PDA

View Full Version : Atlanta airport overnight



Cann
03-25-2013, 09:50 AM
We just got back from a 6 week stay on Bonaire. On the way down, we escaped just as a major snowfall started in Boston. We overnighted in Atlanta and then took the Sat. flight on Delta. We took a shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn, The next morning, we had the choice of taking a shuttle back to the airport and then waiting for another shuttle to take us to the International Terminal or taking a taxi directly to the International. We choose the taxi and it took less than 15 minutes to be dropped off at the Delta International terminal. The cost of the taxi was $19 plus tip. I would do the direct taxi again next time. The trip home was easier as we went through customs very fast, rechecked the luggage and took the train to our domestic flight It took a little over an hour from the time we got off the plane to get to the gate for the next flight.

wwguy
03-25-2013, 11:32 AM
Wow... 6 weeks. That's doing it right! We're only up to 3 weeks each year. People like you are our role models! :bowdown:

We've stayed overnight at the Hilton Garden Inn North in Atlanta on our last 4 trips to Bonaire. We heartily agree that a taxi is the best way to get from the hotel to the new International Terminal. It's expeditious, convenient efficient, and affordable. For us the free hotel shuttle from the domestic terminal to the hotel is marginally tolerable as it is. We travel in December, and have stood outside the terminal in 40 degree weather for as long as 45 minutes waiting for the shuttle to arrive. Then we wrestle our bags aboard, compete for space with other passengers, and hang on for the ride as the shuttle stops at 2 or 3 other hotels on the way to ours. A $20 taxi ride makes that all go away.

I'm jealous of your customs experience in ATL too. In early January this year we stood in line for more than an hour at Passport Control. We've got to get onboard with the Global Entry program before our next trip.

fraserfraser
03-25-2013, 11:44 AM
curious, do you do this overnight with FF miles? always wonder how to do breakup of the reservation as we would be coming from Boston. not sure I can handle a close connection time on a weekly flight.
6 weeks , 3 weeks are both great! been stuck at 2 weeks forever.

gbf
03-25-2013, 11:59 AM
I've done it a bunch of times with FF miles (never actually bought tickets to Bon). I book on the website. We depart Friday afternoon, overnight in ATL at the HGI, then depart for Bon on Sat AM. Never had a problem. I think Delta charges a small fee if you call them to book your FF flights...

wwguy
03-25-2013, 12:59 PM
curious, do you do this overnight with FF miles? always wonder how to do breakup of the reservation as we would be coming from Boston. not sure I can handle a close connection time on a weekly flight.
6 weeks , 3 weeks are both great! been stuck at 2 weeks forever.

Yes, we book airfare with Delta SkyMiles and stay overnight in ATL (on Hilton points) going both directions. Delta's SkyMiles program allows unlimited layovers (less than 24 hours) and 1 stopover (more than 24 hours) per award ticket. Additionally, I believe award ticket travel is limited to 5 flight segments maximum in each direction.

We fly BOI>SLC>ATL, overnight in ATL, ATL>BON and then do the same itinerary in reverse.

Delta has a tiered system for calculating how many miles are required for the tickets. During peak demand, such as winter holidays, more FF miles are usually required for award tickets. For economy class we pay 55K miles/ticket in the fall and 65K miles/ticket during winter holidays. For First Class it's typically 100K to 120K per ticket. We also have to pay $62.50/ticket in taxes, which covers the $35 Bonaire departure tax too.

There are some tricks to finding the lowest mileage itineraries. Delta doesn't make it any easier than they have to. For example an award ticket will price out at the highest mileage level of any one segment in the itinerary. So if one segment is offered at "high" level and the others are at "low" level, the entire trip will price at high level and require more FF miles. The trick with Delta is to examine all flight options one at a time, find the flights with lowest levels, and then put them together as a complete trip.

It's also easier to find lower level awards for 1 passenger than 2, because Delta sometimes trickles in the lower level awards one at a time. Last winter Delta wanted 120K miles/ticket for First Class for 2 passengers. For one passenger on the same flights it was only 100K miles. So we bought 1 ticket at 100K miles, waited a few days for an additional low level ticket to appear in the system, and bought a 2nd ticket for 100K miles. Net savings was 40K miles. The downside of this approach is that we had to manage seats etc. as separate reservations. We booked early and were able select seats together on Delta's website. But I'm pretty sure my wife would have been happy sitting in First Class without me too!

I'm happy to offer additional advice if and when you want it. The biggest thing to know right now is that Delta offers a limited number of award tickets for any given flight. I've had the best success with booking as early as possible. I usually start looking 331 days in advance of my return ticket... the earliest Delta makes the reservation system available.

wwguy
03-25-2013, 01:04 PM
I've done it a bunch of times with FF miles (never actually bought tickets to Bon)

Another role model for me! The last time we bought tickets was 2003. :cheers:

fraserfraser
03-25-2013, 02:15 PM
thanks for the info. delta is the way to go. will try that route when i have built up enough FF miles. Right now I am using our United FF miles. not so civilized but at free I can deal with it. Actually on our last trip took $600 a piece offer and stayed over night in Newark. Will be flying United a little more often this year :bk: on United.

gbf
03-25-2013, 06:51 PM
Another role model for me! The last time we bought tickets was 2003. :cheers:

as you well know, those "free" tickets have a price attached to them...