Connecting Flights In Atlanta: A Detailed Guide

Flying through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and need to catch a connecting flight? With over 250 domestic destinations served from ATL, odds are you’ll need to hustle from one gate to the next during your layover.

Thankfully, Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport, so they’ve got the connecting flight process down to a science. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know to catch your connection with minimal stress.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the quick answer to connecting in Atlanta: Give yourself at least 1 hour to connect between concourses, and at least 30 minutes between gates in the same concourse. Use the Plane Train to travel between concourses.

Check flight info on screens, listen for announcements, and ask gate agents if you have any questions.

Check Your Departure Gate in Advance

When connecting flights in Atlanta, it’s crucial to check your departure gate in advance to ensure a smooth travel experience. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, so knowing where you need to go will save you time and potential stress.

Use Online Resources to Find Gate Locations

One of the easiest ways to find your departure gate is by using online resources. Many airlines have their own mobile apps or websites that provide up-to-date gate information. Simply enter your flight details, and the app or website will display your gate number.

This can be incredibly helpful, especially if you have a tight connection and need to make your way quickly through the airport.

In addition to airline resources, there are also third-party websites and apps that offer gate location information. These platforms often provide maps of the airport terminals and highlight the locations of various gates. Some popular options include FlightAware, FlightView, and GateGuru.

These websites and apps can be accessed on your smartphone or computer, making it easy to check your gate even before you arrive at the airport.

Check Gate Changes Frequently

Gate changes are not uncommon, especially in large airports like Atlanta. It’s essential to stay updated on any changes to your departure gate, as it may differ from the initial information you received.

Airlines typically announce gate changes through their mobile apps, websites, or on airport display screens.

To avoid any confusion or last-minute rushes, make it a habit to check for gate changes frequently. Set up notifications on your smartphone to receive alerts about any updates to your flight. Additionally, pay attention to the airport announcements and keep an eye out for any signs or displays that indicate gate changes.

Remember, being proactive and staying informed about your departure gate will help you navigate the airport more efficiently and ensure a stress-free travel experience.

Getting Between Concourses

One of the biggest challenges when connecting flights in Atlanta is navigating between the different concourses. With over 7 concourses and thousands of passengers passing through each day, it’s important to know the most efficient ways to get from one concourse to another.

Ride the Plane Train

One of the easiest and quickest ways to travel between concourses is by riding the Plane Train. This automated train system runs on a loop and connects all the concourses, as well as the baggage claim area. The train arrives every few minutes, so you’ll never have to wait long to catch a ride.

It’s a great option if you’re short on time or have difficulty walking long distances.

Did you know? The Plane Train is one of the busiest automated people movers in the world, carrying millions of passengers each year. It’s a convenient and efficient way to get around the sprawling Atlanta airport.

Don’t Walk Between Concourses

While it’s technically possible to walk between some of the concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it’s not recommended. The airport is massive, and walking between concourses can take a significant amount of time.

Additionally, there are security checkpoints that you’ll have to pass through, which can further delay your journey.

Pro tip: If you have a tight connection, it’s best to rely on the Plane Train or other transportation options provided by the airport. This will ensure that you reach your gate on time and avoid unnecessary stress.

For more information on navigating the Atlanta airport, you can visit the official Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport website. They provide detailed maps and helpful resources to make your journey as smooth as possible.

Minimum Connection Times

When it comes to connecting flights in Atlanta, it is important to be aware of the minimum connection times set by the airport. These times are designed to ensure that passengers have enough time to make their connecting flights without feeling rushed or stressed.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, so it is crucial to understand the minimum connection times to avoid any potential issues.

1 Hour Between Concourses

For passengers who have to change concourses in Atlanta, the minimum connection time is typically set at 1 hour. This allows travelers to navigate through the airport, go through security if necessary, and reach their next gate without feeling rushed.

Keep in mind that this time frame can vary depending on the airlines and specific circumstances, so it is always a good idea to check with the airline or consult the airport’s official website for the most up-to-date information.

During this 1-hour window, passengers can also take advantage of various amenities offered by the airport. From dining options to shopping opportunities, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport strives to make the layover experience as enjoyable as possible.

So, why not grab a bite to eat or browse through the duty-free shops while waiting for your next flight?

30 Minutes Within a Concourse

If your connecting flight is within the same concourse, the minimum connection time is typically set at 30 minutes. This shorter time frame is possible because passengers do not have to go through security again. Instead, they can simply walk from one gate to another within the same concourse.

However, it is important to note that even though the minimum connection time is 30 minutes, it is always wise to allow yourself some extra time in case of unexpected delays or long distances between gates.

It is also worth mentioning that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has a well-designed layout, making it relatively easy to navigate between concourses. The airport provides clear signage, moving walkways, and frequent shuttle services to assist passengers in reaching their next gate efficiently.

Navigating Inside a Concourse

When connecting flights in Atlanta, navigating inside a concourse can seem daunting due to the airport’s size. However, with a few simple tips, you can easily find your way around and make your connection stress-free.

Follow Signs and Screens

One of the first things you should do when inside a concourse is to pay attention to the signs and screens. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has clear signage throughout the concourses, directing passengers to various gates, amenities, and services.

These signs are designed to guide you to your destination efficiently. Additionally, make sure to keep an eye on the flight information screens, which display gate numbers, departure times, and any gate changes.

By following the signs and screens, you’ll be able to navigate through the concourse with ease.

Allow Time Based on Distance

Another important aspect of navigating inside a concourse is to allow yourself enough time based on the distance between your arrival gate and departure gate. Hartsfield-Jackson has seven concourses, and depending on your flight routes, you may need to move between different concourses.

It’s essential to consider the walking distance and the time it will take to reach your next gate. If you have a tight connection, it’s advisable to inform a staff member or use a courtesy cart to expedite your movement.

Remember, allowing enough time between flights is crucial to avoid any unnecessary stress.

For more information on navigating inside a concourse at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, you can visit their official website at https://www.atl.com/.

Tips for Short Connections

Tell Flight Attendants If You Have a Tight Connection

When you have a tight connection at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, it’s important to let the flight attendants know. They can assist you in making arrangements and provide you with information on the fastest way to reach your next gate.

Flight attendants are experienced professionals who understand the challenges of tight connections, so don’t hesitate to ask for their help. They may be able to communicate with the ground staff to ensure that you have a smooth transition between flights.

Carry On Your Luggage

If you have a short connection in Atlanta, it’s best to carry on your luggage instead of checking it in. This will save you valuable time waiting at the baggage claim and reduce the risk of your luggage getting lost or delayed.

Additionally, carrying on your luggage allows you to have more control over your belongings and ensures that you won’t have to wait for your bags to be unloaded from the plane. Remember to pack efficiently and adhere to the airline’s carry-on size and weight restrictions to avoid any issues during security checks.

Be Ready to Exit Quickly

When your flight lands in Atlanta, be prepared to exit the plane quickly. Gather your belongings, double-check your seat pocket, and stand up as soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off. Exiting the plane promptly will give you a head start in navigating the airport and reaching your next gate.

Familiarize yourself with the airport layout beforehand to avoid getting lost. You can find maps and information on the airport’s official website https://www.atl.com/. Being ready to exit quickly is crucial to ensure that you have enough time to make your connection.

By following these tips, you can maximize your chances of successfully making a short connection at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Remember to stay calm and ask for assistance when needed. Safe travels!


Making a connecting flight in Atlanta doesn’t have to be stressful if you prepare in advance, move efficiently between concourses, and allow sufficient time to reach your departure gate. With its easy-to-navigate layout and frequent flight schedules, Atlanta does a great job accommodating connection traffic.

Just follow the tips in this guide, listen for announcements, and ask for help if you need it. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to your final destination.

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