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Atlanta International-International stopover

Belgium
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Atlanta International-International stopover

I'm travelling solo on a Saturday in October from Brussels (Belgium) to Kingston (Jamaica) with a 2h06m stopover in Atlanta. My entire ticket is operated by DELTA.

The information on the forum is confusing me so I hope some Atlanta experts on intl-intl connection can clarify how my journey will go. I have an ESTA to pass through the US on my way to Jamaica and will be travelling on my Belgian passport.

Since my flight is entirely operated by DELTA and my bags will be checked until Kingston, I assume I don't need to collect them and recheck them in Atlanta. Am I right? Will be 2 hours enough to pass through immigration and customs on a Saturday afternoon in the international terminal? I'll be arriving at approx. 2.30pm from Brussels (any idea if these flights are prone to delays?) and will be departing at 4.36pm to Kingston.

From what I understand is that for my return flight early November (Kingston - Atlanta - Brussels) I'll have to collect my bags and recheck them. Correct? Why is this? I don't see the difference, except that I'm travelling from the Caribbean instead Europe, but it's an entirely DELTA operated flight schedule again... However, I do have +4 hours for the stopover that time. Again, I'm travelling on a Saturday.

Any information specifically to my question/travel schedule would be highly appreciated.

4 replies to this topic
Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
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24,830 posts
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1. Re: Atlanta International-International stopover

You have to collect and recheck your luggage when you enter the US in order to go through customs. That's true in both directions.

Liverpool, UK
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36 reviews
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2. Re: Atlanta International-International stopover

Just to add that in both directions you'll firstly clear US Immigration on arrival in ATL, then collect checked bags, then clear US Customs, then return the bags to Delta just after Customs and finally get to your departure gate which will involve clearing Security.

Most recommend 3 hours for this process so it's a bit tight on the outbound flights - don't dawdle once you get off the plane.

Belgium
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3. Re: Atlanta International-International stopover

Thank you for the clarification!

Any idea on the crowd on a Saturday afternoon in October? Or any tips on how to navigate myself through the airport procedures without losing too much time? Sure as hell don't want to miss my connection, as it is the last flight of the day to Kingston.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,285 posts
16 reviews
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4. Re: Atlanta International-International stopover

There are several articles in the Top Questions section of the Atlanta forum (visible in the right hand panel when viewing TripAdvisor on a desktop computer or tablet). The local experts in ATL recommend 3-4 hours if you are not a US passport holder, so 2 hours will be tight:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60898…

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60898…

You will do immigration and Customs in your arrival Concourse - no way to to predict how crowded it will be since it depends on how many international arrivals deplane around that same time - might take 15 minutes might take an hour or more.

-JimG

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