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No political litmus test for Atlanta's airport

Republicans are flying home from Tampa. Democrats are flying to Charlotte. Both locations send a lot of connecting flights through Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. So what's the mood like there?

Sarah Gardner: Tomorrow, thousands of delegates will fill the floor for  Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. President Obama speaks on Thursday.

Politically, the delegates at the DNC probably don't agree on much with the folks who attended the Republican convention. But  many of them have one thing in common: the Atlanta airport. That's where reporter Charles Edwards from station WABE spent the weekend.


Charles Edwards: Atlanta’s airport looked like any busy vacation hub this weekend. But, there was a political twist.

Rene Brown: This is like, "Bye again Republicans and hello Democrats!"

Democratic delegate Rene Brown was finishing her Chinese food in the atrium inside Hartsfield-Jackson International before catching her Saturday flight. Located between Tampa and Charlotte, Atlanta was a purple crossing point for red and blue passengers going to each convention or both.

Brown: Here you have a group that’s coming out and a new group that’s going in.

More passengers fly through Atlanta’s airport than any other in the world.

Brent Frost: All flights, all roads come into Hartsfield and all roads go out of it.

On Saturday, Brent Frost and his family picked up their bags after getting off their flight from Tampa. The 22 year old says he was the youngest Georgia delegate at the GOP convention.

Frost: So, I don’t think I’ll be going to the DNC. I’ve had enough travel for one weekend.

You won’t find Joey Loudermilk in Charlotte either. The general counsel for Aflac spent the week in Tampa. Some of his co-workers who were at the GOP convention, along with other companies, lobbyists and yes, reporters, will be with the Democrats too.

Joey Loudermilk: Instead of spending Labor Day at home, you know, cooking out on the grill, they’ll be back here flying to Charlotte.

Staying put in Atlanta, I’m Charles Edwards for Marketplace.

About the author

Charles Edwards is a reporter for station WABE in Atlanta.

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