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Tampa International guide

We break down where to eat, chow down, and how to make the best use of this beloved airport.

TIA

The airport commissioned the sculpture for $520,000.

Photo by @iamkhiemtang

Table of Contents

Traveling via plane is fun — jet-setting over beautiful blue waters or rolling hills, taking in cloud formations, and landing in a completely different location in a matter of hours is unlike anything else.

The whole navigating the airport part? Less exciting, and sometimes pretty stressful. To help make your time at Tampa International as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 100 nonstop flights.

What to know

  • TSA | According to Tampa International’s website, it takes ~20 minutes to get through during off-peak hours and ~45 minutes during peak hours (6-9 a.m.).
  • Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps of the entire airport will be your saving grace.
  • Food and drink | You arguably could get a good taste of Tampa just from eating at the airport. The famous Columbia Restaurant has an output that offers both grab an go options and seated tables, so you can try the legendary Cuban sandwich for yourself.
  • Reminder | By May 7, 2025, you will need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.
  • Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check the airport’s dashboard for your flight status in a pinch.

Current airport updates

Visitors are currently flocking to TPA for more than the flights. The airport also boasts 21-foot flamingo sculpture entitled “Home.” The massive pink beauty is centrally located so both arriving and departing pasengers can wave greetings. Hello, Instagram-op.

The airport is also about build a new $787.4 million air-side terminal that will add 16 new gates, an outdoor terrace, and more. The construction is set to begin in 2024, but won’t be completed until 2027.

Parking, shuttles, and rideshare

Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from their 3 a.m. landing. Both the long term and short term parking garages offers under an hour of free parking, 60-80 minutes for $4, and each additional 20 minutes for $2. Beyond that, the price per day is as listed:

  • Short term parking garage| $24/day
  • Long term parking garage | $20/day
  • Economy garage + lot| $14/day

Both the long term and short term garages are within walking distance of TSA and your gate. The economy lot is conveniently located next to the Sky Train which will quickly ferry you to your gate.
Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from the terminal. These services are suggested by TIA:

The rideshare pick-up location is located at Red or Blue Baggage Claim, or the Remote Curbside at the Rental Car Center and passengers may be dropped off at any public access location including ticketing, the baggage claim, or the Rental Car Center.

Nonstop flights

Tampa International offers 100 nonstop flights — 80 domestic that goes to four US regions, plus 20 international flights to 10+ countries. Here are 5 nonstop flights to nearby locations.

Pro tip: Remember that flight times and schedules will often change you should rely on your respective airline for exact timing and to stay updated on any changes.

  • New York, NY | Delta | Daily | Various times throughout the day
  • Denver, CO| United | Daily | Daily at 8:26 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.
  • Los Angeles, CA | Southwest| Daily | Various times throughout the day
  • Austin, TX | Southwest| Daily | Various times throughout the day
  • Cleveland, OH|Frontier| Daily | Daily at 6 a.m.

Gates

Here are 4 terminals with popular food and drink options, stores, and lounges nearby:

  • Airside A | JetBlue, Silver Airways, Spirit Airlines, United| Nearby services: CNBC Smart Shop, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Bay Coffee and Tea Co.
  • Airside E| Air Canda, Delta, Frontier | Nearby services: Columbia Cafe, Four Green Fields, Tampa Duty Free
  • Airside F | American, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Edelweiss Air, EW Discover, WestJet | Nearby services: The Cafe by Mise en Place, Buddy Brew, Bella’s Italian Cafe, Bay to Bay News, Tumi
  • Airside C | Alaska Air, Avelo, Breeze Airways, Southwest, Sun Country Airlines | Nearby services: Ulele, Tech on the Go, Terminal Getaway Spa

Food and drink

Tampa International is a hub of eateries with 34 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops for fliers to dine before or between flights, like:

  • Goody Goody | Southwest, Breeze Airways, Avelo, Sun Country Airlines, Alaska Air | Menu highlights: Cheese burgers, butterscotch pie, yogurt parfaits.
  • The Columbia Cafe| Air Canada, Delta, Frontier | Menu highlights: Cuban sandwich, Spanish style omelette, classic Cubano breakfast
  • Café con Leche| Southwest, Breeze Airways, Avelo, Sun Country Airlines, Alaska Air| Menu highlights: Spanish turkey sandwich, guava pastry, Ybor breakfast sandwich
  • Buddy Brew | American, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Edelweiss Air, EW Discover, WestJet| Menu highlights: Iced lattes, americanos, and matchas
  • Cigar City Brewing Co. | Southwest, Breeze Airways, Avelo, Sun Country Airlines, Alaska Air| Menu highlights: Buffalo chicken, Cigar City Wings, Maduro Brown Ale, Jai Alai IPA

City Guides are presented by Water Street Tampa

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