Driving to Atlanta airport from Nashville:

Old May 17th, 2005, 02:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving to Atlanta airport from Nashville:

Hi from England. Please would any very hepful Atlanta local give us some advice: We're driving down from Nashville to Atlanta International airport at the end of this month, and are concerned about possible traffic problems and missing our flight!
We are UK citizens who know very little about Atlanta's airport - except that it is absolutely HUGE and we may get lost driving around it!
We have to drop off our hire car, and then check in for a flight to Orlando.So our questions are as follows:
1. How much time should we need to drive to Atlanta, get through the traffic, take the correct turnoff to the hire car returns (!), and check in at the AirTran desk?
2. Is there a route that you would advise we preferentially take?
Thanks in advance.
Steve and Yvonne.
Steve_Roberts is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 05:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Steve and Yvonne, I'll try to help a little. I just moved back to Atlanta from Nashville.

First, factoring in the time change from Central to Eastern time, it will probably take you at the very least five hours just to get from Nashville to the Atlanta airport. That doesn't include the time you need to return your car, get checked in and go through security. And that doesn't include any extra time for possible traffic problems.

Since I am a worrywart, I would factor in at least another two hours once you approach the airport. A lot depends on when you will be coming in. Traffic tends to build up in the late afternoon when business people are doing just what you are doing, dropping off a car and trying to get out of town. So if you are coming in earlier in the day, you have less traffic to contend with.

As for what route to take, there are several. I am going to leave it to the folks that do this more often than I do to suggest their best ideas. The way I ususally go is after going through downtown Atlanta, I take I-85 South to the airport exit. However, I know there's an alternate way you can get there on I-75 but I haven't tried it lately.

On top of that, if you ran into a really bad traffic jam as you approached I-285 on I-75, there's also a way you can come in on South 285 at the Camp Creek Parkway. But I'd consider that one a last resort.

Don't fret too much about the Atlanta airport. It isn't that bad. I was more confused in Heathrow than I've ever been in the Atlanta airport. There are signs everywhere to direct you.
atlswan is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 05:40 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Atlswan is right - the signage in the Atlanta airport is very good. It's a big airport but handles the large volume of travelers well.

The problem with estimating time is that Atlanta can have traffic backups at any time of day - on any of the highways- and that's a lot of added stress when you are trying to make a flight.

Check out www.mapquest.com and get driving directions from Nashville to "College Park". That will give you good directions - which are basically I 24 East from Nashville, I 75 South once you get to Chattanooga and on into Atlanta. One option (that Atlswan mentioned) is to take 75 into downtown Atlanta. In Atlanta I 75 and I 85 are together. When it splits south of Atlanta, take the I85 split (to the right) and follow the airport exit signs. That route will take you through Downtown Atlanta - and I'm always surprised when guests ooh and ahh at the skyline.

The mapquest route has you go around Atlanta on I 285 (the Perimeter Highway) toward the west side of town and exit off I 285 on Camp Creek parkway. Once you exit on Camp Creek just follow the signs to airport and rental car return.

According to mapquest, the drive time is 4 hours,15 minutes.

How much time will it take? 4 hours drive + 2 hours early + factor in possible traffic problems = hard to say.

What time is your flight? One option would be to come to Atlanta a day early, get a very cheap rate at a 4 star hotel at the Atlanta Airport via Priceline (checking on www.biddingfortravel.com first to see how much to bid) and have a more relaxing departure. If you do that, I would turn in the rental car early and take the hotel shuttle to the airport.

Truly, the Atlanta airport is easy to navigate. You will follow the signs to the car rental return, ride the company's bus to either Terminal A or B. They are opposite sides of the same building. If you happen to get off on the wrong side (you won't!) all you need to do is to walk through the building to the other side. The security for all flights is at the same place and you ride subway trains to your Concourse. Each concourse is 1/4 mile apart via the underground train. It just takes time to get from one point to another - but it's easy to navigate the airport. Much less confusing than other airports (IMO).

Happy (and safe) travels on your holiday!
starrsville is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 05:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a thought--why aren't you flying from Nashville?
What time of day is your Atlanta flight?I think signage at the airport is good--it is traffic that is awful--and you read English--a real plus (from one who tried to return a car at Orly).
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 09:12 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 421
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just one small clarification about the Atlanta airport - the Terminals are North and South - not A and B.

I'm definitely with starsville on the Atlanta traffic stress thing. Do consider driving to Atlanta the day before as she suggests.

Rookie is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the correction. I was using those for placeholders (to myself) to check which one AirTran is at - and forgot to make the change.

Delta is at the South (red signs). I think AirTran is on the North (blue signs). But, I haven't checked yet - so just read the boards as you come into the airport.

Actually, if you are returning a rental car you will be more concerned with signs to there (and the bus will take you to the correct Terminal). The car rental is closer to the South Terminal...unless they've changed that with the recent construction.
starrsville is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 09:41 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live in Athens, but visit the Atlanta area frequently.

Traffic can be bad most any time of day,but in the mornings and afternoons it can be worse than bad.

I think the idea to travel south on I 75 to the interchange with I 285, the beltway, is a good one. Then exit at the Camp Creek Parkway as advised.

If you were coming in after 8 pm or before 7 am, I think I 85-75 through the city center would be ok. Otherwise, emphatically NO.

Camp Creek Parkway leads directly to the main terminals, north and south, and to rental car return.

I frequently come in that way to the airport because several off airport parking lots with shuttle service to the gates are along that road.

Also, the western side of the I 285 loop is less jammed than the north and north east sides. (Usually.)

Yes Atlanta is a huge airport, but the check in counters are in one of two terminals - north and south. Delta and its affiliates dominate the south terminal. All other airlines are on the north side. But the two sides are interconnected.

To get to the gates, you must go through security and then you can ride the subway train. Or you can walk. There are moving sidewalks to assist you for about 50% of the distance.

Once you descend the escalator to the subway platform and the walkway tunnel, all of the concourses are bisected by the main tunnel: A, B, C, D, and E.
(there is also a T that some airlines use; it is actually closer than A)

You have a long drive from Nashville, but I 24 and I 75 are all Interstates. You will, however, hit heavy traffic around Chattanooga. Hopefully it will be moving well.

Most of the airlines provide curb side checkin.
bob_brown is offline  
Old May 17th, 2005, 11:37 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chattanooga traffic is much easier to endure than Atlanta traffic, even at rush hour or with construction. There hasn't been any construction on I-24 through there lately and hopefully you won't run into any in June.
atlswan is offline  
Old May 19th, 2005, 10:53 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks very much to everyone who contributed. You've confirmed our fears about the traffic problems in and around the city.
Our flight is 1420hrs, and presumably the latest check-in is an hour prior to that, at 1320hrs. So, leaving Nashville at 0700hrs should be enough time do you think?
If we miss the flight, we'll need some more advice on finding the best beaches in Atlanta(!)
Thanks again guys.
Steve.
Steve_Roberts is offline  
Old May 19th, 2005, 11:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's see -

If you leave at 7, you'll be going through Chattanooga around 9 am. You SHOULD be okay.

That would be putting you to Atlanta around 11 am - and traffic SHOULD not be a problem.

You need to allow more than an hour at the airport. You have a rental car to return, security to get through (which can be a breeze or can take forever) and a big airport to get through.

With an 1:20 flight I'd be returning the rental car by 11:30 - with something to read with my "spare" time vs. panicking about missing my flight. There would be time for a relaxed lunch also.

So, it sounds like good timing and a good plan.


starrsville is offline  
Old May 19th, 2005, 11:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do yourself a favor and lose some sleep on the front end--leave at 5AM, not a minute later.
If you miss your flight you may also be looking for a couple of hundred dollars to get on the next flight.
Gretchen is offline  
Old May 19th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having driven from Nashville to Atlanta numerous times I would be comfortable leaving Nashville at 7 (Nashville time). That should get you to the airport by 12:30 (Atlanta time). If you don't make any wrong turns, you should be dropped off by the car rental shuttle at the airport by 1:00. But now that I think about it, I may leave at 6:30 so that I could eat lunch at the airport at a more civilized hour.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Old May 19th, 2005, 01:41 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, and FYI, a couple miles after I-85 splits off from I-75 south of downtown, there's an exit just before the airport exit with a couple of easy-access gas stations to refuel (Virginia Ave exit maybe?). Don't try to get off near downtown to get gas.

And the exit for the airport does not have a very big sign, so don't miss the exit. It's not really poorly marked, but for the biggest airport in the country, it's not a very big sign like you may expect.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Old May 20th, 2005, 03:11 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops! I forgot that Nashville is in another time zone. I'd back it up an hour and leave by 6 Nashville time (7 Atlanta time).

I don't think 1hr 20 minutes is enough "wiggle time". You have to return a rental car and navigage the airport. You won't have time to eat any kind of lunch with 1:20.

I'd build in at least an extra hour JUST IN CASE there are traffic problems - and the probablity is high there will be some traffic backup somewhere along the route.
starrsville is offline  
Old May 20th, 2005, 03:22 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Refuel: It is Virginia Avenue, exit 73 of I-85, very easy on and off.
B/
birgator is offline  
Old May 20th, 2005, 03:27 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The airport will be just about 3 exits past Virginia Ave.
starrsville is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Joe18
United States
8
Apr 24th, 2017 04:22 PM
norfolkanway
United States
4
Feb 13th, 2013 01:25 PM
jabrown40
United States
15
Nov 9th, 2005 07:55 PM
Rachel
United States
4
Aug 10th, 2005 07:02 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:49 AM.