The world’s busiest airport – the title held by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, although Beijing is hot on its heels – just got a little more accessible for global travelers thanks to the debut this week of its new international terminal.
Atlanta’s $1.4 Billion Expansion
The billion dollar-plus expansion, which took four years to construct, is actually two new buildings including a new ‘front door’ for the airport leading to a glass walled terminal for arriving/departing international travelers, and the new Concourse F.
As the Associated Press reports, the new facility is so big “that workers had to carve out a new entrance on a busy highway” off Interstate 75 (domestic passengers will continue to use the entrance off I-85).
What’s New and Improved at Atlanta’s Airport
The biggest benefit to international flyers is a new system that ends the irritating and time-consuming baggage re-checking process for Atlanta-bound travelers; previously, such travelers had to surrender their bags after clearing customs before picking them up again at the baggage carousel; now, they simply hang on to them. Other improvements:
- 12 new gates for a total of 40 international gates
- 80 ticketing counters and 64 self-service check-in kiosks
- $5 million worth of art works including vast light-infused sculptures
For those travelers who managed to find a cheap flight, the new terminal now offers a lot more ways to spend any excess cash.
New restaurants: The Varsity, The Pecan, The Original El Taco, Pei Wei Asian Diner, French Meadow Bakery, Sweet Auburn Market Café with more opening soon
New shops: Tommy Hilfiger, The Body Shop, Kiehl?s, Sunglass Icon, Touch Table, Clutch, Brookstone, InMotion Entertainment, Simply Books and more