Hartsfield Sucks

That is the conclusion of a report showing that the airport ranked 24th out of 31 major airports for on time performance last year.

And here I thought the new runway was suppose to solve things. Funny thing about that runway. I’ve come through ATL on several occasions in the past year, since the new runway opened, where the other two runways landing planes were quite active and I never once saw a plane land or take off from the new fifth runway. I still haven’t figured that one out.

9 comments

  1. Know Nothing says:

    Hartsfield might suck in that regard, but I would rather have a layover their than I would at some place like LaGuardia.

  2. ColinATL says:

    It’s a shame about crappy performance, because I generally think very highly of our airport. And it seems like newer airports (e.g., Denver) are being designed more like Atlanta’s, with one central terminal and stacked concourses accessible by train, rather than the crappy hub & spoke. As engineer, I think the single set of security gates is brilliant. Even though the line is long, I’ve never seen an airport security area move so consistently fast.

    Having said that, my partner and I have landed on the 5th Runway a couple of times, and it’s actually been pretty okay. I thought taxi times would increase significantly, but it’s never been an issue for us.

  3. Nicki says:

    Yeah, but I love LaGuardia ’cause it’s so well-managed with regard to things that matter, like security procedures and on-time departures.

    Last year I was delayed terribly in getting to the airport. I arrived 20 minutes before my flight thanks to the world’s most awesome taxi driver (20 minutes from the Upper East Side. Woo hoo!). And I made my flight!

    The big difference is that LaGuardia has a decentralized security process — so 2-3 ticket counters feed each scanner, and they move staff as necessary according to flow. I was 12th in line, so I got through in minutes. Contrast that with Hartsfield, where they don’t start security until relatively late in the morning (meaning that even if you get there 2 hours before your flight, you can’t be processed until relatively close to your early morning flight) and there’s one giant orgy o’ security. Plus with such a long line you have a lot of ground to cover, which makes any last-minute stuff arrangment pretty difficult.

    Kudos to Greenville-Spartanburg, Birmingham, Newark, Portland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and Chattanooga for not sucking. And a big fat thumbs down to Kennedy, Dallas, and Dulles — where I once was trapped overnight, temporarily with Tom Daschle. Not that it sucked for that reason, but that highlights something kind of important — our legislators and people who deal with them also deal with one of our suckiest airports (unless they use Ronald Reagan).

  4. Nicki says:

    Also, anybody here a smoker? Our smoking areas in Hartsfield have all the charm and ambience of a concentration camp or poorly-run prison. Concrete floors+ low fluorescent lighting = where’s the warden?

  5. Erick says:

    ColinATL,
    I’m glad you said that. I know a lot of people who hate the ATL airport design. Having traveled this world more times than I care to think about, it is by far the best design for an airport, despite having to walk such great distances.

  6. RiverRat says:

    My understanding regarding the 5th runway was that it was built to handle large-scale, international-type aircraft, but most of the growth in the airline industry has been in the smaller, regional model. So the new runway hasn’t increased capacity that much. I could be very wrong on this, of course. Just something I recall reading a year or two ago.

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