Stuck at the Airport’s “5 Things We Love About…” series continues today with a look at some of the notable features and amenities at Miami International Airport (MIA).
Keep in mind that some of the amenities at MIA may be temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19 concerns, but we’re confident they’ll return.
If we missed one your favorite things about MIA, please share a note in the comments section below.
Want to nominate an airport for the series – or sponsor and installment – get in touch!
Here are 5 Things We Love About Miami International Airport (MIA)
1. The art at MIA Airport
Miami International Airport (MIA) has a robust collection of permanent public art as well as temporary exhibitions.
Here’s a sampling:
2. The MIA Beach
It started as an April Fool’s joke. But now MIA does have a beach (of sorts) in the terminal.
3. Monitors showing vintage MIA & Miami
Instead of taking down a bank of video flight monitors, MIA and the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at Miami Dade College use the monitors to show vintage film clips.
4. Local Caribbean and Cuban cuisine at MIA
Miami International Airport (MIA) is a great place to find real – and really great – Cuban and Caribbean meals and keep-you-awake Cuban coffee. Just a few of the places to find local flavor at MIA include Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, La Carreta, Cafe La Carreta, Cafe Versailles, Estefan Kitchen Express, Ku-Va Restaurant and Bar..
5. Cool Souvenirs at MIA
Travelers can find some unique souvenirs at Miami International Airport.
Our favorites include stone crabs packed for travel, hand-rolled Cuban-style cigars and travel gear from the colorful Britto shop.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Art and exhibitions 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,
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.
“There won’t be a place on the airport where you won’t see
some reference to the Super Bowl,” said airport spokesman Greg Meyer.
To prepare for and impress sports fans, many of whom may be visiting the airport and the area for the first time, FLL has put 160 live plants throughout the terminals and artificial greenery in the restrooms.
Teams are polishing terrazzo floors, shampooing the carpeting, pressure cleaning the sidewalks, scouring the restrooms and detailing the shuttles that run between the terminals and the rental car center.
“We do much of this cleaning normally,” said Meyer, “but
doing it just prior to the game will make sure we look our best.”
Before and after the big game, FLL will have extra staff on duty and more than 60 volunteers on-site to help guests navigate through the airport.
Airport concessionaires are doing their part too. Store hours are extended hours and there’s plenty of official team and game gear for sale.
Magically, memorabilia to celebrate the winning team will be for sale immediately after the game.
MIA is about 18 miles from Hard Rock Stadium and expects above-average passenger traffic on the three days prior to and the day after Super Bowl Sunday. On Monday, Feb 3, about 90,000 passengers are projected to depart MIA, which would be a single-day record for departures at the airport.
In addition to a pre-game facility spruce-up, MIA is adding some bonus features as well.
Through Super Bowl Sunday, MIA’s public address system will
be playing rotating welcoming messages from three former All-Pros: Miami
Dolphins legends Dan Marino, Nat Moore and Jason Taylor.
And through the end of February, travelers can view Duane Hanson’s iconic, hyperrealist sculpture, “Football Player” on the D Concourse, between Gates D47 and D48.
Also through the end of February, the Wolfson Moving Images exhibition on Concourse F is featuring archive video from past Miami Super Bowls and Miami Dolphins history on a set of old-style flight monitors.
Both FLL AND MIA also have detailed airport navigation information, arrival, and departure tips on their websites. Each airport also has important alerts about human trafficking, on the “Countdown to Takeoff Playbook” posted on their respective websites.
And passengers arriving before the Super Bowl on Thursday and Friday (1/30 and 1/31) at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), 58 miles from Hard Rock Stadium, will be greeted with special welcoming messages as well as giveaways and promotional items in the Bag Claim level.
Concessionaires at PBI are laying in the
sports-themed memorabilia as well.
TSA gearing up for the game
During the Super Bowl week, TSA, local and county police
departments, Customs and Border Protection, and other agencies will be adding
extra teams and showing a hi-visibility presence at all area airports
And to help with the crush of fans leaving on February 3, some security checkpoints will open early at both FLL and MIA and additional checkpoints will stay open 24 hours.
While not all security precautions being taken can be
shared, according to TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz, FLL will have 6 extra canine
teams, additional support from Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) and the Broward
Country Sheriff’s office, and 40 extra Transportation Security Officers on duty
to help at checkpoints and baggage areas.
Koshetz says 10 additional TSA canine teams will also join the eleven TSA canine teams already at MIA. There will be 60 additional TSA Officers to augment the TSA Miami Officer staff and help keep additional checkpoint lanes open on throughout the day.
Follow the countdown plan
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the National Football League, hospitality organizations and the airports are encouraging passengers heading home after the game on February 3 to follow the “5-4-3-2-1” plan.
The campaign encourages travelers to check out of hotels 5 hours before departure flight time; to return rental cars 4 hours before their flights, and to check-in at the airline ticket counters 3 hours before their flights. TSA hopes travelers will go through security at least 2 hours before their flights and be at their gates an hour before flight time.
For security reasons, TSA is
also asking Super Bowl travelers heading home after the big game to pack their
commemorative programs in carry-ons, not in checked bags.
In previous years, the
composition and thickness of these programs prevented TSA’s machines and human
scanners from seeing beneath the booklets in checked bags, requiring those bags
to alarm and be opened.
(My story about airports and TSA getting ready for Super Bowl fans first appeared on USA TODAY in a slightly different format.)
On Sunday, February 2, the Super Bowl returns to Miami for the 11th time.
And Miami International Airport (MIA) is getting ready to welcome thousands of fans who will be flying in – and out – for the big game.
In addition to special signage throughout the airport and a variety of other special treats, MIA airport is using a bank of old flight display monitors in Concourse F to show vintage film clips from the Wolfson Moving Images archives at Miami Dade College.
The film clips feature scenes from past Super Bowls that took place in Miami as well as Miami Dolphins history.