We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is located eight miles south of downtown Atlanta, serving as Delta Air Line’s primary hub and the world’s largest single-airline hub. ATL is also a major airport for American, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit. ATL has long been the world’s busiest airport for passengers, landings and takeoffs with multiple concourses spread across the airport, but just two terminals, the Domestic Terminal and the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. Due to the busy nature of this airport, the two CLEAR lanes are extremely helpful for getting through security quickly.
Though the airport is several miles south of Atlanta, the city’s rapid transit service, MARTA, runs directly to the airport from downtown Atlanta. While indoor pathways connect the seven concourses, a people mover dubbed the Plane Train runs regularly between concourses (and a shuttle connector for the International Terminal). Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout ATL.
One of the upsides of such a big airport like Hartsfield–Jackson is its dining options, not the least of which is the upscale One Flew South, one of the most award-winning airport restaurants in the world. Offering southern food with an international twist, One Flew South (Concourse E) features everything from southern-inspired meatloaf to a full sushi menu. Continuing with the upscale theme is Ecco (International Terminal) which features a variety of cheese and meat plates, pastas, pizzas and share plates. For something more casual and family-friendly, there’s Café Intermezzo (Concourse B), a European bistro known for its desserts but also offers a great selection of salads, sandwiches and pastas. A number of Atlanta restaurants call Hartsfield–Jackson home, including Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Concourse D and T), Varasano's Pizzeria (Concourse A), Paschal's Southern Cuisine (Concourse B) and El Taco (Concourse C and F). The advantage of ATL is that all of these restaurants (save for any of the International concourse restaurants) are easily accessible by the Plane Train.
Similar to ATL’s dining options, many of its drinking establishments are Atlanta-inspired, including token airport bars like Atlanta Hawks Bar & Grill (Concourse A) and Atlanta Braves All Star Grill (Concourse D). Some of your best places to have a drink at Atlanta Airport are some of its best restaurants, such as One Flew South and Ecco, both of which have an extensive drink menu with their own signature cocktails, craft beer and wine. New to ATL is Three Taverns Craft Beer (Concourse A), a local brewery which serves several of their beers on draft, and Atlanta Stillhouse (Concourse T) which features whiskey flights and their own custom cocktail creations. Belgian Beer Café (International Terminal) features an impressive list of Belgian beers.
Like many of the world’s busiest international airports, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has an airport art program. In ATL’s case, the program consists of more than 200 pieces of artwork, including rotating exhibits and scheduled performing arts, such as their holiday music series. If you have a few hours to kill, just beyond the doors of ATL is the Delta Flight Museum, located inside Delta's Atlanta Headquarters, featuring historic artifacts, planes and even a flight simulator. Perhaps most unique, at least for pet owners, is ATL’s 1,000-square-foot dog park just outside the main terminal. If you have a delay or long layover, Hartsfield-Jackson has Minute Suites in Concourse B, which comes outfitted with HDTV, a work station and a daybed available to be rented in hour increments. Lastly, XpresSpa has locations in Concourse A and C.
Being Delta’s largest hub, travelers will find no shortage of Delta Sky Club lounges, with locations in every ATL terminal. Additionally, there’s an American Airlines Admirals Club in Concourse T. If you want an alternative to the traditional airline lounge, The Club at ATL is an independent airport lounge where guests can purchase a day pass for $35. This comes with access to free snacks, drinks, TV, work stations and shower facilities. Additionally, TripIt users can easily access information and whereabouts of ATL’s airport lounges thanks to the new LoungeBuddy feature in the TripIt app.
Note: TripIt Pro’s LoungeBuddy perk will end on April 15, 2019. If you have redeemed your $25 credit, you will need to use it through the LoungeBuddy app. For information about when the credit expires and how to use it, please contact LoungeBuddy customer support.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.