Michael Lasseter, 33, was sentenced to five weekends in jail and 500 hours of community service. He also was barred from attending University of Georgia football games this fall.
"I made a mistake, and my family and I have suffered greatly for it," Lasseter said in court. "I'm here today to accept responsibility for my actions and the response from the court."
Lasseter was trying to catch a flight to a Georgia game in Mississippi on Nov. 16 when he ran past guards and down an "up" escalator.
Thousands of passengers had to be re-screened after the airport was evacuated. Flights were canceled, causing delays for fliers across the nation.
Lasseter told police he had left the airport's secure area to retrieve a camera bag and was rushing to get back to his son at the gate.
Three other criminal charges were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. The full sentence was two one-year probated jail terms.
For the first term, Lasseter must spend five weekends in jail and perform 250 hours of community service. The second term will be commuted when Lasseter performs 250 more hours.
"I wish you well," Judge Morris Braswell told Lasseter. "I don't anticipate seeing you again."
Also Wednesday, AirTran Airways said it had settled a $100,000 civil suit filed against Lasseter. Terms were not disclosed but airline spokesman Tad Hutcheson called it a "very modest" payment.
The Federal Aviation Administration has also fined Lasseter $3,300.
By Megan Scott