I have a belief that when many non-Georgians that exclaim that they dislike Atlanta, it has mostly everything to do with the fact that their sole interaction with Atlanta stems from an airplane layover gone awry. Sadly, this often as accurate as it hyperbole.
Atlanta’s airport isn’t by any means the best airport in the country, heaven’s no, but I can easily say that I have been to many, far worse. Included in those would be San Francisco International airport, where I have just flown in from this morning, and am writing this while I wait for Jen to pick my tired ass up. Upon making excellent time at 5:00 a.m. PST to prepare for the cross-country flight, with the earlier-than-scheduled arrival of the taxi, the lack of line at the Delta kiosks, I actually had a modicum of hope that I could made the earlier flight out of SFO to ATL.
Then I ran into the security line, which turned out to be the worst-handled security checkpoints I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The last time I can honestly recall spending more than 40 minutes in a security checkpoint was literally the first few flights I ever took, post-9/11.
I’ve never seen a security checkpoint make such an effort to bail out those who overslept, mis-timed, or any circumstance which made them cutting it close for their scheduled flights. Large groups of people were suddenly pulled out of the security lines because they all seemed to have a 6:20 a.m. PST to Detroit, or a 6:45 a.m. to Minnesota, and ushered to the front of the lines for immediate screening. All while those passengers who made it with ample time were left standing stationery, stewing in annoyance at such accommodations for those less responsible.
I remember the days when flyers were highly encouraged to arrive at their airport two hours early, no matter what time it took off, to account for delays and increased security screening. In Atlanta, and many other airports, if you don’t give yourself enough time, you simply miss your flight. I fail to see what is unfair about such a core concept.
SFO seems to play by a different set of rules. There’s almost zero merit to arriving with ample time, because you really won’t make it through security until it’s really close to your flight’s time, because the domino effect of irresponsible slacker flyers constantly getting pushed up to the front ahead if you will make sure you don’t dare, get through TSA without annoyance.
The above picture doesn’t even do justice. I just took it, because the monitors weren’t just non-functional, it was still in Windows, waiting for the application to even be started.
But anyway, this rant has little bearing on the trip as a whole. I had a pretty good time out in the Bay Area, and I’ll have a lot of things to talk about through various channels. I just wanted to post something, and looking through the photos I took on my phone while out there, this was the easiest and freshest thing on my mind to get cracking on.