The gateway to Florida, Miami International Airport greets millions of visitors each year and as such is currently undergoing a $4.8 billion Capital Improvement Program. The expanded Terminal and Concourses will add approximately 2.7 million square feet of new areas to the airport to enhance visitor experience. Miami International Airport (MIA) is located 14 kilometers (nine miles) northwest of downtown Miami. The airport has one terminal with a new South terminal for American Airlines and American Eagle due for completion in 2006.
From concourse A to H, a wide selection of restaurants, shops and various facilities and services are available at the airport.
Domestic flight passengers have it easily laid out; they need to walk down the concourse and head towards the Baggage Claim area in Level 1 of the terminal. The same rules apply to flight passengers coming in from Canada or the Bahamas.
Customs clearing is not a hassle, although it could take some time. The international flight passengers are required to proceed to US Customs and Border Protection's passport control. They can then head towards Baggage Claim and then join other passengers in the Interline Lobby, where re-checking the baggage will be done if waiting for a connecting flight. The US Customs counters are located both in concourse B and E, in Level 3 and Level 1 respectively.
When departing from Miami International Airport, it's very important for you to call in advance and get your flight, departure time, concourse and gate confirmed. Being the airport with the most amount of scheduled flights in the western hemisphere, there are times when flights are relocated to other concourses and gates. Some airlines use several concourses as a normal practice.
Always arrive at least two hours ahead of your flight if you're flying to an international destination. This precaution lessens the hassle of passport verification, customs clearing and baggage checks.
Services and Facilities
Baggage Checkroom / Storage:
Located on Concourse E Level 2 and open from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and Concourse G Level 1 and open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Notary services and baggage accessories are also available here.
Offering 260 guest rooms, conference, meeting and boardroom facilities and many other conveniences for the travelers, the Miami International Airport Hotel is located on Concourse E Level 2.
ATMs / Banking Facilities:
Bank of America has a branch in Concourse B Level 4, and ATMs are located at the Service Centers, located on Concourses C and G, Level 2 and throughout the terminal's 2nd level.
Restaurants and Shopping Outlets:
Just like many major airports around the world, Miami International Airport offers a large range of diners, cafes, bars and shops. Located throughout the concourses, these outlets are ideal for in-between-flights waiting periods. An elegant diner is located on the 7 th floor of Concourse E and duty free shops are available in every concourse.
Barber Shop / Hair Salon / Shoeshine:
A barber shop and hairdressing salon is located on Concourse E Level 2. The shoeshine stands are located on Concourse E and H, Level 2.
A non-denominational chapel room is located on Concourse B, Level 4.
Conference rooms are available in the Miami International Airport Hotel on Concourse E, Level 7.
Greeter's Lobbies on Level 1 of Concourse E and Level 3 of Concourse B as well as 6 locations on Level 2 of Concourse E provide currency exchange booths.
Flight passengers may pick up a white paging phone or ask for specific location at one of the Airport Information Centers. Dataports located in several areas throughout the terminal complex.
The Tourist / Information Center, located on Concourse E Level 2, is operated by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. Travelers may call +1 305 876 7000 for more information. The airport's Volunteer Information Program also has several booths inside the terminal complex.
Lost and Found:
The Lost and Found Office is located on Concourse E Level 2, close by to the entrance. Travelers may dial +1 305 876 7377 for direct assistance.
A paging system is available and the white courtesy phones located throughout the terminal allow access to this service.
A full service post office is located on Concourse B, Level 4. Mailboxes and postage machines are also available at the Service Centers, located on Concourses C and G, Level 2.
The International Press Center is located on Concourse E Level 2.
Passengers should request their respective airlines for any wheelchair assistance needed.
The main currency exchange booth is on Concourse E Level 2 and the Western Union representatives are available at this booth.
Security and Concerns
The passenger security screening checkpoints at all US airports are managed and operated by the Transportation Security Administration as of 17th February 2002, in accordance with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001.
Miami International Airport also has a Crime Stopper Program and Tourist Oriented Police Program to assist all travelers arriving at the airport.
The US Customs counters at Miami International Airport scrutinize all international flight passengers.
Miami International Airport is among the busiest airports worldwide with many tourists and business travelers arriving and departing at its terminal. With so many passengers consistently moving around, it's essential to have scheduled, timely and convenient transportation to and from the airport complex. Miami-Dade County operates several bus and rail services for this purpose, while rental cars and taxis are also available through private operators.
The bus station at Miami International Airport is located on Concourse E Level 1, directly across from the Customs. All areas of Miami-Dade County are frequented by scheduled bus services.
This is the fixed-rail system that provides mass-transit, direct and local transportation around Miami-Dade County.
Also a fixed-rail system, this service only provides transportation to popular locations in Downtown Miami and Brickell areas.
The commuter train service runs along Interstate 95, providing transport to the airport from Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The Airport Station is east of the airport, across Le Jeune Road / 42 Avenue on Northwest 21st Street. Free shuttle bus service to the airport terminal from the Tri-Rail Airport Station is provided by Metro-Bus for passengers with valid Tri-Rail tickets.
Car Rental Services
Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Royal-Rent-A-Car and Thrifty Car Rental have registration counters located inside the baggage claim area on Level 1 of the terminal. Vehicles are to be picked-up from the rental car company's off-site location. These offices can be accessed via courtesy shuttle van. Rental car returns have to be done directly to the car-owning company, as there are no return offices inside the airport.
Taxis and SuperShuttle Vans
Taxis and SuperShuttle vans are located on the Arrivals Level (ground level), just outside the baggage claim areas in Miami International Airport. Some taxis and shuttle vans are wheelchair accessible and are available upon request. Rates depend on the distance traveled.
Other methods of ground transportation are only available if arranged in advance. Please contact any of the local companies authorized to provide transportation services at Miami International Airport. For ground transportation and parking information, contact the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department personnel, uniformed in blue and available throughout the arrival and departure level curbside areas.
Two multi-level parking garages, known as the Dolphin Garage and the Flamingo Garage, provide long-term parking facilities at Miami International Airport. Since the terminal complex is large and has north and south sections, the Dolphin Garage is closer to the terminal's Concourse A to D and the Flamingo Garage is closer to Concourses F to H.
A surface lot parking area, located adjacent to the East side of the Flamingo Garage, is available for over-height vehicles. Parking spaces for the physically challenged travelers are also available. Short-term parking is available at a higher rate, in the upper and lower level Park One, located close to the terminal. Garages are connected to the terminal complex via moving sidewalks. For information on parking facilities at Miami International Airport, please call +1 305 876 7536.
Miami International Airport has a conveniently located airport hotel on Concourse E Level 2, offering luxurious accommodation, services and facilities. In addition, the airport is located within easy access to many Miami hotels.