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  • Norine Rae

Layover in Atlanta

Updated: Jul 28, 2018

Making lemonade out of lemons.


One of the main hubs for Delta airlines is the Atlanta International Airport and since I travel from east to west a lot I often I find myself stuck in Atlanta. Well if you are going to get stuck at an airport Atlanta isn’t the worst place to visit. It has wonderful botanical gardens, many art museums, restaurants, and historical sites. The Internet is full of inexpensive hotels at your fingertips with shuttle service to boot. But, my budget is usually limited so this last trip I chose to spend the night in terminal B. I laugh now as I remember the movie The Terminal with Tom Hanks.

There Terminal

I have stayed in many terminals from Johannesburg, Paris, Seattle, Detroit… to name a few. If I get in late and have an early flight out it just makes sense to save a few dollars rather than find a hotel for two to four hours. Most of the time I am flying standby so I am usually with a group of people who are in the same situation. The most important thing to do is keep a positive attitude. Sometimes I’ve been grounded due to weather conditions. Most airlines will provide you with a voucher for a hotel if you ask.

Atlanta Airport

I choose to stay in the terminal in Atlanta during my most recent trip this past July 2016 when traveling to Florida. Delta was great and gave us blankets and snacks. A group of us huddled together as there is safety in numbers. Unlike Tom Hanks in The Terminal, we didn’t find a quiet dark place as the lights were​ on all night and the television blared with CNN reporting the campaign news throughout the night. Yet, I managed to get a few hours of sleep. On this stay over it was just for the night and I was grateful to make the first flight out in the morning.

What I enjoyed about this trip was the people I met and how we were able to help a woman from Guatemala who was in a wheel chair. She had missed her flight the night before because of the language barrier. She didn’t speak English and she was safe with us. That night we became a family. A family of migrants each going a different direction, yet having a common goal and that was to join forces for a few hours of sleep in the security of the terminal.

I felt we were there for a reason. Had we not been there, most likely, she would have missed her next flight out as well for it was in a different terminal. With the assistance of another gal, who spoke Spanish, we took her to her gate in the early morning and found a young man who assured us​ that he would make sure she would get on her flight. We all hugged as though we had known​ each other for years and genuinely said goodbye​ then​ rushed off to our own terminal and appropriate gate. As I sat at my gate waiting to board the plane, I reflected on the even past and gave thanks to God for the adventure of travel. I am thankful when I meet incredible compassionate people with a heart to help others. Being stuck can be a great thing with the right attitude and the right people around you


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