Miami Is Becoming a Major Airline Connectivity Hub

Flying to or from Europe, most of us are used to expecting a connection in one of a few cities. BOS, JFK, ORD may all sound pretty familiar to most of us, but how about MIA? Yes, Miami is well on its way to becoming a top player for international connecting passengers. Miami boasts the fact that it receives service from more than 100 airlines — the most of any US airport — so let’s take a look at some of our newest options abroad from this booming hub.

1. Miami (MIA) – Reykjavik (KEF) on WOW (launched April 5)

Low-cost carrier WOW commenced operations for its new flight between Miami (MIA) and Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) on April 5, marking the first time Miami has ever had nonstop service to Iceland. The carrier is flying an Airbus A330-300 on the new route three times weekly and is also planning to begin flights to Chicago (ORD) starting July 13.

  • WW132 Miami (MIA) 4:30pm Departure ⇒ Reykjavik (KEF) 4:10am (+1) Arrival
  • WW131 Reykjavik (KEF) 6:45pm Departure ⇒ Miami (MIA) 11:00pm Arrival
Image of the Aer Lingus A330 courtesy of Eric Salard via Flickr.

2. Miami (MIA) to Dublin (DUB) on Aer Lingus (launching September 1)

Aer Lingus will begin flying nonstop from Dublin Airport (DUB) to MIA on September 1, with flights running three times a week. From MIA, Aer Lingus passengers can fly the airline’s Airbus A330 and connect to its US domestic airline partner, United Airlines. From MIA, United flies to major hubs in DEN, EWR, IAH, ORD and SFO.

  • EI140 Miami (MIA) 9:30pm Departure ⇒ Dublin (DUB) 10:35am (+1) Arrival
  • EI141 Dublin (DUB) 3:00pm Departure ⇒ Miami (MIA) 7:15pm Arrival

3. Miami (MIA) – Tel Aviv (TLV) on El Al (to launch in November)

El Al will return to Miami after a nine-year absence, flying from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (TLV) to Miami International Airport (MIA) this November three times a week, using its Boeing 777-200. The airline flew to Miami previously, but discontinued service in 2008. (As of this writing, no schedule for the commencement of El Al’s service to Miami has been announced).
Image of the Volaris Airbus A320 courtesy of Tomas Del Coro via Flickr.

4. Miami (MIA) – Guadalajara (GDL) and Mexico City (MEX) on Volaris

Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris began service to Miami in February with four weekly flights to Guadalajara (GDL) and daily flights to Mexico City (MEX). Volaris had previously flown to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) on its Airbus A320 aircraft.
  • Y4996 Miami (MIA) 2:12pm Departure ⇒ Guadalajara (GDL) 5:07pm Arrival
  • Y4997 Guadalajara (GDL) 7:50am Departure ⇒ Miami (MIA) 12:27pm Arrival
  • Y4995 Miami (MIA) 7:51pm Departure ⇒ Mexico City (MEX) 9:19pm Arrival
  • Y4994 Mexico City (MEX) 2:44pm Departure ⇒ Miami (MIA) 6:54pm Arrival

5. Miami (MIA) – Stockholm (ARN) on SAS Scandinavian Airlines (begins October 29th)

Earlier this month, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced it would serve the MIA-ARN route once a week on Sundays, using its Airbus A330. SAS is also a Star Alliance member, so passengers can easily connect to networked flights to United hubs.

  • SK958 Miami (MIA) 4:05pm Departure ⇒ Stockholm (ARN) Arrival 7:35 (+1) am Arrival
  • SK957 Stockholm (ARN) 9:55an Departure ⇒ Miami (MIA) Arrival 2:15pm Arrival

Bottom Line

MIA boasts that more than 100 airlines serve the airport, more than any other in the United States, though several domestic low-cost carriers such as JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and Virgin America choose to serve nearby Fort Lauderdale (FLL) instead. MIA’s expansive variety of airlines can be a big draw to travelers both foreign and domestic, especially those who offer codeshare or interline agreements.

MIA is one of the largest expansive international airports in the US that lies close to its metropolitan area, giving it a big advantage. However, its geography also makes it susceptible to coastal “sea breeze” thunderstorms that can cause delays, along with the occasional hurricane, of course — personally, I’d try to avoid connecting in MIA from June through September because of the weather.
The city remains home to one of the largest and busiest cruise ports in the US, drawing many travelers to visit the city either before or after their various oceanic voyages. MIA is only about 15 minutes from the cruise terminals, eliminating the need for a car rental, just under 15 minutes from the airport to downtown and under 30 minutes to popular South Beach.
Featured image courtesy of Daniel Reichert via Flickr.

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