Travel Tips – Miami Airport

Here are some helpful hints for traveling in the Miami Airport.

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Miami International Airport is located on the west side of Miami, Florida in the United States. It can be accessed from the north and south from I-95 by traveling west on either I-195 or I-395 and exiting onto the Airport Expressway. This will lead you onto 21st street which accesses all terminals. 21st street is also accessible locally from area surface streets. Miami International Airport is due west of Miami Beach and about 25 miles south of nearby Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

There are seven terminals at Miami International Airport labeled C through J. There is no I terminal. C concourse handles American Airlines and Qantas Airlines. Terminal D is strictly for American Airlines which operates a major hub at Miami International Airport. Terminal E handles several international airlines serving Latin America as well as American Airlines. Terminal F is also international, but covers mostly trans-Atlantic carriers. Terminal G covers smaller regional airlines in addition to Air Tran Airways. Terminal H handles larger international carriers as well as Delta Airlines and Delta Connection. Finally, Terminal J handles United Airlines, US Airways, and several large international carriers, including Lufthansa.

Parking at Miami International Airport is very well covered and includes both short and long term parking, economy offsite parking and valet parking. Rates vary widely with economy parking as little as eight dollars a day up to thirty dollars a day in the short term lot or for valet parking. There is designated disabled parking located near the moving sidewalks on the third level of all garages. Additional wheelchair parking can be found on ground level at the east end of the main garage.

The Miami-Dade Transit Department supplies several options for accessing Miami International Airport. The bus service, which provides local transportation to all areas of Miami, can be located at Concourse E at ground level. The mass transit system runs in a semi-circular route around the city and has connecting bus routes to Miami International Airport. There is also a station shuttle which connects travelers to the Tri-Rail Train, which is a commuter train service running through south Florida. The airport is well covered and serviced by taxi and shuttle services. Most hotels offer airport shuttles, and shuttle buses are available for transportation to the cruise ship terminal.

In addition to the handicapped parking mentioned, Miami International Airport has many services available to the disabled. There is a visual paging service for the hearing impaired in concourse B and E. Moving sidewalks span the entire terminal building and parking garages on the third level. All restaurants and snack bars are wheelchair accessible and restrooms are handicapped accessible also. In addition, there is an area near concourse E for relieving service animals.

Miami International Airport is well covered by all the amenities the seasoned traveler or businessperson has come to expect in a large international airport. ATMs, currency exchange booths, post offices, and other services are located throughout the terminals. Internet access is available via data port connections or Wi-Fi in designated areas. For special functions, there are two auditoriums with full multi-media equipment that can be rented for meetings and presentations. American Airlines and Delta Airlines both operate several lounges at the airport. In addition there is an Armed Forces Service Center on Concourse E.

For people conducting business at or near the airport, or for those long layovers, Miami International Airport has a hotel on property on level two of concourse E. The hotel features 260 soundproof rooms, a restaurant featuring fine dining, and several conference rooms for conducting business while at the airport.

There are many bars and restaurants scattered throughout the terminals, both before and after security checkpoints. In addition to the usual chains, there is a Chili’s Restaurant, and also Cuban, Italian, and Japanese restaurants for casual dining. There is also plenty of shopping in secure and nonsecure areas and all international concourses feature duty free shopping. For those with a little more time on their hands, there is nearby shopping in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

Security wait times have been drastically reduced with more and optimized TSA checkpoints being added. Traffic to and from the airport can get congested at peak times, so allow plenty of time prior to check-in for transportation. This is where local taxi service can be very helpful. Like most large cities, there are many ways to get to and from anywhere, and a knowledgeable taxi driver can save a lot of time getting to and from the airport during peak traffic hours.
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