How to Make the Most of Your Trip to ANC in Atlanta


SNA's 2017 Annual National Conference (ANC)

The following is the eighteenth in a series of news stories exploring the exciting opportunities and events at ANC.

Most of us are not born travelers; it’s only something that comes from experience. Nothing is worse than overpacking, discovering you didn’t need formal clothing, miscalculating the time it takes to check-in at the airport and the length of the security line, forgetting the charger for your cell phone or just plain missing your flight. Then one day, you learn to make a list of all the items you don’t want to forget, become an expert packer and move through airports seamlessly.

For both expert traveler and novice who has never been to Atlanta, it’s airport or are not aware of the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedures at airport checkpoints, we are here to help with to make your time at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.

First, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) rates Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as one of the busiest airports in the world, with only O’Hare International in Chicago, Illinois rivaling Hartsfield-Jackson in passenger volume and number of takeoffs and landings. In 2012, the FTA stated Hartsfield-Jackson handled more than 2,500 daily arrivals and departures, bringing more than 250,000 passengers on average a day! So, be prepared for large crowds.

Most important, Hartsfield-Jackson is big. The airport which covers over 4,700 acres and is home to more than 200 domestic and international gates. The South Terminal (Delta and its partners) and North Terminal (all other airlines) is where passengers (that’s you) can purchase tickets, check-in, and claim your baggage. Because of its size, to get from the seven concourses to the baggage area/check-in (or vice versa), there are moving sidewalks and nine four-car trains which will carry you between concourses (don’t even think about walking, its well over a mile in length).

Now that you have safely arrived and have all of your luggage, the airport is located about seven miles south of downtown Atlanta or what is better known as the city’s central business district. According to TripAdvisor, the cost of a taxi from Hartsfield–Jackson to downtown Atlanta is a flat fee of $30. Be sure to insist on this fare or take another taxi! The most popular question now asked is: what do I tip the taxi driver or waiter in a restaurant? TripAdvisor suggests between 15-to 20%. Of course, if the service is terrible, don’t worry, there is no need to tip.

You will find July in Atlanta to be hot and humid, frequently reaching above 90°F (32°C), thus the city earning the nickname “Hotlanta.” If you have never been to Atlanta, one of the most distinctive characteristics of the city is the blend of old-fashioned Southern charm and hospitality, along with the cosmopolitan charisma and enchantment of Northeastern cities.

Considered to be the unofficial capital of the Southeast, Atlanta is a city of the future with strong ties to its past. Founded in 1837 as the terminus of the old Western & Atlantic Railroad, Atlanta remains a hub for transportation (as mentioned, one of the world's busiest airport), industry (with the headquarters for Coca-Cola), art (with treasures on display at the High Museum of Art), and natural wonders (with the world's largest aquarium).

The best way to get around Atlanta is MARTA, the city's public transportation system. The ninth-largest transit system in the U.S., MARTA operates both bus and rail lines throughout the city and into nearby suburbs and serves an average of more than 550,000 passengers a day.

Although the main touristy areas are generally safe, you should still use common sense when maneuvering around a big city like Atlanta. Do not flash valuables and use caution when walking around, especially at night.

A great service to be aware of while walking around town is the Ambassador Force of Downtown Atlanta. They are a public safety entity intended to provide for a safe environment for visitors by patrolling the streets in common areas of downtown Atlanta from 7 am to 12 midnight. They are trained Atlanta off-duty police officers who provide tourists (that’s you) with a variety of information and assistance. You don’t have to look hard to find a friendly and helpful Ambassador, they are the ones dressed in red and white uniforms, riding Segway human transporters, or All-Terrain Public Safety Bikes. If you need assistance, you can call them 24-hours a day at 404-215-9600.

Countdown to ANC 2017:

Already registered? Be sure to check out our last-minute tips and information. And if you haven't registered yet, it's not too late! You can still register onsite. For complete conference information, visit

Finally, we mentioned earlier there are new TSA procedures at security checkpoints that are going to be implemented at various U.S. airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson this summer. Because people are stuffing too much into their carry-on luggage and X-ray machines can’t tell the difference between chocolate and explosives, security agents will now require passengers (that’s you) to remove all of your food and paper items from your carry-on luggage and place it into separate bins. The TSA also says they are asking airlines to step up enforcement of the two-item carry-on limit – one bag overhead and one under the seat in front of you. So, keep that in mind when traveling.

No matter how far or near you are traveling or how long you are planning to stay in Atlanta, SNA hopes that you have a pleasant and safe trip to ANC and back home this summer.

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Arlington, VA 22206  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

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