Atlanta Airport Guide: What to Know Before You Fly (2024)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is one of the world's busiest airports, with tens of millions of passengers traveling through its terminals every year. Located south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the airport offers flights to 150 domestic and 75 international destinations, with an average of 2,700 arrivals and departures every day. The airport is expansive — the terminal complex covers more than 150 acres and has a total of 192 gates — so it can be overwhelming for both seasoned and first-time fliers. Because it's one of the world's busiest hubs, you'll want to arrive early to get through check-in and security lines and allow plenty of time for your layover (especially if you are traveling internationally). Whether you're at ATL for a layover or starting your journey here, we've rounded up the most important information to know before visiting the Atlanta airport, starting with an Atlanta airport map.

Atlanta Airport Guide: What to Know Before You Fly (1)

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Atlanta Airport Map

Atlanta Airport Guide: What to Know Before You Fly (2)

Atlanta Airport Terminals

At either end of the airport, you'll find the domestic terminal and the international terminal; between those are concourses T, A, B, C, D, E, and F. The Plane Train connects all the terminals and concourses so travelers can easily transfer between sections. Throughout the airport, there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, and services, with everything from local eateries to duty-free stores.

The domestic terminal has a number of places to grab food and shop, including national chains like Starbucks, TGI Fridays, Popeyes, and more, plus newsstands, a USO lounge, an interfaith chapel, and a pet relief area.

Concourse T has three airline lounges (for American, Delta, and United), several dining locations including Bojangles, Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Cafe, and Subway, a nursing station, service animal relief area, a Minute Suites, newsstands, and more.

Concourse A has over 20 eateries and bars, including P.F. Chang's, SweetWater Brewing Co., Dunkin', and more, and there is a Delta Sky Club. Services include a service animal relief area and currency exchange, plus there are shops like Tumi, MAC Cosmetics, and a CVS Pharmacy kiosk, just to name a few.

Concourse B similarly has plenty of shopping and dining outlets to choose from, including Blue Moon Brewhouse, Asian Chao, Peet's Coffee, Kiehl's, Sunglass Icon, and more. There is a Delta Sky Club, and other services include a nursing station, a service animal relief area, and a Minute Suites.

Concourse C has Starbucks, Jersey Mike's Subs, Chick-fil-A, and LongHorn Steakhouse, among other eateries, plus shops like InMotion Entertainment. There is no airline lounge in this concourse, and other services include a service animal relief area and a smoking lounge.

Concourse D restaurants include the Atlanta Braves All Star Grill, Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys, and more; the concourse also has stores like Brookstone, The Market by Food & Wine, and Johnston & Murphy. There is also a Delta Sky Club. A nursing station, service animal relief area, and currency exchange are available in this concourse, too.

Concourse E dining and shopping locations include The Bar, Best Buy Express, Headphone Hub, and more. There is no airline lounge in this concourse, and there is a nursing station, service animal relief area, and interfaith chapel.

The international terminal and Concourse F offer duty-free shopping plus stores like Tumi and Brookstone. Dining options include Pei Wei Asian Diner and Starbucks, and there are two lounges: a Delta Sky Club and The Club at ATL (which offers entry to Priority Pass holders and paying customers). This area also has an interfaith chapel, a nursing station, and a service animal relief area.

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ATL Airlines

Domestic airlines servicing the airport include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Boutique Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, which claims the airport as a major hub. International airlines serving ATL include Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Atlanta Airport Parking and Ground Transportation

There are several parking lots at the Atlanta airport, with rates per day ranging from $10 for park and ride to $36 for hourly lots. You can find the current status of the parking lots and see which have availability on the ATL website. There are several off-site, privately owned airport parking providers, too, for those who don't mind parking a bit farther away — a full list is available on the airport's website.

If you're not driving, taxis, Uber, and Lyft can take you to or from the airport, or you can opt for a shared ride shuttle. ATL Airport Shuttle, Airport Perimeter Connection, Atlanta Hotels Connection, Galleria Direct, Inc., Greater Atlanta Shuttle, Inc., North Express Airport Shuttle, and Train Xpress offer transportation to and from Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead. There are also shuttle services for nearby counties and states within the region.

You can also take MARTA (the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) to the airport's domestic terminal via the Red and Gold lines. If you're departing from the international terminal, you can either check in from the domestic terminal (if your airline allows), or take the free shuttle to the international terminal. You can also take a Greyhound to the airport from some cities.

The Rental Car Center, which has several car rental companies, is connected to the airport via SkyTrain. The SkyTrain also links a parking deck, the Georgia International Convention Center, Gateway Center Arena, and several airport gateway hotels.

Atlanta Airport Hotels

There are 30 Atlanta airport hotels, including the Atlanta Airport Marriott, The Westin Atlanta Airport, Kimpton Overland Hotel, and more. Many of these hotels also offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport.

Atlanta Airport Guide: What to Know Before You Fly (2024)


How do I navigate through Atlanta airport? ›

To swiftly navigate between terminals and concourses, travelers should rely on the efficient Plane Train, an automated people mover designed for convenience. Given its reputation as one of the world's busiest airports, travelers should allocate extra time for their journey, especially during peak travel times.

What is the first thing I need to do when I get to the airport? ›

Check in. Once you enter the airport, the first thing you should do is check in (if you haven't done so already online). Many airlines allow you to check in online 24 hours before your flight.

What are the steps in airport before flight? ›

Airport Procedures on Day of Departure (From Departure to Arrival)
  1. STEP 1 Airport Procedure. If you use online check-in, there is no need to go to the check-in counter. ...
  2. STEP 2 Checking in baggage. ...
  3. STEP 3 Security Check. ...
  4. STEP 4 Immigration. ...
  5. STEP 5 Boarding and Disembarking. ...
  6. STEP 6 Immigration. ...
  7. STEP 7 Baggage Claim.

How early should I arrive at Atlanta airport for an international flight? ›

Passengers should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to scheduled domestic departures and three hours prior to international departures. Wait times at the screening checkpoint vary throughout the day.

How long is the TSA line in Atlanta? ›

TSA screening times vary, depending on departure times. Mid-day; they range from 20-30 minutes, but you can do a same-day check of screening line times at:

What do you have to take out of your bag at airport security? ›

Remove the 3-1-1 liquids bag and place it in the bin. Ensure pockets are empty (keys, tissues, currency, wallets, cell phones, etc.) and remove bulky jewelry (valuable items can be placed in carry-on). Remove your shoes and place them directly on the X-ray belt.

Do I need to print my boarding pass? ›

Depending on the requirements of airport authorities, you will need to present a mobile boarding pass, a paper boarding pass printed out by you or a paper boarding pass picked up from the check-in desk.

Do you need to check in at the airport if you checked in online? ›

I have checked in online and have no hold baggage, do I need to go to check-in? If you have checked in and have a printed or mobile boarding pass and are not checking in any hold luggage you can go straight to security and through to the departure lounge.

Can I carry a water bottle in flight? ›

However, you can carry packaged drinking water in bottles of up to 1 liter in your carry-on luggage. Just remember that any liquids, like water or other drinks, must be in small containers of 100 ml or less. But don't worry! You can still take your empty reusable water bottle through security.

What are the 7 steps of flight? ›

The specific stages of an aircraft's flight may vary, but the most common include taxiing, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, approach and landing.

What to put in a tray at airport security? ›

Screening preparation

Take laptops and electrical items out of their bag/cover and place them separately in a tray. Keep coins, keys, wallets, mobile phones and other small items in your coat or hand baggage or place them directly into the tray. Place your hand baggage and coat into a tray..

How do I check in for my flight? ›

Check in online before arriving to airport

You can usually check in online starting 24 hours before departure. If checking luggage, you will need to bring your luggage to a staffed counter or checked luggage station once you arrive at the airport. Benefits of online check-in: Avoid potential check-in lines at airport.

How long does it take to check in at Atlanta airport? ›

Exceptions Minimum Check-In Times by Airport
Atlanta, GA (ATL)45 minutes30 minutes
Aspen, CO (ASE)45 minutes45 minutes
Austin Texas45 minutes30 minutes
Baltimore, MD (BWI)45 minutes30 minutes
45 more rows

Can you bring food through TSA? ›

Yes, you may pack food in your carry-on or checked bag, but remember all food must undergo x-ray screening. Foods that are liquids, gels, or aerosols must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule. TSA officers make the final decision on whether certain items are permitted into the secured areas of the airport.

Is ATL airport easy to navigate? ›

As long as you're aware of which terminal you're departing from or that you have the ability to pass through the alternative terminal, navigating ATL can be a breeze. Even if you find yourself at the wrong end of the airport, the free shuttle bus can get you where you need to go in a reasonable 12 minutes.

What is the difference between north and south terminals at Atlanta Airport? ›

Delta Air Lines occupies the South Terminal with its own curbside check-in and baggage claim area. Other domestic airlines, such as Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue Airways, operate out of the North Terminal with a baggage claim area and check-in facilities.

How to get through Atlanta Airport faster? ›

Fast Track provides a priority check-in facility with a separate lane for Fast-Track users. Fast-track counters offer express check-in and luggage check-in so you do not worry about a thing while traveling.

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