Our flight yesterday from Phoenix was delayed about ½ hour, getting us into Atlanta later than we hoped. We were staying overnight in Atlanta and have an 11:00 am flight out to Freeport, Bahamas. We got through baggage claim and headed out for a shuttle bus to our hotel. What a shock when we walked out the door into 35° weather with a 5-10 mph wind! I was dressed in my usual shorts and short-sleeved shirt; after all, we are headed to Bahamas! Elaine at least had long pants on and a long-sleeved shirt. We had to stand waiting for the shuttle for about 20 minutes, and tried to find the most sheltered spot we could.
Finally on the shuttle and 20 minutes to the hotel. We got checked in and in our room around 12:30. At check in we were told we needed to be at the airport three hours ahead of flight time, so that meant getting to Atlanta International Terminal around 8:00 am. And that meant we should leave the hotel around 7:00 or so. I asked for a 6:00 am wakeup, but was awake by 5:40 in any case.
We had elected to have a taxi to the airport since the shuttle only goes to the domestic terminal and we would have to maneuver our way over to international. The taxi dropped us off and we checked our bags outside, since the lines were much shorter.
Our next destination was the wheelchair access area. This is different from other terminals in that they have a dedicated area with wheelchairs waiting. You check in with a dispatcher and are given a wheelchair right away. They then move you to a holding area while waiting for an agent to take you to the gate.
After waiting for a bit we asked about when we would be moved on and learned that we might have to sit there for a couple of hours! They move people out in the order of their flight times, and there were several flights ahead of us. We said we would walk, but were offered one chair in which Elaine could ride and carry our carry-ons while I pushed. We took that offer.
We still got the fast lane through TSA, a combination of having TSA PreCheck status and being in a wheelchair. Then we had to figure out where to go to get to our gate.
It was a fairly short walk to the train, and then a short ride to the D Concourse. Arriving there, it was another short walk to gate D14.
We could not see Taylor and Kenley and his parents, who had arrived on an overnight flight from Salt Lake City, so we headed to a 5 Guys to get something to eat, then back to the gate area to wait. We had been there only about ten minutes when Kenley appeared around the end of our seat row – they were in the row behind us! So we joined them and waited. And waited. And waited.
Our 11:01 flight to Freeport was delayed due to problems with the aircraft and waiting for the next available craft. At first they thought they could make the repair, but then announced that couldn’t be done so a switch was in order. We finally left Atlanta around 12:30, an hour late.
The Atlanta airport is huge and very complex. I am not sure I would fly again through Atlanta by choice.