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At eight miles from Miami, Florida’s busiest airport and the 12th busiest air hub in the US offers access to the city and other destinations in the South Florida area. Local buses and shuttle buses operate between the airport and Miami, while trains run to the city from the MIA Metrorail station. Still, the most convenient way to access the city and its surrounding area is with car hire in Miami Airport, with Downtown Miami a 15-minute drive to the east.
Who to Book With
There are a number of well-known car rental suppliers at the airport, including Thrifty, Budget, Enterprise, Budget and Hertz. All firms have offices at the MIA Rental Car Center (RCC), which is accessible via the MIA Mover train. Vehicles are collected from this centre, with 6,500 to choose from.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- Your driver’s licence (both parts for UK drivers)
- The credit card that was used to make the booking
- A passport to confirm your identity
- Confirmation of booking
Parking restrictions vary by state, but expect fines and towing if you park in a prohibited area. Watch the colours on the curbs, with red, white and yellow being no parking zones, while green allows motorists to park for up to 30 minutes. Automatic petrol stations are commonplace though there are some serviced stations. Most stations accept credit and debit cards for payment though UK-drivers should carry cash in case their UK-issued card is not accepted. Car rental companies supply drivers with RFID transponders to be used on turnpikes though some toll routes accept payment in cash.
For quick access to Miami, passengers arriving at the airport can self-drive into the city. Trains offer a fast way into the city but stop running at midnight, while buses and faster express buses cease to operate at 23:00. This leaves the option of expensive taxis for passengers who arrive late.
Miami International Airport Station runs Orange Line Metrorail trains to Dadeland South Station from 05:00 to 24:00. Tickets can be purchased at the station and cost around £1.25 for a single fare. Passengers can transfer to the Green Line at Earlington Heights Station for access to Hialeah Market Station, where Tri-Rail commuter trains run to Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.
Taxis depart the airport from the lower Arrivals level, just outside the Baggage Claim area.
Miami Airport to Downtown Miami is about £12
Miami Airport to Coral Gables is about £10
Miami Airport to South Beach is about £20
Miami Airport to Key Biscayne is about £25
Local Metrobus buses depart the Miami International Airport Station for the city. The number 150 Miami Beach Airport Flyer takes passengers from the airport to Miami Beach, while the number 7 serves Downtown Miami. The Airport Flyer runs every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 23:40, with a one-way trip costing around £1.50. Bus number 7 runs from 05:43 to 08:54 and a one-way journey is around £1.25. In addition, shuttle buses are offered by some hotels and can be met at the upper Departures level.
The three terminals at Miami Airport are connected by a free skytrain. The South Terminal is the smallest of the three, while the Central Terminal is the largest and has three concourses. All three terminals give the airport a combined annual passenger throughput of over 18 million. Flights operate to destinations in Canada, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Europe, as well as throughout the US.
There are five car parks on site, with Dolphin (North) serving the North Terminal and Flamingo (South) serving the Central Terminal and South Terminal. There is also the economy Park and Ride lot which is accessible by free shuttle bus. Rates in the main car parks are around £10 per day, while parking at the off-site economy car park is around £5 a day.
Passengers can access wireless internet in all indoor public areas of the airport. Select travel-related websites can be accessed free of charge, while accessing all other sites incurs a fee of around £3 for 30 minutes or around £5 for 24 hours.
There are information counters on concourses D (North Terminal), E (Central Terminal), H (South Terminal) and J (South Terminal).
Information: +1 305 876 7000
Lost and Found: +1 305 876 7377
Passengers with reduced mobility will find assistance at the airport. On arrival, passengers needing assistance should report to their airline check-in desk or go to one of the information counters. There are designated spaces in all car parks for disabled persons, while the moving walkways that connect the car parks to the terminals are wheelchair-friendly. Restaurants, restrooms and public telephones are also wheelchair-friendly, and the airport provides accessible taxi services.
Restaurants and Bars
All three terminals have a restaurant, with La Carretta Restaurant (North Terminal) serving Cuban cuisine, Top of the Port (Central Terminal) offering seafood and continental cuisine, and La Pausa (South Terminal) featuring sandwiches, salads and snacks. Each terminal also has numerous fast-food counters, cafés and bars.
American Airlines Admiral Club
Flagship Lounge (Level 2, Concourse E)
Premium Lounge (Level 5, Concourse E)
Consular Lounge (Level 2, Concourse F)
Club America F (Level 3, Concourse F)
Delta Airlines Sky Club (Concourse H)
Club America J (Concourse J)
Money and ATMs
ATMs are available on all concourses, in all terminals, while full banking facilities are available on Level 4 of North Terminal D. Currency exchange counters can be found in all three terminals and operate from 05:30 to 23:00.
Shopping is available in all terminals, with everything from handbags to computer games offered. Duty Free America has a number of locations in all three terminals which sell duty-free cosmetics, perfume, tobacco and alcohol. Travel essentials can be picked up at Air Essential (North Terminal), while luggage can be had at Travel Bags (Central Terminal). Fire CZ (South Terminal) sells beautiful diamonds, while Affordable Luxuries (Central Terminal) sells the fake stuff. Fashion brands that have presence at the airport include Coach, Emporio Armani and Hugo Boss.