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AA Guide: MIA / Miami International Airport, MCT / Connection, etc.

Old Jan 2, 2016, 7:17 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero
Please edit or add information to this wiki as necessary.

Check-in times as of March 2016 Link

In most locations, you must be checked in:
At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States[
At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to or from airports outside of the United States

If youre beginning travel from any of the airports below, the check-in time is longer:

Departing from: Check-in must be completed by:
(minutes before scheduled departure time)
  • Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) 90 minutes
  • Dublin, Ireland (DUB) 75 minutes
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) 75 minutes
  • Maracaibo, Venezuela (MAR) 90 minutes
  • St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT) 90 minutes
Link to Miami International Airport website
Link to aa.com Miami International Airport page and airport app.
Link to thread with archived older posts.

Peculiarities: MIA can be affected by summer tropical storms and hurricanes. Knock-on effects during lengthy IROPS can manifest themselves systemwide. At peak times (e.g. early morning arrivals), arrivals processing and terminal facilities can get very crowded.

Special notice

We operate out of Concourses D and E. Check your flight status for gate information.

Ticket counters
American Airlines
Concourse D
Daily: 4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Airport Map
Official Minimum Connection Times for MIA (assuming same terminal):
  • 0:40 Domestic to Domestic
  • 0:45 Domestic to International
  • 1:35 International to Domestic
  • 1:35 International to International
NOTE: Though 1:35 is the given MCT International to Domestic (and 1:35 international to international), one should not consider that useful for everyone connecting international to domestic unless one has Global Entry or luck.

International arrivals at MIA requires most passengers to fill out a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B - one per family - process U.S. Immigration, retrieve baggage at arrivals carousels, process through U.S. customs, re-check baggage, proceed to either the TSA connections security processing queue or landside and process TSA security (with onward boarding pass) to return airside. (Read on for exceptions.)

This does not apply if you are connecting international to international and have red "ITI" tags on your checked baggage. You will have to produce the Form 6059B and still pass through USCBP, albeit without baggage.

Other than for U.S. passport holders and passengers with USDHS ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization under the Visa Waiver Program), who may use kiosks that expedite the arrivals process, Immigration, Customs and TSA Security queues can at times be tortuous and one would do better scheduling a connection time closer to 2:30 (or even 3:00) for a comfortable international to domestic or to international connection for non-ESTA / non-U.S. passport holders.

If one is enrolled in Global Entry and can use the dedicated kiosks and expedited queues, the process is speediest as there are clearly marked queues after the self-clearing kiosks and one is not required to possess a Form 6059B.
For general information, see:

AA FAQ: Will I make my connection?
MIA Airport Website
MIA North Terminal (Concourse D) Updates
Concourse D Skytrain (inside security) - transfers between all gates in Concourse D and between inbound international flights and Customs & Immigrations Halls in Concourse E. Concourses D and E are connected inside security via a walkway.
Connections between terminals at MIA (using the Skyride Connector moving walkways)
AA.com: Admirals Club Locations and Hours
FT: American Airlines Lounge Dashboard for Lounge information

Concourses and Gates
The terminal at MIA is a single U-shaped building divided into 6 concourses. AA operates flights out of Concourses D & E.Concourse D: Gates D1-D60
  • American Airlines ticket counters are located at Concourse D, Doors 1-7 and Concourse E, Door 10
  • American Airlines mainline flights depart from Gates D1-D51
  • American Eagle flights depart from Gates D53, D55 & D60
Concourse E: Gates E2-E11 & E20-E33
Gates E20-E33 are located at the International Satellite Terminal, accessible via people mover on Level 4 just past the Concourse E security checkpoint. If the people mover is out of service, signs will direct passengers to the shuttle bus departing from the E1 Bus Station on Level 1
  • American Airlines ticket counters are located at Concourse D, Doors 1-7 and Concourse E, Door 10
  • American Airlines mainline flights depart from Gates E2-E11 & E20-E33
  • British Airways ticket counter is located at Concourse F, Door 14; flights using Airbus A380 equipment depart from Gate E6 and all other flights depart from Gate E8
  • Finnair ticket counter is located at Concourse E, Door 10; flights depart from Gate E30
  • Iberia ticket counter is located at Concourse E, between Doors 13 & 14; flights depart from Gate E23Qatar Airways ticket counter is located at Concourse E, between Doors 9 & 10; flights depart from Gate E10
  • WestJet ticket counter is located at Concourse E, Door 12; flights depart from Concourse F
Concourse F: Gates F3-F23
  • British Airways ticket counter is located at Concourse F, Door 14; flights using Airbus A380 equipment depart from Gate E6 and all other flights depart from Gate E8
  • WestJet ticket counter is located at Concourse E, Door 12; flights depart from Concourse F
Concourse J: Gates J2-J18
  • Delayed American Airlines international flights arrive at Concourse J when the federal inspection station at Concourse D is closed (generally between 11 PM and 3:30 AM)

Checking in at MIA Link
Flagship Check-in: Yes

Arrival at the Airport
The TSA recommends arriving at the airport 2 hours before your flight (3 hours for international). If you travel often, save time by enrolling in TSA PreCheck. Were working with the U.S. government to alleviate these delays.

Check-in Times
You must be checked in:
  • At least 45 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights within the United States (domestic flights)
  • At least 60 minutes before scheduled departure, for flights to airports outside of the United States (international flights)
Arrival at Gate
You must be at the gate and ready to board the aircraft:
  • 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure
Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of your seat assignment and the removal of your checked baggage from the aircraft.

Doors close 10 minutes before departure.

Time to baggage delivery: 30-55 minutes

AA Ticket Counters Link

Concourse D
Charter 1: Cuba charter check-in only; open dependent on charter flight schedule, located across from Door 1

Kiosk 1: self-service check-in; located between Doors 1 and 2
Main: full-service check-in; located across from Door 2
Flagship: full-service check-in; located between Doors 2 & 3
Priority: full-service check-in; separate queues for First Class & AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Business Class & AAdvantage Platinum, and AAdvantage Gold & Priority; late nights Priority and Main are consolidated at this counter; located between Doors 3 & 4

Kiosk 2: self-service check-in; located across from Door 5

Kiosk 3: self-service check-in; located across from Door 6

Rebooking Center: missed connection assistance for customers arriving on international flights only; located across from Door 6

Cuba Check-in: self-service check-in for customers traveling to Cuba only; located between Doors 6 & 7

Concourse E
Charter 2: Cuba charter check-in only; open dependent on charter flight schedule, located across from Door 10


Security at MIA
Link to security checkpoint locations map. All Concourse D and E gates are accessible from any D or E checkpoint. Connections to or from other concourses will require you to exit and reclear security.

If you do not have Priority or Pre✓, please allow at least 20-40 minutes to clear security. If you miss your flight due to security checkpoint wait times, you will be allowed to standby for the next AA flight to your destination.

Concourse D
Checkpoint 1: open 5 AM to 9 PM, best for Gates D1-D21, located across from Door 1

Checkpoint 2: open 24 hours, best for Gates D22-D24, available to Priority and Pre✓ passengers only while other checkpoints are open (4 AM to 10:30 PM), located across from Door 3

Checkpoint 3: open 4 AM to 10:30 PM, best for Gates D25-D29 & D41-D60 (via skytrain) and access to skytrain Station 2, located between Doors 5 & 6

Checkpoint 4: open 8 AM to 10 AM and 6 PM to 8 PM, best for Gates D30-D40, located across from Door 9

D FIS Checkpoint: open 4 AM to 9:30 PM, available only to passengers who have cleared customs at the D federal inspection station (non-precleared international flights arriving Concourses D, E & F), located to your left upon exiting customs

Concourse E
Checkpoint E: open 4 AM to 10:30 PM, best for Gates E2-E11 & E20-E33, located between Doors 11 & 12

Priority lanes available at Checkpoints 2 and E

TSA Pre✓ available 24 hours at Checkpoint 2, available during peak times only at Checkpoints 1, E, and D FIS

CLEAR available at Checkpoint E & H

Tip: Upon exiting customs, you will be directed to the D FIS checkpoint. If you would like to use an alternate checkpoint, follow the signs to the Crew EXIT and Rebooking Center in order to avoid exiting on the Arrivals (lower) level and having to go back upstairs. Checkpoints 1-3 will be to your left and Checkpoints 4 & E will be to your right.

Security checkpoint operating hours may differ from published times due to TSA staffing constraints and security initiatives.


MIA Services, Shopping, and Dining
MIA VIP Services (expedited processing similar to AA Five Star Service): link.

Lounges: please see the Lounge Dashboard sticky for further lounge information at MIAConcourse D: Admirals Clubs above Gate D15 and across from Gate D30; Centurion Lounge at Gate D12 (take elevator in rotunda to Level 3)

Dining & Shopping: Link to MIA services, dining guide, and interactive map

On-Airport Hotel:Miami International Airport Hotel (landside, Concourse E)

Wi-Fi:Paid WI-Fi service available throughout terminal. Link to pricing information and connection instructions

Smoking: Smoking is permitted only in designated smoking areas across from terminal sidewalks and at:TGI Friday's smoking lounge between Gates D34 & D36

Rental Cars: The Rental Car Center is located at 3900 NW 25 St, Miami, FL 33142 (across from the main entrance to the airport) and is served by 16 companies. Link. Access to and from the terminal is via the MIA Mover automated people mover.Arriving Passengers: After collecting your baggage, follow the black and pink signs to the MIA Mover station on the third level of the terminal, accessible via moving walkway. From there, board the MIA Mover to the Rental Car Center. Trains generally depart and arrive on the right track and run 24 hours a day. From 5 AM to midnight, trains run approximately every 3 minutes; from midnight to 5 AM, trains run approximately every 7 minutes. The train will reach the Rental Car Center in approximately 3 minutes. After exiting the station area, the rental car agencies will be located to your right.

Departing Passengers: Please return your vehicle at the Rental Car Center before checking in for your departing flight. After returning your vehicle, follow the black and pink signs to the MIA Mover station on the fourth level of the facility. From there, board the MIA Mover to Miami International Airport. Trains generally depart and arrive on the right track and run 24 hours a day. From 5 AM to midnight, trains run approximately every 3 minutes; from midnight to 5 AM, trains run approximately every 7 minutes. The train will reach the airport terminal in approximately 3 minutes. After exiting the station area, moving walkways to AA ticket counters and gates will be located to your right.

Animal Relief Areas:Coming soon!


MIA Parking
There are Valet and Garage parking options. Link for options, pricing, and maps

Accessible/Disabled Parking: Link

Cell Phone Waiting Lot: Link


MIA Transportation
Public Transportation: All buses and trains depart from Miami Central Station, which is co-located with the Rental Car Center and is accessible via the MIA Mover automated people mover. Link to map and directions to Miami Central StationMetrorail Orange Line to Dadeland South, serving Downtown Miami

Miami Beach Airport Express bus to Miami Beach

Metrobus routes 7, 37, 42, 57, J, 238/338 & 297

Tri-Rail commuter rail to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

Hotel Shuttles, Shared-Ride Vans, and Taxis: Link to area map and fare estimatesHotel shuttles pick up and drop off on the Departures (upper) level at Doors 3 & 7 at Concourse D; there are no designated stops at Concourses E-J

Super Shuttle shared-ride van service. Stands located on Arrivals (lower) level at Concourses D, E, F, and H.

Taxi stands located on Arrivals (lower) level at Concourses D, E, F, and H. Blue "Airport Region Taxi Service" taxis serve areas immediately adjacent to the airport. Yellow taxis serve all other areas.

Uber and Lyft rideshare services are technically illegal at MIA but will accept pick-ups and drop-offs. There are no designated stops; however, rideshare drivers will generally pick up on the Arrivals (lower) level.

Intercity Bus: Buses depart from Miami Central Station. Link to map and directions to Miami Central StationGreyhound bus service throughout continental United States

megabus low-cost express bus service to Orlando and Tampa


Things to Do
Do I have time to go to Miami or Miami Beach?Downtown Miami Due to increased security checkpoint wait times, you should allow yourself at least 3 hours between connections if you do not have Priority or Pre✓. A taxi to the city center should take approximately 12-17 minutes and will cost approximately $22. Because traffic to and from the airport can be unpredictable, consider taking the Metrorail Orange Line in lieu of a taxi. It is a 15-minute ride from the airport to the city center and trains run every 10-15 minutes except late nights. A roundtrip is $4.50.

Miami Beach Allow at least 3 hours between connections due to the possibility of heavy traffic on the highways between the beach and the mainland. A taxi to the beach should take approximately 22-27 minutes and will cost $35 (flat rate) if going south of 63rd Street. For reference, South Beach and most of the tourist spots are south of 23rd Street. Consider taking the 150 Miami Beach Airport Express bus from the airport to the beach. It is a 31-minute ride from the airport to the Lincoln Road Mall and buses run every 20 minutes. A roundtrip is $4.50.

Posts from 2015-2017 have been archived here.
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AA Guide: MIA / Miami International Airport, MCT / Connection, etc.

Old Mar 29, 2017, 5:22 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Rolling Lakes Yacht Club
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If all the flights are on time you will be fine, just move with purpose between flights. MIA is a large terminal(not at all scary as some make it out to be) and I would recommend you familiarize yourself with getting around concourses on the website. There is another flight option which you could call and ask for via JFK-DFW-CUN. Its not that DFW is that more user friendly to the uninitiated than MIA, but that connection looks to offer a full 60 minute layover. Conversely there also looks to be better options overall depending on your travel date:

DUB-CLT-MIA-CUN (all on AA)
I would call back and ask for one of those routings. Since it is a schedule change on AAs part, they are flexible in letting you make routing changes.

Last edited by DataPlumber; Mar 30, 2017 at 6:14 am Reason: offline not an option
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 6:40 am
  #32  
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since they changed your flights, they should be willing to rebook you to what you want. Including BA/IB flights since they're in a JV for TATL flights.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 6:52 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO
...Including BA/IB flights since they're in a JV for TATL flights.
For an in-advance schedule change, this is not standard procedure.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 6:55 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC
For an in-advance schedule change, this is not standard procedure.
Depends who you get. I've only been flying AA since October. However on two in advance changes got put on BA. Really doesn't matter which carrier you fly, revenue is split.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 7:14 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO
Depends who you get. I've only been flying AA since October. However on two in advance changes got put on BA. Really doesn't matter which carrier you fly, revenue is split.
Take my word for it.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 9:16 am
  #36  
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According to ExpertFlyer, the MCT for this connection is 45 mins., so the AAgents were correct in that it's still a legal connection.

AA-AA DI .45 FLT 1 - 6099 - FLT 1 - 6099
Forget about changing your entire routing around, just call AA and ask to be put on the earlier JFK-MIA flight (1:30p-4:37p). This will give you much more relaxing connections of just over 2 hrs. at JFK and 3 hrs. at MIA. Given the schedule changes, it should be no problem to switch.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 9:36 am
  #37  
 
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As long as flights are on time this flight will not be an issue. MIA is not massive, its busy, but its a simple straight line terminal, plus the E concourse, which is a 5-10 min walk extra.
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Old Mar 29, 2017, 11:26 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by chilledflyer
Hi Fellow Knowledgeable FT'ers...

I have an issue with one of my bookings which I hope you're able to help.

I'm currently booked to go to a friend's wedding in Cancun this coming June on the following routing:

DUB-JFK-MIA-CUN (long short...AA cancelled my afternoon JFK-CUN so rerouted me via MIA)

Unfortunately, AA has made further schedule changes to the itinerary shifting the JFK-MIA flight by a couple of hours to the following flight times:

AA65 JFK-MIA DEP15:30 ARR18:58
AA2492 MIA-CUN DEP19:49 ARR20:39

According to Expertflyer, my understanding is that the MCT for Domestic to International is 1 hour so it seems to me that connection at MIA is not valid. I rang AA, they advised that whilst they understand that the MCT is 1hour at MIA, but their 'system' is advising that this is a valid connection, the reasons being that I'm originating from Dublin.

Now I think the agent is wrong but they are adamant that the connection is legal because the computer said so. I've even escalated the matter to the manager within reservation for advice and the lady was saying that it is ok.

Given I'm keen not to miss my connection to Cancun...(and my friend's wedding)...any advice on this would be gratefully received.

Chilledflyer
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
According to ExpertFlyer, the MCT for this connection is 45 mins., so the AAgents were correct in that it's still a legal connection.



Forget about changing your entire routing around, just call AA and ask to be put on the earlier JFK-MIA flight (1:30p-4:37p). This will give you much more relaxing connections of just over 2 hrs. at JFK and 3 hrs. at MIA. Given the schedule changes, it should be no problem to switch.
As noted by JJeffrey the MCT for AA Dom - AA Int at MIA is .45 not the general 1.00 MCT. When using EF you should insert airline to airline and then look at the exceptions listed below the standard times. I also agree with JJeffrey, that if you are uncomfortable with the connection just ask for the earlier flight into MIA.
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Old Mar 30, 2017, 6:11 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC
For an in-advance schedule change, this is not standard procedure.
Good to know. Thanks Jon!
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Old Mar 27, 2019, 9:55 am
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
To play devil's advocate, while there's certainly a chance all those bad things could happen, there's also an equal (if not greater) chance that the flight from PHX will depart on time and arrive into MIA on time if not 10 or 15 mins early. Headwinds, short takeoff and arrival delays, etc. are all built into AA schedule block times.

Agree that 47 mins doesn't leave a lot of room for error, however for what I assume is a novice traveler connecting in MIA will be leaps and bounds easier than LHR. No terminal change, bus ride, reclearing security, etc. Just get off the plane and walk to the next gate .
The other concern is luggage making the connection. I've done a few tight D->I connection in MIA, and I've had luggage miss about 25% of the time when the connection was one hour. Yes, AA will get your luggage there, and probably the next day, but its a pain-in-the-neck.

If I were booking this flight for myself I would go with 4 hours in LHR. I do a lot of international connections through MIA. The only time I book a one hour or less connection is where, (1) my flight to MIA is the first flight of the day from the departure airport, (2) there are good options later the same day if I mis-connect, and (3) the next-best choice would result in a much longer itinerary.

Last edited by coolcoil; Mar 27, 2019 at 9:55 am Reason: typo
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Old Mar 30, 2019, 8:23 am
  #41  
 
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A few questions for the AA MIA experts in the forum:

1. Husband arriving in MIA on domestic AA, needs to collect his bag, then needs to check in with QR for a separate ticket to DOH and onward to BKK. Connection time is long, around 5 hours. I take it hell need to cool his heels landside after collecting his bag while waiting for QR check in to open, probably a couple hours. Only ways he could stay airside after arrival are: a) if AA in ATL interline checked his bag onto QR, or b) if he was willing to let his bag sit on the carousel for a couple hours while he sat upstairs in the lounge. Is a possible? In either event, he should be able to access the lounge by showing his QR ticket, yes? Hes AA Plat traveling in Business on Qatar.

2. On the way home, we arrive MIA from DOH, obviously must collect our bags and clear Customs and Immigration promptly at MIA. Then we can go check in with AA for our flight to ATL, in Main Cabin Extra. Again, hes AA Plat, Im AA EXP, arriving on QR in Business. We can show our arriving BPs and gain access to a lounge in MIA for our long transit stop, yes? Which lounge is required or recommended?
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Old Mar 30, 2019, 8:48 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MegatopLover
A few questions for the AA MIA experts in the forum:

1. Husband arriving in MIA on domestic AA, needs to collect his bag, then needs to check in with QR for a separate ticket to DOH and onward to BKK. Connection time is long, around 5 hours. I take it hell need to cool his heels landside after collecting his bag while waiting for QR check in to open, probably a couple hours. Only ways he could stay airside after arrival are: a) if AA in ATL interline checked his bag onto QR, or b) if he was willing to let his bag sit on the carousel for a couple hours while he sat upstairs in the lounge. Is a possible? In either event, he should be able to access the lounge by showing his QR ticket, yes? Hes AA Plat traveling in Business on Qatar.

2. On the way home, we arrive MIA from DOH, obviously must collect our bags and clear Customs and Immigration promptly at MIA. Then we can go check in with AA for our flight to ATL, in Main Cabin Extra. Again, hes AA Plat, Im AA EXP, arriving on QR in Business. We can show our arriving BPs and gain access to a lounge in MIA for our long transit stop, yes? Which lounge is required or recommended?
1. Correct. AA will not check bags through on separate tickets, and the QR check in will typically open 3 hrs before departure. So he could go straight to the lounge and wait for 2 hrs, then go to baggage claim and try to find his bag, then go check in with QR. Alternatively, he can go straight to get his bag upon arrival, then find a place to chill for an hour or so landside before QR check in opens.

Given that this is MIA, I would highly recommend the 2nd option. MIA baggage service can be a complete mess, so if he lets his bag go there's no telling where it will end up 2 hrs later. An hour of lounge time doesn't make up for a lost bag at the start of a long trip to Thailand.

2. In both directions at MIA you can use any of the AA lounges due to being PLT/EXP and your DOH flight in J. The AA Flagship Lounge is the clear winner. There is the Terminal E "Premium Lounge" that technically QR uses, but it is a complete dump save for an ok selection of snacks and mid level liquor and wine/champagne in the afternoon.

I've connected to QR several times in MIA, my standard lounge strategy is to spend the majority of your time in the Flagship Lounge, then head to the E Premium Lounge around an hour before the flight for one last glass of champagne (this is the closest lounge to the QR gate).
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Old Mar 30, 2019, 10:26 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
1. Correct. AA will not check bags through on separate tickets, and the QR check in will typically open 3 hrs before departure. So he could go straight to the lounge and wait for 2 hrs, then go to baggage claim and try to find his bag, then go check in with QR. Alternatively, he can go straight to get his bag upon arrival, then find a place to chill for an hour or so landside before QR check in opens.

Given that this is MIA, I would highly recommend the 2nd option. MIA baggage service can be a complete mess, so if he lets his bag go there's no telling where it will end up 2 hrs later. An hour of lounge time doesn't make up for a lost bag at the start of a long trip to Thailand.

2. In both directions at MIA you can use any of the AA lounges due to being PLT/EXP and your DOH flight in J. The AA Flagship Lounge is the clear winner. There is the Terminal E "Premium Lounge" that technically QR uses, but it is a complete dump save for an ok selection of snacks and mid level liquor and wine/champagne in the afternoon.

I've connected to QR several times in MIA, my standard lounge strategy is to spend the majority of your time in the Flagship Lounge, then head to the E Premium Lounge around an hour before the flight for one last glass of champagne (this is the closest lounge to the QR gate).
I would just add if he has priority pass there are two landside restaurants he can take advantage of waiting for check in.
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Old Mar 31, 2019, 6:58 am
  #44  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Posts: 5,843
Thank you, folks, especially JJeffrey for taking the time to write it up.
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Old Apr 9, 2019, 3:24 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 42
Flying SKB-MIA-TPA on a Sunday evening in May with a 2 hour layover in MIA. No GE or Pre-Check although will use Mobile Passport which we had a great experience with last year flying from Munich into MIA. Would it be worth it to carry on our bags instead of checking them due to potential time savings?
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