Florida has a great legacy of aviation and has some of the best-run airports in the U.S. Below are short descriptions and links:
Click on the blue type for links to their websites:
- Orlando Sanford International Airport or SFB is located midway between Orlando’s World Class attractions and the World’s Most Famous Beach – Daytona Beach, both 45 minutes away. The airport is packed with exotic European charter airlines and their passengers enjoy a stress-free environment, convenient parking, new terminal facilities, short walking distances, and attractive pricing. See www.OrlandoSanfordAirport.com.
- Orlando International Airport: Orlando Airport (MCO) is located within 15 miles of the Orange County Convention Center and major attractions like Disney. More than 40 scheduled airlines, 13 charters and 12 cargo companies provide non-stop service to 82 destinations in the United States and 17 international cities. Airlines include all major U.S. carriers and Aer Lingus, Air Transat, Aladia, Bahamasair, British Airways, Lufthansa, Mexicana, Sun Country, Taca, Tam and Virgin Atlantic. Note to travelers: car rentals are off airport, though frequent service means a fast trip. An extra bonus? The Hertz terminal is a restful pavilion of undulating covered carports, all done in trademark yellow. Snazzy. In a 2007 survey by the American Society of Travel Agents, MCO has been rated “Most Family-Friendly” and who could argue? The airport is packed with retailers like Universal and Disney. An airport hotel, the Hyatt Regency, is a great break from the hubbub and has quiet family friendly dining and bar. See Orlando International Airport.
East Coast, North to South
- Jacksonville International Airport, JAX
- Daytona Beach International Airport, DAB: Airlines are Airgate Aviation, Delta and USAirways.
- Melbourne International Airport, MLB: Serves the Space Coast and Treasure Coast, including Vero Beach, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne.
- Palm Beach International Airport is the gateway to Palm Beach County, Florida and the “Best of Everything.” PBIA serves over six million passengers each year, and was recently voted third best airport in the U.S. and sixth best in the world by the readers of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Their concessions have been recognized over the years by Airport Revenue News as having superior shops and restaurants. Airlines that serve Palm Beach include all major airlines and BahamasAir. www.pbia.org
- Fort Lauderdale International Airport, FLL: Officially Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, this is one of three major airports that serve South Florida.
- Miami International Airport, MIA
- Key West International Airport, EYW: This was an original home of Pan Am; it now is served by USAirways, Delta and American Eagle.
Gulf of Mexico, Southwest Florida
- Tampa International Airport is the largest airport on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast. Not only does it have direct service to all major destinations in the United States, it is a major international gateway, with service from British Airways, Cayman Airways, KLM and Air Canada. Conde Nast Traveler rated the airport second in the U.S. for ease of use and comfort. The parking decks, just above the terminal, are perhaps the most user-friendly in the world with their proximity to flights. And cheap fares and nifty monorails make it even more special. Be sure to see the WPA era murals in the Delta area, and stop in to say a prayer at the airport’s quiet chapel. Like the rest of the airport, it is packed with local art. See www.tampaairport.com
- St. Petersburg Clearwater, PIE: This spunky aiport in the Tampa Bay area is known for its discount flights, though it also houses Coast Guard operations. The Airport is located on the west shoreline of Tampa Bay; airlines include SunWing, Seacoast, Transat Holidays, Locair, Vision Airlines, BeauRivage, Frontier and Allegiant.
- Sarasota Bradenton Airport is an airport of quiet competence right on the border between Sarasota and Manatee County. While the airport doesn’t have as high a volume of service as Tampa, about an hour away, it does make up for it in quiet comfort. Long term parking is still in a surface parking lot, and an easy walk to the terminal. But lorry drivers in the parking lot are always friendly and want to drive you to the terminal anyway because they love to chat. The nifty green color on the signage and logo gives the airport a hip feeling; the Mote Aquarium fish take gives it a true Florida feel. Free WiFi makes any wait tolerable. While some airlines have cut back service, it does offer regular JetBlue service to JFK, as well as umpteen back and forths to Atlanta (Delta) and Charlotte (USAir). There is USAirways regional jet service from SRQ to Washington National. IN 2008, the airline won regional jet service to Miami via American Airlines. See Sarasota Bradenton, SRQ
- Charlotte County Airport, PGD: Served by discount airlines Direct Air and Allegiant.
- Fort Myers International Airport, RSW: Officially Southwest Florida International Airport, it serves Charlotte County, Fort Myers and Naples. It’s new and easy to get in and out of, and just of I-75.
- Naples Airport, APF: Served by Gulfcoast Airways.