Critical Updates Gleaned From Recent Tavels.
Uganda Mission Home
There have been some changes in arriving at Atlanta. All international baggage arriving as Atlanta as final destination now must be claimed in the new F concourse baggage claim area, even if your flight arrives in the old E concourse. After you clear customs in E, you have a walk of over 1,000 feet to the F baggage claim. (They do have the motor carts running back and fourth and you can take one of them)
Here is the rub, if you get confused and go through the "Atlanta Final Destination" line even though you are continuing to a further destination, your bags will be in the E claim area but you will come out in the F claim area. Going back is not possible and getting access to your bags will most likely not happen that day. They will eventually catch up with you a day or two latter at home.
Finally, I am not sure what happens if your flight arrives at Concourse F and you are continuing onward. So far, that has not happened to me so I simply do not know. My only advice is if your flight arrives at one of the F Gates and your flight continues onward, be VERY CAREFUL to follow signs and ask questions to make sure you end up where your bags will be. If you are successful in being where you bags are, you will be able to claim them, then recheck them to your final destination.
U.S. Currency Exchange:
For some reason that I do not understand, the folks that exchange dollars in Uganda discount US bills if they are not the latest series available. I am sure this applies to other currencies, especially the Britsh Pound, but I do not know specifics. For teams from the US make certain the bills you take are as per the series listed below. If you take older bills, they will still exchange them, but at a lower rate. And while I list $10s and $20s below, I would not recommend using them in Uganda.
See also the section on personal funds.
Series Date Locations |
Online exchange rate calculator
Since September 11, 2001, it seems the rules for packing carry-on and even checked luggage, are constantly changing. Therefore, it is imperative that you check with the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration web site for the official and up-to-date information on what is and is not acceptable on aircraft. In June of 2007, our team was in the security line a Heathrow Airport when we were told only one carry-on, PERIOD. Not a carry-on and a purse, or carry-on and a computer, but ONE only. So we had to check a lot of our "carry-on" bags before going through security which separated us from a lot of personal items we otherwise would have packed differently.
Liquids & Jells: The 3-1-1 Rule
Every time I fly, there are always those in the security lines that either have not heard of or do not understand about liquids and jells in carry-on bags. Some medications and baby formula are exceptions. Declare these at the security point. Visit the TSA 3-1-1 site.
3 - ALL liquids and jells must be in containers that hold 3 ounces or less (Larger container with 3 ounces or less are unacceptable and will be removed and discarded).
1 - All must fit in a 1 quart ziptop bag.
1 - Only 1 bag per traveler.
Name used on Travel Documents
The TSA is now implementing their "Secure Flights" program that allows them to match names on airline reservation lists with those on the TSA watch list. This requires a 100% name match (plus date of birth and gender). For example, John P Smith and John Paul Smith, do not match and will cause problems, perhaps even be denied boarding. If you find your name is very similar to someone on the TSA watch list, you can obtain a redress number to enable you to prvent a major issue each time you fly.
Airport Phone Calls:
Beware of using public phones in airports to place a call back to the U. S. using your credit or debit card. Two different folks I am aware of made such calls, both of which were under two minutes. One cost $38 and the other $43 after the cost of the call, access charges, connection and minimal use fees were added. A call to the telephone companies and the airport management to complain about such unreasonable charges, was a waste of time.