Georgia on My Mind: TSA Pre-Check/ATL to MSP
Pasco, WA (PSC) to Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
Salt Lake City (SLC) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta
Hotel Review: Westin Atlanta Airport
Hotel Review: Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport
From the Renaissance Concourse hotel, I took the shuttle to the Atlanta airport, at about 5:00, a whole 2 hours before my flight departed. I suppose I could have used curb-side check-in, but instead opted for the courteous customer service of Delta’s Sky Priority (Diamond, Platinum and Gold) check-in.
I was helped immediately, and headed to the TSA Pre-Check lane at the airport’s South checkpoint.
Earlier this year, the TSA launched an expedited security process for elite frequent flyers amd Global Entry/NEXIS members, known as TSA Pre-check. This service has been rolled out at a number of larger hub airports, and I got to try it out for the first time .
As a point of comparison, this is what the regular security line looked like:
In addition to a much shorter and quicker que,the really nice thing is that you are able to keep you shoes on and your laptop in your bag.
Overall, the entire security process was painless and took a mere 2 minutes–I could get used to this. And it would have gone even quicker had I not forgotten about a water bottle that was stashed in my bag!
Terminal F, I headed to E to try out the Lufhansa Senator lounge. Per Gary’s cue, I had used my current status (with Delta) to match to Turkish Airlines Elite status, on par with the Star Alliance Gold level, which affords one access to Star Alliance lounges, even when flying domestically. On the other hand, if my Star Alliance status was with United or US Airways, that alone would not grant me entrance to the lounge.
I showed the agent at the entrance of the lounge my Turkish Air elite card along with my boarding pass. In a thick German accent she said “Oh, you zsee dthis is for Delta, zso I can’t let you in. I politely asked if she could make an exception, and she was willing, given that the lounge was fairly quiet–although it was about to close in 45 minutes.
It’s not intuitively obvious, but Lufthansa lounge hours are based upon their flight departure times, so they open and close at odd times around the clock.
The lounge has a light spread, which I would rate as a step up from a SkyClub, given that they have sandwiches and chips, in addition to a more premium bar selection that includes Maker’s Mark.
Anyway, I was able to get a wi-fi pass, and enjoyed some goodies while checking my email in a nice, comfy chair:
After my Lufthansa adventure, I decided to explore Terminal F I so that I could check out Atlanta’s much-acclaimed international terminal that opened back in June.
I headed via the light rail on over to Terminal A, where I would be departing from as well as the location of one of my favorite indulgences:
I headed over to the gate, and soon boarded in Zone 1 thanks to my SkyPriority status. Unfortunately though, my upgrade never cleared…. 😦
Atlanta (ATL) Minneapolis (MSP)
Monday, September 3, 2012
Depart: 7:07 PM
Arrive: 7:55 PM
Duration: 1 Hr 48 Min
Seat: 10B (Economy Comfort)
I had selected an Economy Comfort seat in row 10, which is the very first row of Coach and features some extra legroom. This seat can bee booked ahead of time for a fee or by those with elite status, and can often be selected by anyone at time of check-in for free.
If I were to fly coach on an MD-90 again, I would be likely to sect row 10 again, given the ample legroom.
Once were off the ground, there was just enough time for a snack and drink service along with refills. The flight attendants were courteous and servicable, while still not really going above and beyond.
After a little more than an hour in the air, we descended for landing and I started to sweat rather my perfect upgrade record out of MSP would be tarnished…