The Complete Guide for BWI to ATL

BWI to ATL. From Ravens’ country to the Falcons’ nest, hundreds of thousands of passengers book and board flights from BWI to Atlanta. In fact, per the United States Bureau of Transportation, 801,000 passengers flocked from Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) to Atlanta, Georgia between August 2015 and July 2016.

Why is Atlanta airport so busy?

If you’re like us, you might be curious as to what makes Atlanta airport so busy. Other than those trying to escape the brisk Baltimore winter months for an average high of 52.3°F, there are surprisingly a lot of factors that go into making ATL “The World’s Busiest Airport.” If we had to boil it down to four leading causes it would be:

  1. Delta and Southwest Airlines bring a lot of traffic
  2. Prime location for connections (affordable, convenient)
  3. No other airports nearby
  4. Good flying conditions; few delays, cancellations and airport closures

There is a saying in the south: Even on your way to heaven, you have to change planes in Atlanta. Thankfully, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport houses a total of 207 gates, so you usually do not have to worry about too long of a layover, even if your final destination is at the Pearly Gates.

How long is the flight from Baltimore to Atlanta?

The Arctic tern is a medium-sized seabird that is known for its remarkably long flights. While the white birds known for their orangish beak and feet travel 44,000 miles each year, most humans say nay to long flights.

Fortunately for us non-feathered flyers, Atlanta is within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the United States population. The distance between Baltimore and Atlanta is roughly 575 miles. BWI flights to ATL meet the 80 percent statistic and typically average 1 hour and 27 minutes in the air when flying nonstop or direct. Of course the length of your flight can vary depending on many factors such as flight path, airline, aircraft type, and headwinds or tailwinds.

Layover in Atlanta – what to do

Your travel time from BWI to ATL can also depend greatly on whether or not you need to wait for a connecting flight in Atlanta. Whether it happens as a planned part of your itinerary or there is some sort of mechanical malfunction or delay due to weather, layovers are incredibly common.

In fact, Trip Advisor reports one of its most commonly asked questions in its “city in the hills”  forums is what to do do during a layover in Atlanta. The good news is whether you have a short layover in Atlanta or are grounded for several hours, there are a variety of options to help occupy your time on-site as well as nearby.

As a best practice, it is not recommended to leave the airport unless your layover is anticipated to last longer than at least three hours for domestic flights or at least five hours for international flights. What that means for travelers with a little extra time to kill within the walls of ATL airport doesn’t have to be sitting in an uncomfortable chair playing Candy Crush.

Instead, consider exploring a variety of restaurants and shops, many of which include services like Currency Exchange and Wells Fargo ATMs. The airport not only offers wireless internet service, but features a special web site designed to help keep little ones entertained.

The best food at the ATL airport depends slightly on budget and taste, though the Atlanta Chophouse and Brewery and Paschal’s usually top the must-try list.

If you do decide to leave the airport, there are options for storing your luggage at the North and South terminal areas, as well as public transportation through MARTA, a service attached to the airport off the baggage claim.

Atlanta is home to one of the largest aquariums in the world. The Georgia Aquarium features more than eight million gallons of water with one of the largest varieties of aquatic animals in the country.

City tours are available from a number of agencies and downtown is about a 20-minute drive from the airport, so bear that in mind, as well as allowing ample time to clear security upon your return.

Best things to do in Atlanta

If Atlanta is your final destination, there is plenty to see and do throughout the city.

Atlanta  offers a number of organized  options for exploring the town, including traditional bus sightseeing or bike tours, in addition to themed options like a “Gone with the Wind” tour, CNN Studio tour and Atlanta Segway tour.

If you’re interested in exploring the main attractions of Atlanta on your own, history buffs would enjoy the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the World of Coca-Cola.

Peachtree Street is a good starting point for a nice stroll through the city that will take you past the Fox Theatre and through the Midtown entertainment district.

Planning your trip to ATL

Whether you’re in Falcon country for business or pleasure, flocking from BWI to ATL should be as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. The last thing you need is to run a risky game of parking lot roulette.

Nothing is more frustrating than circling an airport parking lot looking for space when you’re already running late for a flight. You can avoid this common annoyance by reserving your parking before leaving for the airport.

As an alternative to on-site parking, Econopark Express provides off-airport options for both short and long-term airport parking. With low parking rates, free shuttle service, guaranteed parking, baggage assistance, and more, we take the stress out of parking at BWI, saving you time and money.

For more information about Econopark Express, or to make a reservation click here.