There’s a decent chance, if you fly a lot this summer, you’ll end up passing through the planet’s largest airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International. Traversing ‘the ATL’ isn’t as daunting as you might think; not if you plan ahead.
The airport advises that you:
- Plan to arrive 90 minutes before domestic flight departures, and two hours before international push-backs.
- Plan on security wait times averaging less than 10 minutes during off-peak periods, and no more than 20 minutes during peak times, like Sunday afternoons. You can track those wait times on line at http://atlanta-airport.com, or register for Trak-a-Line. That way you’ll get real-time wait times via e-mail or on your mobile device.
As for security, keep remember to:
- Leave that big brass belt buckle at home. Avoid wearing anything that will set off security sensors.
- Keep in mind the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-on baggage. Put three-ounce bottles of liquids, gels and such in a clear, quart- (not gallon-) sized clear plastic bag. Best bet is to pull that bag out of your luggage before you get to security. Keep it in the hand with your ID and boarding pass. That will speed things up a bit and you’ll be less likely to Tango with TSA.
- Wear boots that slip on and off easily. Stow the boots at home. Caveat: be careful when kids don Crocs or flip-flops. They can run afoul of escalators.
That said, once you get to the airport, check in, and make it through security, ATL offers some awesome places to unwind before your flight. Consider XpressSpa out on Concourses A and C. If you’re already worn out, take a legitimate power nap at Minute Suites on Concourse B.
Story by Jerry Chandler
(Image: Josh Hallett)