Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport Guide

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Courtesy of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

5900 Messer Airport Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35212, USA
Phone +1 205-595-0533

The largest airport in the state of Alabama, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport is a gateway to the city's universities, historic sites, and museums, as well as popular beach destinations along the state's Gulf Coast. Located just 5 miles northeast of downtown Birmingham, the airport serves more than 3 million passengers annually. Four airlines—American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines—offer 100 daily flights to 15 cities that connect to more than 400 destinations around the globe.

A small, easy-to-navigate regional airport, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth has a single, two-level passenger terminal with a central area for ticketing and check-in, security, baggage claim, dining, and other amenities. The airport was fully renovated in 2014 and offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi, private meditation and nursing rooms, a sensory room for those with disabilities, and an extensive public art collection. Parking and ground transportation are just steps away from the main concourse, with shuttle service offered for travelers utilizing economy parking.

Located just north of where I-59 meets I-20, the airport is easily accessible from downtown via the Magic City Shuttle, taxi, or rideshare. In addition to a cell phone waiting lot with 40 spaces, the airport offers long- and short-term parking and rental car facilities.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Code, Location, and Flight Information

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Courtesy of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Know Before You Go

BHM is a compact, regional airport. Accessible via major highways I-20 and I-59, it is located approximately five minutes northeast of downtown Birmingham—a trip that takes 10 to 15 minutes in minimal traffic.

The airport has is a single, two-tiered terminal. Baggage claim, customs, and transportation services are housed on the lower level, while airline ticketing counters, a single security checkpoint, restaurants, shops, and all three concourses (A, B, and C) are on the upper level. Both levels are accessible from a multi-level parking deck as well as taxi and rideshare curbside drop-offs.

While the airport is small, it is the largest by passenger volume in the state. Be prepared to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your flight, particularly in the spring and summer, when visitors flock to the city for festivals or pass through on their way to the state's Gulf Coast beaches.

The airport offers nonstop flights to over 15 destinations in the United States via American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. Destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Orlando, a network that reaches over 400 cities worldwide.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Parking

Note: Both economy parking and valet parking are temporarily closed. Check the airport website for the most recent parking information before your trip.

The airport has several options for short- and long-term parking. Located directly adjacent to the terminal, the multi-tiered parking deck has over 5,000 color-coded spaces available for both hourly and daily parking. Hourly parking rates are $1 per hour and $25 per day, while daily parking rates are $1 per hour and $12 per day. Electrical charging stations are available on Level 3 in hourly parking and Level 6 in daily parking.

The airport's economy lot has 700 spaces and is located on Airline Drive, just off Messer Airport Highway. Rates are $1 per hour, with a maximum charge of $10 per day. Complimentary shuttle service is available to and from the terminal and shuttles run continuously throughout the day.

Valet parking is available curbside on the terminal's upper level. Advanced reservations are suggested, and the rate is $16.95 per day.

Waiting on an arriving passenger? Take advantage of the airport's cell phone lot. With 40 spots, the lot is located on Airline Drive, and there is no time limit for parking.

Driving Directions

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport is located directly north of the intersection of I-20 and I-59 and 5 miles from downtown Birmingham (a drive of approximately 10 to 15 minutes), 60 miles from Tuscaloosa, and 283 miles from Gulf Shores.

Directions to BHM from the north: Take I-65 S and stay in the left lane for exit 261B to merge onto I-20 E/I-59 N toward Atlanta/Gadsden. Take exit 129 toward Airport Boulevard. Use the left lane and keep left at the fork and follow signs to the airport.

Directions to BHM from the south and west (including downtown): Take I-20 E/I-59 N S, then take exit 129 toward Airport Boulevard. Use the left lane and keep left at the fork and follow signs to the airport.

Directions to BHM from the east: Take I-20 W to Messer Airport Highway, then take exit 129 toward Airport Boulevard. Use the left lane and keep left at the fork and follow signs to the airport.

Public Transportation and Taxis

Taxis are available 24/7 on the terminal's lower level just outside of baggage claim. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and other companies have stalls for rentals and returns at the Rental Car facility, located in section 1B on the ground level of the parking deck.

Rideshare services Lyft and Uber offer pick-up at the airport as well. Exit baggage claim and follow the signs to a designated curbside area.

The number 20 MAX Transit bus runs between the airport and downtown. One-way fares are $1.50 per ride for adults, $1 for students grades 1-12, and 75 cents per ride for seniors 62 and older with valid ID and those with disabilities, military IDs, and Medicare cards. Exact fare is required onboard.

Some area resorts and hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport, but those must be arranged in advance and directly with transportation companies.

Where to Eat and Drink

While Birmingham-Shuttlesworth is a small airport, there are a few options for dining. Pre-security, a Starbucks outpost serves coffee and pastries, while The Local Rustic Market offers grab and go options such as salads, sandwiches, and snacks.

In the food court between Concourses A and B, fast-casual options include Chick-fil-A, which is open from 4:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and The Great American Bagel company, which serves several types of bagels as well as sandwiches and salads from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. An additional small food court with fast-casual options is located between Concourses B and C.

For a full-service meal, try Red Mountain Grill on Concourse B. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and barbecue as well as wine, cocktails, and beer from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Named after the state's famed race track, the Talladega Grille on Concourse C is the spot to grab a beer, watch a game, and enjoy tailgate-inspired food like nachos, wings, and fried chicken before your flight. Other full-service options include the Birmingham Brewhouse on Concourse A, where you can sample craft beer from local breweries and enjoy salads, burgers, and other pub fare.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

CHS has free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal and in the cell phone waiting lot. Select the network named “BHMFREEWIFI," launch your web browser, and click on the “Accept Terms and Connect” button to access the internet. The airport also has electrical outlets as well as FuelRods for portable charging of electronic devices available on all concourses and in baggage claim.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport Tips & Facts

  • A designated animal relief area for those traveling with pets is located on the terminal's lower level. Exit through Door 4L, and turn right to access the green space, which faces the FAA tower.
  • A dedicated meditation room on the terminal's upper level provides a quiet area for pausing and reflecting before or after a flight.
  • With interactive activity panels, soft lighting, a bubbling water wall, and bean bag chairs, the sensory room is designed for travelers with autism and other special needs.
  • The airport offers several private rooms for nursing mothers throughout the terminal. Each room is outfitted with electrical outfits, a glider, sink, and counter space.
  •  Several art displays and murals reflecting Alabama's history and plant life are placed throughout the terminal, including a photography exhibit dedicated to the airport's namesake and civil rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, which is located before security on the lower level.
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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport Guide