This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: Miami International Airport has introduced a number of new features intended to make traveling more seamless. In your experience, is the airport friendly to frequent business travelers? If not, what can it do better?
As someone who runs through its terminals 40 to 50 times a year, I love Miami International Airport. In addition to the sheer number of flights, I enjoy the art exhibits, the restaurants and the wonderful employees. One recommendation: It would be great to upgrade the parking garages in a way that allows for travelers to more quickly and easily find available spots.
Vance Aloupis, CEO, The Children’s Movement of Florida
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I have been very impressed with the positive changes Miami International Airport has made over the past few years. From the ticketing process to the efficient TSA screening, MIA has made access to flights convenient and seamless for everyone, including business travelers.
Margaret “Peggy” Bass, executive director, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center
I typically fly in and out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport because I find it easier and quicker to navigate. In the few times that I’ve traveled through Miami International Airport recently, I’ve noticed an improvement in the amenities available — including the addition of many local vendors with distinct Miami brands.
Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, president, CEO, Carrfour Supportive Housing
I think we have one of the best airports in the country. I travel almost weekly through Miami International Airport and I have to say it’s very business-friendly. From good security and flights on time to a variety of amenities and options to eat, we have a great business airport.
Jose R. Costa, CEO, For Eyes
It's been interesting to watch the evolution of the airport and transportation industry, both here in Miami and across the country. It’s become much more about the experience of the traveler — getting to the gate more quickly, better amenities as you wait for a flight, and enhanced way-finding to make the trip more efficient.
Jeff Gouveia, president, general manager, SE region, Suffolk
Yes, it has improved greatly. The rental car transportation system is so much better with the installation of the Mover. I would like to see more plane flights scheduled to and from the Northeast. Food options in some of the gates are below quality. Arrivals on time is always a plus.
Willie Logan, founder, CEO and president, Opa-locka Community Development Corp.
In my experience, the lines are shorter and the work flow is smoother, but I do not travel enough to really comment with meaningful ideas.
Raymond Mobayed, owner, 4IT Inc.
MIA has exponentially improved over the last decade with better concessions, signage, the gate train and overall customer service. On-site parking can be a challenge at times. Moving sidewalks would be nice as access to the train at times is cumbersome. The expansion of the airport lounges is helpful as many times they are at capacity.
Julie Neitzel, partner, WE Family Offices
We see Miami International Airport has made significant improvements, but there is always more work to be done to ensure a more seamless business travel experience. In the industry, we have to work hard to keep up with available technology while maintaining travelers’ safety and security first.
Gene Prescott, president and CEO, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
The new features MIA is implementing are great. Anything that increases safety for the public and reduces congestion is a win. I especially like the biometrics technology utilized throughout the newly renovated Concourse E. It’s already widely used on smartphones and even in residential developments, so this is a natural next step.
Carlos Rosso, president, The Related Group’s Condominium division
I traveled more than 108,000 miles last year within the U.S. and was happy to achieve Executive Platinum status with American Airlines. I do spend a lot of time in airports. As a frequent traveler, you look to make the traveling experience easy, comfortable and stress-free. MIA has really stepped up on the traveling experience with new quality food and retail vendors, and airline clubs, including American Express Centurion Club, the newly renovated AA Admirals Club and the all new AA Flagship Lounge. MIA is also looking to make the security lines move quicker by adopting new ways to go through security (you only need your ID card, you do not have to show tickets). It is all about making the trip seamless. Traveling can be very stressful, but I feel as a frequent traveler, you learn to be patient and it makes for a better experience overall. As I travel through some of the nation’s major airports, including LAX, ORD, DFW, and LGA, Miami International Airport, by comparison, is best for frequent travelers.
Stan Rudman, CMO and owner, Sportailor Inc.
Above all, when traveling on business, I look for convenience, accessibility and comfort. Miami International Airport has come a long way in recent years to make traveling easier thanks to the addition of new amenities and airport lounges, expanded TSA pre-check access, more food and beverage options, and free Wi-Fi access throughout the terminals. Additionally, unlike other major metropolitan cities, our airport is centrally located and accessible by public transit.
Kim Stone, general manager and EVP, AmericanAirlines Arena
Miami International Airport is very conveniently located to the city, which is a major advantage. It also presents a very international image, which introduces the city as a major destination with a vibrant, diverse business community. The number of airlines, flights and destinations also make it very convenient for business travel. The only issue is the distance between the entry, gates and baggage claim or the physical size and layout of the airport, which feels very inconvenient. The car rental location also feels miles away from baggage claim. Given the size of the airport, it may be helpful to have more carts to transport travelers between gates, baggage claim and the car rental area.
Teri Williams, president, CEO and a director, OneUnited Bank
Through the years, Miami International Airport has improved. For example, access to better food, retail, and the comfort at the gates offers a much better experience for airline passengers. The challenges that remain are in the center of the airport, the hotel and the ease of access and exit. It is time to refurbish or replace the remainder of the original airport and its satellite areas.
Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects
THE MIAMI HERALD CEO ROUNDTABLE IS A WEEKLY FEATURE THAT APPEARS IN BUSINESS MONDAY OF THE MIAMI HERALD. RECENT QUESTIONS HAVE INCLUDED: