Updated: May 21, 2015
Tampa Airport Maps - TPA Map - Directions to Tampa AirportTampa International Airport, in Tampa, Florida, serves the larger Tampa/St. Petersburg metropolitan area, handling nearly 20 million passengers per year. Let's start with the basic info. What is the 3 letter code for the Tampa Airport? It is TPA. Where is the Tampa Airport located? It's on the east side of Tamba Bay, just north of where I-275 and 589 cross (about 5 miles west of downtown Tampa). Road construction seems to be an ongoing project there -- watch out for road signs as you approach. Their official website, TampaAirport.com provides basic directions on how to get to the airport from surrounding areas, but basically you need to get to either Hwy 60 (if coming from across the Courtney Campbell Causeway to the west or from the north on the Veterans Expressway/589) or I-275 and follow the signs as you near the airport. There are also 3 other regional community airports that are in the county - Vandenberg Airport (VDF), Plant City Airport (PCM), and Peter O. Knight Airport (TPF). You can see a map of the Tampa Airport here, showing the terminal layouts, garages, rental car locations, etc.
Tampa Airport ParkingThe Tampa Airport provides almost 11,000 covered garage parking spaces -- 7500 in long term parking, and 3500 in short term parking. There are an additional 7000 spaces in the economy parking area. How much does parking cost at TPA? Short term garage (located above the main terminal) is first hour free, then $1 per 20 minutes up to $20 per day. Long term garage (located next to main terminal, monorail on level 5) is first hour free, then $1 per 20 minutes up to $15 per day. Economy (located off the George Bean Parkway as you enter the airport) offers a daily maximum rate of $9. Where can I get Tampa Airport map? Here is a map of the Tampa Airport showing parking areas, terminals, cell-phone waiting area, etc.
Tampa Airport Terminals/AirsidesThe Tampa Airport is set up in a spoke and hub fashion, with the main landside building in the center and the terminals, or airsides as they call them, located at the end of the spokes, reachable via a short monorail ride. One word of warning about baggage. On a recent visit in 2008, TPA was allowing TSAs the authority to decide which pieces of carry-on were considered too big and had to be checked. Before you could even get to your gate, they would intercept you at the monorail entry points, glance at your bag and decide if they thought it was the right size -- if not, they send you back downstairs to check it. This should be an airline decision and an airline enforcement issue -- bags that easily fit in overhead bins, though not conforming exactly to the "official" size, were being turned away. Unacceptable. Anyways, back to the terminals. Airside C at 1 o'clock on the map (NE) services Midwest, Southwest, and Spirit. Airside A at 5 o'clock on the map (SE) handles AirTran, Continental, Frontier, JetBlue, and Northwest/KLM. Airside E at 9 o'clock (west side) is for Air Canada, Delta, Ted, and United. Airside F to the SW is for American, American West, British Airways, Cayman, US Airways, and West Jet.
If you want to see whether a flight is on time or delayed, you can do so at the main airport website, TampaAirport.com/flights. Just type in your airline and flight number or arrival/departure city and you'll get instant arrival time and gate information.
Tampa Airport Rental Cars - Tampa Taxis and LimosAs with most airports, your options for ground transportation are varied. You can rent a car, take a cab, or grab a bus or limousinie. Orlando and Disneyworld are about 2 hours NE of Tampa (cab ride is almost $150). Yellow Taxi and United Cab are the two taxi companies that serve the Tampa Airport. They both charge just over $2 per mile (some local cities: Sarasota - 60 miles; Bradenton - 45 miles; Orlando - 85 miles; St. Petersburg - 20 miles). Expect to pay around $30 to get to Busch Gardens, $40 to Clearwater, $60 to Tarpon Spring, $50 to Plant City. SuperShuttle (SuperShuttle.com) offers multi-passenger van service to and from the Tampa Airport as well (example, $35 to Brandon, $22 to Clearwater, $21 to the Don Cesar Hotel).
Who rents cars at Tampa Airport? All the major car rental companies offer onsite service including: Avis, Budget Car Rental, Dollar Rent A Car, Enterprise, Hertz, and Thrifty Car Rental. For these companies, you can walk right to the car rental area across from the baggage area, no shuttles needed. There are also a number of companies located off-site -- Alamo, EZ Rent A Car, National, Payless, and Specialty Auto Rentals.
List of Tampa Aiport Hotels - Best Hotels near the Tampa AirportThere are a number of hotels located within just a few minutes drive of the Tampa Airport.The big travel websites like Expedia and Orbitz can help you check availability and room rates on any of these hotels, or you can contact the hotels directly if you wish. Here is a list of hotels to choose from.
- Just west of the Airport off the Courtney Campbell Causeway is the Radisson Bay Harbor Hotel, Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Sailport Resort.
- The Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza, located right at the airport off Jim Walter Blvd.
- Just south of the Airport along Shore Blvd: La Quinta Inn Tampa Airport, Ameri Suites-Airport Westshore, West Shore Hotel, Marriott-Tampa Westshore, and Quorum Hotel - Tampa (and just around the corner is Doubletree Hotel Tampa Westshore Airport on West Cypress).
- Residence Inn is probably the 3rd closest to the airport, just along W. Boy Scout Blvd next to the International Plaza
- NE of the airport and closer to the Raymond James Stadium is Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Comfort Inn Airport at RJ Stadium, and another Holiday Inn Express.