A sleek new $1.4 billion international terminal featuring airy windows and eye-popping artwork opened Wednesday at the world's busiest airport. The aim is to attract more globe-trotting passengers to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal adds a new concourse of 12 gates to the existing international facilities and a separate entrance dedicated for international flights.
"It's really going to open up new opportunities for Atlanta to grow," Louis Miller, the airport's general manager, tells the Associated Press. "It's going to become a gateway not just to Atlanta, but to the world."
Road warriors who fly inbound to Atlanta as their final destination will enjoy a new time saving feature.
Previously, arriving international passengers had to re-check their bags after passing through customs and head to the central baggage claim area in the main terminal to collect them. The new facility allows those passengers to exit the building immediately, saving anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
Departing passengers also will enjoy a new experience. Unlike the boxy style of the other terminals at the airport, the new facility has soaring glass windows with views of the tarmac and runways. The new entrance also saves time by avoiding the need to take the underground train from the main terminal to the previously far-off international gates. More than $5 million in art also dominates the space.
Delta Air Lines — Atlanta's hometown airline — built a new Sky Club with seating for more than 300 passengers, eight shower suites and multiple work areas. The club also offers "The Luxury Bar" with premium wines, champagne and spirits available for purchase.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.