I have flown in and out of MIA several times and usually it is pleasant save one time thanks to a nightmare of a TSA agent. The airport itself is rather easy to navigate especially with the sky train that shuttles passengers to and from gates. There is plenty to keep you entertained while waiting for a flight; with an abundance of shopping and dining choicces.
Our last trip brought us from JFK and then onwards to PLS with virtually no hassles except for a delay in takeoff.
The easiest way to get to anf from Miami airport is either by taxi or supershuttle... if you are traveling alone, then supershuttle is definitely worth it - but if you are in a group of two or more, then getting a taxi it's a cheaper and more comfortable option.
From the airport taxis charge you a flat rate, so to Coconut Grove it's $21.70, to thePort of Miami $24.00 and to Lincoln Road in South beach $32.00. Every taxi has the flat rate chart displayed on the window.
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
The Miami International Airport fast park:
is your cheapest alternative. It also provides shuttle service connecting you to all major flights and terminals.
The link I've provided gives you a coupon for $7.00/day.
Employees use this parking area.
To read more on the different parking areas near the airport:
American Airlines is my choice of airlines and traveling to Miami from NYC is a quick 3.5 hours. With more than 15 flights from the NYC airports, flying to Miami is quite easy.
MIA is undergoing some massive construction and although it has been going on for well over a year, arriving in MIA can be a nightmare, especially if you are making a connection here.
If MIA is your first point of entry into the US for Europe, South America, etc., pray you've left enough time for that connection. The lines are huuuuuuuuge because most flights on AA make MIA the US point of entry. International flights from South and Central Amercia, Europe and the Caribbean islands are arrive here non-stop.
Like any international airport, MIA has many shops, restaurants and services to make your transit somewhat easy.
Check out MIA website for more information.
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
I was leaving Miami to go to Paris on 25th November, I was not expecting it but a First Class Boarding pass was issued, I thanked all of them at the Continental Counter, most of them have become good friends.. I was not hungry but didnt wish to by pass the chance to eat some stirfried shrimp with string beans, and a glass of wine, which was definitely californian eventhough they were serving an australian red.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the years I have become very fond of MIA. especially with these new changes.. Yesterday I was at the Continental Couner saying hello to friends, they asked me, obviously you are going for your cuban coffee.. Yes, then another chirped in there is a Starbucks in terminal J.. I pretended to be furious.. and said jovially.. it is a crime to drink Starbucks here in Cuban Country when we have such good coffee.. sure enough I went to the Versailles counter and had a nice cortadito made by a woman who left Havana at age 7.. we chatted for a while in spanish, so for half the price you get coffee made with love and by people who know how to make coffee as they themselves drink it, rather than unemployed youth given a little training to sell mediocre coffee at twice the price..
to this day, I get a kick out of coming in and out of MIA.. and I enjoy the experience..
with the new terminal J it is even beginning to look modern... The corrupt government in Miami, sorry my own Cuban brothers, give the concessions to their friends and there is always a kick back I am sure, this is what i read in investigative journals about Miami Govt.. Yesterday as I was entering the security, a matron said to me that i must put my computer back into the bag, since that would make three carry ons.. how stupid can you get, since i had taken the computer out so that it would be easy for me at security.. I told her in spanish, this is worse than Cuba, and you are all worse than Fidel...
In Miami, one can always count on some experience.. i could say hello to my jamaican friends at Continental, chat with a ex habanera, shout at a ex venezuelan that Fidel is better...
If you are a frequent visitor to the USA or traveler from USA leaving the country often enough, it is worth considering the Global Entry programme of the United States Immgiration. Once you are approved your passport or Visa is stamped with an additional electronic signature and you swipe it at the machines a the entry.
Yesterday arriving into the USA.. I calculated that within 5 minutes of entering the Immigration Hall, I had cleared Immigration, which takes only about one minute and walked down and cleared customs, since there is a separate line for Global Entry holders. It is an excellent service. No paper to fill, no immigration officers to content and they know that you have been checked out already. no strict customs check. I use it even when I travel from Cuba to Miami directly and no questions.. the same procedure, since they already know on which flight you had arrived. When I put in my card, my flight automatically came up!