While flying enables us to travel with a lot more efficiency and ease, it can still be a very stressful experience, especially when you are traveling through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is currently the busiest airport in the world. Sitting on a plane with a cold drink and a window view might be one of the most relaxing things you can do, but the hustle and bustle in the airport leading up to this point can easily be overwhelming.
Therefore, to put your mind at rest, we have put together a list of seven travel secrets for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in order to help you have an easy time of it as much as possible during your time at the airport, and make the most out of your journey.
Clear Security in Minutes
It is not always possible for you to arrive at the airport with hours to spare, sometimes due to awkward timings or even unexpected traffic, you might arrive at the airport with very little time to get through security, but you arrive and the queue for security is an hour long and you start to panic as you realize that you are probably going to miss you flight. Unfortunately, being such a busy airport, wait times of being up to or exceeding an hour are not uncommon, so it is best to be prepared, and there are a few ways you can do this.
1) You can sign up for TSA PreCheck, it costs $85 for a five-year membership, and it ensures that you get priority and can make it through security in around five minutes.
After you apply online, you simply head to an appointment in person at one of their designated centers, and after a ten-minute background check, you will be given membership and peace of mind.
2) Using the biometric system known as CLEAR, Atlanta is one of the few airports that offer this service. Like with PreCheck, you have to pay, and this option is $15 a month. All registration is done online, with the final step taken at the airport. CLEAR uses scans of your fingerprints and eyes, once you have been scanned then off you go through security, the whole process takes only a few minutes, which is handy for the times you are in a rush.
3) Atlanta International have created their own program that you can sign up for, it is a free service that emails you if there are any changes to the security waiting times. After you have provided the departure time of your flight, you will be kept up to date of the approximate waiting times so that you can plan your arrival accordingly.
Despite there being roughly thirty thousand parking spaces at the airport, due to the sheer number of travelers, there are still times when certain parking lots are full, or construction work is going on causing temporary closures. Fortunately, Atlanta International keep track on which parking lots are closed or full and continually update their website. So, if you are planning on taking your car to the airport be sure to check in advance which areas are open so you don’t waste any time driving round in circles. It is also worth noting, that once you have parked, scan the QR code that you will find next to your space, so you can easily find your car again once you return. Parking prices are also listed on the same page. A better alternative to Atlanta airport parking is On Air Parking!
If you are traveling with a service dog then Atlanta has made plenty of provisions for you and your companion. In the airport, there are a total of seven areas called ‘pet relief areas’, where your pet can use the facilities and drinking fountains. The airport provides an overhead hose and dog bags to make clean up easy. There is also an outdoor park that is open 24 hours a day, where your companion can spend some time off the lead before the journey ahead. These additions to the airport make traveling with a service animal far more comfortable for everyone.
Avoid Rush Hour
Unsurprisingly, Monday morning is the busiest time, you might be heading off on holiday, but thousands and thousands of people are heading off to another city or state for a new work week. But, if you are flying on a Monday morning, and you are taking a domestic flight, it is better to go through the International Terminal; here there will be fewer travelers, and once you pass through security, get to your terminal by hopping on the airport train. This is key to avoiding the Monday morning crowds.
If you want to pass some time or are a lover of aviation, then take advantage of the airport tour, here you will get to see the ins and outs of the airport and how it functions or specific places such as the fire station or airfield. Tour times vary depending on which one you sign up for, but you must register for your tour at least three weeks in advance. There’s a lot to learn, and it’s a great way to take your mind off travel stress.
Where to Eat
There are an estimated 170 restaurants in the airport so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to food, and you certainly don’t need to worry about grabbing a bite to eat before you set off for the airport. While your preferences will be different so it would be no good us making too many recommendations, the restaurant called One Flew South that can be found in Concourse E has been named one of the best restaurants in an airport in the world many times. Aside from this, the other eateries range from the usual fast food all the way up to the more high-end type of restaurants, as well as coffee shops and kiosks.
There’s no need to wait at your gate not using your phone in case the battery runs out before your flight, phone charging stations are provided at all the gates so there is plenty for everyone to use. It should be clear where they are once you are at the gate, but just ask a staff member so they can show you the closest one.
Hopefully, after reading this information, you can start to feel a little better about making your way through such a busy airport, Atlanta International do their best to make everyone’s trip as comfortable as possible, and by following these tips, you will have a great visit.