Hartsfield-Jackson International Terminal Shopping
If you are a regular intercontinental user of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport you may get a bit of a shock next time you pass through it. In May 2012 its international terminal, called Maynard H Jackson Jr, was revamped to the tune of an estimated US$1.4 billion, and reborn as a 40-gate travel complex, 12 in the new concourse F and 28 in the existing concourse E - connected by an underground tunnel. Five other concourses exist at this vast airport.
The new 113,300 square metre complex is easily identified by its sweeping roof line, gentle metallic curves and glass façade. Inside the light and airy terminal - a gateway to nearly 80 destinations in more than 50 countries - the design theme of curves continues in the undulating ceiling while high glass walls offer great views to the airfield and allow natural light to pour in.
Retail choice for international departing passengers is also better than it’s ever been. On the food side the airport has gone to great lengths to offer gourmet units and healthy eating selections, plus everything in between, from the likes of Ecco Kitchen, Jekyll Island Seafood Company and Peiwei Asian Diner.
Meanwhile shoppers have the choice of more than 12 stores, of which two are very big duty-free locations run by Duty Free Americas, one of the leading airport retail operators in the region. All the core product categories - wines and spirits, perfumes and cosmetics, confectionery, and tobacco - are here, with beauty occupying the lion’s share of the space.
These two stores will be a first call for most passengers but there are a number of standalones as well. If you like make-up and skincare, the MAC Cosmetics and Kiehls boutiques are ready to pamper you with makeovers and mini-treatments while Body Shop has a full range of its established natural beauty products to choose from.
For fashion, you can go higher end with the Luxury Boutique where you can choose from a mix of labels, or head to Tommy Hilfiger for a more preppy look, and to Brooks Brothers if clean-cut business dress is your thing. Spanx, the Atlanta hosiery company, is also present, at its first airport location, with a wide range of lingerie and underwear.
Sunglass Icon hosts a large bank of sunglasses you don’t often see in airports with US brands like Maui Jim, Oakley and Ray Ban most prominent. There are also many designer lines, including Armani, Bulgari, Costa Del Mar, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Versace, to choose from.
Gadget lovers are also well cared for with Brookstone, the speciality retailer of innovative electronics products, ‘interesting’ tools, and travel accessories. But they are best known for their massage chairs for obvious reasons! Similarly InMotion has several ‘entertainment on the go’ options plus live demonstrations of the latest electronic products (cameras, camcorders, music and games) with technology-trained staff on hand.
The new terminal has set a high standard for the US airport market - from its design through to its retail offer and passenger comfort levels. The cost may all be worth it if more travellers choose to transfer there for their intercontinental flights instead of other US hubs.
Airlines: Just 11 carriers serve concourses E and F. The biggest (by number of routes) are Delta Air Lines by far (because ATL is its hub) and Delta Connection. Other airlines include Air Canada, Air France, AirTran/Southwest, British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air and Lufthansa.
Worth knowing: Because of its size, the domestic and international terminals are now accessed by completely different highways - what the airport calls ‘two front doors’ - so make sure you (and your taxi driver) know exactly which one to go to!