In past years when traveling to Atlanta for work, I spent way too many late-late Friday nights in the Atlanta airport - or missed flights and coming home at 6 AM on Saturday morning...... because I got caught up and stuck on I-85 or stuck on I-75 on a busy traffic packed Friday afternoon "race to the airport", in order to get home because of a packed week of work in Atlanta, fighting the horrible Atlanta traffic, trying to get back to the airport and the car rental return facility......along with a zillion other business travelers just like me, trying to turn in their rental car as well at 4:30 PM on a busy-busy Friday. The Friday afternoon zoo at the Atlanta airport rental car return facility.
On one of these adventures, I wind sprinted through the Atlanta airport and somehow by the grace of the Good Lord I made my return flight - huffing and puffing and sweating I fell into my seat as the flight attendants closed the door on the plane.
When I looked over to the gentleman sitting in the seat next to me I recognized him as being the guy in front of me checking out earlier in the morning of the Marriott Perimeter Center. He was not sweating, he was not out of breath, and he was sorta laughing at me in a good natured way.
Then he shared with me about how he got out of his last meeting in Sandy Springs, GA (the north side of the I-285 loop in Atlanta) at 4 PM Eastern Time on a Friday and how he was able to get to the airport and have plenty of time to enjoy an adult beverage and "walk" to the departure gate in plenty of time and hassle free to catch his flight. No running, no panic, no anxiety, no sweating.
"Did yoy take a helicopter ? " I asked.
"Nope" was his response
Here was his travel tip secret for coming to Atlanta for work..................
Instead of picking up his rental car at the Atlanta airport when he arrived in ATL on Monday night - he made his rental car reservation with Hertz to pick up his rental car at the Marriott Perimeter Center (this hotel is at the "top" of the I-285 Loop). When he landed in Atlanta, he claimed his luggage and walked about 100 feet to the MARTA station inside the Atlanta airport. He got on the "Northbound train headed to North Springs" - and - in about 40 minutes, he got off at "Dunwoody Station" (three stops from North Springs). He had his hotel reservation at the Marriott Perimeter Center. The hotel is about 500 yards from the MARTA Train Station and when he got off at the Dunwoody Station he called the Marriott hotel and they sent the bus to pick him up.
Sweet ! So, when he was done with work on Friday afternoon, he returned his rental car to the Hertz office at the Marriott Perimeter Center, the hotel put him on the bus and drove to the bottom of the hill and let him out at the MARTA Dunwoody Station and he got on the train to the Atlanta airport, whipped out his copy of the USA Today and relaxed as the train headed Southbound to it's final stop at the Atlanta Airport.
Like "lemo service".....no fighting traffic.....just enjoy the train ride to the airport.
This secret probably "added" a year to my life !!!