Airport #95/100: Miami

Photo of "Miami International Airport" sign on terminal building

Miami International Airport
Miami, Florida, United States

First visit: 18 October 2019
flighthistorian.com/airports/MIA

One of my earliest posts when I started this blog in 2013 discussed how I’d been to all but six of the FAA-designated large hubs in the US, and I was only missing six: IAH, MDW, SAN, TPA, FLL, and MIA. Over the years, I’d managed to visit the first five, and this week I finally picked up MIA as well, completing my collection of large US hub airports.

I’d originally scheduled a 2 hour and 45 minute layover to give myself time to explore the airport, but my incoming flight was delayed and I only ended up getting about two hours. However, it ended up being enough, because in my reading up about MIA pre-trip, I’d somehow managed to miss that the concourses weren’t all connected behind security. With my AA boarding passes, I’d only be able to see concourses D and E airside.

D was quite long – while I don’t believe it’s quite as long as the main terminal at DTW, it’s the only airport I can recall visiting a single concourse with four of its own train stations.

E was interesting with its bizarre pier and satellite structure, where instead of the satellite train connecting to the close end of the pier, it connected to the root of the pier, with the tracks running over the roof of the length of the pier.

Photo of MIA Concourse E, with the satellite on the right and the pier on the left.
Concourse E, with the satellite on the right and the pier on the left.

Since D and E didn’t take the whole layover time to explore, and since I had PreCheck to expedite security, I also went ahead and exited the secure area to visit the ticketing, baggage claim, and parking structure areas.

Photo of the MIA central terminal from a parking structure

All in all, it’s not an airport that I would go out of my way to visit again, but it was a pretty decent airport for a moderate layover.

2013 Year in Travel

The end of 2013 is here, which seems like a perfect time to summarize my flight activity over the last year.

2013 Flights

I flew on 64 flights this year, which is down from last year’s record 77.

2013-flight

Last year’s numbers were high due to a particularly busy July and August 2012, which were alone responsible for a third of that year’s travel. I didn’t end up having quite that busy of a travel season this year, so my number of flights dropped, but they were still higher than most years.

New Airports

I visited 11 airports for the first time this year:

#38AUSAustin, Texas, United States
#39BOSBoston, Massachusetts, United States
#40DTWDetroit, Michigan, United States
#41DENDenver, Colorado, United States
#42GRKKilleen/Fort Hood, Texas, United States
#43ITOHilo, Hawaii, United States
#44PDXPortland, Oregon, United States
#45TULTulsa, Oklahoma, United States
#46IAHHouston–Bush Intercontinental, Texas, United States
#47MHTManchester, New Hampshire, United States
#48MDWChicago–Midway, Illinois, United States

I’d actually diverted to GRK before for a DFW thunderstorm, but we didn’t get off the plane, so I didn’t get to count it then. Otherwise, I was able to pick up a few hubs I hadn’t been to before, and the rest were new destinations.

New Airlines

I flew on three airlines for the first time:

Elite Status

Chart of loyalty programs and earned elite status by year

I had hoped to maintain at least American Airlines AAdvantage Gold and United Mileage Plus Silver this year, but I only ended up having two trips on American, so I’m back down to nothing there. I did maintain Silver on United, and Gold with Hilton HHonors.

Superlatives