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If the gorgeous coastal scenery is not enough, then the colonial buildings, the beaches and the fantastic seafood should all do the trick. These are what people come to Pensacola for. Pensacola is a city in northern Florida in the United Stations. It is the final city in the Florida panhandle along the I-10 before Mississippi. One of the best ways to get here is through Pensacola International Airport, from where you can pick up your car rental to explore this beautiful coastal region at your own pace.
Who to Book With
The counters of the car hire firms present in Pensacola International are lined up one after the other in front of the Baggage Claim area on the first level. The following car rental companies are represented here: Hertz, Dollar Rent-a-Car, National, Budget, Avis and Alamo. Additionally, Thrifty and Enterprise have their desks right outside the airport, reachable by complimentary shuttle buses. Check rates before you fly to help you get the best deal.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting the vehicle you booked, you must have with you:
- UK driver's licence (International Driving Permit also accepted)
- Proof of identity (like a passport)
- Your credit card with enough credit to cover deposit
- Booking confirmation
Be aware that traffic laws do vary from state to state in the US. This might prove essential as Pensacola lies just across the Florida-Mississippi state lines. For Florida, remember that the speed limits are: 70mph for expressways and interstate highways; 55mph to 65mph for roads outside built-up areas; and, 10mph to 20mph for school zones and busy areas in town. Parking is abundant in Pensacola and most of the time parking spots are free of charge. Upon arrival, it is recommended that you get a local map. Streets around Pensacola are notorious for having multiple names.
Consult our United States driving guide for more tips.
Pensacola International is located in the city's suburbs, just five miles north from the downtown area. Driving to and from the airport as well as around town is very easy. It is definitely the best option given the city's expensive cab fares, a not so comprehensive bus system and unavailability of train services. From the airport, you can take the Airport Boulevard all the way to North 12th Avenue. You continue on to East Fairfield Drive and get on the I-110 ramp which heads south all the way to Pensacola city centre.
There are many private suppliers of taxi and shuttle services operating at Pensacola International. To hire one, you simply head outside the Arrivals area on the first level, exiting near the Baggage Claim area. Some airport taxi companies like A Airport Taxi and A Airport Shuttle accept credit card payments. Note that there is an additional charge of one dollar (£0.6) for any airport pick-up. Also, there is a minimum charge of â¤7 for taxi services.
Pensacola International Airport to Pensacola city centre is around £9.
The local bus operator is the Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT). It runs buses between the airport and downtown Pensacola from early morning to early evening. Buses leave hourly on weekdays and every couple of hours on weekends. The base fare for adults is about £1 and with it, you are given one free transfer if you make the transfer within two hours of getting on the first bus.
Pensacola International Airport receives passengers in its sole terminal. It has 10 out of the 12 gates currently in regular use. Destinations from here include Atlanta, Houston-Intercontinental, Orlando, Washington-National, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Tampa and Charlotte.
Passengers transiting at Pensacola International currently have three areas to park in, each with its own pricing scheme. The Surface Parking Lot charges £1.3 per hour. Garage Parking charges £0.6 per 30 minutes. Economy Lot 1 charges 1.3 per hour. Major credit cards are accepted.
The airport offers free WiFi accessible in all areas of the terminal building.
There is a Hotel Information counter in the Arrivals area beside the Baggage Claim. The airport administration office can be found on the second level before security checks.
Airport Operations Center: +1 850 436 5000
A lift is available to take persons with reduced mobility between the two levels of the terminal building. All three parking areas of the airport have designated spots for disabled passengers.
Restaurants and Bars
Choices can be somewhat limited with regard to dining options at Pensacola International. Before and after the security checks, passengers can head to either of the two Varona's Restaurant locations; these offer pastries and sandwiches.
There is one lounge, operated by the United Service Organisations (USO), on the second level of the airport for military personnel and their families.
Money and ATMs
An ATM can be found on the first level close to the escalator near the restrooms. There is another one on the second level right past Gates 3 and 4.
Before the airport security check, lies The Paradies Shop selling clothes, accessories and other gift items. On the concourse, the CNBC shop sells souvenir and gift items.