International Summer Plans Take Travelers through Airport’s ‘New Front Door’
As students and faculty depart for the summer for study abroad, work abroad, research or to return home to foreign soil, they will be among some of the first travelers to depart from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s new International Terminal.
As of Wednesday, May 16, the 12-gate addition will separate out travelers with final destinations out of the country from those who are destined for domestic locales. The opening of the terminal brings a “new front door” that should offer a more streamlined travel experience, and passengers should expect changes from their experience in the past.
“The [current] baggage re-check process is very unpopular and can take as long as 90 minutes,” said Al Snedeker, public relations manager for the airport. “That’s going away for international passengers who are coming and staying in Atlanta.”
Those driving to the airport should pay attention to signage on I-75/85 southbound, as the international terminal is accessed via a new exit off I-75 rather than the airport’s current I-85 exit. Regardless of connections, if the final destination on a ticket is international, travelers should plan to split to I-75 and check in at the international terminal. New parking accompanies the terminal for those leaving a car behind.
If taking MARTA, passengers will still to take the train southbound to the Airport station. There, a 24-hour complimentary shuttle will take them from ground transportation at the domestic side of the airport to the front door of the international terminal. This shuttle will also transport from the international to domestic terminal, for those arriving in Atlanta from international flights and wanting to take MARTA home. Travelers should budget an additional 30 minutes of travel time if using the shuttle.
Concessions at Concourse F, home to the new international gates, will include many local Atlanta destinations such as Sweet Auburn Market Cafe, The Varsity, El Taco and The Pecan. The terminal will also offer a common use club and sleeping accommodations for short-term rentals.
“People will be pleased when they see it’s a world-class facility,” Snedeker said. The terminal even houses an art program with several pieces throughout the space, whose installations “inform the building and create a sense of place.”
The terminal is built to LEED silver specifications and will apply for certification once open. For more about the terminal and to inform travel plans, visit the airport’s website.