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Need help choosing airport hotel at ATL

Need help choosing airport hotel at ATL

Old Nov 18, 19, 11:36 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Programs: Delta SM, AA Advantage, HH Silver
Posts: 29
Need help choosing airport hotel at ATL

We will be flying to the Caribbean on this itinerary (2 separate tickets):

BHM-ATL
Overnight at airport
ATL-PLS
PLS-ATL
Overnight at airport
ATL-BHM

I have several questions:
Would a gateway hotel be convenient for this route using the Skytrain?

Can I check in at domestic terminal for ATL-PLS?

Does the plane train connect me from domestic to international terminal or will this require a bus?

Is pre-check available at both domestic and international terminal?

Was hoping to stay with the Marriott brand (gateway hotel) unless there is a better option with less hassle?

Thanks for the assistance...
deeannjd is offline  
Old Nov 18, 19, 11:41 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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The Marriott Gateway hotels are all very convenient. They are all next to each other and just pick the cheapest.

I stayed at the Marriott Gateway itself and it was great, the Renaissance should be equally nice next door, and the SpringHill Suites the same. I did the Marriott because it was cheaper than the other 2 for the night in question.

SkyTrain goes to domestic terminal but you should be able to just check-in there without issue and then just take the airside SkyTrain to get down to your departure gates (likely in E or F).
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Old Nov 18, 19, 11:46 am
  #3  
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It's hard to answer without knowing the timings.

It might make sense to use MARTA to leave the airport area and go downtown, to the art museum area, or even to Buckhead. Moreover, if you plan to visit the DL museum, you should pick a hotel that would be convenient for it.

Plane train is airside, so it might not work for you if there are checked bags.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 11:48 am
  #4  
formerly jackvogt
 
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As a major Avgeek, the Renaissance Concourse (Not Gateway) is my personal preference. For convenience, any hotel off of the SkyTrain would be the best. They are all relatively new as well so that's a plus.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:13 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It's hard to answer without knowing the timings.

It might make sense to use MARTA to leave the airport area and go downtown, to the art museum area, or even to Buckhead. Moreover, if you plan to visit the DL museum, you should pick a hotel that would be convenient for it.

Plane train is airside, so it might not work for you if there are checked bags.
It doesn't matter whether OP has bags or not. If you have checked bags and go in the "domestic" entrance (where the SkyTrain drops you off), you go up to the "domestic" DL check-in desk as you normally would. This set-up is only a problem if your international carrier ex-ATL is someone other than DL/AF/KLM and as a result the airline in question doesn't have a kiosk in the domestic terminal.

But OP is flying to PLS so safe to assume OP is flying DL the whole way so it's absolutely fine to check bags at the "domestic" entrance and then take the airside plane train to E/F for actual departure.

If OP is just doing an overnight the absolutely easiest thing to do is arrive, head to domestic baggage claim, take the SkyTrain to one of the Gateway hotels, spend the night, take it back in the AM and check bags back in at the "domestic" check-in and then go airside via Clear/PreCheck and take the plane train to E/F.

ATL is a nightmare if you need to be picked up by an actual airport shuttle or car / uber / taxi -- so the SkyTrain and Gateway hotels allow you to completely avoid this.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:24 pm
  #6  
 
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We've done similar overnight connections to the Caribbean and the Gateway hotels are simple and easy.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:26 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
It doesn't matter whether OP has bags or not. If you have checked bags and go in the "domestic" entrance (where the SkyTrain drops you off), you go up to the "domestic" DL check-in desk as you normally would. This set-up is only a problem if your international carrier ex-ATL is someone other than DL/AF/KLM and as a result the airline in question doesn't have a kiosk in the domestic terminal.

But OP is flying to PLS so safe to assume OP is flying DL the whole way so it's absolutely fine to check bags at the "domestic" entrance and then take the airside plane train to E/F for actual departure.

If OP is just doing an overnight the absolutely easiest thing to do is arrive, head to domestic baggage claim, take the SkyTrain to one of the Gateway hotels, spend the night, take it back in the AM and check bags back in at the "domestic" check-in and then go airside via Clear/PreCheck and take the plane train to E/F.

ATL is a nightmare if you need to be picked up by an actual airport shuttle or car / uber / taxi -- so the SkyTrain and Gateway hotels allow you to completely avoid this.
OP has an ovenight connection on the return too and I'm assuming (bad idea) that PLS isn't preclear and will arrive into E or F at ATL.

Yeah, for the outbound a departing DL international passenger can check in at the domestic terminal, but it's more of a problem in the other direction, especially if the checked bags cannot go through TSA airport security as carry on pieces due to size, liquids, or other forbidden items.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:28 pm
  #8  
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Thanks everyone! Thanks especially to DUKE who provided the exact info I was looking for. Yes, we are flying Delta and were hoping to stay at the Renaissance. Glad to see the good reviews and that this will work well for our trip. Is it necessary to arrive 3 hours ahead?
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:33 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OP has an ovenight connection on the return too and I'm assuming (bad idea) that PLS isn't preclear and will arrive into E or F at ATL.

Yeah, for the outbound a departing DL international passenger can check in at the domestic terminal, but it's more of a problem in the other direction, especially if the checked bags cannot go through TSA airport security as carry on pieces due to size, liquids, or other forbidden items.
So how will this work upon arrival back into ATL? Are you saying if we pick up bags in ATL, we will no longer be airside and unable to use the plane train? So what are the options to get back to the skytrain from bag claim in international terminal?
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:48 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by deeannjd View Post
So how will this work upon arrival back into ATL? Are you saying if we pick up bags in ATL, we will no longer be airside and unable to use the plane train? So what are the options to get back to the skytrain from bag claim in international terminal?
I've never done PLS, but most international flights arrive into E or F for immigration and customs. Passengers without a connection and bags checked through normally enter the USA at F and then with their checked bags, exit the terminal (go landside) at F to the curb. If the bag can't get through TSA airport security, you cannot get to the plane train, which is airside, and must wait for a horrible landside shuttle bus to the domestic terminal.

If PLS is a preclearance airport, it *should* be treated like a domestic arrival with bags sent to domestic baggage claim at ATL. However, once on a precleared DL nonstop I flew from DUB to ATL, there was some confusion and we were sent through passport control in E, etc. upon arrival. [I think either the flight was sent to the wrong gate or the GA meeting the flight was confused.]
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Old Nov 18, 19, 12:53 pm
  #11  
 
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An out of the box experience

I know you prefer the Marriotts, but I want to recommend Kimpton Overland Hotel Atlanta Airport, which is the hotel on the International Terminal side and has wonderful views of the airport or the Porsche Test Track, which if have time...you might want to check out the test track.

Jwhuffman

Originally Posted by deeannjd View Post
We will be flying to the Caribbean on this itinerary (2 separate tickets):

BHM-ATL
Overnight at airport
ATL-PLS
PLS-ATL
Overnight at airport
ATL-BHM

I have several questions:
Would a gateway hotel be convenient for this route using the Skytrain?

Can I check in at domestic terminal for ATL-PLS?

Does the plane train connect me from domestic to international terminal or will this require a bus?

Is pre-check available at both domestic and international terminal?

Was hoping to stay with the Marriott brand (gateway hotel) unless there is a better option with less hassle?

Thanks for the assistance...
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jwhuffman is offline  
Old Nov 18, 19, 1:13 pm
  #12  
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Thanks MSP for the information. I don't see PLS on the pre-clearace list (frankly I didn't know there was such a thing so I learned something new here today). Someone else suggested the Kimpton to me and to take their shuttle directly to/from International terminal. I was trying to make the Marriott work for the points. Would the Kimpton be a more direct option? Could I jump on their shuttle directly to/from the international terminal?
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Old Nov 18, 19, 1:15 pm
  #13  
 
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yes, the Kimpton has shuttle to both domestic and International.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 1:17 pm
  #14  
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I don't know the Kimpton but I have had bad experiences in taking the landside airport shuttle buses from F to the domestic terminal with long waits and sometimes crowds/lines. If there are hotels that send their shuttles to the international terminals, this would be a huge advantage IMO.

Note that pre-clearance is only an issue for your return trip. For the outbound, the Marriott choices at the little train station should work very well for you.
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Old Nov 18, 19, 1:23 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've never done PLS, but most international flights arrive into E or F for immigration and customs. Passengers without a connection and bags checked through normally enter the USA at F and then with their checked bags, exit the terminal (go landside) at F to the curb. If the bag can't get through TSA airport security, you cannot get to the plane train, which is airside, and must wait for a horrible landside shuttle bus to the domestic terminal.

If PLS is a preclearance airport, it *should* be treated like a domestic arrival with bags sent to domestic baggage claim at ATL. However, once on a precleared DL nonstop I flew from DUB to ATL, there was some confusion and we were sent through passport control in E, etc. upon arrival. [I think either the flight was sent to the wrong gate or the GA meeting the flight was confused.]
1) it doesn't matter which concourse the plane arrives at, all international checked bags go to the international terminal baggage claim.

2) it doesn't matter if PLS has preclearance or not, all international checked bags go to international baggage claim.

OP, if you are checking bags, you will collect them at the international terminal (landside). You can then take the landside shuttle bus from international to domestic terminal to get the skytrain to the gateway hotels or whatever other transportation you want. You could also just get an uber/taxi from the international terminal.
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