How to beat airport’s holiday crush hours
More than 2.3 million passengers are expected at Miami International Airport over the travel period that began this week and continues to Jan. 6, a 3% increase over last year. The busiest days are projected to be the Saturday, Sunday and Monday after New Year’s Day, when more than 145,000 passengers are expected at MIA on all three days. To make traveling through MIA easier, aviation officials say:
•Departing passengers should arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight and two and a half hours before an international flight to allow time for parking, airline check-in and screening at the security checkpoint.
•Ample parking is available in the Dolphin and Flamingo garages for a maximum daily rate of $17 or $2 every 20 minutes up to two hours and 40 minutes. For ticket counter and parking locations, go to http://www.miami-airport.com/where_to_park.asp.
•Valet parking is available at the Dolphin Garage on the departure level outside of North Terminal D or the Flamingo Garage on the departure level outside of South Terminal J. Rates are $18 for less than three hours or daily for $30. Learn more at http://www.miami-airport.com/parking_rates.asp.
•Orange Line Metrorail service is another transportation option to and from MIA, available for a fare of $2.25 each way. Overnight and long-term parking is available for up to 30 days at $4.50 per night at the Earlington Heights, Okeechobee and South Miami Metrorail stations. Long-term parking must be prepaid. For more information, go to http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/miami-international-airport-station.asp.
•Tri-Rail, the commuter train that links Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, can also get passengers to and from MIA. Tri-Rail has a dedicated station at the Miami Intermodal Center that connects to MIA via the MIA Mover, an automated peoplemover system.
•Anyone parking at MIA with a disabled parking permit or license tag must pay standard airport parking rates unless they are parking for less than two hours or if the vehicle has specialized equipment such as ramps, lifts, foot or hand controls for use by a person with a disability or any vehicle displaying the Florida Toll Exemption permit. Under Florida state law and Miami-Dade County code, anyone with a disabled parking permit or license tag who meets either of those exceptions is allowed to park free.