Back in the 1970s, passengers could park their cars right in front of the tiny Fort Lauderdale Airport terminal and board planes simply by climbing stairs leading up to the aircraft. Times have certainly changed. Thanks to a boom in this balmy region's population and tourism, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has grown significantly from its humble beginnings. It now services about 15 million passengers per year. There are 700 flights—primarily by IBC Airways, JetBlue, Silver Airways, Spirit Airlines, and Tropi Ocean Airlines—per day.
Although it's almost a century old, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is equipped with all the modern facilities to make your travels comfortable, and it's incredibly easy to navigate, too. It's a great alternative to the bigger and busier Miami International Airport (MIA) just 25 miles south, offering perhaps a more peaceful entrance into the sunny state of Florida and the beach vacation that awaits you.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
- The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is located directly between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida. It's about a 20-minute drive to Hollywood Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach, and The Strip, a promenade with upscale restaurants, hotels, and a buzzy nightlife scene.
- Phone Number: 1-866-435-9355
- Website: https://www.broward.org/Airport/Pages/default.aspx
- Flight Tracker: https://www.broward.org/airport/Passengers/Flights/Pages/FlightInformationArrivals.aspx
Know Before You Go
Although it has undergone a few name changes over the past century, FLL originally opened as the Merle Fogg Airport in 1929. These days, it has four terminals and operates nearly 30 airlines dispatching to destinations all over the world. The busiest domestic route from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is—by far—Atlanta, Georgia, followed by New York City and Baltimore. As far as international travel goes, FLL is a popular stopover for travelers en route to Nassau and other Caribbean destinations.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is made up of eight concourses divided into four terminals: Concourses A, B, and C in Terminal 1; D in Terminal 2; E and F in Terminal 3; and two Concourse Gs in Terminal 4. Shuttle buses provide a means of transportation between terminals. FLL is a hub for all the major airlines, including American, Delta, Southwest, and United. Between flights, passengers can choose from a diverse range of restaurants and lounges. They're even permitted to stake out a cozy corner to sleep in overnight but beware: Although the temps outside are steamy, this airport is known to be freezing.
Bring layers if you're planning to stay awhile.
The airport has a 12,000-space parking complex that offers an abundance of short-term parking options. You can choose to pay an hourly or daily rate or splurge on valet. Parking garages can be accessed on the ground floor (arrivals) level only.
FLL's three parking garages include:
- Cypress: Terminal 1 (hourly parking only)
- Hibiscus: Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 (hourly, daily, and valet)
- Palm: Terminals 2, 3, and 4 (hourly, daily, and valet)
Economy parking is also available less than four miles from the airport. Regular courtesy shuttles run from the arrivals level to the Economy Lot, the Car Rental garage, and between terminals.
Airport security does not allow cars to park or wait at any terminal in arrivals or departures. There is, however, a convenient and well-lit Cell Phone Waiting Area that can be accessed along Perimeter Road. It is conveniently situated close to Terminal 1 arrivals, making it ultra-easy to pick up your guests without circling around the airport. Note that at night and during the holidays, the Cell Phone Waiting Area often fills up.
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport can be accessed easily via U.S. Highway 1 or via Interstate 595.
- U.S. 1 from the north: Take the airport exit just south of I-595.
- U.S. 1 from the south: Take the airport exit just north of Griffin Road.
- From I-95 or I-595: From I-95, follow signs to I-595, located between Griffin Road and State Road 84. Head east on I-595 to U.S. 1 South and follow signs to the airport.
Public Transportation and Taxis
- Broward County Transit (BCT) Buses: The public bus is a cheap and reliable way to get around Broward County if you have the time. You can locate bus stop 7 at the Rental Car Center and take Route 1 southbound to Fort Lauderdale's Broward Central Terminal (or the northbound route to Aventura Mall).
- Tri-Rail: The Tri-Rail is a commuter train that services three counties. You can board from one of three shuttle stops at the airport—on the west side of Terminal 1, between Terminals 2 and 3, and between Terminals 3 and 4—then be transported a few miles by bus to the Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach, where you can take the 6 straight to Broward Central Terminal (a 40-minute ride).
- Taxis: Taxis are a fast and easy option if you don't mind paying a bit more. The taxi podium is outside baggage claim at each of the four terminals.
- Rideshares: Alternatively, you may call an Uber or Lyft and the driver will pick you up at designated locations between Terminals 1 and 2 or 3 and 4 on the arrival (lower) level. These pickup spots are marked with a sign that says "Ride Sharing" with the image of a cell phone.
Where to Eat and Drink
Not to worry if you get hungry while waiting for your flight because there are dozens of restaurants—from grab-and-go options to sit-down meals—at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. For a quick bite, there's Pronto Mercato at Gate C, Aroma Market at Gate F, a Chili's to-go window just after security, Great American Bagel at Gate D, and two Urban Market outposts at Gates B and D. For a sit down-style experience, opt instead for Cross Grains Brewhouse (beer and pizza) on the upper departure level, Casavana Cuban Restaurant at Gate H, or Shula Burger (casual burgers, ribs, and brisket) at Gate C.
How to Spend Your Layover
There's not much to do at the airport, itself, but if you have a long layover, the beach and its enlivened boardwalk is only a short distance away. You can drop your bags off at the luggage storage lockers that are located in all four terminals and open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If you'd rather stay in, scope the area for FLL Terminal Tunes, a program that offers live music in various places at the airport.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has two airline lounges: the Delta Sky Club and the United Club, both of which you may enter by paying at the door or by already being a membership holder. The Delta Sky Club, located in Terminal 2, has regular snacks, coffee, alcohol, and password-protected wifi. The United Club, in Terminal 1, has all of the above plus conference facilities.
Wifi and Charging Stations
FLL offers free and unlimited wifi as well as internet kiosks, which are located in Terminals 1, 2, and 3. There are also phone chargers available near the ATM at Terminal 1 baggage claim on the lower level.
Airport Tips and Tidbits
- There are no on-site airport hotels or designated rest zones at FLL, but if you have an overnight layover, the padded chairs near the Rental Car Center are a known hotspot for sleepers. The airport is open 24 hours a day. Note that while the weather outside is warm, the airport is often pretty chilly.
- There is a Business Service Center which has fax and copy machines located in Terminal 1 near International Arrivals. It's open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.