A first from all my years of travel

I've flown through well over 40 airports in the past 6 years. Today however, was the first and only time I've flown through ATL -- Atlanta Hartsfield airport.

This is really unusual for the business traveler. Approximately 95% of flights in this country arrive at or depart from Atlanta. 4% of the remaining flights are delayed at O'Hare (ORD) and the remain flights are stuck on the tarmac waiting for a gate at JFK.

But today, I finally flew through ATL. This airport is the busiest in the country and has achieved mythic status in the lore of the business traveler. It supposed to be the biggest, busiest, best, and most annoying airport in the country.

Now that I've been there, I can say without a doubt that they need to clean their carpets. Really. They're dingy and sort of faded gray-beige. Really, airport authority, call someone. They'll come out and do it for you.

And by the way, there are no mermaids in the Atlanta airport.

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