Plane Spotting Atlanta

Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta Airport
Must surely rank as one of the top five Plane Spotting Hotels in the world. All airport facing rooms have an outdoor balcony giving you your personal viewing deck outside of your room. Whilst the hotel bar has great views over the airport, there is also a McDonalds just a 5 minute walk away. The links to the booking sites below give you the option of booking a guaranteed runway facing room which is another major selling point of this hotel.
Location: *** One mile away from the terminal with a free shuttle bus, not that you will need to leave the hotel room !
Spotting: *** Quite possibly one of the best plane spotting hotel’s in the USA. Ask for a room overlooking the airport and you will get a room with balcony overlooking the nearby thresholds. You need to be on the 6th floor or above to get the elevation for unobstructed views.  An ACARS or SBS 1 unit will be required to identify movements on the far runways although most will taxy into readable view at the central terminal complex. Rooms 1022 and 1025 are confirmed as having great views.

All inbound and outbound movements can be seen from the balcony, including most aircraft parked up on the central terminal ramps. It has been known to count around 15 arrivals at a time on the three arrival runways so this place will keep you occupied. The Signature Ramp is also easily seen from the balcony giving views of a number of bizz jets.

At the Eastern end of the hotel corridor is a large window with great views onto the cargo ramp where a number of Fedex aircraft can be read off. The UPS aircraft tend to park nose in making identification slightly more difficult although most of these will be seen from the room when they arrive or depart. The large window at the western end of the corridor gives views out to the Delta Maintenance apron where a number of aircraft may be parked up long term.

On clear days the hotel balcony gives views of very busy overflights, many high level airways intersect over Atlanta giving the opportunity to log 300+ overflights in a day. Peachtree executive departures to the South also overfly Atlanta at around 5000 feet therefore flight tracking software is essential.

Photos: ** Simply a case of sitting on the balcony with a 200-400 lens and snap away ! A 300 lens is required for most runway shots on the nearest runway to you.
Value: ** Between £68-£125 a night per room but well worth it for hassle free spotting/photography.
Book: Runway view rooms can be guaranteed to clicking on the or  AGODA websites

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Above: Typical view from balcony of Renaissance

Plane Spotting Atlanta Atlanta Aeroplane Spotting Atlanta Aircraft Spotting Hotels
Overview from a typical balcony at The Renaissance Concourse Hotel, Atlanta Airport. Credit Tis Meyer (double click picture to expand  A good zoom lens can result in the above type of shot  from The Renaissance Atlanta. Credit Tis Meyer (double click picture to expand) Another overview from the balcony on a stormy evening (Double click picture to expand). Credit Tis Meyer

Best Western Plus Atlanta Airport East
is a more economical option than the Renaissance above. Obviously views are not as good and if the airport is on easterly operations spotting can be difficult, however with flight tracking software many movements will be seen
Location: **

For those of you not familiar with this location, if you look at Google Maps, its located at the North East side of Atlanta Airport not far off the I-75. If you also look at Google maps, its not far from the end of Runway 26R, which is the runway the GA, Fedex, UPS tend to use if they are landing in a Westerly direction. If they are landing towards the west as they were for all my stay, you can read off the nearest two runways arrivals (or departures if on the other runways subject cloud) with a good powered and clear telescope but I could imagine when the temperature goes up, it may be different. For the users of SBS or similar equipment, it is easy to keep a track of what is going on. I will say at an early stage, the weather for the two nights I was there was clear and sunny, I cannot comment on what the views would be if they were landing/departing towards the East and the weather was a bit gloomy or raining. There were also some overflights that were tracking on SBS which seemed to track right over the top of the hotel, so if its clear, you may pick up a few extras if you collect OTT’s.

Spotting: **

The rooms, I stayed in room 916 … Looking around the corridors, Rooms 916, 917, 901 and 902 would give the same good out towards arrivals (or departures). Looking at the hotel, similar room numbers on the 10th, 8th, 7th and maybe the 6th or even 5th floor would give the similar views. My room had a small metal bar to prevent the door to the small balcony being opened, but a previous occupant or someone else had also handily ‘broken’ this so it came away and access on to the balcony was possible. Its not a huge balcony and you cannot sit outside on a chair like the Renaissance. Another tip here, I had previously e-mail the manager in advance and requested a room looking towards the airport, I had an almost immediate reply saying I had a room blocked, the e-mail address is    and the lady who replied was Delaine, who’s name appears on Tripadvisor. The room consisted of a King Size bed and a sofabed, there was also a fridge in the room to keep refreshments nice, cold and accessible. Its also a big enough room for two or three folk to stick around watching the action without it being too cramped. Its also free parking overnight, free breakfast and there is a free courtesy bus from the airport.

Photos: * If on Westerly operations there should be opportunities to photograph traffic on finals on the near two Runways
Value: ** Pretty good value at around £55 a night
Book: Prices and online reservations can be found through AGODA HOTELS
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Atlanta Airport Spotting

Above: A shot showing the views available of the final approach into Atlanta.

This photo of is courtesy of TripAdvisor

A list of other hotels suitable for plane spotting in the Atlanta Airport area can be found here

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Posted in North America, World