DTW vs ATL Layover in Winter

Old Oct 19th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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DTW vs ATL Layover in Winter

I need to choose between DTW and ATL layovers from an international incoming connection to get back home in peak winter time. I will have sufficient time in either case, but I hate to get delayed for a long time/held up, esp after a long international travel. I have heard that DTW is very good, but should I rather choose ATL since its going to be winter (Jan)?
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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I would recommend DTW. In the event of wintry weather, DTW would probably get more snow that ATL but they also are better prepared and experienced in snow removal. ATL also has a greater chance of freezing rain which is nastier than snow. If I had to put numbers on it, it would be 60-40 in favor of DTW when wintry weather is possible.
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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Where is home? Where are you coming from overseas?
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Old Oct 20th, 2013, 05:26 AM
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I'm not sure it makes a big difference. Here's some things to think about:

1) You can't predict if winter weather conditions will be sever enough to affect either airport the day you fly. If it's a 'nice day" either airport will be fine. Seems like a tie on that front.

2) Even if the weather is good at the airport you choose, sever winter weather in other parts of the country could have a ripple effect on the flights arriving/departing at either airport. If your connecting flight is snowbound at another airport and can't get to your airport you'll be stuck regardless of the weather where you are. And what happens if your connecting flight can't take off because of bad weather at your final destination. Again, another tie.

3) True, DTW is probably better prepared to handle snow but what if there's a blizzard and the airport is closed. On the other hand, while the threat of snow at ATL is relatively small there's always the possibility of an ice storm shutting down the airport. So it's a tie in that area.

4) The odds of you connecting flight having a mechanical delay, while small, are the same at either airport. Guess what, another tie.

So, unless you can predict what the weather will be the day you fly your guess is as good as anybody's.
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Old Oct 21st, 2013, 06:02 AM
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I don't think it makes a huge difference. I would choose based upon the better schedule. I think both airports are pretty decent, though DTW feels less crowded. ATL has more diversity in dining options. Customs and immigration can be fickle at both places, depending upon other flights arriving at the same time or not.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 09:03 AM
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I wouldn't choose based on how the weather is likely to hit the airport but what are my other options from that airport to home. If there are more flights from DTW to home than there are from ATL to home I would pick DTW. These last few years the problem has become not just that your flight is messed up but that the capacity factor on other flights runs so high that if there aren't many alternatives it can be days later before they have an empty seat on another flight they can give you. (Has happened to me on AA more than once even though I am Platinum class customer.)
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