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New Security Lanes May Ease Passenger Gridlock at Checkpoints

Just in time for this holiday travel season, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has expanded their new security program, the Black Diamond Self-Select Lanes, which are expected to keep long lines moving at security checkpoints in 50 airports across the nation.

The Black Diamond Self-Select Lanes were introduced back in February, 2008 as a way to reduce the security wait times. These lanes accommodate different types of travelers at the security checkpoints and the TSA says that the lanes have helped calm the checkpoint environment for both passengers and security officers.

Behind the Gates at ATL

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

There were a lot of embracing and Thanksgiving dinner conversations as I entered the north security checkpoint (less than 8 mins and I was home free!) but that was really the only action around the main airport. On the way to my gate at Delta, there were crowds of families racing to their connecting flights so watch out, they will not yield to you.

Please give yourself enough time as you get to your gates. Once you pass through security you will need to get on the “people mover” (express train) to your final destination. Double check with your airline carriers for any delays and check Hartsfield-Jackson’s website for any delays or changes to your travel. Happy Travels!

Security: Under 10 mins for all checkpoints. Have a sense of humor when passing the TSA staff, they will rough you up and be sure to give it right back!

Traffic: Mild rush hour traffic as you get to ATL.

Check-in: Less than 10 minutes for all major airlines.

Delays: There are arrival delays from Tampa, Detroit and Ohio. AirTran flight 849 departing to Orlando is delayed and will be scheduled to depart at 7:28pm ET.
Number of screaming kids at gates: NONE!

  • Before heading to the airport, check your local traffic reports at www.traffic.com for delays along your route and allow for more commute time if needed.
  • Allow ample time to park, check-in and get through security. A minimum of two hours for domestic and three hours for international is recommended during the holidays.
  • Consider shipping all gifts to your destination ahead of your travels. Wrapped gifts are opened for screening purposes, and extra fees will apply if your allotted baggage limit is exceeded.

Happy Birthday! To celebrate turning 2-years-old, The Window Seat is getting a makeover! Please send Jenn an email to sign up to receive an update when we launch our new design.

At ATL, it’s: Delta! where’s my bag?

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

The latest issue at the airport is in the baggage area. Passengers on arriving flights, including an international flight from Toronto, have been waiting up to 40 mins for their luggages. Announcements are being made ever 10 minutes slowly updating passengers of the carousel status so avoid the baggage area if you are making your way to the airport since it is crowded.

Other than the baggage area the airport has returned to yesterday’s pace, moderately slow with little wait time at the check-in counters and security checkpoints. Hartsfield-Jackson was super proactive in opening new lanes and increasing the TSA staff. There is a staff every 10 feet waiting to answer and assist you across the three terminals. I managed to tell the supervisor of the main checkpoint that I was hoping for lines that curved like a snake and he said their goal was to make sure no one waited past 10 minutes to get through the checkpoints.

Anyways, that’s it for me on the home front of Hartsfield-Jackson. I’m going to head on to the security checkpoints so I can finally get a glimpse if the real action is on the other side! I’ll see you there!

Delays: There are numerous arrival flight delays over at AirTran with flights coming in from Dallas Forth Worth, Memphis, Washington D.C., so if you are waiting for a loved one, please double check Hartsfield-Jackson’s website.

traffic: The previous accident on I-285 has cleared if you are traveling from Fulton County into Atlanta.

Parking: North and south economy parking lots are full. Park-Ride A is also full.

  • Before heading to the airport, check your local traffic reports at www.traffic.com for delays along your route and allow for more commute time if needed.
  • Allow ample time to park, check-in and get through security. A minimum of two hours for domestic and three hours for international is recommended during the holidays.
  • Consider shipping all gifts to your destination ahead of your travels. Wrapped gifts are opened for screening purposes, and extra fees will apply if your allotted baggage limit is exceeded.

Highway Traffic: www.traffic.com
FAA (for delays/air traffic): www.faa.gov
TSA (for airport security info): www.tsa.gov
Flight Status: http://travel.travelocity.com/flifo/FlifoRequest.do?Service=TRAVELOCITY
Trip Information / Flight Status (PDA): http://mobile.travelocity.com/

Happy Birthday! To celebrate turning 2-years-old, The Window Seat is getting a makeover! Please send Jenn an email to sign up to receive an update when we launch our new design.

Jetsetting kids in ATL

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

The kids flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson today are stylish. The girls, with their hair neatly combed into ponytails or in curls, are wearing pink jackets and red sweaters. Several girls even had faux-fur jackets on too (or was it faux?) and many boys are trotting by in matching tracksuits and sneakers.

The majority of the kids traveling today (and yesterday) are traveling with their own carry-on luggages. It cheers me up to see these kids drag their own luggages like adults and see parents make their kids punch in the confirmation numbers at the self-check kiosks over at the Delta terminal. It’s just pretty cool thing to see.

Delays: There was one cancelled arrival Delta flight (DL 350) from Lima, Peru. Several flight delays are coming from the midwest on down to Knoxville, Tennessee over on Delta. AirTran have delays coming from the northern midwest mainly from Chicago, New York City, Ohio and Boston.

Security: less than 10 min wait on all three checkpoints.

traffic: A six-vehicle crash has stopped traffic if you are trying to get to the airport from Fulton County. No word yet on clean up and lanes opening. Please visit Traffic.com for the alternative routes to the airport.

  • Before heading to the airport, check your local traffic reports at www.traffic.com for delays along your route and allow for more commute time if needed.
  • Allow ample time to park, check-in and get through security. A minimum of two hours for domestic and three hours for international is recommended during the holidays.
  • Consider shipping all gifts to your destination ahead of your travels. Wrapped gifts are opened for screening purposes, and extra fees will apply if your allotted baggage limit is exceeded.

Highway Traffic: www.traffic.com
FAA (for delays/air traffic): www.faa.gov
TSA (for airport security info): www.tsa.gov
Flight Status: http://travel.travelocity.com/flifo/FlifoRequest.do?Service=TRAVELOCITYTrip Information / Flight Status (PDA): http://mobile.travelocity.com/

Happy Birthday! To celebrate turning 2-years-old, The Window Seat is getting a makeover! Please send Jenn an email to sign up to receive an update when we launch our new design.

Politeness rules in ATL

Editor’s Note: For the eighth consecutive year, Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is stationed at 10 of the nation’s top airports, relaying important travel information to holiday road warriors on Nov. 25-26, two of the busiest travel days of the year.

I guess it’s the thick skin (thanks to living la vida loca en Nueva York) but I just haven’t gotten used to the politness here. As I sit in front of the Continental Airline terminal seven people at different times has sat next to me and said to me “Happy Thanksgiving” before they leave for the security checkpoints! WOW! And all around the airport I continue to hear lots of thank you’s, “May I help you?” and of course, “Oh, pardon me.” We rarely hear “pardon” in New York but we do hear alot of “me.”

So right now crowd conditions are steady. There is a flow of travelers heading to the AirTran lines and Delta but it’s not the mosh pit I wanted. The party at Korean Air is over too. Currently there are long lines at the food court and the Atrium is filled with passengers snoring away at one of the those comfortable cushion seats that I wish I can park in too!

There is a storm watch out of southern California but so far the departure flights out of ATL are still set to leave with minimal delays. Arrivals on AirTran and Continental from midwest are landing 30-45 minutes behind scheduled times. Please check your airline carriers.

Finally, the man of the hour is Buck, the nice and gentle chocolate Great Dane who is visiting relatives in Ft. Lauderdale. I had the chance to hug Buck before he sped away to the south security checkpoint…

Security: Wait time is 15 mins. The TSA worker at the main checkpoint said one of the things that slow travelers down in ATL is that many still don’t know what to take out and put in the buckets, what article of clothings to leave on/off. There are family-friendly lanes availiable for families, those with special disabilities and those who don’t travel as much. These lanes, created by the TSA, allows families and individuals to go through the screening process at their pace. I encourage you to use it if you’re unsure about the TSA’s screening rules.

Check-point: 5-10 min wait at most terminals.

Parking: Continue to aviod North Economy and Park-Ride A parking lots.

  • Before heading to the airport, check your local traffic reports at www.traffic.com for delays along your route and allow for more commute time if needed.
  • Allow ample time to park, check-in and get through security. A minimum of two hours for domestic and three hours for international is recommended during the holidays.
  • Consider shipping all gifts to your destination ahead of your travels. Wrapped gifts are opened for screening purposes, and extra fees will apply if your allotted baggage limit is exceeded.

Highway Traffic: www.traffic.com
FAA (for delays/air traffic): www.faa.gov
TSA (for airport security info): www.tsa.gov
Flight Status: http://travel.travelocity.com/flifo/FlifoRequest.do?Service=TRAVELOCITY
Trip Information / Flight Status (PDA): http://mobile.travelocity.com/

Happy Birthday! To celebrate turning 2-years-old, The Window Seat is getting a makeover! Please send Jenn an email to sign up to receive an update when we launch our new design.