ATLANTA HARTSFIELD

Nov 22nd, 2008, 12:56 PM
  #1  
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ATLANTA HARTSFIELD

Flying ATL to Madrid on Thanksgiving evening @ 6:40pm. My gut tells me travel volume should be light given the holiday therefore checking in will take less time. Assuming need to be at gate by 6pm what time would be suggested to get to security checkpoint ?? thanks !!
nygvic is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2008, 01:07 PM
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On international flights(no matter what day) you need to be AT the gate at least an hour before.They usually start boarding between then and 45 minutes before and if you want a space to store your stuff overhead then I would want to get on ontime.Things like closing the door and getting weight/balance etc. is done at least 10 minutes BEFORE the actual departure time.
If you want to get a bite to eat-there is a foodcourt in the center of terminal E along with bookstores and dutyfree shopping which could take up some time.
Personally,I would be at the airport by 3 hours before. The tram between the terminal checkin and E(if that is where you are leaving from) can easily take 10-12 minutes along with Hartsfield being the busiest even on a holiday?
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2008, 02:27 PM
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On international flights(no matter what day) you need to be AT the gate at least an hour before.

dutyfree, what sort of ridiculous "information" is that??? There's absolutely no reason to be at the gate 1 hour before the flight, unless you enjoy milling around for a while.

I took somewhere around 50 international flights last year, more or less the same in the previous year. The absolute earliest that boarding began on any of those flights was 45 mins before scheduled departure time. Most began 20-30 minutes before, unless the flight was late.

Travel on Thursday night will be relatively light. The flight that you're on also appears to be very light. That doesn't necessarily mean that check-in times will be a lot less -- DL may have fewer people at the check-in desks.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2008, 03:08 PM
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dutyfree is a FA, so he wants everybody to show up early, board early, push back early, get to destination early so he can have more time off.

But DL's official policy for international check-in from ATL is that you must be checked-in and luggage checked 60 minutes before departure, and you need to be at the gate 15 minutes before departure.

As for time needed to go through security, I have no information. The times I've gone through ATL, lines are fairly long, especially if you're not a DL/Skyteam elite, which can cut through part (but not all) of the line.

While Thanskgiving Day afternoon may see few fliers, I don't know about TSA staffing levels either.

---

As for when boarding starts, it depends on airline, plane type and airport. For many international flights TO the US, the requirement may be a lot longer as there's often secondary security screening after the boarding gate.

I don't know what DL's policy is for their 763 out of ATL, but here are some of my own experience on international flights to/from the US:

AF 773 IAH-CDG: 50min
CO 762 MXP-EWR: 40min
CO 764 IAH-AMS: 40min
CO 772 HKG-EWR: 50/55min
CO 772 LGW-IAH: 45min
CO 772 EWR-HKG: 45min
NW 744 LAX-NRT: 55min
NW 744 NRT-LAX: 50min

These are a sample of flights that are not delayed, but everything on schedule or early. You make your own conclusions.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2008, 03:11 PM
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rizzuto - dutyfree is an international flight attendant.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 03:12 AM
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I am well aware that dutyfree is a flight attendant (didn't know gender though). It is unconscionable, in my opinion, that someone who works for an airline says that "you need to be AT the gate at least an hour before [scheduled departure]." That is a complete misstatement of fact, and it belies (for not the first time) an attitude that airline customers ought to plan their actions for the convenience of the airline selling the seats, and not the other way around.

Thanks to rkkwan for the accurate information: you need to check in at least 60 mins before the departure time and be at the gate at least 15 mins before. Best way to check in, if possible, is online check-in, if that's available w/DL.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Besides the flights that I work everyweek, I have actually been denied boarding by an airline such as Air France when it was just a an hour for an international flight even with having carryon luggage and we were late due to traffic and a snowstorm in Chicago.I have had friends and family that have had the same experiences too.

Rkkwan-as you well know there are flight plans along with slots especially across the Atlantic and Pacific so for me to want to "hurry up and board" to get to my layover earlier...well,its not gonna happen.Its predetermined so unless there is weather, a mechanical or something like a person not showing up and we have to pull his bag-the flight will be programmed for a specific time.
My particular airline has changed its boarding times both on domestic and international so that we can have an ontime performance.

Rizzuto-do you want to rethink your last statements about" airline customers ought to plan their actions for the airline selling their seats"-What? Trains,buses,airlines,tours and just about everything else has a set time and if you aren't there you are not going. Plain and simple.Unless you are flying in your own gulfstream jet-you and the other 250 people who are flying on the same plane need to be at the gate for boarding.

I am very sorry that I answered this thread and will quietly slink off. I was just passing along the previous info to you as I experience
numerous people running on at the last minute and then:
need a large glass of water and a defib for their heart
cannot find a place for their carryon luggage
need to go to the lav while we are taxiing out to the runway
don't like their seats and want another
well, you get the drift.
And by the way-I am "the Skygoddess"!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 10:02 AM
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I fly ATL alot. I am conservative, usually arrive early, but have had to use my built in slack time when unforseen circumstances (traffic accident, shuttle late, fellow in front of me in security stopped for suspected weapon, train broken, etc.) and had to run to gate.

I usually back out from the time I want to be at the gate--for me that would be 1 hr before departure on international to visit the restroom, wash my face, get some water, etc.

I allow 20 minutes to walk to E concourse unless the heat down in the tunnel in unbearable, then I ride the train. Otherwise I get some walking in before the long flight.

Security on holiday evening? I'd allow 15 minutes at most with no priority access.

Check in somewhat depends on airline. I'll assume Delta.
If need to print boarding pass at kiosk-5 minutes. If need to check bags via kiosk-10 minutes. If need to check-in with agent at desk with no priorty-30 minutes on holiday evening? Shorter if Medallion, longer if not holiday or summer. Does Delta still have the downstairs checkin or did it go away with the remodeling? I haven't been up to a desk in a long time, but that used to be a shortcut.

If driving and parking you'd have to have a reserved/guaranteed spot somewhere else all parking even off airport may be full. Time to park, ride shuttle varies tremendously. If riding MARTA, I plan 1 train earlier than the one I want to be on, remembering holiday schedule. Drop off by car or taxi--I wouldn't expect any backup at the terminal on holiday evening.

Have a safe, fun trip!
Kay2 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 12:35 PM
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I have actually been denied boarding by an airline such as Air France when it was just a an hour for an international flight ...

Frankly, I do not believe you, dutyfree, if you are saying that you presented yourself at the gate 1 hour before scheduled departure and were denied boarding.

It would be an altogether different thing if you are talking about check-in -- but the OP, and your original answer, was about being at the gate.
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 01:38 PM
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There are plenty of reasons why one would be denied boarding, but not showing up at the gate an hour before departure cannot be the primary reason.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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I agree with Kay2's numbers above. Unless there is some kind of major TSA problem, shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes to clear security and then another 10-15 to make it out to Concourse E.

Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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Rizzuto-I WAS talking about being denied boarding at the front desk.This was in regards to the front desk giving you a boarding pass to allow you to go through security screening.
Basically,saying allow enough time for all points of entry and screening.
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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You really ought to read your own posts, dutyfree.

In the 1st reply to the OP, you state "On international flights...you need to be AT the gate at least an hour before"

Good grief, if an airline employee doesn't understand the difference between check-in (or "front desk," as you refer to it) and being at the gate...
DonTopaz is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Rizzuto-I stand by my statement that you are to be at the gate an hour before because(my airline) starts boarding between 60-50 minutes before departure. I believe Rkkwan addressed that also.

On my other statement, I said due to problems with weather and traffic here in ORD I arrived at the checkin late and they would not allow me to receive a boarding pass.

You seem to have some real issues with airline employees -sorry you hate all of us so much! We really do try and make you happy but considering your posts here and on other threads (ie"I am a customer and not a passenger") something must have happened.
If you are American-have a nice Turkey Day and hopefully I will have the pleasure of you on one of my international flights in the near future.
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 10:58 PM
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You don't have to be at the gate 60 minutes before departure. Some may want to, but it's really not mandatory or necessary.

It's my hobby to note boarding time and see whether a particular airline or station sticks to it, but I just walk around the shops until I see the line all gone (which like 20 minutes later), then I walk up to the gate and board.

Same thing that you don't have to be at the counter 3 hours before departure, even though that's when many airlines' start operating the check-in desk for international flights. They tell you to be there 3 hours prior, but you only need to be checked in 60 minutes prior.

Boarding starts 50-55 minutes before flight time, but you only need to be there 15 or 30 minutes prior, depending on airline.

I think that's pretty clear to most.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Rkkwan-what are you doing up so late? Insomnia too...wait a minute I forgot you have moved.
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 01:19 AM
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I just walk around the shops until I see the line all gone (which like 20 minutes later), then I walk up to the gate and board.

That is what I do as well. No sense trading the space of the terminal for the confines of the plane.
travelgourmet is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 04:57 AM
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Thank you for the kind wishes, dutyfree, and the same to you for a happy holiday.

I really don't dislike all or even many airline employees -- I'd always run out of the "going the extra mile" attaboy certificates when they used to dole those out to FFs. It's much more the us vs. you attitudes that some of the airline senior management personnel seem to perpetuate that bothers me.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 09:28 AM
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to Kay2,

Yes, Delta still has the downstairs check-in! I did this just after Christmas, and it is so easy. One of our daughters and family live in Atl (Marietta actually).

When we first went up there 15 years ago....(we live in FL...small town) and I used to be freaked out over such a busy airport but after the years, it is a piece of cake. I do agree that you have to get there early, as there is so much traffic, and even a little fender-bender slows up everything.

Same way with Frankfurt which is huge; at first we thought it was a zoo, as we were usually changing planes to Italy or France. After many trips you know the ropes.
We fly Lufthansa every time and have never had a problem. I guess we have been lucky.

Keep traveling,

Maizy
Maizy is offline  

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