Airport guides

Miami International Airport Guide


What’s cool, What’s where at MIA Airport

Located near downtown Miami on 3,230 acres of land, Miami International Airport (MIA) was founded in 1928 and is now the country’s third-busiest airport for international passengers and one of the busiest airports in the world.

MIA serves more than 45 million passengers a year with a line-up of more than 100 air carriers offering flights to more than 160 destinations, including more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport.

MIA on social media

MIA website

MIA Mobile App

Airport maps

MIA on social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram

General Information: (305)876-7000/ (800)825-5643

Address: 2100 NW 42nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126

Checkpoint savvy at Miami International Airport

MIA has 10 security checkpoints, including two that operate 24 hours: Checkpoint 2 (Concourse D) and Checkpoint J1-Central.

Passengers can access all terminals and concourses, except Concourse F, from any checkpoint.

Park at Miami International Airport

Parking options at Miami International Airport include:

Garage: The Dolphin Garage serves North Terminals D and E. The Flamingo Garage serves Central Terminals F and G and South Terminals H and J. Electric charging stations available.

Daily parking rate $17.00 (January 2020).

Valet: located in Departures, on the 2nd level of both Dolphin (North) and Flamingo (South) garages.

0-3 hours: $18 (first day); 3-24 hours: $30. (January 2020)

MIA’s Cell Phone Waiting lot has 60 spaces and is located just off LeJeune Road, heading north or south.

Getting to and from Miami International Airport

Ground transportation options at Miami International Airport include car rentals, taxis/shuttles/limos and public transportation.

Car rentals at MIA: More than a dozen car rental agencies are in the MIA Car Rental Center, which is accessible via the MIA Mover, located on the 3rd level between the Dolphin and Flamingo garages.

Public transportation at MIA: Options include the Metrorail (Green and Orange lines) to a wide variety of Miami-Dade County destinations); TriRail; the Miami Beach Bus (Fare: $2.25) and other Metrobus routes.

Getting around Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport has three levels: Baggage claim is on Level 1; Departures, check-in and ticketing are on Level 2; and moving walkway between terminals are on Level 3.

Moving walkways travel from the Central Terminal to the MIA Mover Station, which connects to the Rental Car Center.

Above the North Terminal Concourse D, MIA’s Skytrain runs from one end of the concourse to the other, with 4 stations tops.

Wi-Fi at Miami International Airport

Complimentary Wi-Fi (with advertising) is available throughout MIA via the MIA-WiFi Network. Other services are available via Boingo for a fee. Power charging stations are located throughout the airport.

Relief areas at Miami International Airport for pets and services animals

For pets and service animals, MIA has enclosed areas with synthetic grass, fire hydrants, disposable bags, and sinks.

Pet/service animal relief areas at MIA are located post-security in Concourse D, F, G and J. Outdoor areas are at the arrival level in Concourse D, E, and J.

Pet therapy program at Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport’s pet therapy program, the Miami Hound Machine, brings certified dogs and their owners into the airport to de-stress and hang out with travelers. The team’s schedule and appearances are shared on the MIA’s social media accounts.

Play area for kids at Miami International Airport

Plane Fun is a unique, interactive children’s area. Located Concourse E, near Gate E5 and accessible from Concourse D as well. 

Lounges at Miami International Airport

In addition to VIP clubs and lounges at MIA for American Airlines and for other airlines that welcome guests based on ticket category, membership or credit card affiliation, there is a Military Hospitality Lounge pre-security on the 2nd level of the airport, and a Club America lounge that offers days passes.

Dining at Miami International Airport

MIA has a wide variety of dining options, including venues such as Bongos Cuban Café, Café Versailles and Café La Carreta venues offering Cuban and other local and regional cuisines.  Including. MIA’s restaurants, cafes, bars and grab-n-go options also include Air Margaritaville, Shula’s Bar & Grill, and Viena, the farm-to-table restaurant on the 7th floor of the Miami International Airport Hotel. See the full list of food options at MIA Airport.

Shopping at Miami International Airport

There are a wide variety of shopping options at Miami International Airport. Local and unusual shops include Bayside Brush (hairbrushes and grooming essentials), Books4Travel, Britto (Brazilian pop-artist-inspired gifts and accessories), Cuba Crafters (hand-rolled cigars), Cubavera and Havana Collection (fashion) and many shops selling Miami and Florida-themed souvenirs. Tip: My Ceviche (North Terminal, Concourse D) packs Florida Stone Crabs to go.

Quiet spaces at Miami International Airport

Travelers at Miami International Airport will find a yoga room in Terminal H.

A non-denomination chapel is located on the first level of Terminal D, between arrivals and Carousel 22. A quiet multisensory room is located on Concourse D, post-security, adjacent to TSA Checkpoint 4.

Art and exhibitions at Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport has a robust Art in Public Places program, as well as site-specific and temporary art exhibitions. Some highlights include two murals by the Brazilian artist Carybé in the South Terminal that were once displayed at the American Airlines terminal New York’s JFK Airport; Jen Stark’s “Meltdown” over the North Terminal entrance from the MIA Mover; and Christopher Janney’s 72-foot-long Harmonic Convergence in the Skyride Connector.  

Vintage film clips at Miami International Airport

Historical airport footage and archival footage of celebrities such as Bob Hope arriving at Miami International Airport run continuously on the screens of a bank of old-style flight monitors on MIA’s Concourse F.  The clips are from the Wolfson Moving Image at Miami Dade College and  include vintage footage of MIA from 1950s and 1960s; celebrities arriving at the airport from the 1950s to the 1980s; home movies filmed in Miami between the 1920s and 1960s; and the 1940s

Other amenities at Miami International Airport

Other passenger amenities at Miami International Airport include spas, water bottle refill stations, and standalone MIAmamas pods for nursing mothers on each concourse, post-security.

Hotel at Miami International Airport

The pet-friendly Miami International Airport Hotel (MIA Hotel) is inside the airport terminal, on Concourse E, at the Departure level. Day rates are available form 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Air Margaritaville is adjacent to the lobby; the Viena farm to table restaurant is on the hotel’s 7th floor.

Activities and attractions nearby Miami International Airport

Staff at the MIA Information Center on the 2nd level of Central Terminal E can offer ideas on what to do near Miami International Airport if you have a long layover between flights.

Gray Line has a shuttle running between the MIA Airport and the Dolphin Mall ($10/roundtrip, includes vouchers and discount coupons.)

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau website also offers a complete listing of attractions in the area.

Cupcake vending machines, putting greens & other cool airport amenities

My story for CNBC this week allowed me to wax enthusiastic about one of my favorite topics: cool airport amenities.

Spokane International Airport gives airport parkers free carwashes. Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana hands arriving passengers free cookies. Look closely and you’ll notice that many airports around the country have art worth millions of dollars by big-name artists on their walls.

Here are some other fun and usefuly amenities to look for next time you in an airport:

Cupcake vending machines

Leave it to Las Vegas to make sure travelers have plenty of unique amenities at the airport. In addition to a bag claim liquor store and 1461 slot machines (which generated about $14 million in revenue for the airport in 2018), McCarran International Airport now has four on-site vending machines that dispense cupcakes from the Beverly Hill, CA-based Sprinkles cupcakes chain. Hungry? Cupcakes are $4.95 each and all machines are restocked daily.

Sasquatch sighting

Bigfoot hunters believe one some of the native habitats of the legendary creature also known as Sasquatch are the Deschutes National Forest and Mount Jefferson Wilderness in Central Oregon, or perhaps Redmond Municipal Airport. To make the creature – and travelers – feel welcome, the airport has installed a 6-foot-tall, suitcase-toting Sasquatch statue and named their new mascot, appropriately enough, Biggie.

Play 8 holes before your flight

In Florida, which in 2015 had more golf courses than other state, golfers can squeeze in some practice at the Palm Beach International Airport. An 8-hole putting green is located inside the terminal, in the pre-security area of the Main Terminal next to Sam Snead’s Tavern. Club rental (with souvenir ball) is $3.20.

Eat well without leaving the gate

Airports everywhere are upgrading their dining options. But sometimes the meal you want isn’t near the gate you’re leaving from or by the working power outlet you’ve snagged.

That’s where a growing number of airport food delivery services come in. In addition to OTG’s order-by-tablet option in many airports, travelers can use an app to order food brought to them by Airport Sherpa in BWI Airport or by At Your Gate runners in San Diego (SAN), New York (LGA and JFK, Terminals 7 & 8), Newark (EWR), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and, most recently, Portland (PDX). And later this month, travelers will be able to pick up an app-ordered meal at kiosks being installed in Terminal C at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Smell, snap a selfie, but please don’t snack on the wall

April in Louisville, Kentucky is all about the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps. To celebrate Mint Julep Month – and offer a fun selfie-station for travelers – the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) has installed a wall with more than 700 fresh mint plants. The living wall will stay in place until the end of the April and sniffing, but not snacking, at the wall is encouraged. Mint juleps are on the menu in several airport bars and restaurants and a wide variety of Kentucky-made bourbons are for sale in the airport’s post-security Distillery District Marketplace.

Piano people wanted

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) recently adopted a “Play Me” grand piano and installed it in the Terminal 1 “Aero” event space. STL officials say passengers, employees and “Anyone who has the chops” is invited to sit down and perform an impromptu concert any time of day.

Readers wanted

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) encourages and entices travelers to read with a unique seating area and book exchange in Terminal A. Books are donated by airport employees and by American Airlines, which brings over reading material passengers leave behind on planes. In the Virtual Library in the airport’s Terminal D-C connector a short story dispenser issues fiction stories that can be read in one, three of five minutes.

New views at SFO Airport

Airport observation decks seem like an amenity of the past, but in February 2019, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) debuted a new outdoor terrace in the International Terminal. The deck has seating that includes a several chaise loungers, art, landscaping and great view of the airfield. Another observation deck is being built now in Terminal 2 and will open in the pre-security area in October.

Views and waffles

Many airports around the country are in the midst of renovation and new construction projects and Seattle-Tacoma International is one of them. SEA’s Central Terminal, with its iconic glass wall, recently reopened with fresh new, locally-themed food outlets such as Lucky Louie Fish Shack, serving adorable fish-shaped waffles.

Health help on the road 

No one wants to get sick on the road, but it’s reassuring to know that some airports have medical clinics on site. San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare and Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) airports have walk-in health centers with staff on duty to provide urgent care, immunizations and other services. Virtual care appointments are offered at PHX’s US CareWays Urgent Care and Portland International’s Airport’s Providence Express Care centers as well.

Airport symbols & signs: how do they happen?

My “At the Airport” column this month on USA TODAY is all about how some symbols or ‘pictograms’ were developed for airport amenities.  Here’s the story, plus a bonus video of flipping signs at Newark  Liberty International Airport.


It wasn’t that long ago that airports across the country were struggling with how to regulate ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft that were providing taxi-like pick-up and drop-off rides at terminals but, unlike taxis, were operating without permits.

Some airports imposed all-out bans; others sued the ride-hailing companies, issued cease and desist orders, or issued tickets with large fines to app-hailed drivers venturing onto airport property.

Today, most airports have deals in place with one or more ride-hailing companies. However, in the race to begin working relationships, airports across the country adopted different terms and a wide variety of signs and icons to point passengers to their app-hailed rides. That causes confusion for both travelers and drivers and adds to the curbside congestion at many airports.



A new airport ride-hailing icon recently adopted by Los Angeles International and, soon, by many other airports, should help solve the problem.

The term is “Ride App Pickup.” And the icon, or pictogram, is a smartphone symbol containing a mapping pin and car with two riders.

Many signs and symbols at airports are standardized and federally-mandated. But like the symbol for pet-relief areas now familiar at many airports, the symbol for ride-app gathering areas is not.

“After a long trip, the last thing a traveler needs is confusion as to where they need to go to catch a ride or meet their Uber or Lyft driver,” said Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Executive Director for Operations and Emergency Management at Los Angeles World Airports.

To gain some industry consensus about at the airport ride hailing locations, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) put together a working group of more than a dozen U.S. airports and several ride-hailing service providers. “Symbol guru” Mies Hora, founder and president of Ultimate Symbol, was then hired to help create a well-designed, common ride-hailing sign for airports to use.

“Needs like this are arising at airports all the time, but there hasn’t been a central way to develop the best symbol,” said Hora, “This was done the right way: they hired me – an expert in symbols –  and I was able to create both the nomenclature and the symbol sign that will now be used to create consistency for this service across the U.S. and in other countries.”

If widely adopted as expected, “That standardization of terms and icons for ride app services promises to more seamlessly connect passengers and drivers at LAX and other airports across the country,” said Jared Pierce, Director of AAAE Services.

Meditating on an icon for airport yoga rooms


When San Francisco International Airport introduced the first yoga room in an airport, it called on the team at Gensler, the architecture firm that reimagined and redesigned much of SFO and other airports, to come up with an icon to let passengers know the new space was there.


“We started with SFO’s existing symbol system and brainstormed ideas that would be simple, elegant and easily recognizable,” said Tom Horton, a Gensler senior associate on the team that works with SFO, “There are lots of symbols giving you a warning or telling you things you can’t do; we wanted to create a symbol that is calming and welcoming.”

The pictogram SFO settled on depicts a familiar yoga pose and guides passengers to the airport’s two yoga rooms. And while Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports have so far adopted different signs and symbols to lead passengers to their yoga rooms, SFO’s yoga room pictogram is likely to become the standard for this much-appreciated airport amenity.


In progress: an icon for all-gender restrooms


Family and all-gender, single-stall restrooms, with corresponding signs, are becoming standard at many airports. But the Gensler team is now developing a symbol for the all-gender, multi-stall restrooms that will become standard, by law, at SFO and other public buildings in the City and County of San Francisco.

The traditional ‘men’ and ‘women’ icons on restroom signs are easily recognizable. But for ‘all-gender’ restrooms, which will have community sink areas and multiple stalls with floor to ceiling partitions, a gendered symbol won’t be appropriate.

Gensler’s icon, still in the testing phases at SFO, is “straightforward, and speaks to exactly what you’ll find in the restroom – a toilet,” said Gensler’s Tom Horton. “The rational was to take any type of cultural contention out of the symbol, strip it back, and make it just about the fixtures in the room.”

 Fun with signs 



Of course, there’s are lots of other reasons – and ways – to use signs and symbols at airports. Some of those can not only provide information, they can also be fun.

In OTG’s United Terminal at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the new Yume restaurant featuring a ramen bar, sushi exhibition kitchen, Asian bakery and Asian biergarten is ‘signed’ with hundreds of red lanterns and 84 waving maneki-neko “lucky cats.”

This cuts through the visual ‘noise’ at the airport and signals that something different is happening here,” said Eric Brinker, OTG’s Vice President of Experience.

And at OTG’s Global Bazaar areas in Newark Liberty International Airport, several food stands are equipped with signs that flip and change at 11 a.m. each morning.

“The idea of having ribs or burgers at 5 A.M. is not really appealing,” said Brinker, so OTG worked with architecture and design firm Rockwell Group to create spaces that house one restaurant in the morning and another later in the day.

“For example, Eggy Weggy becomes Custom Burger at the switch-over,” said Brinker, “The back of the house is the same but the front of the house transforms, like a Broadway set, with flipping signs that are not only efficient but very Instagram-worthy.”



Are there some airport signs you love – or hate?  Share you comments –  and pictures, if you have them, in the comments section.

Top airports? Las Vegas, Orlando, John Wayne, Buffalo, says J.D. Power

Despite record passenger volumes and lots of construction projects,  travelers are more satisfied with the North America airports than ever before. That’s according to this year’s J.D. Power Satisfaction Study, which was released today.

The study breaks down airports by “mega,”  large and medium and evaluates for five factors (in order of importance): check-in; food, beverage and retail; accessibility; terminal facilities; and baggage claim.

Using a 1,000 point scale, the overall passengers satisfaction for airports overall was 761. That’s 12 points higher than last year’s study.

There was a tie for first place for  ‘mega’ airports category: Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Orlando International Airport, with a score of 781.

“We are so proud of our No. 1 ranking in the mega airport category,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, McCarran International Airport’s director of aviation, “This honor validates the hard work and collaboration among our airport partners as we have embraced a commitment to improving the passenger travel experience through shared customer service values. At McCarran, we know we are the first and last impression of Las Vegas, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

The team at Orlando International is equally proud:

“We remain dedicated to our core goal of providing travelers and guests with an outstanding
experience, ‘The Orlando Experience’, as they travel through the airport,” said Frank
Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We are gratified that
the efforts of the Board, staff and our airport partners to provide the traveling public with the
finest airport experience continue to be recognized.”

In the mega airport category, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (775) ranks third and Denver International Airport (771) ranks fourth.

Among large airports, John Wayne Airport, Orange County ranks first, with a score of 815. Dallas Love
Field (810) ranks second and Portland (Ore.) International Airport (804) ranks third.

“Not only did John Wayne Airport receive the highest score of any airport in the study, scoring 815 points on a 1,000-point scale, we also received the highest score in four of the six study categories, said Airport Director Barry Rondinella.  “John Wayne Airport has earned this distinction due to our team’s commitment to providing a superior guest experience. Every guest, every day, receives a superior level of care and attention.”

In the medium airport category, Buffalo Niagara International Airport ranks highest with a score of
814. Indianapolis International Airport (811) ranks second and Fort Myers/Southwest Florida
International (810) ranks third.

Of course, here at, we love all airports equally, but here are the full rankings from the report. If you can’t read them on this post, you can find them here.

              “Mega” Airports

                                              Large Airports 

                                   Medium Airports


Best new airport amenities for 2017

My “At the Airport” column for USA TODAY this month was a round-up of some of the best new amenities introduced at airports this year. Take a look a let me know if I missed one of your favorites.

Scratch and sniff

In 2017, passengers were able to visit with specially-trained therapy dogs and their trainers at a longer list of airports, with the newly re-branded Hollywood Burbank Airport joining the pack just last week with the introduction of its Traveler’s Tails program.

The type of animals visiting airports expanded this year as well. In 2016, a pig joined the canines on the Wag Brigade at San Francisco International Airport and miniature therapy horses became regular visitors at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. In 2017, Denver International Airport welcomed the first feline – a 12-pound domestic shorthair named Xeli – to the Canine Airport Therapy Squad, known as CATS.

 Reel entertainment

Back in 2014, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport opened the “See 18” screening room near Gate C18 to showcase short films. This year, at least other airports joined the in-airport movie fan club as well.

In March of 2017, a 17-seat Hollywood Theatre ‘microcinema’ opened at Portland International Airport, showing a round-the-clock program of short features made by Oregon filmmakers.

In August, a bank of old flight monitors at Miami International Airport began showing vintage film footage of the airport and of celebrities arriving the airport from the 1950s through the 1980s, courtesy of Wolfson Archives.

And in October, San Francisco International Airport unveiled a pre-security Video Arts Center in the International Terminal which features a rotating showcase of short films.

Gate Delivery

Many travelers are familiar with OTG’s iPad-enhanced airport seating areas that allow passengers in many gate hold areas to order food, drinks and products from nearby restaurants and shops to be delivered to them at their seats.

This summer two app-powered services, Airport Sherpa and At Your Gate, announced they’d be offering a new perk: airport-wide delivery of pretty much anything sold on-site, for a small delivery fee.

Gate-huggers rejoiced, but roll-out has been a bit slower than planned. Airport Sherpa currently provides this service only at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (use the code “Stuck” and you’ll get your first delivery for free), but says new airport partners will be announced soon. At Your Gate, which won approval of the Innovation Lab at San Diego International Airport, had planned an August launch, but that is now slated for January.

Biometrics and beyond

Biometrics is beginning to take hold at U.S. airports.

In June, JetBlue partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and global IT company SITA, to test a program using biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate during boarding. Travelers flying from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport and from Boston to Santiago, Dominican Republic can choose to opt-in to the program.

Delta Air Lines also added biometric options for some travelers. One of four self-service bag drop machines the carrier installed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is testing facial recognition technology to match customers with their passport photos through identification verification, a step the airline says is a first for U.S. carriers and has the potential to process twice as many customers per hour.

At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) Delta Sky Miles members enrolled in CLEAR can now use their fingerprint scans to gain entry to the Delta Sky Club and to board flights. The fingerprint test is also underway at the Delta Sky Club on Concourse B at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Getting to the gate – even if you’re not flying

Remember the ‘good old day’s’ of flying, when friends and family could go with you to the gate to send you off, and when your loved ones could greet you at the gate with hugs and kisses when you got home?

9/11 changed all that, but this summer Pittsburgh International Airport worked out a unique deal with the Transportation Security Administration to bring that perk back.

Now members of the non-flying public who check in at a special MyPITPass ticket counter can get a pass that gives them access to the gates, shops, restaurants and art offered by PIT airport beyond the security checkpoint. No other airports have yet been given permission by TSA to replicate this perk, but at PIT the service is quite popular and is being used by between 75 and 150 people a day, according to PIT spokesman Bob Kerlik.

Furthering Fitness, health and universal access

Marked walking paths and yoga rooms (at SFO, DFW, Chicago O’Hare and Midway, MIA and others) offer passengers a healthy alternative to just sitting by the gate – or in a bar. But travelers who want a more robust pre-flight workout got a new option this year at Baltimore/Washington International Airport when Roam Fitness opened what is currently the only post-security fitness facility offering a gym, workout gear and shower facilities. The company hopes to announce new airport locations this year.

This year the number of airports hosting Hand-Only CPR training kiosks expanded this year to 11 (see the full list here) which means travelers now have more opportunities to use their dwell time to learn how save a life. And Memphis International Airport became the first airport to offer blind and low-vision users of Aira assistive technology access to the airport. The program provides real-time visual interpreters to service subscribers through smart glasses or the camera on a traveler’s phone.

 Fun stuff and great ideas


This year there’s a long ‘bonus’ list of fun offerings and great ideas.

Denver International Airport brought back free summer movies and winter ice-skating on its outdoor plaza.

Portland International Airport handed out special glasses and hosted a rooftop party for visitors wanting a glimpse of the August solar eclipse.

In the United Airlines Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport, this year OTG called on master pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres (aka “Mr. Chocolate”) to help it create and open a 24-hour bakery and chocolate shop. In addition to the Mélange Bakery Café, that terminal now also boasts an invite-only “secret” restaurant (called Classified) and a sushi restaurant, Tsukiji Fishroom, which now receives super-fresh fish flown in directly from Tokyo’s iconic Tsjukiji Fish Market.

This year Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport created a special catalog to help and encourage passengers do all their holiday shopping on site;

And, in honor of its 70th anniversary, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) created #ProjectGratitude and surprised passengers throughout the year with complimentary gift cards from airport concessionaires, surprise performances and free treats, including snazzy CVG-branded socks.