Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Miami International Airport
I can still remember landing at Miami airport for the first time, on our first trip to Florida and the US, just over 7 years ago. It was late at night when we flew over the shimmering lights of the city, laid out below us like a twinkling patchwork quilt. We were mesmerised by the sheer scale and beauty of the sight below us. At first, all we could see were lights criss-crossing the landscape, but as we made our approach to Miami International Airport we could see the roads laid out in a grid formation, lined with houses, and then around the airport perimeter, towering hotels dotted around, with cars rushing along the wide highways.
It was breathtaking, and after we had landed and made our way through the terminal we stood in the doorway as the automatic doors opened, and a blast of warm humid air brushed past our faces. It was dark outside and silhouetted against the night sky were soaring palm trees. It was sheer magic.
Since then we have landed at Miami International Airport on a regular basis, sometimes on our way to Orlando, sometimes prior to a cruise, but we still enjoy the experience. It is a hugely busy airport, and whilst not new and sparkling like the magnificent Orlando International Airport, it still has a certain appeal. The statistics are quite amazing, and reflect the high numbers of passengers which use MIA.
In the 2003 International Passenger Rankings of US Airports, it is third, just below JFK and LAX, with 13.9 million International Passengers using its facilities. As far as total passengers and aircraft movements in the US is concerned, it ranks 15th with 29.6 million passengers, and 417, 423 aircraft movements. There are 17 US scheduled passenger/cargo airlines, 8 Charter, and 34 foreign airlines, which serve 37 US and Canadian Cities, 20 South American, 10 Central American, 4 Mexican, 28 Caribbean and Bahamas, and 11 European and Middle Eastern cities, non-stop, and that is without the 32 cities served by planes which make one stop before reaching their destination. So it is a very busy airport.
It is truly amazing that it is so well run and spotlessly clean – we in the UK could certainly take a leaf out of their books when it comes to clean airports!
Miami International Airport is an unusual design, built on a hub formation, with 9 concourses radiating out from a central hub which contains the 2 long term and 1 short term car parks. There are two multi level car parks, called the Dolphin Garage, and the Flamingo Garage, and both are well signposted. They are connected to the terminal building, and moving sidewalks located on the 3rd level will take you from Concourse A-H. There is Disabled and stroller parking on the third level of each car park, too. Although there is a short term car park on the lower level, this does get very busy, but it is very convenient as you can walk across to the arrivals/departure area.
Long term parking is available for $4.00 per hour for the first two hours, and $2.00 for the third hour, to a maximum of $10.00 per day. Short term parking will cost you $2.50 for the first half hour, with $5 per hour up to a maximum of $25.
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