No matter where you live in Greater Miami, Miami International Airport (MIA) is just minutes away. Sometimes the ease of travel is still shocking to locals, so we can’t imagine how newcomers from New York and Los Angeles react.
Your Uber picks you up in South Beach or Indian Creek, then 19 minutes later you’re being dropped off at the Concourse D curbside. Typical cost? $23. If you live on the mainland, you’ll get there even faster in light traffic. Coconut Grove: 17 minutes. Miami Shores: 16 minutes. Brickell City Centre: 15 minutes. Coral Gables: 15 minutes. Edgewater: 14 minutes. Wynwood: 13 minutes. Downtown Miami: as little as 12 minutes.
Compare that airport commute to New York’s. If you live in the Village or Brooklyn Heights, the map says you’re less than 11 miles from LaGuardia Airport (which services most domestic routes), but as any New Yorker will tell you, you have to factor in 45 minutes. And JFK (where you pick up flights to Europe)? At least an hour. The traffic in Brooklyn and Queens to get to either airport can be so dense on busy nights that it’s not unusual to be in the road for 90 minutes after you land.
And don’t be surprised if your Uber fare reaches $100. If you’re a New Yorker, the trip to the airport can be so daunting and expensive, that many brave the subway to JFK or haul themselves to the NJ Transit train at Penn Station to get to Newark Liberty International Airport. Either is an ordeal. (There’s no direct subway service to LaGuardia.)
Even the relative convenience of Los Angeles Airport can’t compete to the handiness of MIA. Figure 40 minutes if you live in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, and 30 if you’re in Santa Monica.
Not that we don’t love New York and LA; it’s just so much easier, in so many ways, to live here and visit there. We think of Miami/New York/LA as the Golden Triangle. If you share that view for work and lifestyle reasons, almost any neighborhood in Miami will work well.
The name of the game at MIA is American Airlines (Miami is the airline’s third-largest hub), which offers a slew of flights to LaGuardia, JFK and Newark. A sample roundtrip flight in mid-February starts at a shockingly inexpensive $132. And you can pick up a roundtrip flight to LAX for as low as $236. And nothing touches American for service to a myriad of Caribbean and Latin American destinations.
MIA is also serviced by Delta, JetBlue, Air France, Air Canada, LATAM, British Airways, Spirit, and more.
Of course, most people prefer to stay put during our glorious, low-humidity winters, but as the season winds down, you’ll be thinking about Europe. For flights from Miami, it’s best to shop around.
A good rule of thumb: If you find a roundtrip nonstop flight to a major European city for less than $1,000, grab it, but with pent-up demand post-COVID still strong, you’ll likely pay close to that or more in the late spring or summer. Best to wait until September or October, when you may be able to score a flight from Miami to Rome for $500-$600.