Fly To, Key West
I suppose from a strict functionality standpoint, the Key West International Airport gets the job done. Planes land, they offload luggage, you can get a rental car or a taxi.
The problem with the local airport is that it's soooooo laid-back. People only seem to hang around and work when there is an immediate need to do so, as in a plane just landed. At other times, the airline and rental car counters are lonelier than a strip club in rural Utah.
My insight for the Key West airport is as follows: FIND someone immediately if you have any need or problem to solve. And, do not let them out of your sight. If you do, it may be hours, or even the next day before you find another living, breathing person within reach. I'm not kidding, folks. I used to think that our home airport up in Tallahassee was small potatoes. But the Key West airport makes Tallahassee look like Heathrow.
Several major air carriers schedule regular service to both Key West airport and Marathon airport. These include US Airways and ComAir (Delta), and American Eagle Airlines. Many flights are routed through the Miami International Airport, although some smaller airlines, such as Cape Air and private charters, schedule direct flights from many major cities in Florida and the Bahamas. International flights must connect to one of these airlines in Miami.
There are many ways to move around Key West, but one of the best has to be seeing the island and surrounding area by sea plane. This is a bit on the pricey side but for those that can afford it, a flight over the islands and out to Dry Tortuga is an opportunity to see the area that few do.
Key West Seaplane Tours
Key West Reservations: 305-293-9300
3471 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, Fl 33040
There are shuttle flights from most florida locations to Key West...I definitely don't recommend a car as there is no place to park and really no where in Key west to drive..Most places are in walking distance and cabs are cheap and plentiful...lots of rental bikes, scooters, mini cars etc
Walking is best...
Yes, Key West does have an airport. It is small, with only smaller aircraft coming in and out. Don't expect the Airbus 380 to be landing here anytime soon.
There is a resterant and gift shop inside the main area (where you check in). However, there are NO food places, shops, or even bathrooms once you pass security. So make sure you have taken care of everything before you go through.
I can see the airport from my balcony, maybe I'll see you fly in?
Arrive by plane . . . Beware, flying directly into Key West is quite pricey unless you find a deal . . . I suggest flying into either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, renting a car and driving down . . . It will take you about 3 hours, but there is so much to see along the way, you won't mind it
Walk . . . Bike . . . Trolley . . . Parking is hard to find
You can fly into Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Airport and rent a car to drive the rest of the way to the keys.
There several ways to get around Key West once you get down there. You can rent mopeds, bikes, or small moter carts. There is also a trams and small buses that give tours.
fly directly in to their airport and taxi to your hotel. The trip down the keys can be breathtaking, but it's long and on the weekends there can be traffic jams.
Stay in the old town and walk (actually stroll) everywhere. Or, if you're energetic or young and impatient, rent a bike. I also recommend the Old Town Trolly tour. You can get off at the spot you want to see and then get back on for a ride to the next spot.
I must admit that this is one of the most interesting airplane trips of my life. The weather was overcast as our little jet from Orlando descended to the island. We had to abort the landing and circle the island before getting a good chance to land. Taking off again was also an adventure. The runway is very short, so the pilot had to place the plane on full throttle while holding on to the brakes so that we could get maximum momentum. As we lifted off, the runway quickly disappeared.
The airport is very close to the city. You have between 1 and 2 miles to get to town. If you are a very light traveller and have only a small backpack with you, you can literally walk along a nice path along the coast to town. It will save you a cab ride and give you a chance to stretch your legs. You could even rollerblade between the airport and town if baggage is not an issue!
There are regional carriers serving the Key West airport. Most of the flights come in from other cities in Florida.
I'm not sure where this guy actually took off from, but spotted this ultralight flying just above the center of town.
This guy's got a great bird's eye view of all the festivities during 'Fantasy Fest 2001'!
If you are going to the Keys and south Florida:
- parking is a fortune and you can walk most everywhere. The drive to the Keys is long and not especially interesting if you have had a long flight and driving in Key West is cumbersome.
1) Instead of flying into Miami / Ft Lauderdale and renting a car to drive to key West (a long drive) - here are a couple of better options:
2) Fly into Ft. Meyers / Naples, Fla, and take a ferry to Key West and back. (Fun!)
Key West Shuttle
This high-speed ferry service shuttles passengers between Florida's west coast and Key West in three and a half hours. Service is available to and from Naples and Fort Myers. 1-888-KEYBOAT. www.keywestshuttle.com
X-Press to Key West
This high-speed ferry service carries passengers between Florida's west coast and Key West in four hours. Service is available to and from Fort Myers Beach. 1-800-273-4496. www.keywestferry.com .
3) Fly into Key West - you do not need a car.
4) If you are insistent on driving to Key West - fly into Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Fort Meyers/Naples - rent the car for a day, drive to Key West and then - Drop the car off - there are no drop off charges in Florida. Pick a car up again when you are ready to leave - much less hassle.
My wife and I have been coming down for years now, usually flying into (FLL) Fort Lauderdale then driving down. The drive is beautiful, just beware of the school bus's around 3:00 because you may really get stuck in back of them. This year we will be flying in later this to (EYW) Key West Airport, this will be our second time flying. The first time as we were making our approach to the airport, the Captain of this 50 passenger Jet made the following anouncement "Key West Airport has a very short landing area so make sure all bags are secure, the landing is usually "Violent" so be prepared" well everyone in the plane repeated the word "Violent" and yes it was very rough, as soon as the wheels, the reverse thrusters were engauged along with heavy braking. We were still braking when the Captain made a sharp turn off the runway and looking out my window was the end of the runway and mangroves and water.
My flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West was in a very small plane - pretty much the smallest flown my any of the major airlines. Maybe seated 20. If you are scared of small planes, pay attention to this when booking your flight. There are regional jets that go to Key West, and maybe even larger aircraft from places further away.
I never knew that Key West has an airport! But apparently it does, so if you want to go there, the code is EYW, and it is surprisingly affordable! This is a good way for me to go, since one has to be 25 to rent a car, and I'm not quite there yet.