Is It Cheaper To Fly Into Miami Or Fort Lauderdale?

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are two major transportation hubs in South Florida, servicing both domestic and international travelers. But if you’re planning a trip there, which airport offers the most budget-friendly fares – Miami or Fort Lauderdale? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It’s usually cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport than Miami International Airport. On average, flights into Fort Lauderdale cost $50-$100 less than comparable flights into Miami.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the costs of flying into Miami versus Fort Lauderdale by examining factors like airport size, airlines and routes, proximity to the city, ground transportation costs, and seasonal pricing trends. With tips for finding the best fares to both South Florida airports, you’ll be able to travel to this sunny region without breaking the bank.

Airport Size and Airline Competition

Miami International is one of the largest, busiest airports globally

Miami International Airport (MIA) is renowned for its size and international prominence. Serving as a major hub for both domestic and international flights, MIA is one of the busiest airports in the world.

With its sprawling facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, MIA offers travelers a wide range of amenities and services. From luxury lounges to world-class shopping and dining options, MIA is designed to cater to the needs of both leisure and business travelers.

Fort Lauderdale is much smaller, with lower overall traffic

Compared to Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is comparatively smaller in size and handles lower overall air traffic. However, this does not mean that FLL compromises on quality or efficiency.

Despite its smaller scale, FLL is well-equipped to handle a significant number of domestic and international flights efficiently. With its modern terminals and streamlined operations, FLL offers travelers a seamless and hassle-free airport experience.

Miami has more airlines and direct route options

One of the advantages of flying into Miami International Airport is the extensive range of airlines and direct route options available. With its status as a major international hub, MIA attracts a multitude of airlines from around the world.

This means that travelers have access to a larger variety of airlines, allowing them to choose the most convenient and cost-effective options for their journey. Additionally, MIA offers numerous direct flights to popular destinations, saving travelers time and hassle.

Less airline competition at Fort Lauderdale often leads to budget fares

While Miami International Airport offers a wider selection of airlines, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has its own unique advantage when it comes to pricing. Due to the lower level of airline competition at FLL, budget fares can often be found for flights into Fort Lauderdale.

This can be especially advantageous for travelers looking to save money on their airfare. By comparing prices between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, travelers can potentially find significant savings by flying into FLL.

Proximity to South Florida Destinations

When considering whether to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, one important factor to consider is the proximity to your desired South Florida destinations. Both airports have their advantages depending on where you plan to spend most of your time.

Miami International is closer to Miami city center

If you’re planning to explore the vibrant city of Miami, flying into Miami International Airport (MIA) would be a more convenient option. Located just a few miles from downtown Miami, MIA offers easy access to popular attractions like South Beach, the Art Deco District, and the Wynwood Walls.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife or indulge in the city’s diverse culinary scene, flying into MIA will save you time and transportation costs.

Fort Lauderdale is nearer to beach towns like Hollywood

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in exploring the beach towns of South Florida such as Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) would be a better choice. FLL is located closer to these beach towns, making it a convenient option for travelers looking to soak up the sun and relax on the beautiful sandy beaches.

Additionally, FLL is also the gateway to the Everglades, where you can explore the unique ecosystem and go on thrilling airboat rides.

Ground transportation costs must be considered from both airports

While proximity to your desired destinations is important, it’s essential to factor in the cost of ground transportation from both airports. Depending on your budget and travel plans, one airport may be more cost-effective than the other.

Travel time by shuttle, rental car, or rideshare is usually less from Fort Lauderdale

When it comes to travel time from the airport to your accommodation, Fort Lauderdale often comes out on top. The distance between FLL and popular South Florida destinations is usually shorter, resulting in shorter travel times by shuttle, rental car, or rideshare services.

This can save you valuable time, especially if you’re on a tight schedule or want to maximize your time exploring the area.

Ultimately, the decision of whether it’s cheaper to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale depends on your specific travel plans and preferences. Consider the proximity to your desired destinations, the cost of ground transportation, and the overall convenience of each airport before making your decision.

Domestic vs. International Flights

When planning a trip to South Florida, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is which airport to fly into – Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Both cities have international airports that offer a wide range of flight options, but each has its own advantages depending on your specific travel needs.

For U.S. origination points, Fort Lauderdale often has cheaper fares

If you’re flying from within the United States, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport may offer you more affordable options. Due to its smaller size and lower demand compared to Miami International Airport, airlines often offer discounted fares to attract passengers to Fort Lauderdale.

This can be especially beneficial if you’re traveling on a budget or looking for a bargain.

According to recent statistics, the average domestic flight fare to Fort Lauderdale is consistently lower than to Miami. In fact, travelers can save up to 20% on their airfare by choosing to fly into Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami.

Miami offers more discounted options for international routes

On the other hand, if you’re traveling internationally, Miami International Airport may be your best bet for finding discounted fares. With its large number of international carriers and extensive route network, Miami offers more options for travelers looking to fly to popular international destinations.

It’s worth noting that Miami International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States for international travel, with over 40 million passengers passing through its gates each year. This high level of competition among airlines often leads to lower fares and more frequent deals for international flights.

Open jaws may be cheaper, flying into one airport and out the other

Another factor to consider when deciding between Miami and Fort Lauderdale is the concept of “open jaws.” Open jaws refer to flying into one airport and departing from another. In some cases, this can result in cheaper overall fares, especially if you’re planning to visit multiple destinations in South Florida or planning a multi-city trip.

By comparing prices and availability for both airports, you may find that flying into Miami and departing from Fort Lauderdale (or vice versa) can save you money on your airfare. This option allows you to take advantage of the cheaper fares available at each airport and gives you more flexibility in planning your travel itinerary.

Peak vs. Off-Peak Travel Seasons

When considering whether it is cheaper to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, it is important to take into account the peak and off-peak travel seasons. These seasons can greatly affect the cost of airfare to both destinations.

In peak winter months, fares are high but Fort Lauderdale remains cheaper

During the peak winter months, which typically span from December to February, the fares to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale tend to be higher compared to other times of the year. However, even during this peak season, Fort Lauderdale often offers slightly cheaper options for travelers.

This could be due to the fact that Miami is a more popular tourist destination, leading to higher demand and subsequently higher prices.

According to a study conducted by Kayak, the average airfare to Miami during the winter months is around $400, while the average airfare to Fort Lauderdale is around $350. While these prices may fluctuate depending on various factors, it is generally a good rule of thumb that Fort Lauderdale tends to be more budget-friendly during the peak winter season.

Summertime sees lower fares overall, especially to Fort Lauderdale

During the summertime, both Miami and Fort Lauderdale experience a decrease in airfare prices. This is mainly because the demand for travel decreases during this season. However, Fort Lauderdale usually offers lower fares compared to Miami even during the off-peak season.

According to the same study by Kayak, the average airfare to Miami in the summer months is around $300, while the average airfare to Fort Lauderdale is around $250. These lower fares make Fort Lauderdale an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers, especially during the summer.

Avoid spring break and events like Art Basel when prices spike

It is important to note that there are certain times of the year when prices to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale can spike significantly. Spring break, for example, is a period of high demand for both destinations, leading to a surge in airfare prices.

Similarly, events like Art Basel, which attracts a large number of visitors to Miami, can also cause prices to skyrocket.

If you are looking for the cheapest option, it is advisable to avoid traveling during these peak periods. Instead, consider planning your trip during the quieter seasons when prices are generally lower.

Tips for Getting the Best Fares

Compare all airline and route options using flight search engines

When trying to find the cheapest flights to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, it’s important to compare all airline and route options. One of the best ways to do this is by using flight search engines like Google Flights or Kayak.

These platforms allow you to enter your travel details and provide you with a list of available flights from various airlines. By comparing prices, you can find the best deals and potentially save a significant amount of money.

Consider budget airlines like Spirit or Frontier for deeply discounted fares

If you’re willing to sacrifice some comforts for a lower fare, consider flying with budget airlines like Spirit or Frontier. These airlines often offer deeply discounted fares compared to major carriers.

While you may have to pay extra for services like checked baggage or in-flight meals, the savings can be substantial. Just be sure to read the fine print and understand any additional fees before booking your flight.

Be flexible with dates and airport choice when possible

Flexibility with your travel dates and airport choice can also lead to significant savings. If your travel plans allow for it, consider flying during off-peak times or on weekdays when fares tend to be cheaper.

Additionally, comparing fares for both Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports can help you find the best deals. Sometimes, flying into one airport may be significantly cheaper than the other, so it’s worth exploring both options.

Use alerts to find mistake fares and discounts

If you’re a frequent traveler or have a flexible schedule, consider setting up fare alerts to receive notifications when prices drop. Websites like Skyscanner or Airfarewatchdog allow you to set up alerts for specific routes or destinations.

This way, you’ll be notified when there are mistake fares or discounts available, giving you the opportunity to snag a great deal before it’s gone.

By following these tips and utilizing the resources available, you can increase your chances of finding the cheapest fares when flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale.


While Miami International Airport offers more direct flights and airline options, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood tends to have cheaper fares year-round for both domestic and international routes. By comparing all your flight possibilities and being flexible with dates and nearby airports, you can unlock the best deals for getting to South Florida. Depending on your final destination and travel preferences, the lower cost of flying into Fort Lauderdale may outweigh the convenience of Miami International for your trip.

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