Passengers of flights making a stopover in Miami International airport of Florida in the United States of America normally change planes at one of its terminal buildings before they continue towards either a US destination or a city in South America. Provided that they have purchased all legs of their journey with the same airline and as one plane ticket, they will have no more than few hours to navigate their way around the airport, refresh themselves, maybe grab a bite to eat and transfer to their connecting flight in MIA. If you are having a layover in this major air hub and it will be the first time you will pass through it, we are about to give you some tips to become familiar with its different areas prior to landing.
Terminals of Miami International airport in USA
Miami airport (MIA) has three terminal buildings (North, Central and South) that are, in turn, divided into concourses. Thus, the North terminal houses concourse D, the Central terminal accommodates the E, F and G zones and finally, the J and H concourses are found in the South terminal. All these areas are connected and so getting around Miami International is relatively easy: you can use moving walkways and get from one building to another in ten or fifteen minutes; walking from one concourse to the next one will take you far less than that. However, in case you need to make a connection in concourse D and you are running late, you can ride the Skytrain stopping at all main areas of the North terminal in Miami airport. On the contrary, should you have extra time to spare before boarding, do not hesitate to visit the many shops and diverse array of restaurants in Miami airport of Florida.
Do I need to clear Customs again when I land in MIA?
Upon your arrival in Miami airport in the United States, the first thing you will have to do is find the way to either baggage claim or the US Customs and Border Protection filter, or perhaps both. Pay attention to the wayfinding system and you will get there in a breeze, although you can also use the 24-hours assistance phones across the terminals or go to the travel information counter at concourse E in the Central terminal.
Generally, the wisest thing to do is confirm with your airline whether you need to claim your baggage during your layover to drop it off again, or if it is necessary to allow some extra time to go through Customs (we recommend that you complete this step before anything else as there might be queues). Nevertheless, oftentimes the carrier itself cannot give you an answer at the origin airport, so here you go some tips:
-When arriving aboard an international flight to catch a connecting flight out of Miami towards a destination within the US, passengers are required to pick up their bags at baggage claim, go to the drop-off counter of their airline or its codesharing partner and then proceed to Customs. Once all steps have been taken, you can relax and wait for your connection in Miami airport as close to the designated gate as you can.
-In case an international leg of your journey ends in Miami to continue towards another international destination, and as long as you have purchased a single plane ticket instead of two independent ones with different airlines, your checked baggage will travel straight through to the final point of your trip, and so you will only need to comply with the border regulations in MIA.
-If you have flown from another US airport to transfer to an overseas flight departing Miami International, it will depend upon the specific policies of the airline you are travelling with. Thus, we advise you to contact your carrier of choice in advance or else to head over to their office inside the facilities of Miami airport once you are there.
Catching a connecting flight in Miami: arriving at the airport aboard an international flight
Although it may sometimes be subject to operational modifications taking place at the airport, international flights arriving in Miami International land in the areas detailed below.
The North Terminal (concourse D) receives overseas flights operated by Aeroflot, American Airlines, Aruba Airlines, Avior, Miami Air, Sunwing, Swift Air and TUI; the Central Terminal (concourses E, F and G) sees the landing of Air Europa, Air Italy, British Airways, Eurowings, Finnair, GOL , Iberia, Qatar Airways and TAP Air Portugal aircrafts; and lastly, the South Terminal of Miami airport –housing concourses J and H- is the one where flights run by Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Caribbean, COPA, El Al, KLM, Latam, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, United, Virgin Atlantic and Turkish Airlines land.
Transferring between flights in Miami International airport: which terminal do I have to go to?
When catching your departing flight in MIA, bear in mind that the distribution of airline operations across the terminals is as follows:
-Most American Airlines flights depart from the North Terminal of Miami airport.
-Aeroflot, Aer Lingus, Air Europa, Air Italy, American Air, Aruba Air, Avior, British Airways, Eurowings, Finnair, Frontier, Iberia, Miami Air, United, Qatar Airways, Sungwing, Swift Air, TAP Air Portugal and TUI operate from the Central Terminal of MIA.
-Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Austrian Airlines, Latam, Avianca, Lufthansa, Caribbean, COPA, Scandinavian (SAS), Delta, Swiss, El Al, GOL, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic flights take off from the South Terminal.
In the event of experiencing an unexpected delay or cancellation, know that there are various options for accommodation close to Miami International airport where you can stay overnight before making your connection and get some good rest to resume your journey in the best possible mood.