Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you



Wouldn’t it be nice right now to be making your way to an airport and getting ready to visit a new city or an old favorite?

That time will come. For now, here are some tidbits from airports around the country.

Pay respects to civil rights icon John Lewis at ATL Airport

In April 2019, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) unveiled an exhibit in the domestic atrium titled “John Lewis – Good Trouble” to honor the longtime U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon.

Lewis died late last week, on July 17, and the exhibit has turned into a memorial tribute where travelers can stop and pay respects.

New Concourse E extension at PDX Airport

Courtesy Port of Portland

We shared the news last week about the opening of the new Concourse E extension at Portland International Airport (PDX).

Here’s a bit more about the project.

The extension brings the first new gates to PDX in more nearly 20 years and offers views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia Rivier.

The new concourse extension also features two aerial sculptures by Jacob Hashimoto featuring 11,000 paper kits and 450 different graphics representing Portland’s river, bridges, and neighborhoods.

Hashimoto’s PDX artwork may be familiar to travelers. He also has his work displayed at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), in the lobby of SFO Grand Hyatt.

A new concourse at Nashville International Airport too

Portland isn’t the airport that cut the ribbon on a new concourse last week.

On Friday, July 17, the first Southwest Airlines flight took off from Nashville International Airport’s (BNA) new $292 million Concourse D.

ATL: 5 Things We Love About Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series on StuckatTheAirport.com continues today with some of the features and amenities that delight us at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Keep in mind that some amenities at ATL and other airports may be temporarily suspended or unavailable right now due to health concerns, but we’re confident they’ll return.

If we don’t include your favorite service or amenity at ATL airport or if you’d like to nominate an airport to be featured, please add a note in the comment section below.

Want to sponsor one or more of the entries in the “5 Things We Love at …” series? Get in touch.

5 Things We Love About Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

1. The art at ATL

Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has an extensive collection of art and history exhibits throughout the domestic and international terminals spaces, in all seven concourses, and in connecting walkways between concourses.

Here are just a few of the pieces in ATL’s art and history collection:

Photos and artifacts pay tribute to Civil Rights leaders John Lewis (Domestic Atrium) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Concourse E).

Flight Paths, by Steve Waldeck (in the underground walkway between Concourses A and B) simulates the sights and sounds of a walk through a Georgia forest.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a series of Zimbabwean stone sculptures, a selection of images from National Geographic’s Photo Ark project, and many more permanent and temporary exhibitions.

2. Kid stuff at ATL

Kids will enjoy finding some of the cool and quirky art exhibits at ATL, including the Lunch Box Time Capsule exhibit on the boarding level of Concourse E (near Gate E14).

Fun too: a ride on the airport’s Plane Train. Just be sure to get a spot in the front or back car for a cool view of the tunnels between concourses.

 

3. Shopping at ATL

ATL is home to the World’s Largest Hudson shop, which is actually a collection of shops within a shop. In addition to Georgia-themed-souvenirs, you’ll find old-school candy, plenty of books and even some vinyl records.

4. The ATL Canopies

The two massive canopies over the north and south sides of the domestic terminal at ATL are part of a multi-billion dollar capital improvement project.

Each canopy is nearly 900 feet long – the length of nearly three football fields. In addition to being waterproof, the translucent arches can also be lit up in a wide variety of colors.

5. Lav lights at ATL

Two pairs of restrooms (at Gates B18 & B23) use red or green lights to signal when a restroom stall is occupied or empty. (Brilliant!) The system also tracks restroom usage so the janitorial staff knows when a lav needs to be cleaned. A nice partnership between TRAX and Tooshlights and ATL.

Airports: “We’re open”

Restaurants, shops, bars, schools and offices in many communities are closed.

But airports? For now, they’re open.

Although activities in and around the terminals are different, with far fewer passengers and flights than normal.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has opened its garages to free parking. And posting a list of which dining, shopping and service locations are open.

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) has shifted its dining options to take-out and in-terminal delivery service from At Your Gate.

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), all restaurants are open for now, but many with reduced hours. Bars are closed. And, as with restaurants in many cities, service is take-out only.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is sharing a list of which restaurants remain open for grab-n-go food options.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) have closed the North and South terminal checkpoints.

Here are recent messages from other airports.

As with everything else in the world right now, situations are changing. So if you’re headed to an airport, check ahead.

And, on Wednesday morning, not long after an earthquake was reported near Salt Lake City, the airport tweeted this:

Food festival today at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport

If you’re passing through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) today (Oct 29), be sure to head to the Domestic Terminal Atrium for a fun food festival.

ATL is holding its fifth annual Taste of Hartsfield-Jackson event today.

The pre-security event gives travelers and locals a chance to sample dishes from more than 30 airport eateries.

Participants range from One Flew South, Cat Cora’s Kitchen, Atlanta Chophouse and Brewery, Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill and Paschal’s to Piece of Cake and Krispy Kreme.  

Tasting tickets are $15 for a book of 10 and you’ll need to hand over 1 ticket per taste.

You can purchase tickets on-site and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, a local nonprofit that distributes millions of pounds of food to community kitchens, shelters, senior centers, food pantries and more throughout the year. 

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes music and a cooking competition with two airports chefs competing for the title of Taste’s Top Chef 2019,

Atlanta International Airport shows off lighted canopy

Hatsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport recently tested the lighting on the first three sections of its North Terminal canopy.

ATL Airport - green canopy

This canopy is one of a half dozen major construction projects under way at ATL as part of a major 20-year long development program, dubbed ATL Next, that the airport says is designed to boost capacity, renew and replace existing facilities and “enhance ATL’s aesthetic appeal.”

There will be canopies in front of the North and South passenger terminals and the full length of each canopy will be covered in a plastic material that will be able to be illuminated in different colors and patterns by thousands of embedded LED lights.

Work on the ATL’s North Canopy should be done by the fall. The South canopy is expected to be completed in Fall 2019.

The airport did a test run on the lights on part of the North Canopy last week. Neutral white light is expected to be the default color but on special occasions the canopies will be illuminated to mark specific events such as red, white and blue to honor Independence Day.

Other options already under consideration: red and black to celebrate a Falcons Super Bowl victory, or green to mark Earth Day.

Of course, ATL isn’t the first to get a cool lighted architectural feature.

Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has the “Sky’s the Limit” underground neon walkway.

OHARE NEON TUNNEL courtesy ORD

Detroit Metropolitan Airport has a lighted tunnel.

 

And Los Angeles International Airport has lighted pylons at it entrance that are often lit up in different color patterns to honor a holiday or special event.

What other cool lighted architectural features at airports should we add to this list?