Which Miami airport should I choose


A common thing I get asked is which Miami airport should I choose? I always keep getting from friends, family and even myself sometimes. I always wonder should I fly directly there or go via one of the more northern airports. After flying for a prolonged period of time in and out of Miami to various states I’ve come to one simple conclusion, pick whatever is cheaper at the time but besides that I’d like to break down the two main airports and the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Which Miami airport should I choose - Airports
Which Miami airport should I choose – Airports

Should I fly from Miami International Airport

This is the main airport in Miami, it’s a connecting hub for South America, various popular cities and a lot of international destinations from Europe. I’ve basically travelled from and to Miami international several times in the past from all the places mentioned above.

Miami International Airport Disadvantages

  • I would say the biggest thing to keep in mind when trying to decide if this is a good airport is that it’s a central airport with actually very poor organization in the terminals and often you will be seeing gate changes, although this has improved a little bit over the years.
  • Like with any other major airport you should be expecting delays getting in and out your flights, the main reason for this is that there are so many flights going in and out and out of possibilities accidents will happen and like every other airport this ends up being a domino effect so it cascades and affects other flights.
  • The main problem is actually the TSA clearance the lines are often massive and they are always running late.
  • Another thing to consider here is that there’s a lot of people coming in and out and the cleanliness is not great either, I know the staff is trying the best to keep the airport up and going but I believe the combination of an old infrastructure and the vast amount of people makes it a very difficult task to keep clean.

Miami International Airport Advantages

  • One of the biggest advantages here is that usually it has a lot of routes at different times which means if you are on a busy schedule and just want to find a flight according to your plans this is the airport for you.
  • If you also have a fast-pass and you are TSA pre-approved this could be a great option as you bypass a big portion of the queues, although you may still experience some delays checking in or if there’s a problem with your flight.
  • Going on with the advantages another great thing is transportation to it. It’s in a central location and close to most places in Miami so usually you can hop on a taxi or uber/lyft and get there fairly fast. That would keep your overall travel costs down which means in the long run you end up paying less money.
  • If you have a long layover you can go out in Miami and explore things as it’s only a 15-20minute drive from downtown and most areas like the beaches. This makes it a perfect escape to avoid sleeping in your backpack!
  • There’s a lot of non-airport parking options near by that offer shuttles to the airport. If you are planning to just park your car and go that makes it ideal just make sure you leave enough time to do this as the shuttles may delay sometimes.

Good things to know about Miami International Airport

  • This may not really be anything of an advantage to most people so I’m adding here as I don’t really want to mark it as a positive. I really enjoying seeing the different cultures and the people going in and out from an airport. It’s interesting to see their mannerisms, how they dress, how they eat etc. So I consider that a plus in Miami airport there’s an abundance of this stuff so you can sit there and just do people watching and the time will fly by sometimes.
Which Miami airport should I choose - Miami International Airport
Which Miami airport should I choose – Miami International Airport

You can find more about the Miami international airport on their webpage. So if you see travel options, flight information or any other details please go directly to their official page. You can also see the latest guidelines for covid testing and what else is necessary prior arrival.

Should I fly from Fort Lauderdale Airport

The other big alternative to Miami international airport is the Fort lauderdale airport. While it’s not as popular and not as close to downtown Miami a lot of locals including myself often prefer it for domestic travelling for the reasons I’m going to list below. Again some of those may be personal taste so I’ll try to keep my views as objective as possible when comparing it to Miami International Airport.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Disadvantages

  • Fort Lauderdale airport is much more distant than Miami mainland as mentioned, which really means that you will be paying more money to get there. Either it being a taxi, uber or lyft. If you have a friend or some relative that can drive you there then that’s a non-issue!
  • It’s a small airport so if you are having a long layover the options for food and bars in the airport are limited. This also means if you have just a few hours and would like to go to Miami it will add to the timing needed to get there and return which may not even make it worth it.
  • If something goes bad it goes really bad because of how small it is. Let me explain one time I was waiting for my flight and there was an air conditioning problem in the middle of the summer, I was with my suit waiting to fly out for the day domestically for work. I ended up soaked and finding myself having to buy another suit when I landed because of the heat. I know this is rare but keep in mind that in Miami International there’s so many lounges and areas that they are separated and you can easily escape such an unfortunate event.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Advantages

  • Smaller airport more fun, while this has a lot of negatives it also has the positive that due to it’s size you can get around faster and yes that means checking in and out faster too. If you have this short connection flight you will probably get to it faster than you would in Miami International airport.
  • Better hotels nearby if you have to stay overnight. I know Miami international has a lot of good options but I think they are generally overpriced and not as good as they are in the Fort Lauderdale area. I only had to do this once because there was construction in my condo and I was flying out the next day and I explicitly decided to fly out of Fort Lauderdale airport for that specific reason.
  • Less lines in TSA security, now don’t quote me on this if you are flying out for Thanks giving or some other holiday but generally speaking I found security and generally the airline check-in lines much smaller than Miami.
Which Miami airport should I choose - Fort Lauderdale Airport
Which Miami airport should I choose – Fort Lauderdale Airport

You can find more about the Fort Lauderdale airport on their webpage. So if you see travel options, flight information or any other details please go directly to their official page. You can also see the latest guidelines for covid testing and what else is necessary prior arrival.


Overall I think I outlined the pros and cons between the two airports. As you an tell by now there’s no silver bullet on this based on your needs make the right choice based on the advantages and disadvantages of each. As a general rule I can tell you that when it comes to international travel I prefer to fly out of Miami International but when it comes to domestic flying if there is a route and time that matches what I’m looking for I go with Fort Lauderdale.

If you have a break and you are willing explore the greater Miami area then I recommend you read my article on value restaurants in Miami, it may save you some time and you will be able to enjoy a good meal before or after your flight.

In terms of pricing I find both vary so much overtime that it’s hard to tell which one is cheaper to fly out from, so it’s always good to check. Do you think I forgot to mention something in the lists above? If so please drop me a line below and I’ll make sure to add it, happy to hear your thoughts too on it. Other than that hope you have safe travels!

Which Miami airport should I choose - Plane
Which Miami airport should I choose – Plane

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