Arrival at Miami!
Welcome to Miami. Your arrival in Miami will most probably be at Miami International Airport. Our airport is one of the busiest in the nation. It’s 3rd. in volume for international passengers, and 15th. overall. A staff of over 38,000 assisted 35.5 million passengers using 93 airline companies in 2006.
On arrival I suggest you visit The Miami-Dade Aviation Department Tourist Information Center located on Concourse E, Level 2, near the airport’s hotel or Concourse J, Level 2, close to Delta Airlines counter. The counters are open from 5 A.M. to 10 P.M. daily, 365 days a year. There is an additional information counter in the terminal staffed by volunteers. They are usually open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, according to staff availability. The location is Concourse D, level 1 at the exit from Customs and Immigration. There is also a periodically manned desk at Checkpoint 4, Concourse E, level 2. In addition, MIA offers assistance and paging service 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, through approximately 100 white courtesy phones within the terminal. For additional information, please call 305-876-7000
Arriving by domestic carrier:
If arrival at Miami is from Canada, The Bahamas or Aruba, you will pass customs and immigration at your departure city, so you will land in Miami as a domestic arrival.
Upon disembarking the aircraft, follow the signs for Baggage Claim and Ground Transportation. You will first reach Level 2. If someone is picking you up, level 2 is the best place for this. It tends to be quieter than Level 1, which is quite compact and being roofed, suffers from exhaust fumes and lack of air circulation.If you have checked baggage you must descend to Level 1. The signage here leaves much to be desired, so double check with staff which carrousel your luggage will be likely to appear on. There are sometimes considerable delays for luggage to arrive, so don’t despair. Airline baggage offices are on this level too.
Follow the signs
Domestic Baggage Claim
Arriving by International carrier:
Except for passengers arriving from Canada, the Bahamas or Aruba, International arriving passengers proceed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s passport control. This could take some time depending if your flight arrives with many other international flights at the same time. After clearing passport control, you proceed to collect your luggage and clear U.S. Customs. Access the U.S. Customs website to check on prohibited articles, such as fresh fruit. Their sniffer dogs can locate a ripe apple from one end of the hall to the other! The Interline Lobby is outside U.S. Customs, where you may re-check luggage if having a connecting flight.
Arrivals at Customs "J"
After exiting U.S. Customs, you will be on Level 3 of the terminal. To find ground transportation take the elevator or escalators to Level 1. To find other airlines take the elevator to Level 2. For rental cars and public transportation take the moving walkway on this level, following the lilac (or pink) arrows to "Rental Car Center".
Arrivals at Customs "D"
After exiting U.S. Customs, you will be on Level 2 of the Terminal. If you are connecting with American Airlines, follow the signs to the left on Level 2. All others should take the circular descending ramp or elevators to Level 1 for ground transportation and to meet greeters. For rental cars and public transportation ascend to Level 3 following the lilac (or pink) coloured arrows to "Rental Car Center". To connect to other Airlines, ascend to Level 2. American Airlines, US Airways and Qatar Airways are in Concourse "D". All other airlines depart from Concourses "E" to "J".
Even locals are often unaware that there are moving walkways located on the Level 3 and connect all the concourses of the main terminal and parking garages. These moving walkways are little used and span the length of the terminal building, allowing you to quickly transit from concourse to concourse.
Wheelchair service is offered through your air carrier upon request. To ensure availability and timely service, it is strongly recommended that this service be reserved in advance. However, wheelchair assistance may also be requested at airline ticket counters.
(Cash Dispensers)/ Bank / Exchange
Passengers have access to a full service bank on Concourse D, Level 4 and Concourse J, level 2. Automated teller machines (cash dispensers) are located throughout the airport on levels 1 and 2. MIA has foreign currency exchange booths at six locations on Level 2, in the Concourse D Greeter’s Lobby on Level 1, and in the Concourse J Greeter’s Lobby on Level 3. The booth in Concourse E, level 2, operates from 5:30 A.M. to 11 P.M.
MIA was one of the first airports to have a hotel actually on site. It is located at Concourse E, and is considered a deluxe property. Rooms are of course sound-proofed. Prices are reasonable at around US$ 185.00 a night, plus 13% tax.
Other services and amenities
Access MIA services to see all the services Miami International Airport has to offer.
Level 1 is where you will find ground transportation. This area is very compact and being roofed, suffers from exhaust fumes and lack of air circulation.
Taxi Rank Level 1
There will also be a representative from SuperShuttle, a “door to door” shared shuttle service. These vans operate pretty much while there are flights and generally depart within 15 to 20 minutes. For single passengers this offers considerable saving over taxis, though may take somewhat longer to get to your destination. See sample fares here.
MIA Transit Center
Follow the signs for the Rental Car Center, Metrobus and Metrorail, using the interior moving walkways on level 3 of the airport. Take the MIA Mover train and follow the signs to the Transit Center. Here are public buses to Miami Downtown, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Hialeah; and Metrorail to Downtown, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Dadeland and Hialeah. The fare is US$ 2.25 each trip and only exact change is accepted. There is no specific area for luggage on the buses or Metrorail. Printed Metrobus route maps and timetables can be picked up at the airport's information center in Concourse E and at the Transit Information Center. Metrobuses leave from Level 1, Metrorail departs from Level 3. There is now an airport express service every half hour to Miami Beach. Price is US$ 2.65 (exact change required) and it has space for luggage. If you plan on travelling a lot by local public transportation you may find it easier and more economic to purchase a US$ 5.65 one-day or a US$ 29.25 seven-day transit pass (called EASY Ticket). There is an automatic EASY Ticket dispenser beside the Transit Information Center which accepts major credit cards and cash, as well as a Tri-Rail ticket dispenser.
Tri-Rail, so named because it travels beside the I-95 expressway through three counties, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. This commuter train will take you to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. There are shuttle services from the stations to the respective airports.The MIA airport station is still under construction so meanwhile the free shuttle for the airport station leaves from the Transit Center on Level 1. There is an area for luggage on the shuttle and on the train.
Hotel Phone Board
All hotels within the general airport area provide free shuttle service. When booking the hotel you should verify this. The shuttles for the larger hotels usually pass regularly in Level 2. Nevertheless it does no harm to phone the hotel from the free phones located on Level 1. You will find most hotels represented on large illuminated boards with push-buttons to connect you directly with the reception desk of the respective properties.
Return to top of Arrival at Miami page