Miami International Airport

American Airlines planes at MIA

Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA) is located just west of the city of Miami in an unincorporated suburban area. It is an important hub for traffic between North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, and one of the largest airports in the world. As a result, Spanish is just as likely to be understood as English. The international traffic makes MIA a large and congested place. Be sure to allow extra time when departing MIA, particularly if flying internationally, as you may face an hour-long line just to check your bags. Curbside check-in is an excellent idea.

Flights

Map of the airport

The predominant carrier at MIA is American Airlines, which has direct flights to every country in the Americas (except St. Vincent & the Grenadines); nearly every major airport in Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as most major cities in the US, Western Europe and Canada. Additionally, most Latin American airlines serve Miami from their hub (TAM serves MIA from 7 Brazilian airports, Avianca from 10 South/Central American cities) and the airport is served by all major US and Canadian airlines (most small and budget carriers operate from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport).

In addition to extensive service to the Americas and the Caribbean, MIA also has non-stop flights to 14 European airports served by American Airlines and several European carriers. Qatar Airways operates the only flight to the Middle East, with 4 flights weekly to Doha. The airport has no non-stop service to East or South Asia, Africa, or Oceania. The recent construction of two new terminals at MIA has helped with the airport's passenger capacities as well as the efficiency in going through customs and baggage claim.

Connecting flights

If you arrive from an international location and need to transfer, be aware that you always have to go through immigration and customs before you can board your connecting flight. This can take up to three hours. Most nationalities also need a transit visa or travel authorization even if they are entering the US solely for transit.

Ground transportation

By car

Your best option is to take a taxi from the airport or rent a car, depending on what your stay involves (if you need to get around parts of Miami with no nearby Metrorail stations). MIA has a centralized Rental Car Center at 3900 NW 25th Street, connected to the terminal by the free MIA Mover train. Taxis pick up from in front of the 1st Level of each terminal.

Two freeways link the airport with I-95 and Downtown Miami to the east: the Airport Expressway (Florida State Road 112) and the Dolphin Expressway (Florida State Road 836), both of which charge tolls. If you are approaching or leaving MIA via the Airport Expressway, beware of the at-grade railroad crossing on the ramps connecting the Expressway to the airport terminals. Normally such crossings are grade-separated, but this one sits directly east of one of the runways. Thus, be prepared for the possibility of a 10-15 minute delay if a train happens to be there at the same time as you.

By public transportation

Miami Central Station, adjacent to the Rental Car Center and connected to the airport terminal by the free MIA Mover train, is a newly constructed transit hub with public transportation connections to MIA, including the Metrorail Orange Line and several Metrobus routes, including the Miami Beach Airport Flyer express bus to Miami Beach. See the Miami#Get around section for detailed fare information.

Miami Central Station is also slated to be the future southern terminus for the Tri-Rail commuter rail line to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with Amtrak service to eventually follow. While construction on the Tri-Rail station continues, a shuttle bus (Metrobus Route 133) connects the airport terminal (picking up from in front of the 1st Level of the Central and South Terminals) to the Hialeah Market Tri-Rail station, the current southern terminus of the line.

Get around

The MIA Mover is an elevated train that connects the main terminal to the Rental Car Center and Miami Central Station outside the airport. The airport station is located between the two main parking garages, accessible from the 3rd floor of the Central Terminal.

You can walk between any of the three terminals either pre- and post-security; pre-security, there is a system of moving walkways on the 3rd floor of the terminals, called the "Skyride Connector", that link the three terminals and the MIA Mover station. Within Concourse D, there is a people mover post-security (the "Skytrain") that allows for quick connections between gates in the concourse, stopping at Gates D17, D24, D29 and D46. Concourse E also has a people mover post-security on the 4th Level that links the terminal with the satellite building.

Eat and Drink

MIA also has several restaurants ranging from local chains such as La Carreta to national chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and Starbucks. Be aware that some restaurants serve beer, wine and/or cocktails. If you drink too much the airlines can refuse your boarding on a plane.

Buy

MIA also has several retail stores, including several magazine stands and bookstores. Other retail stores include, but are not limited to, Brookstone, and Ron Jon Surf Shop. There is also a hotel connected to the airport.

Connect

Wireless internet is also available at MIA for a small fee.

Cope

Sleep

There is only one hotel within the airport itself, though there are numerous hotels in the vicinity; hotel shuttles pick up from in front of the 2nd Level of each terminal.

Nearby

Routes through Miami International Airport

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.