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Flying into Miami
Last time we came to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise I noted that it wasn't too inconvenient to fly into Miami since they aren't that far apart but I really didn't enjoy the Miami airport experience. The luggage took a long time to come out, people were starting to go to the baggage desk and complain. The car rental desk wasn't hard to find but it was a fair distance from the baggage claim, at least there are no shuttles involved, rather you take a people mover train. And then, of course, we had to drive 45-50 minutes to get to our hotel in Fort Lauderdale. But we were able to use our frequent flyer miles and we upgraded to First Class so no worrying about luggage charges and our luggage came out first.
Miami International airport
For our cruise from Ft. Lauderdale I ended up booking a flight into Miami instead because I could use my frequent flier miles to MIA but not to FLL. I can't say that I like Miami's airport very much, our luggage took ages to get out and ours was the 1st bags out because we were in business class (yea frequent flier miles!) Then we had to walk from the terminal to the people mover that took us to the car rental agencies, that also seemed like it took a long time although I suppose less of a hassle than some airport that make you take a specific shuttle to an off airport site.
Flying into Miami
Miami area has 2 major airports served by many mainline US airlines and some European airlines as well. For domestic travel, Fort Lauderdale airport, about 30 miles away, offers a better option in terms of ticket pricing. Tickets to FLL are generally more cheaper than MIA for most of the US destinations.
Both airports have rental car companies, taxis that go to Miami area and other forms of transportation that shuttles between Miami area and FLL airport. For travelers, who rent a car, flying to FLL can save a lot of money compared to flying into Miami International.
Five hours in between flights at 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!
Air France to Miami
what a great pleasure it is, to leave CDG and just after nine hours of a comfortable flight you are in MIAMI. today i left CDG at 11 in the monring and 9 hours later to the minute, landed in Miami and more welcoming than that was the fact that, within half of an hour of the flight landing, we had coasted to the gate, gonet hrough immigration and customs and the nout of the doors to the Rental CAr counter...
The food as usual was good.
I like to be loyal to an airline or a team of airlines, or rental car company..
the airline lounge in PARIS was good, nice to gulp a glass of champagene before leaving only to be continued on board..
Compare the fares
If you are going to the southern east coast of Florida (Miami, the Palm Beaches, Fort Lauderdale, et al.), especially if you plan to rent a car and/or visit more than one of the cities, towns, or beaches in the area, check air fares from your starting point to Miami (MIA), Palm Beach (PBI), and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), as well as the car rental rates at each of these airports before booking your seats and cars. Air fares and car rental rates and surcharges vary from day to day and air fares are not necessarily directly related to the distance flown. Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Miami Beach are a very short drive from each other yet the fares from your home airport to each of these airports may vary drastically.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Miami International is a very nice airport thats actually made alot of improvements over the past few years. This airport is a rounded one (not stacked in parallell concourses like Atlanta or others) and has some new, excellent shops and restaurants- some of my favs are on Concourse "E" where there is a sushi bar, Sam Adams and a Chilis to go. Years ago I would advise against taking a long wait inbetween flights in MIA, but now I think theres enough to do and to eat you'd be just fine! My favorite wing is the American Airlines wing.
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
Virgin Upper Class to Miami from London
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..
Air France Economy Class Miami to Paris
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.
Standing In Lines
The traffic to get to the airport is terrible. Last time, there was a traffic accident on the other side of the highway which had us in a long creeping backup of rubberneckers, but we got to the airport by 3:45, which is 25 minutes longer than it would take if the traffic was running smoothly.
If you do curbside check-in it costs $2.00 a bag. Last time, my daughter dropped me at the airport to curb check my luggage, she asked the skycap to get me a wheelchair, which he did. Be sure you have change to tip if you want to do this - I gave him $5.00 and he was going to keep it all. He took me to a kind of corral for wheelchair people and eventually a lady came to push me to security. Then they had a hard time finding a golf cart to take us to the gate (D45).
The airport is often a zoo which is why my husband won't fly anymore. In March 2008, we ended up in a six snake line (after asking several of the airline herders). By a six snake line, I meant that the line snaked back and forth six times the depth of the airport at that point. There was another bigger snake on the other side that was wrapped around ours.
In the line with us were MANY people of course, but also people with MANY MANY bags. The sign in line said "One bag under 50 lbs free" and that the maximum per person was two checked items and that bags over 50 lbs would be $50. Since then there has been an additional charge added for checking more than one bag. So all those people with multiple big heavy bags were holding up the line writing checks. There is also a severe restriction on what you can carry on with you.
The baggage carts are free in Europe, but here you pay for them. Be prepared to either pay or move your own luggage. We were in line for over an hour. From before 3:45 until almost 5 o'clock. Someone tried to jump the line saying that he had 7 minutes to make his flight, but his flight only left 20 minutes before ours, so that wasn't true. Eventually we got to the counter and our bags weighed 44 lbs and 34 lbs.
Then we had to take the bags to the processing line, where they scan the bags before they load them. The security line was out of the airport as well.
Coming back, we went through immigration fairly rapidly, and handed in the customs form, and claimed the bags. We were one of the first ones down to the baggage carousel and I was sitting and he was standing next to it. People kept trying to get their bags off of it, and not being able to lift them and being carried around towards us and crashing into him as they tried to get their bags.
- Family Travel
Miami International Airport
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.
Be sure that you got enough times for your transit!! Miami Airport is huge, and sometimes they change the boarding gate at last minutes...:(
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