Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Southern Hospitality

Hi Y'all...from Atlanta! I arrived yesterday AM at Hartsfield International - busiest airport in the US, from Chicago O'hare, second busiest airport, with no delay!!! This was unbelievable to me, but I guess having an earlyish (07:50) flight out was helpful. Here are a few thoughts so far:

1. DO NOT TRUST THE DEPARTURE BOARD AT O'HARE. As my flight was scheduled for boarding at 07:20, at 07:30, with no indication of boarding on the electronic board, I decided to go to the gate and check it out. Imagine my surprise to find that the flight was almost fully boarded! So, I nicely commented to the agent at the gate that the electronic board had not been updated - she rolled up her eyes and said she wasn't surprised since the city of Chicago was responsible for that and it's never updated timely!!! So - I'm wondering...what's the point of an airline lounge if you need to be at the gate in order to know if your flight is boarding??? Anyway, for those of you who follow this blog, you probably know I am a seasoned (and yes somewhat spoiled) business traveller. This was a first for me! Is this common in the US now?? What about "Chicago - the city that works"??? What happened Mayor Daly?? I'm a little disappointed.

2. Why was I travelling on a Monday AM that was the first day of Spring Break? Note to self - don't do that again!

3. All you teenagers out there - GET A CLUE!!!! Ok - I'm sitting on a plane going from Chicago to Atlanta - these two cities probably have two of the largest populations of African Americans in the US, and what do I hear in the row behind me ...the following commentary about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ..."Why can't they adopt white children from America??" I cringed in my seat. Obvioulsy they are not budding members of the rainbow coalition.

4. Hartsfield International - Get some better signage. It's not good when there are multiple baggage claim 2's without any distinction. How am I supposed to find my bag? Which carousel 2 should it be on???

5. Sam Epps limousine service - next time you're in Atlanta - SAM is THE MAN!!! This is my favorite limo service of all time. They pick you up in totally cool gigantic tricked out SUVs, and they are soooooo nice and friendly. I feel like I have my own personal body guard when the driver escorts me to the car. I wish Sam would open a branch in Newark - Empire Limo could learn from Sam. Of course, Sam's business has grown so much that he no longer picks me up, but he has very nice drivers who are a real pleasure! Thanks Sam!

6. Hilton Garden Inn, Duluth - As a self admitted hotel snob - I actually appreciate this nice clean basic hotel. It's nothing fancy, but the front desk is very friendly, they have free wireless throughout, and where else do you find an "honor" bar?? You'd think you were in Switzerland!!!

7. Atlanta really proves that there is a cost of living differential between US cities. I am shocked at the price of a meal here compared to Chicago or New Jersey. Mind you I haven't been eating in the finest establishments, but by comparison to business meals in New Jersey, I can actually easily abide by the CHF60 per person expense guideline including drinks here and receive warm southern hospitality.

Well, that's it for now. It's 22:30 and I can actually get a good night's sleep tonight before starting the long journey home via Chicago and London.
Ciao y'all.


Global Librarian said...

Having lived in Georgia for 4 years, I know exactly the baggage issue you mention. There is a South and a North Baggage Claim area. Which one you need depends upon which airline you flew. If you flew Delta you are in the South Baggage Claim. Everyone else is in North.

Locals go right where they need to be. Everyone else wanders around completely confused.

Next time follow the business travelers with the Southern accent!

By the way, in 2005 Atlanta became the busiest airport in the world. No other airport has yet taken over that position.

Barry said...

Glad to hear you're watching the rugby. With the World Cup coming up in September I expect your unequivocal support for the Irish team. We can call you the Big O'Finn for the duration!

The Big Finn said...

Brangelina CAN adopt white children from America, but look what they have to choose from!

Michael Lehet said...

Mrs. TBF - I think that gate agent was passing the buck....why would the "City" be responsible for updating gate times/locations?!? 'That just don't make any sense at all?'

Having lived in Atlanta for 7 years and now Chicago for 6 years I know exactly what you're talking about!

Bobby The C said...

BTW it is not 22:30. You my dear grew up in Lake Forest Illinois. It is 10:30 PM!

The Big Finn said...

TMS - For the record, she grew up in Chicago and didn't move to Lake Forest until she was a teenager.

Bobby The C said...

true dat! I would like Mrs. TBF to post about her childhood days at the family business. Those are some of my favorite stories.

CanadianSwiss said...

After what you just wrote, I'm not sure I want to fly to Atlanta. I jope you hot home safely :)

TBF- I like your new avatar with the DD coffee and snack.