Travel Tip of the Week: Parking at Miami International Airport (MIA)

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Usually I don’t park at airports. I either have a rental car or use off-site parking. Just a couple of days ago I hat to park my car at one of the parking garages at Miami International Airport (MIA) and want to share some tips with you guys.

Dolphin Garage Elevator - Stamp your parking ticket here
Dolphin Garage Elevator – Stamp your parking ticket here

There are two main parking garages, Dolphin Garage and Flamingo Garage, and depending of your airline it makes sense to choose the closest one. I always recommend to take a picture of your stall number or the section you are parked in. This works for pretty much every airport in the world. However MIA’s garages have another great feature: You can stamp your parking ticket at the elevator with the location of the elevator, unfortunately not your car. This should help you to find your car again easy. However if you come up with a smart plan like I did, it might not work.

My great plan was to leave the parking ticket inside the center console right in front of the gear shift. This would solve two problems:

  1. I can’t lose my parking ticket and have to pay higher fees, because of a lost ticket
  2. Easy to find, because I will see it right when I enter my car or when I start it. The start button was just an inch above the tray.

Now how do you want to get your stamp with no ticket? Easy, you can put any paper in the slot and it will get stamped. just fold it so it is as wide as the slot and you are good to go.

I had some issues exiting the parking garage. I followed the exit markings all the way down to the ground level (Level G) and from there kept following them. If you precisely follow them, you will drive in circles. By the way, most of the times its marked as “OUT” instead of “EXIT”.

At the ground level of the garage you actually have to leave the garage building and drive on the road right outside. If you follow the arrow which points to the right, but don’t leave the parking structure, you will circle forever.

It might sound stupid, but I circled once, before I found out. But hey, we are in Miami. Everything is different here. Miami is the first state I ever saw a sign for the minimum speed on an Interstate. To be honest, it is really necessary. In most states I am used to people speeding instead of falling asleep behind the steering wheel and drive way under the allowed speed limit.


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