Elite security line at ATL E arrivals

 
Old Jul 20, 08, 4:50 am
  #1  
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Elite security line at ATL E arrivals

Did I miss this before or is it new?

There is now, or was when I came through the other day, a special security line for BE and elites at the terminal E international arrivals TSA security check. It was at the far right side of the security area, where you go if you are connecting, so people following the ATL final destination signs wouldn't normally spot it.

Since ATL is my final destination, this may have been there for a long time, in which case I am kicking myself as I have spent many a long hour in the zigzag before the pointless security check which serves only to confiscate people's duty free and replicate what they went through before getting on the plane to the US.

Is the elite line new? Is it always there?
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Old Jul 20, 08, 6:06 am
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The new elite security line after you clear customs in ATL is indeed new. I can't put an exact length of time it has been there, but i believe it has been there since about the beginning of 2008. It probably also coincides with the renovations of parts of the customs area (the walkway you pass through after handing in your I-95 declaration card).

Personally I think it's a good idea - at the worst times the security recheck area to enter the US in ATL can be a real horror show. To provide A,J,D,I,C class pax and Medallions a special line was long overdue.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 6:06 am
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My last time through Atalnta international arrivals the far right security lane was marked for passengers with special needs/disabilities/wheelchairs. If it has changed to an Elite line that is good news indeed.
53flyer is offline  
Old Jul 20, 08, 6:22 am
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Is the Elite line open to FOs? If so, what about non-status travel companions?
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Old Jul 20, 08, 10:55 am
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It wasn't there when I went through in April. I posted a long rant about it because it was the worst re-entry line I had ever been shuffled through. An absolute cluster****.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 12:17 pm
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Great news. I've never actually been held up for more than 5 minutes at international arrivals security, but this will be a nice alternative. Atlanta's my final destination, so haven't noticed it in any of my trips through this year.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by yamakake View Post
I've never actually been held up for more than 5 minutes at international arrivals security, but this will be a nice alternative.
I typically come through ATL international arrivals twice a month and I have to say your experience is very much the exception. The norm is a 20 to 30 minute wait and I have seen it take an hour. Even when the traffic goes down, they close down scanner lines to create a queue and make sure that arriving international visitors don't get their hopes up about their upcoming air travel experiences in the US.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 4:39 pm
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[QUOTE=yamakake;10063679]Great news. I've never actually been held up for more than 5 minutes at international arrivals security, but this will be a nice alternative. QUOTE]

I guess I've just been lucky, or arrived at off-peak times or something. Connecting through ATL from International flights maybe 6 times in the past 2 years, I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes to get through the "incoming" security. Seems like they always had a nice array of kind folks "screaming" at people to get them to move down to the areas with the shorter lines. Always thought that was a great welcome to visitors arriving in the US.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 4:50 pm
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I went through there in late June and didn't see a line marked for Elites, but the far right lane was signed for "Experts," using the TSA's new scheme. It was closed off, and when I asked an employee near it she told me to use the regular line. Then I was walking through the ropes she called out "expert flier!" and motioned me over, along with a bunch of other people since the checkpoint was empty.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by scunnered View Post
I typically come through ATL international arrivals twice a month and I have to say your experience is very much the exception. The norm is a 20 to 30 minute wait and I have seen it take an hour. Even when the traffic goes down, they close down scanner lines to create a queue and make sure that arriving international visitors don't get their hopes up about their upcoming air travel experiences in the US.
For arrivals into ATL from South America, I've often observed beastly lines of the sort you mentioned.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 5:52 pm
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What?

We are talking about the security check after customs. I have been there a dozen times, never more than a few minutes.

With regard to the OP's comment about useless, there is a point to it. There are many items you can have in your luggage but not carry on. In order to clear customs, you have access to your luggage. Therfore one could take a carry-on prohibited item out of the luggage and get on a connecting flight with it.

There is plenty of stuff with TSA that is worthless, but that checkpoint does have some logic.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 5:53 pm
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There was no elite line on a Sunday in June when I went through last.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 7:38 pm
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I go through the Term-E screening about once a month and never noticed a BE line. Last month however after a morning flight from Quito I was walking toward the security line and the person herding passengers into the security line asked if I was BE, and then lifted the rope to the special needs line on the far right side of the security area. There was no sign for BE or SM Elites, just the verbal guide from the line pusher. I just thought she was being nice to people that had waited for 45+ minutes for their baggage. Three cheers if this is a permanent addition.
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Old Jul 20, 08, 8:49 pm
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Talking

I used it the end of last month. Very nice.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 6:54 am
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Great news!!! I don't think I have ever made it through there in less than 30 minutes.
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