Mad dash through Atlanta airport

I had a brief layover in Atlanta en route to the Mississippi Delta for a press trip. My plane arrived a bit early and I had nearly an hour before my connecting flight. With mobile boarding pass in hand, I was in no hurry. I made my way through the terminal looking for a kiosk to find out what gate to head toward. Come to find out I needed to go to another terminal. No big deal, I had plenty of time.

As I was strolling through the terminal, I was happy to see how lovely it was…with an extensive array of shops and great quality restaurants. It was near noon, so I stopped by a place to get a gourmet Boar’s Head sandwich in which I’d take on the plane with me. I made my way to the terminal tram system and headed to the correct terminal for my connecting flight. Once there, it was quite a walk to my gate since it was at the end of the terminal. I sat down and plugged my phone in to charge as it was getting low. I had a few minutes before boarding would begin, so I thought I’d take a couple bites of my sandwich.

running-through-atlanta-airport

That was the moment I discovered that I was missing something. My iPad! I quickly searched my memory bank to see if I recalled where I could have left it. Sure enough, I forgot it on my prior flight. I was near the window and it was cramped and difficult to attached my iPad to my carry on bag as I usually do. As the two passengers next to me go up, I briefly set my iPad down in the seat next to me as I grabbed my camera bag from underneath the seat in front of me. I was waiting for the passenger behind me to start walking down the isle, but they were hung up with their own luggage, so I quickly grabbed my bag and took off. Forgetting my iPad on the seat in my hurried rush.

I frantically wrapped up my sandwich and looked for an available gate agent to see if I could solicitude some help, but every gate I went to the agents were busy with passengers. I had no time to spare, the flight was to depart in just 20 minutes. There was no way I could make it to the previous gate and get back in time for my flight. I finally found a gate agent who told me to go to customer service, which was just a few gates away.

I ran like the wind, only to find 7-8 Delta agents doing nothing to acknowledge my existence. I finally chimed in and said, “pardon me, I was wondering if you could help me.” Which was met with a, “I’m sorry sir, you’ll have to wait, we are in the middle of a shift change.” I told her I did not have time to wait and quickly explained the situation. She told me I would have to go to DeltaSomething.com. I could not believe the lack of interest in helping me, so I just turned and thought I would take a chance to go all the way back to the previous gate. Problem was, while I knew the terminal, I could not recall the gate number. I knew the general area and found a gate agent who kindly looked it up for me.

I quickly made it to the gate, but found all the agents were busy. I mustered as much politeness as I could while I interrupted the agent to explained my situation. While my eyes were fixed on her, another passenger who was waiting in line said, “is that your iPad?” Someone had returned it to the gate. I could not believe my luck! With great jubilation, I grabbed the iPad and again, made my way to the other terminal where my awaiting flight was about to take off. I was running as fast as I could with backpack in tow and iPad in hand. As I ran down the escalator to the tram, it had just departed. Thankfully another one was just minutes away. As soon as the tram arrived I quickly entered where I waited impatiently for it to begin moving. I kept looking at my watch, seeing the seconds tick away. I only had about 5-6 minutes before my plane was due to depart.

The tram finally came to a stop and as soon as the doors opened I jetted out to be the first one up the escalators. I ran as quickly as I could, weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic. With no time to spare I arrived at my gate just as they were about to shut the doors to the ramp.  Whew, was that a close call and an end to my mad dash story through the Atlanta Airport.

If you’ve nearly missed your flight, please share your story below.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.
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