Atlanta airport layover

Old Jul 27th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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Atlanta airport layover

In Oct. I will be flying PVD-HNL. We have a plane change in ATL both ways, on the return trip, the layover in ATL is over 4 hours. Just wondering if this would be enough time to take a bus somewhere? Or is there anything to do in the airport? The thought of hanging out in an airport for 4 hours never appeals to anyone, I'm sure, but we'll make do if we have to. On a related note, we have layovers in LAX (on the way there) and SFO (on the way home) that do not involve plane change but are over 2 hours long. Would we be allowed to get off the plane then get back on? I know last year flying on SW we had a layover where they told us we could get off, we would just have to go through security on the way back. I'm sure we'll be antsy after so long and was just wondering if there's anything we can do about that.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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I'm afraid it would be a really bad idea to leave the airport premises. ATL is not very near the downtown area, for one thing, but more to the point is the necessity of coming back through security once you've left. In fact, you actually probably only have 3 1/2 hrs. at most (because of the time it takes to disembark and then queue for boarding at your next flight) -- and ATL is such a very large airport that you could end up connecting from one terminal to another at some distance.

But be of good cheer, most of the terminals are full of shops and food places, including some bookstores. When I have a long layover there, I devote a chunk of time to getting exercise by walking the length of the airport via the underground walkway next to the tram service. Then I check out the bookstores, have a snack, and settle down to read. I know 4 hrs. is a long time, but at least you have a substantial cushion in case of delays.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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I will have to disagree with soccr on this one.

The airport is connected to downtown Atlanta by MARTA, a local train. It runs every 8 minutes an it takes just 15 minutes to downtown Atlanta.

www.itsmarta.com

Right across the street from the main station (Five Points) there is a great shopping mall (Underground Atlanta), where many local artists display their merchandise. It also has few great restaurants. It's a great way to kill about 2-3 hours.

One stop before the main station (Peachtree Center) will put you right in the middle of commercial downtown area with Macy's, Gift Mart and few other malls as well as some great restaurants in the best hotels Atlanta has to offer, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, etc...

So, I think it's very doable, and if it was me, I would go for the underground mall. Much more interesting.

http://www.underground-atlanta.com/

Have a great trip!

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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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Correction....

It should be "one stop past the main station", not before it.
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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I have to agree with "soccr". Four hours is not really a lot of time since you are actually comparing the scheduled arrival time (when the wheels touch down) with the scheduled departure time. In reality there is a good chance your inbound flight could be delayed (I've sat on the tarmac many times watching my connection time shrink while waiting for a gate to open) and it sometims takes as much as 15 or 20 minutes to deplane after arriving at the gate. For planning purposes you'll lose at least 30 minutes from the time the plane touches down until you'd be ready to leave the airport. On the flip side, they normally start boarding 30 minutes before schedule departure so that means your 3 hour layover has been reduced to 3 hours of actual "down time". Figure another hour of travel time to and from your planned place of interest (more if it's rush hour) and the time it takes to go back through security and you now have, maybe, 1 1/2 hours of actual "free time" - not a lot, if you ask me. Bring a good book, visit the airport shops and perhaps get a bite to eat or have a drink at the bar.

As to your layovers in LAX and SFO, more than likely you won't be allowed to remain on the aircraft but will have to deplane. They will tell you to take your boarding passes and your carry-ons with you. You'll then re-board with the rest of the passengers as if it were a new flight.
 
Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Thank you everyone for your responses! I do realize that in the scheme of things 4 hrs is not an overly long time. I'm going to keep everyone's options and suggestions in mind and when the time comes we'll see how things go and what time allows. Thanks again!
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Well, AAFF, I appreciate the info and hope I'll have reason to use it at some point. I admit, I was thinking in terms of cabs, but without luggage, MARTA is certainly very doable and I would enjoy Atlanta Underground. But if there were any delay to mimlou's ability to get back to the gate at ATL, it could be a mess, so I _sort of_ stand by my original advice not to chance it.

BTW, I know where to find emoticons, but how do you manage to format your text with bold, etc.?
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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soccr,

I believe the only way I could show you is this way:

<> and <> on both ends of the word or sentence with b inserted inbetween the first one and /b inserted inbetween the second one.

Does that make sense?
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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IMHO, the trip to downtown Atlanta isn't worth the potential headaches of leaving el aeropuerto. First off, downtown Atlanta is hardly the nation's busiest or most interesting city center - it's pretty moribund after 5 p.m. Underground Atlanta is about as interesting as your neighborhood strip mall, and I think that Macy's downtown is no more.
Far more interesting are the MLK Historic District south of downtown or Buckhead, and you definitely don't have enough time to make it up to Buckhead.
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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Makes sense. Sounds like work.
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Make that work .
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't security lines at Hartsfield take longer than your average large airport not just because of the crowds but because there aren't as many checkpoints at ATL?
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Old Jul 28th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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Definitely DO NOT leave the airport. We fly in and out of that airport frequently, and the security lines are often beyond belief. Don't take a chance--you can amuse yourself with all the stuff to do in the airport. (And Macy's is no longer in DT Atlanta).
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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Not to mention once you get through security it can take FOREVER to get to your terminal and once in your terminal, if your gate is number 50, it's a pretty long walk!

We recently had 1 hour layovers in Atlanta, by the time the plane touched down, deplaned, we made it to from the gate to the terminal change area, to the new terminal to the new gate, we barely made the flight. We didn't even have time to go to the restroom or get food. If you add into that leaving the airport and trying to get back through security, not worth it.

In LAX, you can't even leave your terminal, the security lines are so long. And the terminal we were in (for United) was not at all interesting and had absolutely no food.

How do you get the emoticons? I only got this one by accident.

gnr
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 01:29 AM
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Can you leave the airport with a 4 hour layover absolutely and I would probably make my destination on Marta CNN/Centennial Olympic Park. A great mix of downtown greenspace and some shops and restaurants. With Atlanta it all depends on what time of day you are getting through security. As busy as Hartsfield is the local traffic is heavy from 7:00-9:00am most days and security lines can be much longer then. Otherwise usually under 20 minutes.
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Personally, I would not leave the Atlanta airport.

It took me an hour today to clear security and I was able to use the First Class line which was shorter then the normal line!
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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<b AA, that Macy's has closed down. They could take MARTA to Lenox Mall /b>
 
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Now why didn't that work for me?
 
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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<>reply</> with a b between the <> and the </>
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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I read that the Atlanta airport started a major construction project on July 16th. Said that roadways leading to the airport would be ripped up, traffic re-routed, and the whole check-in process changed for over a year. AirTran will be using temporary check-in counters in the North Terminal, but Delta has no plans to accommodate passengers in a temporary facility. Suggested checking airport web site for ongoing details. This might change the feasability of your plan.
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