South Florida Airports and Surrounding Accommodations
by "Abaco Skippy"
Many people on the Abaco Forum ask about the numerous airports in South Florida and how to utilize them to get to Abaco. Well, it depends on whether you are on a charter or “scheduled” flight, or both. Like most large metropolitan areas, South Florida has a number of airports, both “International” and “General Aviation”. “International” airports are the airports where your major carriers fly to/from and “General Aviation” airports are those that offer service to the casual/business/private flyers as well as Air Charter Services. Below is a list of some of the airports in the South Florida area:

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)

General Aviation
Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)
Opa Locka Airport (Miami) (OPF)
Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA)

Below are area maps of the various airports: (included are only those “General Aviation Airports” that I believe provide charter services to Abaco.)

Here is a good link to some of the charter companies flying to/from South Florida: Bahamas/South Florida Charters.

So what do you do if you have a scheduled, larger airline flight into FLL, and your charter is out of FXE? You can either use a taxi for the roughly 13 mile, 30 minute trip, or use our local commuter rail service, Tri Rail. From the Tri Rail station (Cypress Creek) close to FXE, it is a short, 5 minute taxi/shuttle ride to the Executive Airport. Check with your charter airline as some of them can arrange shuttles to pick you up at the Tri Rail station.

A similar arrangement can be used if flying into MIA and departing from OPA, or flying into PBI and departing LNA. Check with your charter company.

Bottom line is: ALWAYS check with your airline and have your transportation options worked out prior to departure. Also, be sure to allot enough time between flights for transfers/shuttles.
Another frequent question deals with where to stay if you have to overnight between arrival at a South Florida Airport and your next day departure to Abaco. Once again, there are many choices for accommodations. Many provide free shuttle service to/from the airport. Here is a good list of hotels around the various South Florida airports. For accommodations around FLL or MIA or PBI, go to this site and enter the airport code (KFLL, KMIA, KPBI, KFXE, KOPF or KLNA), under “Airport Info” then click on hotels. This is a very comprehensive list and will give details on each hotel. You can simply click on each listed hotel to see if they provide shuttle service to/from the airport. You can also click on the “Air Charter Airplanes” link to see various Air Charters flying out of the respective airport.

We hope this answers some of the airport/hotel questions that come up frequently on the Board. Here are some additional points to consider:

-ALWAYS allow sufficient time between connections
-ALWAYS check with your airline for last minute flight details
-ALWAYS have some essentials in your carryon baggage
-ALWAYS keep an open mind…it may be needed for last minute changes

Good Luck and happy traveling!

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