Albuquerque International Sunport Guide

The terminal building at Albuquerque International Sunport airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mark Williamson / Getty Images 

The Albuquerque International Sunport is the primary airport not only for Albuquerque but also for New Mexico. It welcomes more than 5 million passengers every year. It’s an easy-to navigate, midsize airport with easy access to the gates. It offers non-stop service to more than 20 U.S. cities and just recently confirmed its “international” name with non-stop service to Mexico.

Albuquerque International Sunport Code, Location and Flight Information

Know Before You Go

The Albuquerque International Sunport sits on the outskirts of the city’s south side. However, passengers can get to many of the city’s top neighborhoods, including Old Town, downtown, Nob Hill, and the university area within 15 minutes. 

Although the airport is the largest in New Mexico with service all major U.S. cities and Mexico destinations, it’s relatively small and easy to navigate. The T-shaped building has three levels in a single terminal with two concourses for gates. There are no trams or shuttle services to access the terminals. The gates lie within an easy walk of the check-in counters and baggage claim. Eight major commercial carriers serve the airport. Southwest Airlines is the airport’s largest carrier; it handles nearly half of in the inbound and outbound flights. It’s an exceedingly clean and safe airport. 

The airport exudes Pueblo Revival architectural style, with high ceilings and heavy wooden ceiling beams. Sculptures and art installations give the airport character and introduce new arrivals to Albuquerque’s creative side.

Parking at Albuquerque International Sunport 

The airport provides three on-site parking areas. It has two outdoor, uncovered parking lots, as well as a four-story indoor parking structure. Outdoor parking costs a maximum of $9 a day; indoor parking tops out at $12 a day.

There are a trio of private parking areas just off the airport grounds. They offer shuttle service to and from the airport. These parking areas include Fast Park & Relax and Airport Parking. These services range from $3.25 per day to $10 per day.

All major car rental companies are available at the airport. Car rentals are available from the Sunport Car Rental Center. Car rental shuttles provide free transportation between the terminal building and the car rental center. These shuttles depart every 5 minutes from the commercial lane in the lower level of the terminal building. Car rental arrangements should be made through the individual companies.

Driving Directions

You can reach the airport by driving north or south along I-25 and taking the Sunport Boulevard exit (Exit #221). Signage directs drivers to parking, rental car return, or departures/arrivals areas.

Public Transportation and Taxis

ABQ RIDE, the City of Albuquerque’s public transit system, provides service to and from the airport along Route 250 (weekdays only) and Route 50 (weekdays and Saturdays). Buses depart from the commercial lane on the lower level of the terminal. A one-way ride is $1; a day-pass costs $2.

The NM Rail Runner Express offers inner-city train service, but passengers most commonly use the service to travel between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. ABQ RIDE Routes 250 and 50 offer shuttle service between the Albuquerque International Sunport and NM Rail Runner stations. A one-way trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe will cost $10.

Travelers can also access Santa Fe by booking a spot on a Groome Transportation shuttle, which offers door-to-door service between the airport and Santa Fe 19 times a day. Shuttle tickets cost $36 one-way. It’s best to reserve a spot in advance.

Two taxi services provide service to and from the airport: Yellow Cab Company and ABQ Green Cab Company. Unlike many airports and major transportation hubs, there is not a taxi queue waiting at the airport. Travelers may encounter the occasional taxi, but the best policy is to call upon arrival for a pick-up. Fares generally start at $2.50 and run $2.20 for every additional mile. The trip to downtown or Old Town should be less than $20. 

Ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft also provide airport pick-ups and drop-offs. Again, there is no queue, so reserve your ride via the app on arrival. Ride shares pick up at the arrivals area on the lower floor of the terminal.

Where to Eat and Drink

Albuquerque International Sunport has a dozen dining options before passing through security and in the “A” and “B” gate concourses after going through the security checkpoint. Before clearing the security checkpoint, Black Mesa Coffee offers take-away items with local flavor while Tia Juanitas serves other New Mexican favorites, such as enchiladas and tacos. After the security checkpoint, other locations of Black Mesa Coffee/Bakery offer sandwiches and pastry items, and Watch! Sports Lounge and Grill lives up to its name with big-screen TVs tuned to sports events and bar-fare available to order.

Where to Shop 

The airport has the standard set of book and magazine shops, which have a hearty supply of T-shirts and souvenirs. Greetings from NM, Earth Spirit, and Thunderbird Curio sell local gifts.

How to Spend Your Layover

If you want to watch the planes before riding them, climb to the top story observation deck. It’s located past the security checkpoint, between the gate concourses. The airport has a 113-piece permanent art collection. Art is displayed throughout the terminal, on both sides of the security checkpoint, and the grounds. The airport also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, from lowrider cars and bikes, to landscape photographs. An original 1914 Curtiss Pusher Design Biplane is the airport’s most notable artifact; it hangs in the Great Hall leading from the check-in counters to the gates. It was one of the first biplanes flown in New Mexico. 

The Sunport Arts Program also hosts a year-round concert series in the airport terminal’s Great Hall. More than 100 free concerts are held each year in a variety of genres, from mariachi to jazz. All performances are free and open to the public. 

The airport doesn’t host any private lounges for further relaxing. A meditation room is available outside of the security checkpoint, on the lower level, across from Baggage Claim 8.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

Free, airport Wi-Fi is available on the “Sunport” network. Charging stations are available in both gate concourses. 

Airport Tips & Facts

  • A trio of hotels are near the airport for easy overnight stays: the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Albuquerque Airport, and Best Western Airport Albuquerque Inn Suites. These hotels offer shuttle free service from the airport.
  • Volunteers staff a traveler information kiosk on the terminal’s lower level, near the baggage claim. 
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