If you live anywhere in the South, youâ€™ve likely heard the old joke that says “whenever someone dies, they donâ€™t go to heaven (or that other place), without connecting in Atlanta!”
Having spent 14 years living in various southern cities and connected through Atlanta more times than I care to remember, thereâ€™s no doubt the scene at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) the other weekend is one that wonâ€™t soon be forgotten.
Recently, I needed to take a number of flights for family reasons, and in the current coronavirus climate, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My adventure took meÂ through one Delta mega-hub (Atlanta ATL) to another (Minneapolis MSP), where typically the flights would be full. However, this time they were only about 25 percent occupied. The ATL to MSP flight, usually an A321 or 757, had been replaced by a smaller 737-800.
Atlanta currently has multiple concourses closed with fully sheetrocked walls and security doors to allow only airport and airline staff to enter. The â€œCâ€ and â€œEâ€ terminals were just empty shells. TV screens packed with flight info now had just a couple active monitors.
The food court in the E terminal had just one restaurant open: McDonaldâ€™s. They were so happy to see anyone that they gave me 10% off my McDouble — that 20 cents will go far someday, I just know it! You know itâ€™s bad when even airport concessions start discounting prices.