SuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 672 posts, RR: 1 Posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3656 times:
I was wondering if anybody here had any information about the parking deck light situation that created the disaster that was Hartsfield airport last night?
To quote the movie The American President, if not having an airline strike at Christmas is the #1 rule of holiday travel, not having the parking deck lights go out on Thanksgiving has got to be number 2.
It was awful. Sitting on 85 forever, only to loop around the airport and then be forced to get back on 85 south of the airport. Then only to come up Camp Creek Pkwy and sit there with out moving. Finally I had my family take MARTA up two stops and I met them at East Point.
I have gone to Hartsfield many times, but last night was by far the strangest route.
WorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3558 times:
while this isn't on the usual list of things that could go wrong... you gotta wonder why they didn't forget trying to collect money and just get people out. Even it was too dark, they should have told people there was no parking and forced people to drop off people only and ban all car standing for passenger pickup.... I'm sure there are people in the world who don't have cell phones but the vast majority of people can contact family and have an exact meeting point for a pickup or get on Marta and get off the airport and meet family there.
maybe I'm being too simplistic but miles long lines says someone didn't have a plan in place.
SuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 672 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3528 times:
Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 2): maybe I'm being too simplistic but miles long lines says someone didn't have a plan in place.
Some of what you said is correct, and some incorrect.
The issue with parking wasn't money collection but liability. With no lights in the parking deck the liability for car damage, battery, sexual assault, slips and falls, etc...is just so huge there is no way they could have had people in there with no lights.
Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 2): they should have told people there was no parking and forced people to drop off people only and ban all car standing for passenger pickup....
This is essentially what they did.
What they needed to do was instead of just saying "The Parking Decks Are Full" actually put the problem up. When I first got there I just assumed it was "Thanksgiving traffic" - so I and everybody else just waded through it. But when I heard on WSB that it was the parking deck lights that were out, I made alternate arrangements. I think everyone else would have done the same had they had information.
Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 2): I'm sure there are people in the world who don't have cell phones but the vast majority of people can contact family and have an exact meeting point for a pickup or get on Marta and get off the airport and meet family there.
You are right not everyone has a cell phone, but most do, and having a plan to have people go on MARTA would have been smart for the airport.
Don't get me started though on how stupid ATL's traffic management is. Compared to LAX and ORD - it is ridiculous. It is like traffic management still thinks it is a "medium-sized" airport.
WorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3451 times:
my guess is the airlines operated on time. the power failure did not affect the terminals or concourses as I understand it.
I agree that allowing people to park in the parking decks w/ no lights is too risky. that's where it seems that you only allow people into the terminal to drop passengers off w/ no stopping and Shuttle all arriving passengers to another location such as Marta stations or use shuttle buses to drop people off at the Georgia int'l convention center or something.
yes, I know there are people who don't have cell phones but the 85% of the people who do would be happy to get out of the mess and pick up their family members someplace where they could actually move.
the problem is that there was no plan and whatever plan ATL did have was not communicated. There should be all kinds of electronic changeable signs at the entrance of the airport that can be used to provide this kind of information should the need arise. ATL can manage to put an electronic sign at the exit of the airport w/ the mayor's name on it... surely they can invest the money to put up a sign that provides direction when it is needed.
What's the plan if there is a security threat in the terminal area and the roadways are closed for an extended period of time... surely they can't expect to just push people out of the terminals onto the roadways that are already too small. They must have a plan to get people in and out of the terminals w/o using private cars.
There might not be a parking deck lighting failure again but the roadways will have problems some way again... it has happened before. And other cities will have problems of a similar nature.
DL, FL and the other carriers at HJIA should hold the airport's feet to the fire to come up w/ a plan... having all the air service in the world doesn't do a hill of beans worth of good if the city can't keep the roadways open and reliable.
Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 5): my guess is the airlines operated on time. the power failure did not affect the terminals or concourses as I understand it.
Correct. I don't think flights were delayed all that much as it didn't effect connections or aircraft movement. The only travelers that were effected in terms of making their planes were those departing out of ATL after 7 or 8 pm.
NetJetAndy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 51 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3153 times:
Those of us who use ATL regularly know never to park at the airport or mess with the traffic. Park at any of the MARTA garages for $4/day or $6/day at some garages and take the train in. It drops you off right in the terminal and you save time and money!!
SuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 672 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2871 times:
Quoting NetJetAndy (Reply 8): Park at any of the MARTA garages for $4/day or $6/day at some garages and take the train in.
Quoting Silver764 (Reply 9): NetjetAndy, unfortunately Marta is a joke, much like atlanta's traffic plans....I can be at the airport, park and be thru security quicker than getting to my nearest Marta station on most days.
I would agree with Silver for most of the people in Atlanta. MARTA is only a good option if you live midtown or south and are close to the line. For me (up in Alpharetta), it takes 45 minutes once to the North Springs station. Thus about an hour total time. I can usually make it to Hartsfield from my home/office in about 30 minutes.
I will say this though, MARTA is a great option during peak travel times / rush hour.