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Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL) ("Hartsfield–Jackson," "ATL," or just "the airport" to locals), is located about 8 miles south of downtown Atlanta. Hartsfield–Jackson has been the world's busiest airport since 1998, and is a major hub for Delta Air Lines and a focus city for Southwest Airlines.

Understand[edit]

See also: air travel in the USA

In 2015, Atlanta's airport accommodated 100 million passengers, an average of 273,000 per day. The airport also had 882,497 flights that departed and arrived. Its efficient layout means it is also easy to navigate and not as delay-prone as many other hub airports. The airport has many international nonstop services to North America, South America, Latin and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. If you are changing planes in the US, chances are it is in Atlanta. As the saying goes "It doesn't matter whether you go to heaven or hell, there is always a connection in Atlanta".

Terminals[edit]

On the domestic side, Hartsfield–Jackson is one large building separated into South Terminal (Delta and its partners) and North Terminal (all other airlines), connected by a central Atrium with a smattering of restaurants. The security line is through the Atrium, and because it is centralized, is usually fast; you can check current wait times online. A new international terminal on the opposite end of the airport is used for all arriving and departing international flights.

Flights[edit]

Checking in[edit]

If your first flight directly leaves the United States, you should check in at the International Terminal (accessible by car from I-75, or by a free connecting shuttle from the Domestic Terminal). However, on international itineraries that involve a domestic connection before leaving the United States, and for all domestic flights (including those to U.S. territories), you should check in at the Domestic Terminal (accessible from MARTA, the rental car center, and by car from I-85).

Delta offers self check-in that's almost wholly automated. The fastest and easiest way is to use your ID, whether that's a credit card (only your name is pulled from it, so it doesn't matter whether you used it to book the ticket), a U.S. drivers' license, a passport, or a frequent flyer number. You can also enter your confirmation number or other booking details. If you're checking bags, indicate that on the kiosk, and it will direct you to a bag drop. The whole process is easy and takes just a minute or two; just answer the questions on the kiosk.

Mobile check-in is also available at all security checkpoints; this lets you pull up your boarding pass on your mobile phone to get through security and board the plane, bypassing the check-in desks and saving paper.

Baggage[edit]

Regardless of what gate you arrive at, if you're on an international flight your baggage will be at the International Terminal in Concourse F. For domestic flights, your baggage will be in the domestic terminal in either South Terminal (Delta and its partners) or North Terminal (all other airlines).

Ground transportation[edit]

Map of the airport. A free shuttle (not illustrated) connects the International and Domestic Terminals. To get to the International Terminal if you arrive at the Domestic Terminal (e.g., by MARTA, rental car, or shuttle), or if you land from an international flight and need to get to other ground transportation, this is the shuttle to use.
See also: Atlanta#Get around

Hartsfield–Jackson is the terminus of the southern branch of MARTA, the city rail system. For travel to downtown, midtown, or northern Atlanta, MARTA is a convenient and economical way of getting there, although usually one of the slowest. To/from Five Points Station travel time is about 20 minutes; to/from Lindbergh Station it's about 30 (not including waiting for a train). Walk past baggage claim to get to the MARTA station. All fares are $2.50 one-way (not including a $1 ticket fee or $2 reloadable fare card) and include free transfers for both rail and bus. Departing trains alternate between Doraville-bound and North Springs–bound; but unless you are going north of Lindbergh Station on either the Red or Gold line, it does not matter which one you take.

Most MARTA stations have taxi stands, and some hotels have free shuttles which will collect from the nearest MARTA station on telephone request.

Taxis are fixed-rate when going to/from the airport and major business areas (Downtown $30, Midtown $32, Buckhead $40; excluding fees); be sure to insist on this fare.

Shuttles to nearby hotels and other attractions are located past the MARTA station.

By car[edit]

The airport is easily reached from I-85 (domestic terminals) or I-75 (international terminal), where there are well-labeled signs directing you to the airport.

At the domestic terminals, you will need to know whether you're going to South Terminal (Delta and its partners) or North Terminal (all other airlines), because the road divides. Fortunately there are signs posted listing the airlines for each terminal.

If you just want to drop someone off quickly, the curbside drop-off lanes are quick in spite of the heavy traffic. Surly police officers will not let you linger for too long, so if you want a longer goodbye, pay a few dollars for the hourly parking lot.

Parking[edit]

Free "cell phone" parking lots are available if you're waiting a short time to pick up an arriving passenger. Both short-term (hourly and daily) and long-term (economy) parking are available from both terminals. There are also off-site parking lots with shuttles.

By rental car[edit]

Pick up your rental car from the Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center, a dedicated complex with rental check-in desks and parking decks for the rental cars. From the Domestic Terminal, take the ATL SkyTrain; from the International Terminal, take the free shuttle (make sure to take the one to the rental car center, not to the Domestic Terminal).

When returning your car, take I-85 and follow signs towards the airport. Then, follow airport signs to get to rental car return. When you reach the Rental Car Center, drive around the loop until you see the parking deck entrance for your rental car agency. Then, after you've returned the car, take the ATL SkyTrain to the airport.

Regional Shuttles[edit]

Regional shuttle service to nearby cities is available, including the following destinations served by Groome Transportation:

Get around[edit]

The airplane boarding gates are in 7 concourses, which are arranged in a straight line and bookended by the terminals. In order, there is the Domestic Terminal (North and South Terminals), Concourses T, A, B, C, D, E, and F, and the International Terminal. To go to or between the concourses, you take an escalator down to a long underground hallway (the Transportation Mall), and take the fast Plane Train, an automated people mover that stops at every concourse/terminal roughly every 2 minutes. You can also choose to walk (it's about 1000 feet between each concourse). With either method, you don't leave and then re-enter secure zones, so tight connections are usually quite feasible.

Concourses E and F are the international terminals, with F now most often used. It's where you will go through customs and immigration when arriving from abroad. You can go to or be picked up directly at terminal F, by car, taxi or shuttle. If your flight arrives at F and you want to use other ground transportation (rental car, public transit, other shuttle), take the free airport shuttle connector to the domestic terminal or car rental center.

Security[edit]

In the domestic terminal, there are three security check-points: the main one in between the north and south terminals, and a smaller one near the end of each of the terminals. The main security check-point has many more scanners, and tends to be the fastest way through security. You can check the current wait times online.

Wait[edit]

If you want some ambiance, Concourse E has a spacious food court with live piano. There is also the Piano Bar in Concourse A (see § Eat and Drink), although it's small and often crowded.

Art exhibits[edit]

The airport is home to a growing number of art exhibits:

  • In the Domestic Atrium there is a dinosaur skeleton on loan from Atlanta's Fernbank Museum.
  • In South Terminal there is a collection of model World War II aircraft and "sweetheart jewelry."
  • The underground Transportation Mall has a few exhibits. You'll have to skip the Plane Train and take the moving sidewalks if you just want a quick glance, or walk if you want to go at your own pace.
    • Between Concourse T and Concourse A there are Zimbabwean stone sculptures.
    • There's an exhibit on the history of Atlanta between Concourses B and C.
  • There are rotating youth art galleries in Concourses T, D, and E.
  • Concourse E includes an exhibit on the life of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by the escalators from the Transportation Mall level.

There are quite a few other exhibits, some permanent and some rotating; the airport's website has a complete listing and descriptions.

Lounges[edit]

  • The Club at ATL (Concourse F, mezzanine level),  +1 404-382-2856. 6AM-9:30PM daily. Open to all travellers; also serves British Airways, Lufthansa, Priority Pass, Lounge Club, and Diners Club International. Showers available. Day pass $40 ($35 if booked online 24 hours in advance).
  • USO Lounge (United Services Organization) (Domestic Terminal, Atrium, level 3, on the left),  +1 404-761-8061. M-F 7AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 7AM-8PM. For U.S. military and their families. Very comfortable reclining leather chairs for sleeping or watching TV. Drinks and snacks, and a full kitchen. Several computers for Internet access, and tables with charging stations. Small playroom with kid-sized furniture. Very quiet inside, so it's great for catching some Z's.

Airline lounges[edit]

  • American Airlines Admiral Club (Concourse T, gate T10),  +1 404-530-7250. Su-Fr 5:15AM–8:30PM, Sa 5:15AM–8PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse T, gate T6). 6AM-10PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse A center, 2nd level). 5AM-11PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse A, gate A17). 6AM-11PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse B, gate B18). 6AM-11PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse C, gate C37). 6AM-11PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse D, gate D12). 6AM-10PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse D, gate D27). 6AM-11PM.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse E, gate E15). 6AM-10PM. Showers available.
  • Delta Sky Club (Concourse F, mezzanine level). 5:30AM-11PM. Showers available.
  • United Club (Concourse T, gate T11),  +1-866-822-5827. Su-Fr 4:45AM-8:45PM, Sa 4:45AM-7PM.

Spas[edit]

  • XpresSpa (Concourse A center, opposite food court),  +1 404-305-0198. 6AM-10PM daily. Manicure $20, 10-minute massage $25.
  • XpresSpa (Gate C37),  +1 404-766-4353. 6AM-10:30PM daily. Manicure $20, 10-minute massage $25.

Eat and Drink[edit]

An influx of local restaurants and fine dining options has led to a vastly improved food scene at ATL.

If you're pressed for time, you should really choose fast-food, because almost every restaurant has slow service; even a fast-food joint can hold you up for 5–10 minutes, which could just be time you don't have when trying to make a tight connection.

Coffee options are generic: Starbucks and/or Seattle's Best have locations in the Atrium and all the concourses (but not necessarily near the middle). Your only other choices are Abica Coffee at Gate A28 and Caribou Coffee at Concourse E center.

For beer or liquor, you're going to have to look a little harder.

Domestic Terminal[edit]

  • Atlanta Chophouse & Brewery.
  • La Madeleine (Domestic Terminal Atrium),  +1 404-433-6598. 6AM-10PM. A Southern chain of French bistros, serving favorites like croque monsieur sandwiches, quiche florentine, and French onion soup.
  • Shane's Rib Shack.

Concourse T[edit]

  • Atlanta Stillhouse (Concourse T).
  • Corner Bakery Cafe (Concourse T).
  • Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Gate T11). Excellent burgers; you might even say they're good enough to die for. Good selection of craft beers and a full bar.
  • Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli (Gate T13).
  • Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Cafe (Concourse T).
  • Samuel Adams Atlanta Brew House (Gates T7, A12, C42). Daily 7AM-10PM. Your second best bet for a decent pint of beer.

Concourse A[edit]

  • Atlanta Hawks Bar & Grill (Concourse A).
  • Bar One (Gate A1). Martinis
  • Cat Cora's Kitchen (Concourse A).
  • Chick-fil-A (Concourse A, C). All Chick-fil-A locations closed every Su. This southern fast-food chain serves chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and waffle fries. Displaced southerners flock here for a taste of their former home, and it's an easy chance for foreign travellers to try something unique. An additional bonus is that they use peanut oil that's processed to remove all allergens, so people with peanut allergies can generally eat here without any problems (but check with your doctor first, of course).
  • Piano Bar (Concourse A).
  • Piece of Cake (Concourse A).
  • Samuel Adams Atlanta Brew House (Gates T7, A12, C42). Daily 7AM-10PM. Your second best bet for a decent pint of beer.
  • TAP (Concourse A). A small branch of a local gastropub with only about 20 seats. Smoking is allowed, so unless you fancy a drink in thick haze of smoke, there are better options. Beer $8-15, cocktails $12-14. Burgers and sandwiches $12-14, tacos 2/$7.70, 3/$10.
  • Three Taverns Craft Beers (Concourse A). Locally brewed craft Belgian-style beers
  • Varasano's Pizzeria (Concourse A center). 7:30AM-11PM. Little sibling to Varasano's Pizzeria in Buckhead, ranked among top pizza restaurants in the U.S. Also serves drinks and music at the piano bar.

Concourse B[edit]

  • Dos Equis Explorers Lounge (Concourse B).
  • Café Intermezzo (Concourse B).
  • LottaFrutta (Concourse B).
  • Paschal's Southern Cuisine (Concourse B).
  • Samuel Adams Atlanta Brew House (Concourse B). Daily 7AM-10PM. Your second best bet for a decent pint of beer.
  • Sweetwater Draft House & Grill (Gates A25, B11),  +1 404-559-9787. Daily 8AM-10PM (A25), 6AM-11PM (B11). Serving up Georgia's most well-known craft beer.
  • Three Taverns Craft Beers (Concourse B). Locally brewed craft Belgian-style beers

Concourse C[edit]

  • Chick-fil-A (Concourse A, C). All Chick-fil-A locations closed every Su. This southern fast-food chain serves chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and waffle fries. Displaced southerners flock here for a taste of their former home, and it's an easy chance for foreign travellers to try something unique. An additional bonus is that they use peanut oil that's processed to remove all allergens, so people with peanut allergies can generally eat here without any problems (but check with your doctor first, of course).
  • Links Grill (Concourse C).
  • The Original El Taco (Concourse C, F).
  • Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint (Concourse C).
  • Samuel Adams Atlanta Brew House (Gates T7, A12, C42). Daily 7AM-10PM. Your second best bet for a decent pint of beer.
  • The Varsity (Concourse C),  +1 404-838-1001. Famous as the world's largest drive-in restaurant, the Varsity is a favorite of many locals for chili cheese hotdogs, burgers, and onion rings. An equal number of people dislike its greasy, low quality food. If you don't want to risk the heartburn, try the F.O. (Frosted Orange, a sort of orange creamsicle slushie). Breakfast is also available, unique among Varsity locations.

Concourse D[edit]

As one recent review put it, "The 'D' clearly stands for 'drinking'."

  • 40/40 Bar (Concourse D).
  • Chicken+Beer (Concourse D). Beers from multiple small Atlanta craft breweries
  • Food Network Kitchen (Concourse D). A showcase of local foods, which unfortunately may fall short in its execution. Locally roasted Octane Coffee is good, one of the only alternatives in the airport to Starbucks and Seattle's Best. Sandwiches like "The Big Peach" on bread from locally-renound Holeman and Finch, with ham, brie, and Georgia peaches. Wine and local beers, and even Buford Highway–inspired pho. However, all food is pre-made (not even on site) and served cafeteria style, so expect dry biscuits and limp salads rather than high-quality Paula Deen dishes.
  • Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Gate D30). Excellent burgers; you might even say they're good enough to die for. Good selection of craft beers and a full bar.
  • Terrapin Brewery (Concourse D). Locally brewed craft beer from nearby Athens, Georgia

Concourse E[edit]

Except for the outstanding One Flew South, food and drink options in Concourse E are generally unremarkable.

  • Blue Moon Brewhouse (Concourse E).
  • Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli (Concourse E).
  • One Flew South (Concourse E center; from the escalators, look left),  +1 404-816-3464. Daily 11AM-10PM. One of the best-rated cocktail bars in the city, this part-Japanese part-Southern restaurant is tucked away in a primarily international terminal. It's worth going out of your way for, though, as their cocktails are expertly constructed; the wine list is similarly extensive and includes a few sakes. Bring your appetite, too, or you might miss trying the thyme roasted pork belly, fresh sushi, or salmon hot pot. If you're concerned about your wallet, order carefully lest you spend $20-30 on sushi and still leave hungry. Cocktails $15, glass of wine or sake $9-24, beer $6-11+. Appetizers $7-14, mains $14-29, sushi $9-16.
  • Sojourner's Cafe (Concourse E).

Concourse F[edit]

  • Ecco (Concourse F).
  • French Meadow Bakery & Café (Concourse F).
  • The Original El Taco (Concourse C, F).
  • The Pecan Bistro (Concourse F).
  • The Varsity (Concourse F),  +1 404-838-1001. Famous as the world's largest drive-in restaurant, the Varsity is a favorite of many locals for chili cheese hotdogs, burgers, and onion rings. An equal number of people dislike its greasy, low quality food. If you don't want to risk the heartburn, try the F.O. (Frosted Orange, a sort of orange creamsicle slushie). Breakfast is also available, unique among Varsity locations.

International Terminal[edit]

There is only one restaurant outside of security in the International Terminal:

  • Sweet Auburn Market (International Terminal, departures level),  +1-404-492-5755. Daily 6AM-11PM.

Buy[edit]

The usual duty free and souvenir stores abound throughout the airport

Connect[edit]

Free Wi-Fi is available through the airport on the "ATL Free Wi-Fi" network.

Cope[edit]

There are multiple dog parks. The main one is outside the Domestic South Terminal from doors W1 and W2 (follow the signs towards the SkyTrain, then go left around the SkyTrain's building towards ground transportation buses); it's very clean, and has some cute dog statues made from scrap metal. Smaller ones are outside Domestic North Terminal from door LN2, and outside the arrivals level of International Terminal from door A1. All of these are outside of security, so if you're continuing on another flight, you'll have to go through the security screening to get back in. For service animals only, there are also indoor relief areas near gates T7, A10, B33, C19, D16, and E14.

There are three interfaith chapels available. The third floor Atrium chapel (outside security) is open from 7AM to 11PM daily. Two chapels in Concourses E and F (inside security) are open 24 hours. There are scheduled Catholic, non-denominational Christian, and Muslim (Jumu'ah prayer) services a couple times throughout the week.

For mothers with infants, there are four nursing stations (near gates T7, B5, D43, and F5). These small pods have bench seating, a small diaper-changing table and an electric outlet for pumps.

Sleep[edit]

The airport never closes, and you won't get kicked out for sleeping on the chairs or probably even the floor (although you may be asked to move). But for comfort reasons, it's best to avoid that except as a last resort.

There are quite a few hotels near the airport, but your only option within the airport is Minute Suites (Gate B15),  +1 404-762-7660. Their 7-foot-by-8-foot rooms feature a daybed couch, HDTV, and an office desk, but no showers. At $42 for an hour and $10.50 per additional 15 minutes ($8 after 2 hours), it's not going to be cheaper than a hotel for an overnight stay, but if you just want to rest between flights, this probably beats sleeping upright sitting in a chair. Free for 30 minutes for breastfeeding mothers. Discounts for military and airline employees.

Hotels[edit]

Connected by transit[edit]

Nearby[edit]

  • 3 Hilton Atlanta Airport1031 Virginia Ave (Shuttle available from airport),  +1-404-767-9000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Wi-Fi free in public areas, $14.95 wireless and wired in guest rooms. from $92 Parking $14/overnight, valet $20/overnight. Pets allowed (up to 75lbs, $50 fee).
  • 4 Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport-North3415 Norman Berry Dr (Shuttle available from airport),  +1-404-768-8484. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Wi-Fi free. from $94 Parking $4/hourly, $16/daily, valet $18/daily. Pets allowed (up to 50lbs, $75 fee 1–6 nights).
  • 5 Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel1 Hartsfield Centre Pkwy (Shuttle available from airport),  +1-404-209-9999, toll-free: +1-800-468-3571. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 12PM. From $113/night. Wi-Fi free in public areas, $14.95 wireless and wired in guest rooms. Parking $4/hourly, $16/daily, valet $18/daily.

Nearby[edit]

Nearby communities include Hapeville, East Point, College Park and Southeast Atlanta in general.

Routes through Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Downtown AtlantaCollege Park  N MARTA Gold icon.pngMARTA Red icon.png S  END


This huge airport travel guide to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a usable article. It has information on flights and ground transportation as well as some complete entries for food and beverage options at the airport. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.