I travel mostly domestic for work two to three times a month. Most of my trips are domestic 1-3 days long. I live in between MIA and FLL so both flying in/out of either is the same distance for me.
I recently flew out of FLL and parking at the garage was a pain. I spent 15 minutes looking for a parking spot in the garage and then had to walk forever to get in the terminal. Are there better off-site parking solutions? Is Park N' Go any good for quick business trips?
I flew once last week out of MIA but was dropped off at the curb. Is parking worse there than FLL? What's a good off-site parking spot or is it better to park at the airport?
Final question: I have gold status with American but I have been flying all airlines usually just looking for shortest duration/direct flights. I'd like to focus on one airline and am thinking that Delta might be the best bet for me considering my location. I'm thinking that FLL is probably an easier airport to fly in/to and Delta might be my best option through ATL. My gold status with AA is expiring soon and I'd like to match it with Delta since they seem to be more giving with first class upgrades. Can anyone comment on this?
Thanks a lot!
Ocn Vw 1K
Aug 30, 10, 10:22 pm
turtlehead, welcome to FlyerTalk. Let me move this to our Florida forum for some assistance and discussion. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
Aug 31, 10, 7:57 am
I used to live in Pembroke pines (moved next to PBI so its my airport), about 30 minutes to either MIA or FLL, and I flew out of FLL 95% of the time. I used Park 'N Fly at FLL and they were quick and easy, they picked me up at my car within a minute or so and usually had a bus back to my car within 10-15 minutes. If you are at Terminal 2 for Delta (my main airline), I would walk towards Terminal 1 because the bus will wait there for about 5-10 minutes before looping to the other terminals.
At MIA, I always parked onsite and it was simple. The offsite parking is a pain and easy to get lost in that area.
I am a Delta flyer (Platinum, stopped before Diamond). There are tons of flights upto Atlanta every hour or so. I was about 80% on upgrades out of FLL.
Aug 31, 10, 8:03 am
I currently live between both as well and my preference is definitely FLL.
Yes, it has fewer amenities in the way of restaurants and shops but it's so much easier to get in and out of.
With MIA, I always get stuck in traffic on the airport expressway (112) or Okeechobee. Turnpike or 95 can be slow moving most of the time too.
With FLL, It's easy 95/595 combo that is rarely delayed.
I've never parked at MIA, because most of my trips departing MIA are long international ones where I get dropped off. It's really hard to get picked up curbside there, and people picking me up always have to circle a bunch.
FLL has great offsite parking - I use Park and Fly. http://www.pnf.com
Also for drop/off pickup they have a convenient cell phone waiting lot right outside and a lot easier to find someone.
I'm with AA too, and unfortunately thats why I end up flying MIA so much - It's usually cheaper and more convenient to South America, Canada and Europe. I keep thinking about making the switch to Delta as well. If you end up doing that, let me know how it goes...
Sep 4, 10, 12:08 pm
As I live 2.9 miles from FLL (in downtown Ft. Lauderdale), I fly AA out of FLL whenever possible. I never park in the garage - like the others above, I always use Park-N-Fly. As a member of their Frequent Parker program, you not only earn credits towards free parking, you receive discount offers via email (some recent summer promos had the rate as low as $5.99 per day, based on pre-paying on the website).
I do occasionally go down into deepest Miami-Dade to fly, and there is one easy-to-reach off-site parking operation that I use every time I'm down there: Airport Fast Park.
It's just off LeJeune, and it is impossible to miss as it is right next door to the George T. Baker Aviation School, which has a real AA MD-80 parked in its hangar area (AA donated the retired aircraft to the school).
The parking is affordable, and half of the spaces are covered (no extra charge, it's first-come, first served for those spaces). They, like PNF, also have a Frequent Parker program.
Also important to me is that, being located in a county not exactly noted for its customer-service orientation (to put it mildly), this company (headquartered in Cleveland, IIRC) stresses proper customer service. The staff members at the entrance/exit booths are friendly, and although some of the drivers have better mastery of English than others, all that I have encountered have been polite, accommodating and eager to help with luggage, etc.
Sep 4, 10, 11:37 pm
MIA is the easier airport to use in my experience - far supeior facilities, far better choice of beyond-terminal eateries, nicer lounges (DL has lounges in both; AA only at MIA), and, most importantly, less cruise ship tourists - which means shorter security lines, shorter check-in lines and just an overall easier experience.
This didn't use to be the case, but now that MIA's construction is just about finished, the airport is state of the art.
As for what airline to chose, AA or DL are the two big ones in South Florida. AA has more non-stops, more frequency, better frequent flier program (its not called "Skypesos" for nothing).
But Delta isn't a terrible - it has lounges at FLL and MIA, the upgrades are always free and its combined MIA/FLL network is not terrible. Beyond the hubs, there is also MIA-DCA (in October), MIA-LHR (in March), and FLL-TLH/LAS/LAX.
For me it would come down to what routes are you think you are going to fly.
Sep 5, 10, 11:19 am
If you fly out of MIA, use the onsite parking. Easy, not that expensive.
I agree MIA is a better airport these days. Especially if you are using an airline other than AA.
However, getting to/from the airport may be the issue. If you want to use the toll lane of I-95, that helps, but can be expensive.
Sep 5, 10, 1:23 pm
I guess that I am an outlier since Park'n'Fly is to me FAIL and I much prefer Park'n'Go. Park'n'Go comes to pick you up on a phone call and always (as in never does not) answers the phone and sends someone over for you right away. Since the facility is 5-10 minutes away, you usually will wait that long (but no longer) since it is unusual for the van to be at the pickup spot before you get there.
Park'n'Fly has its vans circling the airport and supposedly there is no need to call. Since that is the case, the phone is usually not answered and this was the source of considerable frustration to us about a year and a half ago when at 1130 one night the van never came (as in did not show up at all for nearly 3/4 of an hour). We then decided to get a cab (along with one of the DL FAs from our flight who had parked out there) and when we got there, the attendant was asleep in the booth and there was no sign of any van with a driver.
When we woke him up, the booth attendant acted as if we had done something wrong and showed a bit of hostility along with stating that the driver had been going around every 15-20 minutes and what was wrong with us? Since we knew that was BS, all we did was pay the man and never go back there. We also had previously had an experience with a not so pleasant driver who acted as though we were bothering her and neither of us know what we might have done to engender that reaction.
OTOH, the PnG drivers and staff are uniformly courteous and helpful and will go out of their way to help you out. Although the Frequent Parker plan is less formalized, it seems about as generous to me, and I use the place an average of twice a month year round.
With the new MIA-DCA service, I will now be using MIA from time to time and do appreciate the link above to airportfastpark.com. My parking experiences down there have not been the best and this will help a bunch.
Sep 6, 10, 12:09 am
monitor - is Park-n-Go the new-ish facility on the other side of the railroad tracks from PnF? If that is the one, I pass it on the way to PnF, since I travel south on Andrews Ave. from my home.
If this is the one, I'll give them a try on my next trip out of FLL, and will report back.
Sep 6, 10, 5:21 am
monitor - is Park-n-Go the new-ish facility on the other side of the railroad tracks from PnF? ...That is the one. It's motif is bright yellow.
Sep 13, 10, 12:39 pm
Just to add a data point. I live in Downtown Miami and my travel is split about 70/30 FLL/MIA. While MIA is closer to home, with the 95 Express Lanes open in both directions it usually only takes about 10-15 mins longer for me to get to FLL vs MIA.
I use on-site parking at both airports and find them both to be fine . The layout of the 3 garages at FLL isn't very intuitive but once you figure them out they are pretty convenient. MIA has a well earned reputation of being a horrible airport, but it has gotten much much better of late and should continue to improve. My biggest problem with MIA is that it is almost always more expensive than FLL, sometimes substantially so.
I would say your choice of airports is mainly dependent on your primary routes and exactly how far you are from each. Upgrades on DL are easy to come by from both airports, but AA could be a better choice depending on where you are traveling to. I fly DL as my primary and use B6/VX/WN on various routes where it makes sense.
Oct 27, 10, 7:28 am
I would say your choice of airports is mainly dependent on your primary routes and exactly how far you are from each. Upgrades on DL are easy to come by from both airports, but AA could be a better choice depending on where you are traveling to. I fly DL as my primary and use B6/VX/WN on various routes where it makes sense.I used to live in Midtown Miami, and I was out of FLL way more than MIA just because of WN's FLL-TPA service.
I parked with http://www.air-port-parking.com/ pretty often; crummy website, weird location, but they had pretty good call-in pick-up service.
Since I moved farther south to Coconut Grove, I've only done FLL twice (with VX and WN), and MIA way more; for any trip longer than a few days, it's cheaper for me to take a taxi from home.