Traveling to the Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) airport is quick, cheap and painless using MARTA rail service. Most major hotels will shuttle you to a rail station where you can pick up any southbound train which will take you straight into the airport. Another major benefit is that both Delta and AirTran, the 2 biggest carriers at ATL, have baggage drop and check-in services right in the MARTA station! So you can drop your bags down one escalator from where the train leaves you off.
A single rail trip is $2.00. You can purchase the single-fare Breeze card at the station. The machines take change (no pennies) and dollar bills.
Travel to your hotel
There are 4 major hotel areas in Atlanta: Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and Perimeter. Below are the MARTA rail options to these areas.
Travelling to downtown district is easy from the Airport. Take any train from the Airport station to the Peachtree Center station. This is station N1. Interesting note, this is the deepest cut in the southeast and the escalator at the south end of the station is the longest escalator in the south east!
To travel to the Buckhead district, you will want to take a Red Train to the Buckhead station. This is station N7 on the map. It will take approximately 30 minutes to get from the Airport station. As stated above the trip will cost $2.00. From the Buckhead station, many of the hotels in the area are within walking distance or call the hotel for a pickup.
An alternate option and one I recommend if you are going to catch a cab to your destination in Buckhead, I suggest you take any train to the N6, Lindbergh station. This is one of the core stations for the system and catching a cab from here will be much easier and quicker than going to the Buckhead station. If you take this route, sit at the back of the train, and exit to the right, there is a brand new elevator which will take you to street level. Exit to the right of the station and the taxi stand is right in front of the exit.
If your hotel or destination is located in the Midtown area, you will want to take any train from the Airport to the Midtown station. The station is N4 on the map and the trip should take about 20-22 minutes. Exit is to the right of the train and there are escalators and elevators to take you to street level.
If your destination is located in the Perimeter area, you will want to take a Red Line train to the Dunwoody station. This is station N9 and will take approximately 45 minutes. This station is next to the Perimeter mall and you will want a shuttle to your hotel as the walk might be a bit much with cases.