Hey everyone. New to forum here and in need of help. This summer I might go to visit my great-aunt in Sarasota, Florida. I live and Flint, Michigan, and will probably be flying out of Bishop International Airport, have a layover in Atlanta, and then fly from Atlanta to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, all on Delta. What I'm worried about is that I've never had to do a layover by myself, and I'll only be 15 when I go. Now I looked at Delta.com, and the best option would be having a 4 hour layover outbound, but only a 2 hour and 35 minute layover going back to Flint. Another issue is that Delta operates out of all seven terminals at Atlanta Airport, and I'm not sure how to make a connection since I haven't flown with a layover since I was six. Atlanta Airport does have an underground people mover system between the terminals, but I soon discovered from friends who had connected in Atlanta that it gets very crowded very fast, and that you have about forty-five seconds to get off the train before it goes to the next station. Now I did consider flying as an unaccompanied minor, even though most airlines don't really like it if you're over fourteen and you do it anyways. Plus it's an extra two hundred dollars added to the two hundred and eighty dollar airfare. Another thing is that I recently had leg surgery, and I'm not sure if my metal plate would set off the alarm at security. To add to all this, I'll be there right after the end of the heart of the Gulf Hurricane Season (late August). So any information on the airports, as well as things to do within an hour's distance, would be a lot of help.
Neither of those layovers gives you time to safely leave the airport and get into the city, if that is what you are asking? Downtown is about a 30 minute train ride, (not much quicker by car, assuming you don't get stuck in traffic) but then add on waiting for the train, etc and you are probably taking too much of a chance, considering your fears.
As far as making your connections, it shouldn't be a problem. They are both Delta flights so they will be aware that you are in the airport and will be calling you a couple of times before they close the gate.
Florida will be in the high season for Hurricanes and humidity in August. But hey palm trees flying around can be fun. Be sure to take an umbrella as well as your swimsuit.
[ Edit: Modified by Admin ]
Just be sure that as soon as you arrive in Atlanta (both going and on the return) you take youself and your luggage and get to the planned departure gate. Once you do that, then you can find what is a close-by place to either have a meal, or a quick soft drink, or watch sports or news on a local TV.
Personally, I always take three things with me when I travel--an iPod (to listen to music I like), some books (both to read on the planes and also to read in the airport terminal, and I always take a cell phone--so that if I have any problems or concerns I can call friends or family and notify them of the issues so they don't panic--and so they know what's going on and don't have to worry. I suggest you do the same--and call your family and your great-aunt and let them know when you get to Atlanta--and then to your final destination.
Enjoy your trip--we do, which is why this website exists
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Apr-2011, at 23:39 by Calcruzer ]