If you’ve ever needed to fly into or out of Tampa, Florida, you may have asked yourself: is there an airport in Tampa? As the third largest city in Florida and boasting a metro area of over 3 million people, Tampa needs an airport to support both tourism and business travel.

The quick answer is yes, Tampa International Airport serves the city of Tampa and surrounding communities.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Tampa International Airport. We’ll look at the history of the airport, its facilities and services, the airlines and destinations it serves, and tips for getting to and from Tampa International Airport.

History of Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport, located in Tampa, Florida, has a rich history dating back to its early years. Let’s take a closer look at the key milestones that have shaped this important transportation hub.

Early Years and First Terminal

The history of Tampa International Airport can be traced back to 1928 when it was first established as Drew Field Municipal Airport. It started as a small airfield used primarily for military purposes.

However, with the growth of commercial aviation, a new terminal was built in 1952 to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. This first terminal was modest in size but laid the foundation for what would become a major international airport.

Expansion in the 1970s and 1980s

In the 1970s and 1980s, Tampa International Airport underwent significant expansion to meet the growing demands of air travel. A new airside terminal concept was introduced, which allowed passengers to move more efficiently between gates without having to go through security checkpoints again.

This innovative design became a model for many airports around the world.

During this period, several new terminals were constructed, and the airport’s capacity increased significantly. The addition of new runways and the expansion of parking facilities further enhanced the airport’s capabilities.

Tampa International Airport quickly became one of the busiest airports in the state of Florida.

New Main Terminal in the 1990s

In the 1990s, Tampa International Airport underwent another major transformation with the construction of a new main terminal. This modern facility was designed to improve passenger experience and accommodate the increasing number of flights and travelers.

The new terminal featured state-of-the-art amenities, including spacious waiting areas, retail shops, and restaurants.

With the completion of the new main terminal, Tampa International Airport solidified its position as a premier airport in the region. Its efficient operations and customer-friendly services earned it numerous accolades and awards.

Continued Growth in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, Tampa International Airport has continued to experience steady growth. The airport has expanded its international destinations and attracted new airlines, offering passengers more options for travel.

The addition of new concourses and the ongoing upgrades to existing facilities have further enhanced the airport’s capacity and passenger experience.

Today, Tampa International Airport serves millions of passengers each year and plays a vital role in connecting the Tampa Bay area to the rest of the world. Its commitment to innovation, customer service, and efficient operations has made it a favorite among travelers.

For more information about the history of Tampa International Airport, you can visit their official website: https://www.tampaairport.com/about-tampa-international-airport/history

Facilities and Services at Tampa International Airport

Terminals and Concourses

Tampa International Airport is a major airport located in Tampa, Florida. It is the largest airport in the region and serves as a hub for several airlines. The airport has four main terminals, labeled A, C, E, and F, and each terminal has multiple concourses.

The terminals are well-designed and offer a variety of amenities for travelers, including comfortable seating areas, charging stations, and free Wi-Fi access.

Terminal A is primarily used by Southwest Airlines, while Terminal C is home to American Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Terminal E is mainly used for international flights, and Terminal F is used by Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

The airport has a clear and efficient layout, making it easy for passengers to navigate between terminals and concourses.

Dining and Shopping Options

Travelers passing through Tampa International Airport will find a wide range of dining and shopping options to suit their tastes and preferences. The airport boasts a diverse selection of restaurants, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale eateries.

Passengers can enjoy a quick bite at popular establishments like McDonald’s and Starbucks, or indulge in a sit-down meal at one of the airport’s full-service restaurants.

When it comes to shopping, Tampa International Airport has a variety of stores where travelers can find everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. Duty-free shops offer tax-free purchases for international travelers, and there are also specialty stores selling items such as electronics, books, and accessories.

Whether you’re looking to grab a last-minute gift or simply browse for leisure, the airport’s shopping options are sure to impress.

Ground Transportation

Getting to and from Tampa International Airport is a breeze, thanks to the various ground transportation options available. The airport is well-connected to the city and surrounding areas through taxis, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and public transportation.

Passengers can also opt for car rentals from reputable companies located at the airport.

In addition, Tampa International Airport offers a convenient shuttle service that transports passengers between the terminals and the airport’s economy parking lot. This service is especially useful for those who choose to park their vehicles at the airport during their trip.


Tampa International Airport provides a range of parking options to accommodate the needs of travelers. The airport has both short-term and long-term parking facilities, with convenient access to the terminals.

For those looking for the most convenient parking option, the airport offers a Valet Parking service. This allows passengers to drop off their vehicles at the curbside and have them parked by a professional valet. The Valet Parking service is perfect for travelers who value speed and ease.

In addition, Tampa International Airport has an economy parking lot that provides an affordable parking solution for those traveling on a budget. The economy lot offers a free shuttle service to and from the terminals, ensuring that passengers can reach their flights without hassle.

Airlines and Destinations Served by Tampa International Airport

Domestic Airlines and Flights

Tampa International Airport is well-connected to various domestic destinations throughout the United States. It serves as a hub for several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

These airlines offer numerous flights to popular domestic destinations such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas. Passengers can enjoy a wide range of options when it comes to flying domestically from Tampa.

International Airlines and Flights

While Tampa International Airport primarily focuses on domestic flights, it also offers a number of international flights to select destinations. International airlines like Air Canada, British Airways, and Lufthansa operate flights to and from Tampa.

These flights connect passengers to popular international destinations such as Toronto, London, Frankfurt, and Cancun. Although the international flight options are more limited compared to domestic flights, Tampa International Airport still provides convenient options for those looking to travel abroad.

Top Domestic Routes

Some of the busiest domestic routes from Tampa International Airport include flights to and from New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Charlotte. These routes are served by multiple airlines and offer frequent flights throughout the day.

Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, these routes provide convenient options for reaching some of the most popular domestic destinations.

Top International Routes

While Tampa International Airport has a smaller selection of international routes, there are still a few popular options for those looking to travel abroad. Flights to Toronto, London, Frankfurt, and Cancun are among the top international routes offered by the airport.

These routes connect Tampa to major international cities and provide opportunities for travelers to explore different parts of the world.

For more information about airlines and destinations served by Tampa International Airport, you can visit their official website here.

Tips for Getting To and From Tampa International Airport

Driving to the Airport

When it comes to driving to Tampa International Airport, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure to plan your route in advance and check for any traffic updates before you leave.

The airport is conveniently located just off of I-275, making it easily accessible from all directions. Parking is available at the airport, with both short-term and long-term options. However, it’s worth noting that parking can be expensive, especially for long-term stays.

If you’re looking to save some money, consider using off-site parking facilities that offer shuttle services to and from the airport.

Public Transit Options

For those who prefer to use public transportation, Tampa International Airport offers several options. The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) provides bus service to and from the airport, with routes that connect to various parts of the city.

Additionally, the airport is also served by the TECO Line Streetcar System, which offers a convenient and scenic way to travel to downtown Tampa. Both of these options are affordable and can be a great way to avoid the hassle of driving and parking.

Door-to-Door Shuttles

If you’re looking for a more convenient and hassle-free way to get to and from the airport, door-to-door shuttle services are a great option. These services pick you up directly from your home, hotel, or office and drop you off right at the airport terminal.

They can be booked in advance and offer a comfortable and reliable transportation option. Some popular shuttle services in Tampa include SuperShuttle and Go Airport Shuttle.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are also readily available at Tampa International Airport. These services offer a convenient and efficient way to get to your destination, with drivers who are familiar with the area.

Taxis can be found at designated taxi stands outside the baggage claim area, while rideshare services have designated pick-up zones. Both options provide a reliable and hassle-free way to get to and from the airport.

For more information on transportation options to and from Tampa International Airport, you can visit their official website www.tampaairport.com. Planning ahead and choosing the transportation option that best suits your needs can help make your travel experience to and from Tampa International Airport a breeze!


As we’ve covered, Tampa International Airport serves over 20 million passengers per year, offering flights across the United States and to destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and more. With its modern facilities, dining and shopping options, and accessibility, it provides an excellent travel hub for residents and visitors to the Tampa region.

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