Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lies 11km south of Atlanta city. It's a large, buzzing airport (the busiest in the world in 2014) and is America's main transport hub for Delta Airlines.
It has two terminals connected by seven parallel concourses:
The terminals and concourses are connected by an underground 'Transportation Mall', which passes under each the centre of each concourse.
Shuttle between terminals
You can walk between terminals and concourses, but the airside automated people mover, the Plane Train, will get you there quicker. It takes you to each terminal and concourse, allowing you to reach the furthest concourse within five minutes. You'll find stations in the centre of each concourse, and in baggage claim.
Note: if your gate is a very high number (more than 30) or low number (less than 3), you should allow extra time to walk to your gate from the train station as the concourses are very long.
Train to nearby amenities
The ATL SkyTrain is an elevated train takes you to the Rental Car Center in five minutes. It can also be used to access the two airport hotels and the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). Trains leave from the airport station in the Domestic Terminal every three minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes at off-peak times.
The quickest way into the city is with the Metropolitan Area Rapit Transit Authority (MARTA) public transport rail system. The Red and Gold Lines leave directly from the airport and will take you downtown to Five Points station (seven stops) in around 20 minutes. Trains run every 15-20 minutes.
Location: Airport station, Terminal North, lower level
Cost: USD 2.50 one-way
Gold line: 04:45-01:00 Mon-Fri, 06:00-01:00 Sat and Sun
Red line: 04:55-01:00 Mon-Fri, 05:50-20:50 Sat and Sun
It can be more convenient to take a taxi when you're travelling in a group or with a lot of luggage. Journey time to downtown Atlanta is around 20-25 minutes and, for extra peace of mind, the fares to downtown, midtown and Buckhead are fixed.
Location: Outside the terminal building, before security, Yellow Bus aisle
Cost: USD 30 to Downtown (plus 15-20% tip and USD 2 for each extra passenger)
Last-minute gate changes are often cited as one of the biggest issues at this airport. Don't rely on what is printed on your boarding pass. Keep checking the boards for your gate information.
If you have an extended layover and want to get ahead of jet lag, get a room at the Minute Suites in Concourse B. Each suite has a daybed sofa, fresh pillows, blankets, HDTV and Wi-Fi. Rates start at 38 USD for one hour and 9.50 USD for every 15 minutes in the first hour. Overnight rates are 130 USD. Reservations must be made online or over the phone (404) 762-7660.
Location: Concourse B, airside, near gate 16
If you prefer a full-service hotel, there are two connected to the airport via the SkyTrain: Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway (from 129 USD per night) and the Springhill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway (from 119 USD per night).
There are three different security checkpoints: the Main, North, and South checkpoints. For the shortest wait time, head to the South checkpoint, where the waits are reportedly 25% shorter.
There is also a lesser-known checkpoint with six lanes by the American Airlines check-in counter in the North checkpoint.
While in the South checkpoint try the security lanes past Delta ticketing and the Brooks Brothers store.
Atlanta Airport is a pioneer in powering your devices. You'll find a network of 'interactive charging walls' throughout the terminals, installed by Monster Media. You can even use them to take selfies while you wait.
If you’re departing from Concourse T, enter the airport through the side security lanes (in either the north or south checkpoints) and then walk to the T gates. This route is faster than going through the main security checkpoint and taking the tram.
The airport is a hub for Delta Airlines, so most lounges cater to its customers:
Available to all:
Available to members of the military and families:
Delta Sky Clubs (USD 50 or free to members):
You'll feel lucky you flew through ATL when you find this place. Ranked by some as the best airport restaurant in the world, it serves 'Southernational' cuisine, inspired by world travels, prepared with premium local ingredients. Expect exceptional sushi, juicy hanger steak, delicious pulled duck confit sandwich, and expertly crafted cocktails.
Domestic Terminal, after security, Concourse E, main level, towards Gate E26
Pioneering ATL is trying to make air travel a little less stressful by dotting relaxing live music around the airport. It employs fifteen or so musicians playing saxophone, violin, piano and more, just when you need a little time out. You'll find them in the Domestic Terminal (atrium and near security queues), and in the International Terminal concourses.
If you want to choose your music, head to Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, after security, located on Concourse C (Gate C42). You can select your favourite jazz, pop and R&B music, played through a real jukebox, as well as a full bar and vintage album covers lining the walls.
ATL airport offers a vibrant airport art program, which includes artifacts related to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, as well as pieces on loan from the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (including a towering 33-foot dinosaur skeleton). If you get a chance, walk between Concourses A and T to see the permanent collection of twenty contemporary Zimbabwean sculptures.
If you’re getting in after 23:00 and want something to eat, your best bet is to head to the IHOP Express. It serves breakfast, lunch items and signature sandwiches. Guests like the attentive service, freshly made food and the coffee refill. You can get your food prepared to take out as well.
Main Terminal, atrium SW, before security
Hours: 24 hours
There are no public showers in the airport, but you can find some in these executive lounges:
Get your shoes shined at Mastershine & Heel. It has two locations in the airport:
Concourse A, after security, near Gate 20
Concourse B, after security, near Gate 17
You'll find kid's play areas in the International Terminal. There's also a 33-foot model of a dinosaur in the Airport Atrium.
International Terminal, airside, near gates A8 and A23
There's a dedicated Rental Car Center (RCC) building outside the main terminal buildings. Here, you'll find customer services, car pick-up and return, fuelling and maintenance facilities from 13 rental agencies.
To get there, take the five-minute journey on the free ATL SkyTrain shuttle.
Rental agencies operating in the RCC:
for access to departure times, security waiting times, Airport Wi-Fis, lounge access and more Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport