Monday, January 12, 2009

Hartsfield Information and Tips:

Travelers Checks:
They are difficult to use, even in the United States. I haven’t purchased them in a long time, but should have had a clue when the young man at the bank said they don’t sell them much anymore. Today Rod and I stopped for a bite to eat at Wendy’s in Ringgold, GA. I wanted to get some more change, so offered to pay with a traveler’s check. The cashier was new and didn’t really even know what it was. Her supervisor said it’s just like cash, so I signed and put Wendys on the line. We got our food, but no change. Then the same supervisor said she called her supervisor who said they no longer take traveler’s checks. Rod bailed us out.

I usually avoid Hartsfield as planes to Chattanooga are often delayed or canceled and it’s a crowded mess. The last time I flew internationally from here was March, 2004, to visit Hal and Jean in Costa Rica. Rod and I had driven down the night before for an early flight. There was one international check-in line for all flights that morning and I stood in it for over an hour.

Departure Lanes:
Delta takes most of one Terminal. The first door is also Air France, so skip that one and try to get out around the third door (they aren’t numbered). Today there was no line at all and I had a choice of kiosks for checking in. They also still have curbside check-in.

Today was an entirely different story from 2004. There are several kiosks with an agent at each one. Boarding passes (printed at home last night) are scanned and indentification checked—all in about 5 minutes. After bags are weighed, a passenger is free to go to security.
Security: I always try to get to the airport early enough to take my time here, plus I have lots of things to put through the machine. Contrary to previous trips, I didn’t set the alarm off, but the person in front and in back of me each was searched. TSA officials were very polite, patient, and friendly.

Read the departure gate monitor carefully. After deciding a walk would be good, I left security and walked to B32 which I discovered was the gate for San Jose, CA. Turned around, took the train, and arrived at E26 a few minutes later. Lots of room and an NFL football game too, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

Shopping and eating in the E Gate area:
Believe it or not, I’m not shopping. There are quite a few shops including Duty Free, and a couple of nice looking restaurants in addition to a large food court.

There are about 5 connection options, all at $7.95/24 hours. The Hartsfield webpage is quite comprehensive.

Boarding passes:
If you fly on either Delta or North West, but sure the name on the boarding pass corresponds to the airline plane. Without any notification, they required several passengers to get out of the boarding line and have a different pass printed.

So, I hope this is helpful for those in an area dominated by Delta and Hartsfield. Safe travels.

No comments:

Post a Comment