concourses ?</font>
There used to be, but they haven't been there for quite a while. Ridiculous

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