by: Aaron Diamant Updated:
ATLANTA - Just 10 days after the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport opened, Channel 2 Action News found some travelers dealing with an unexpected delay.
Airport leaders, engineers and consultant spent years and millions of man-hours predicting and preventing problems, but the one delay we found travelers complaining about wasn't on the way in, but on their way out.
Airport officials said the problem caught them off guard.
"We shouldn't have been," admitted airport director Louis Miller.
Airport staff is now scrambling to shorten the lines, at times up to an hour long, for arriving passengers waiting to get on small shuttle buses headed back to the airport's domestic side.
"It's been confusing to say the least," said frequent international traveler Facundo Fernandez.
Right now, the only way for international passengers to get to and from the airport's MARTA station, rental car facility and main parking lots is by shuttle. Channel 2's Aaron Diamant hopped on one shuttle with a group who arrived at the right time.
"We have a family of seven, so it's hard for us," said passenger Claire Ross. "We lucked out."
Miller blamed what he called a "hiccup" on the number of arriving passengers who left Atlanta before the international terminal opened.
"I'd like this to be solved as quickly as possible," said Fernandez.
The airport has already added more shuttles at critical times, while the airport director considers bringing in bigger buses.
"We've now got it up to where it's going to do very well," Miller said. "We think it's going to meet the time frames we're talking about."
While at the airport Friday, Channel 2 found travelers getting off those shuttle buses who had no idea there are 2,500 long-term and short-term parking spaces next to the international terminal. Airport leaders said more travelers using those spaces will also help cut down on delays.