Airport progress comes at a price for travelers

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

If you haven't been to the airport yet, you'll want to read carefully.

New changes were made this past weekend, and some familiar stops are no longer there.

News 12's Diane Cho is on your side with a look at what you can expect to see the next time you fly out.

It's bigger and better than ever before...

Or is it?

Car after car pulled up this weekend, drivers just hoping they were in the right place...and all of them just as lost and confused as the next.

"I think in the end it will be better but right now it's a hassle," said traveler Dwayon Coleman.

Signs of change are everywhere, but some say it's still not enough.

With the second phase of construction complete, all airport operations have been shuffled around.

The old US Airways holding room is now temporary ticketing, and baggage claim now in what used to be the Delta holding room.

"Today was very confusing," said one traveler. "10 days ago we knew where to park."

Frequent flyers complaining they're having to go the extra mile to get to their destination.

"They drop you off here and you have to walk all the way to the end to check in, and it's a long walk--especially in the heat," said airport patron Sandra Matthews.

That's because the new terminal area has been moved outdoors.

And while airport officials are doing the best they can to provide relief from the sweltering sun, airport patrons are still left to sweat it out.

"The fans may as well be turned off," Coleman says.

The new changes caused Coleman to miss his flight. "It's a mess right now," he says.

For some it's a sacrifice they're willing to make.

"It's the price you pay for progress," one man said.

But others say they won't be as patient.

"Next time I'm going to Atlanta," Coleman said.

"This company I work for now usually flies out of Augusta," said traveler Lorelei Montgomery, who was juggling carry-on bags and a baby. "I'll pay the difference to forget about it."

The changes are going to take a lot more tweaking to get everyone on board.

The $30 million project looks like it's on track to its targeted completion date of fall 2007.


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