Weekend in Ambleside in May 2015

Headed back to Ambleside for some walking and a relaxing time away from everything.

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The PlaneTrain at Atlanta airport
The PlaneTrain at Atlanta airport
The PlaneTrain at Atlanta airport
The PlaneTrain at Atlanta airport

Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024: Day 12 – Atlanta to London Heathrow

By Nige on Wed 03 Apr 2024 at 23:52
Type: Post
Story: Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024
Tags: ATL | Atlanta | British Airways | Georgia | Hilton | Holidays | LHR | London | USA

We dropped the car at the Rental Car Center. There were no formalities – everything would be confirmed by email. I never feel assured by that arrangement!

On the way to the domestic terminal at Atlanta airport
On the way to the domestic terminal at Atlanta airport
On the way to the domestic terminal at Atlanta airport
On the way to the domestic terminal at Atlanta airport

We then had to catch the train to the domestic terminal, and at that point, we decided to chance our arm on getting through security in the domestic terminal, rather than catching the bus to the international terminal.

The bus was really annoying when we arrived, so our desire was to avoid it.

Airside all concourses/gates are connected together, so it shouldn’t matter which security point passengers have come through.

Luckily, at no point did any security person ask to see our boarding passes. All that was required was a passport and to look into a camera.

That should tie to the image captured when boarding at the gate. So, we thought we should be good to go.

The AA Admiral's Club Lounge at Atlanta airport on the T Concourse
The AA Admiral’s Club Lounge at Atlanta airport on the T Concourse
The AA Admiral's Club Lounge at Atlanta airport on the T Concourse
The AA Admiral’s Club Lounge at Atlanta airport on the T Concourse

So, all worked out ok: we managed to avoid the annoying bus journey and managed to get through security in the domestic terminal.

Flight: BA0226 Equip: 777-200
Sched Depart: 22:20 Actual: 22:58
Sched Arrival: 11:40 Actual: 12:21
Takeoff: 23:43 Landing: 12:15

Airside, it took us a bit of time to work out the layout of the concourses and where the AA Admiral’s Club lounge was. It was close to Gate T10.

One of the corridors linking concourses together at Atlanta airport
One of the corridors linking concourses together at Atlanta airport
One of the corridors linking concourses together at Atlanta airport
One of the corridors linking concourses together at Atlanta airport

After securing a very private nook in the AA lounge, I wandered up to the international terminal.

It took me about 30 mins to walk, and another 30 mins to walk back.

Looking at the airport layout, it’s all a bit of a mess. There are 7 concourses: T, A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Concourse T is the domestic terminal (not sure why it’s labelled T)! Concourse F is the international terminal.

All the concourses host domestic flights other than F.

The F Concourse (international terminal) at Atlanta airport
The F Concourse (international terminal) at Atlanta airport
The F Concourse (international terminal) at Atlanta airport
The F Concourse (international terminal) at Atlanta airport

All concourses are connected together, either by train, or you can walk.

That’s in stark contrast to arriving into the international terminal; passengers are forced landside and have to take a bus that drives all around the airport to reach the domestic terminal.

What’s different at Atlanta Airport is that you can’t just walk through a series of collections of gates.

Each concourse has a set of gates, and they stand alone. These gates are on one level, and the train and walkway sit on the level below.

Delta rules the route at Atlanta airport
Delta rules the route at Atlanta airport
Delta rules the route at Atlanta airport
Delta rules the route at Atlanta airport

I guess the good thing about that arrangement is that the only passengers that need to be near that set of gates are those that plan to fly from those gates.

When I was loitering around Concourse F, I tried to gain access to the ATL Club lounge, but I was advised I could only get access 3 hours prior to departure.

We eventually got bored of sitting in the AA lounge. We took the train to Concourse C and got a table at Carrabas, which is a restaurant we last visited in Texas 16 years ago.

Meatballs enjoyed at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
Meatballs enjoyed at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
Meatballs enjoyed at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
Meatballs enjoyed at Carrabas at Atlanta airport

We also can’t remember the last time we ate a meal in an airport that we had to pay for!

We shared some meatballs as a starter which were very tasty.

For mains, Vick ordered a gluten-free pasta dish, and I went for a steak filet with a marsala sauce.

My filet steak served up at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
My filet steak served up at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
My filet steak served up at Carrabas at Atlanta airport
My filet steak served up at Carrabas at Atlanta airport

Mine was great. Vick was less impressed with hers based on the number of large raw cloves of garlic she found.

We headed over to Concourse F, where we were allowed access into the ATL Club lounge.

It wasn’t much to write home about, but it was fine for the last hour or so of our wait.

The inbound flight was delayed by a good 45 mins, so that had a knock-on impact to our departure time.

Nonetheless, we headed down to Gate F7, a good 60 mins before the latest scheduled departure time. By the time we reached the gate, the flight slipped back a further 15 mins.

Waiting to board the BA flight back to Heathrow
Waiting to board the BA flight back to Heathrow
Waiting to board the BA flight back to Heathrow
Waiting to board the BA flight back to Heathrow

The next 45 mins was quite entertaining. We completed our document check, and when I asked whether they planned calling Group 0, the gate rep was overjoyed – we were her first Group 0 passengers!

We watched a really skinny guy patrol the entrance to the gate area, ensuring no one was blocking access.

We had a “prepare for an emergency” alarm call in the airport, which lasted about 5 mins. Eventually, it was turned off. We can only assume they deduced the package wasn’t suspicious after all.

There was some confusion as to where we should wait (as Group 0). We decided to queue behind the pre-boards bypassing the formal lanes entirely.

In the end, we were the only Group 0s to board. We boarded after the oldies and the families with small children.

There's nothing more a man could need to start a flight back to Heathrow
There’s nothing more a man could need to start a flight back to Heathrow
There's nothing more a man could need to start a flight back to Heathrow
There’s nothing more a man could need to start a flight back to Heathrow

On into seats 01A and 04A. I liked the idea of having two clear rows between us, but due to seats being available, the Vickster got a move to seat 01E (so she could keep an eye on me).

We settled in, we were offered luke warm towels, I had a glass of the Hampshire sparkling, and a bowl of nuts. Standard fare pre-flight nowadays.

We obviously pushed back late, but then sat waiting on the edge of the runway for nigh-on 30 mins.

The captain made an announcement, but it was unintelligible. It sounded like the delay was related to waiting for the flight plan to be logged/approved.

A quiet cabin on board the BA flight to Heathrow
A quiet cabin on board the BA flight to Heathrow
A quiet cabin on board the BA flight to Heathrow
A quiet cabin on board the BA flight to Heathrow

Once up in the air, the Vickster and I were both allowed out of our seats prior to the seat belt sign going off to allow cabin crew to make up our beds.

After bedding down for the night, we experienced awful turbulence for an extended period. I was concerned about how Vick was feeling about it.

Vick had fruit for breakfast; I just had a pot of tea. We were ready for arriving into the UK.

We arrived into Heathrow T3 Gate 30, and due to how old the aircraft was, there were no other seats between First Class and door 2L, so we were first off!


Follow the whole story here: Holiday to Tennessee in Mar 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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