Miami International Airport/Airplane, Miami
I agree with Nomad. Going through Immigration and Customs is usually a breeze but sometimes can take away the time, especially waiting for your luggage to come out and if you have checked it to your final destination it is easy to recheck it just outside the customs and immigration. otherwise it would be another long line to stand especially if you are flying economy and in american airlines.
the traffic in miami around the airport can get dicey and there is no way you can plan a quick trip to the lincoln road mall in the time frame you have. the biltmore hotel is within a short taxi ride but beware, none of the taxi drivers are going to be very pleased that you are going just to biltmore hotel.. a short ride for them. you can take the supershuttle there and back but you have to book them well in advance for the return trip.
Miami international Airport has good coffee shops, not the starbucks variety but good strong cuban coffee: branches of versailles and la carreta form the little havana. you can go up the airport hotel and have a good view from the top where there is swimming pool.
But honestly five hours between flights especially if one is an international one, is too short to do anything much in Miami, which has NOTORIOUSLY bad public transport..
Come back another time!
It is always better to take nonstopflights. From Miami, there are nonstop flights to so many destinations: all the islands in the caribbean, all the central and south american capitals, and many more.. to europe, the picking is less. two direct flights a day to Paris for example, London slightly more frequency, three and at times four.
I like taking the Air France flight, leave around 5 30 pm and you are in Paris 8 am in the morning. the service is classy and they always offer you champagne regardless of which part of the plane you are sitting.
in October 2007, I will be flying Miami to Paris twice, first time in Economy Class and the second time in L Espace Affaires
Here is a picture of a meal on the economy class. The aircraft is a 747 400 and upstairs section is quiet and helps you relax during the flight.
I cannot say enough about my experience with Virgin from LHR to MIA.
Left right on time, within fifteen minutes we were on the air and arrived in Miami about forty minutes early. good service and friendly staff, a head and shoulder massage during flight, enough entertainment.. all in all a good experience.
they were highlighting english cuisine, so the possibilties were certainly limited. Food on Air France is much better, also on Continental Airlines. For Asian tucker: malaysian and Singapore airlines..
my next flight on virgin upperclass would be in january on my journey from Yangon to Cuba:
yangon to singapore on jetstar; singapore to cochin on tiger; cochin to mumbai on kingfisher and then mumbai to london on virgin, london to miami on virgin and miami to havana on abc charters.. of course this journey would be done over a period of days.. not straight thruogh..
The concept of "transit" has not yet made it to Miami. I was flying from Heathrow to Jamaica and had to change planes in Miami. As there is no transit facility I had to go through customs, passport control etc.
And then they had the cheek to tell me I did not have an appropriate passport to enter the USA and put a stamp in it (called parole) meaning I could not use the passport again for the US.
I tried to explain that entering the USA was just about the last thing I would want to do, I just wanted to change planes to get to Jamaica.
They were quite pleasant about as they obviously realise their rules are a bit ridiculous. I thought it was going to end up like the film "Terminal" by Spielberg.
Date: November 2004
Was a bit funny to be forced to enter my own country through immigration, and just for transit, but well. This whole airport is now completely to be renovated, and the parts that yet are finished do in deed look great, other parts really are run down, and there are long distances to walk.
Passing through migration is no fun at all either, though I didnt have any troubles.
Miami International Airport is six miles west of the city, with Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport about 30 miles to the north. Both airports have 24-hour shuttle bus services, taxis, limousine hire and a choice of national and local rental car agencies.
The best way to get around the Miami area is by car and a number of the rental firms offer hourly as well as daily and weekly rates. To avoid getting trapped in traffic congestion in the downtown area there is the 'Metromover'. Part bus, monorail and train, it comprises a couple of computer-controlled carriages that run on an elevated track and offers great views of central Miami.
The mayor north-south expressway is I-95,which runs just west of downtown and merges with US Higway 1,
the mayor access route to Biscayne Bay,Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.Another mayor expressway, I-75, runs from Miami west to Southwest Florida destinations and then veers north to Tampa.
Miami International Airport is located just seven miles from downtown Miami.
Buses, the Metrobus, and elevated trains, the Metrorail, provide service in the Greater Miami area for $1.25 each way, with express service running north and south of the county.
Individual motorized cars run on two-mile elevated track,which loops around Miami and connect to the
MetroRail at Goverment Center Station for a fare of 25 cents.
Water Taxi departing from hotels, restaurants,parks and marinas,the area's unique Water Taxi offers transportation throughout Greater Miami and the Beaches.
AMERICAN AIRLINES,CONTINENTALD ETC
PLEASE DONT USE AIRTRAM
YOU'LL NEVER BE ON TIME, THE WORST
AIRLINE EVER !!OR YOU MAY SPEND THE
NIGHT IN ANOTHER STATE !
BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE PLANES
Flights are very cheap. As I mentioned before, Jetblue and Spiritair offer the best domestic flight bargains.
It's actually tolerable getting around Miami without a car. the bus system is extensive, but be sure to have exact change. You should definitely take a little trip from South Beach and wander around the downtown--it has lots of little immigrant enclaves and its monorail is the most uselessly cute thing I've ever seen.
Miami is the gateway to the Carribean (except Cuba) and Southamerica. There are a lot of Carribean and South American Airlines flying into Miami. Main carriers here in Miami: Air Jamaica, Servicensa, Avensa, Aerolieas Argentinas, Lan Chile, Varig, Mexicana, Aero Mexico, Avianca Colombia, BWIA, Air Aruba, ALM, Bahamas Air, Cayman Airways, Aero Costa Rica, TACA, Equatoriana, LAB Bolivia, COPA Panama and others.
Most American Airlines fly also to Miami Int'l or at least to Ft. Lauderdale. American has its main Hub here.
There are also connections to Europe. Swissair, Air France, Iberia, British Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sabena, TAP, Alitalia, South African and a lot of other Airlines are flying into Miami...
Getting to Miami is not the ordeal you would think. Airlines fly non-stop, direct from many cities into Miami international airport, but just a reminder that the Ft. Lauderdale airport is smaller and more convenient to fly into and just 17 miles from South Beach. Check out several online travel sites like Expedia.com or Travelocity to get the best deals and to reserve Hotels and Rental cars.
I flew direct from London Gatwick on British Airways. I flew as a 'courier' and paid only £155 return including taxes. Virgin also fly direct.
Taxi! Public transport is difficult to find/negotiate when you have such limited time. No decent Metro system! If you are staying in South Beach ... walking and cycling are the way to go!
We have an international airport right here in Miami. The Fort LauderdaleInternational airport is about 50 miles north of miami. We also have interstate trains, and buses. Two interstate highways I-95 along the east coast, and I-75 along the west coast, bring you right into MIA. The Florida turnpike, a toll road, brings you into MIA through the center of the state. Orlando to Miami via this road is an easy 4 hour ride. And of course we are right at the oceans edge, so you can also come by boat, or cruise ship.
Miami like any other large city has public transport. Buses mainly, an extremely limited over head rail system, and the ever popular taxie cabs. All of the above are not very good. If you're going to stay any time in Miami, the best way to get the most of your time is to rent a car. It is relatively cheap and if you can navigate with a map, safe to rent a car. There are always the tour companies that take you around in their busses to the the tourist traps. Due to the distance between points of interest the city does not lend itself to walking. If you are a cyclist,during the day, it is possible to do a great deal of sight seeing from a bike. As a matter of fact, thats my favorite way of getting to the beaches, and exploring new places. Warning though, there are not may bike paths and you have to share the road with drivers that do not like to share.
Be sure that you got enough times for your transit!! Miami Airport is huge, and sometimes they change the boarding gate at last minutes...:(