Flying through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is not for the faint of heart.
In 2021 alone, a whopping 75 million passengers flew through ATL – making it the busiest airport in the entire world.
So if you’re looking for tips on how to make it through security (without missing your flight) or simply want to know where to find the hidden gems – we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to surviving ATL.
Know The Layout
ATL has seven concourses – A, B, C, D, E, F, and T.
F is the international concourse and has its own entrance and exit.
Each concourse is about a half-mile long and you can either walk or use the Atlanta Plane Train – which runs every two minutes.
If you have a connecting flight – make sure you give yourself at LEAST an hour to navigate through the airport – especially if you’ve never been there before.
While the airport may not be the largest in square footage – the sheer number of people make it a logistical challenge.
And security is an absolute nightmare – worse than usual – just a heads up.
Charge Your Phone
The free airport Wi-Fi makes it easy to get work done (or just browse the internet) without wasting your data.
And in case you don’t have your own portable charger, you’ll find charging stations all throughout the airport – and even at some seats while you wait to board.
Just make sure you don’t get hacked.
Take A Nap – In Privacy
Whether your flight is delayed – or you just want to get some shuteye without strangers gawking at you – the sleep pods are a great option.
Located in Concourse B near Gate B16, the “Minute Suites” are an option for weary travelers to rest in peace and privacy– but they aren’t cheap.
One hour will cost you $48, and an extended 8-hour stay after 8pm costs $175.
The standard rooms come with DirecTV and Netflix along with a daybed that sleeps two.
At least you know the option is there should you want to utilize it.
Eat And Shop
ATL boasts having over 300 restaurants, shops, and services!
While they have fan-favorites like Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne’s – sometimes you just want something different.
If you’re looking to try traditional Southern cuisine, Paschal’s in Concourse B has everything from fried chicken and catfish to mac n’ cheese and southern veggies.
Or if you’d prefer fine dining – check out One Flew South located in Concourse E.
From poké tacos to a roasted NY strip – having a decent meal beats greasy fast-food almost always.
Rest assured – if your plane is delayed and you’re stranded for a few hours – you won’t go hungry.
Enjoy The Art
One of the perks of flying through Atlanta is enjoying all the artwork on display (if that’s your thing).
And we’re not talking about a few abstract paintings hanging on the wall.
ATL hosts over 1,000 works of art in both permanent and rotating exhibits.
The most famous is “Flight Paths” – a 450-foot long underground experience complete with vibrant colors and simulated rain showers.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
“Perhaps the most impressive installation at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is Steve Waldeck’s “Flight Paths.” The 450-foot long underground experience was envisioned by Waldeck in 2003, and brought to life in 2016, in the transportation mall between concourses A and B. It includes, among other things, a simulated rain shower complete with lightning and thunder, as immersive colors, sounds and moods are cast against shapes hung from the ceiling.”
Definitely a must-see if you have the time!
While Atlanta can be a fun airport if you know how to navigate it – it’s also full of violent panhandlers and vagrants.
While the panhandlers used to remain outdoors, as of late, they’ve made their way inside– and with increased aggression.
There have even been reports of travelers being attacked and punched in the face…
…it’s also common to see the homeless sleeping (and urinating) in the airport.
So make sure you use common sense when flying through ATL and stay safe!
Have you ever navigated Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport?
If so, do you have any top tips?
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