Situated 13km (8 miles) north-west of downtown Miami, Miami International Airport (MIA) is South Florida’s main airport. Due to a vast number of tourist attractions and sizable local populations, it’s one of the largest hubs in the US and acts as the country's main gateway to Latin America. Having served just fewer than 36 million passengers in 2010, the airport is the 28th busiest in the world, with flights to Miami International Airport coming in from most continents.
Unfortunately, though, the airport has a reputation for being slow and disorganised, especially when it comes to luggage procedures. Passengers in transit often miss flights as they are required to clear immigration before collecting their baggage, after which they must then transfer it to their connecting flight. Moreover, it’s common practice for staff to remove bags from carousels and place them on the floor, leaving passengers to crowd around heaps of luggage and compete for a chance to locate theirs. Signage is lacking and unclear, and many airport personnel speak Spanish only.
However, MIA has a wide variety of eateries, bars and retail outlets to keep layover passengers amused. Musical performers also provide entertainment throughout the airport’s public spaces and numerous wall paintings add colour and vibrancy to the interior of the terminal building.