Traveling between terminals at a major airport like Atlanta can be daunting. With multiple concourses and terminals that seem like they’re miles apart, it’s easy to get turned around. If you’re wondering how to get from the domestic to the international terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, this guide will walk you through it step-by-step.
If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Take the Plane Train from the domestic terminal to the International Terminal. The ride takes just a few minutes and trains depart every 2-3 minutes during peak times.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to seamlessly transfer from the domestic concourses to the International Terminal at ATL, including navigation tips, transit options, airport services, and more.
Understanding the Layout of Atlanta Airport
Atlanta Airport, also known as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is one of the busiest airports in the world. With its vast size and multiple terminals, navigating through the airport can be quite a challenge.
To make your travel experience smoother, it is essential to understand the layout of the airport.
The domestic concourses (A-E)
The domestic concourses, labeled A-E, are where you will find most domestic flights at Atlanta Airport. Each concourse is connected to the main terminal building and offers a wide range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and lounges.
These concourses are easily accessible by walking or by utilizing the airport’s complimentary shuttle service.
The concourses are designed in a linear layout, with Concourse T located at the west end and Concourse A at the east end. Moving from one concourse to another is relatively straightforward, as they are connected by walkways.
However, it is important to note that the distance between concourses can be significant, so allow ample time to get from one gate to another.
The International Terminal
The International Terminal at Atlanta Airport is located separately from the domestic concourses. It is a modern and spacious facility that accommodates both international arrivals and departures. If you are traveling internationally, you will need to make your way to the International Terminal.
To access the International Terminal from the domestic concourses, you can take the Plane Train. The Plane Train is an automated people mover that transports passengers between the domestic and international terminals.
It operates 24/7 and is a quick and convenient way to travel between the two areas of the airport.
The Plane Train
The Plane Train is a vital transportation system within Atlanta Airport. It runs on a loop and makes stops at all domestic concourses, as well as the International Terminal. The train arrives every few minutes, ensuring minimal wait times for passengers.
When using the Plane Train, it is important to pay attention to the announcements and signage, as they will indicate which concourse or terminal the train is heading towards. Additionally, the train is equipped with digital screens that display the next stop, making it easy to navigate within the airport.
Taking the Plane Train to International Terminal
Locating the Plane Train
When it comes to navigating the busy Atlanta Airport, finding your way from the domestic to international terminal can be a bit overwhelming. However, the airport provides a convenient solution in the form of the Plane Train.
The Plane Train is an automated people mover system that transports passengers between terminals within the airport. To locate the Plane Train, simply follow the signs that say “Plane Train” or “International Terminal” once you have cleared security in the domestic terminal.
For more information, you can visit the official Atlanta Airport website: https://www.atl.com/
Buying a Plane Train ticket
Fortunately, you won’t need to purchase a separate ticket to ride the Plane Train. The train is free of charge and available to all passengers, regardless of their airline or ticket type. This makes it a convenient and cost-effective option for navigating between terminals.
Simply proceed to the designated train platform and wait for the next train to arrive.
Boarding and riding the train
Once you have arrived at the designated train platform, wait for the doors to open before boarding. The doors are typically marked with signs indicating the direction of travel. Once inside the train, find a comfortable spot to stand or sit.
The Plane Train offers both seated and standing areas to accommodate passengers of all preferences.
As the train begins to move, hold on to the handrails or grab handles for safety. The train can sometimes accelerate or decelerate quickly, so it’s important to secure yourself during the ride. Enjoy the smooth and efficient journey as the train swiftly transports you to the international terminal.
Disembarking at the International Terminal
When the train arrives at the international terminal, listen for any announcements or look for signs indicating the terminal name. Once the doors open, exit the train and proceed towards the international terminal.
If you have any doubts or need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask airport staff for directions.
Remember, the Plane Train operates on a continuous loop, so if you accidentally miss your stop, you can simply wait for the next train to return to your desired terminal.
Navigating the International Terminal
Arriving at the terminal
When arriving at the international terminal at Atlanta Airport, it is important to follow the signs and directions to ensure a smooth transition. The international terminal is located separately from the domestic terminal, so it is essential to know where to go.
As you approach the terminal, keep an eye out for signs indicating the international flights. Once you arrive, you will find a variety of amenities and services to make your journey more comfortable.
Checking in and dropping bags
After arriving at the international terminal, the next step is to check-in for your flight and drop off any checked bags. Most airlines have dedicated check-in counters for international flights, which are usually located near the entrance of the terminal.
It is recommended to check-in online before arriving at the airport to save time. If you need to drop off checked bags, head to the designated baggage drop area. Be sure to have your passport and boarding pass ready for the check-in process.
Going through security and customs
Once you have checked in and dropped off your bags, you will need to go through security and customs. Follow the signs to the security checkpoint, where you will need to present your boarding pass and passport for verification.
Remember to remove any liquids, laptops, and other electronic devices from your carry-on bags before going through the security screening. After passing through security, proceed to the customs area. Here, you may need to present your passport, customs declaration form, and answer any questions from the customs officers.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of your destination country to ensure a smooth process.
Finding your gate
Once you have cleared security and customs, it’s time to find your gate. The international terminal at Atlanta Airport has a variety of shops, restaurants, and lounges, so you can take your time and explore before heading to your gate.
Look for the departure boards or consult your boarding pass for the gate number. Follow the signs and directions to your gate, and be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask the airport staff for help.
Airport Services and Amenities
When traveling through the Atlanta Airport, there are several services and amenities available to make your journey more comfortable and convenient. From food and shopping options to free WiFi and currency exchange services, here’s a guide to what you can expect at the airport.
Food and Shopping
The Atlanta Airport offers a wide variety of dining options and shopping outlets for travelers to enjoy. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
From popular fast-food chains to upscale dining experiences, the airport has something for everyone. Additionally, there are numerous shops where you can pick up last-minute travel essentials, souvenirs, or even luxury goods.
So, don’t worry if you forgot to pack something – the airport has got you covered!
Staying connected while traveling is essential, and the Atlanta Airport understands this. That’s why they offer free WiFi throughout the terminals, allowing you to browse the internet, check your emails, or catch up on your favorite TV shows while waiting for your flight.
Simply connect to the airport’s WiFi network, and you’re good to go!
If you’re traveling internationally and need to exchange currency, the Atlanta Airport provides currency exchange services. Located in various areas of the terminals, these services make it convenient for you to obtain the local currency of your destination.
Keep in mind that exchange rates may vary, so it’s a good idea to compare rates before making a transaction.
Children’s Play Areas
Traveling with kids can sometimes be challenging, but the Atlanta Airport aims to make it a little easier. The airport features designated play areas for children, equipped with toys, games, and comfortable seating for parents.
These play areas provide a safe and fun environment for children to burn off some energy before or after a long flight.
For those who need a quiet space for reflection or prayer, the Atlanta Airport offers a prayer room. This serene area is open to individuals of all faiths and provides a peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the terminals.
Take a moment to relax and find inner peace before continuing your journey.
If you have a layover or need accommodation near the airport, there are several hotels conveniently located nearby. These hotels offer comfortable rooms, shuttle services to and from the airport, and various amenities to ensure a pleasant stay.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a luxurious experience, you’ll find a hotel that suits your needs in close proximity to the Atlanta Airport.
Traveling between the domestic and international terminals at Atlanta Airport is straightforward once you understand the airport’s layout. The Plane Train provides a quick and easy connection between concourses in just a few minutes.
By following the tips in this guide, you’ll know exactly how to navigate the airport efficiently. You’ll be able to locate the Plane Train, ride to the International Terminal, check-in, and find your departure gate with time to spare before your flight.
Safe travels from ATL! With this comprehensive guide, you’ll breeze through the airport on your journey to international destinations.