The first thing you need to know about airport transportation a Detroit Metro airport is that curbside pickups are not allowed. It is the airports policy that transportation providers must park in the designated garage to pick up passengers. The airport authority charges providers a fee of $10 to pick up passengers from the airport. If a transportation provider claims they can do curbside pickups at the airport they are doing so against airport policy. If a provider is caught picking up at the curb they can be ticketed and the car may be impounded. It is important to note that if a providers car is impounded it may leave you stranded at the airport. The only exception to this rule is pick ups at the Westin hotel located at the McNamara terminal. Providers are allowed to pick up passenger there but must still go into the garage to get a permit prior to the pick up. Once at the curb in front of the hotel vehicles are not allowed to stay at the curb for a long length of time and must circle around until the passengers are outside.
Transportation Meeting Locations
With the restrictions on curbside pickups at the airport you may be wondering what your options are. The most common and easiest option for travelers is to meet their chauffeur in the baggage claim. Both terminals have clearly marked signs directing you to the baggage claims area, located one level down from the gate level.
At the McNamara terminal the airport has a designated chauffeur waiting area located directly in front of the escalators entering the middle of the baggage claim, next to carousel 6. At the North terminal there is not a single designated area so chauffeurs meet at the designated carousel for your arriving flight. In both terminals a good provider will have uniformed chauffeur waiting with a clearly marked sign to identify themselves. After greeting you they will help you with your baggage and escort you to the vehicle.
For frequent travelers some companies offer faster meeting options for travelers without baggage. In this case the chauffeur waits at the vehicle in the designated parking area. This options avoids having the passenger go down into the baggage claim and allows them to proceed directly to the vehicle. This option is only recommended for someone who is familiar with the airport and how to get to the designated parking area. ALLSTAR Transportation refers to this option as and Express pickup. Ask your provider if they have this option available.
Provider’s Located in the Airport
Detroit Airport is unique in the fact that it awards only one contract to ground transportation providers who bid on the contract to provide service located in the airport. This contract is currently held by Metro Cars. They are the only provider you will see advertising inside the airport but they are not the only provider able to pick up at the airport. Yelp is a great place to evaluate the different providers that service the airport as you get to see what actual customers say.
Terminals and Airlines
The airport has two main terminals, the McNamara Terminal and North Terminal. Both terminals are fairly new with McNamara opening in 2002 and the North Terminal in 2008. The McNamara terminal services flights for Delta airlines and it’s partners Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The North terminal services flights for all other airlines which include Air Canada, Air Tran, American Airlines, Frontier, Lufthansa, Royal Jordanian, Southwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways.
The airport is located in Romulus, MI and serves as the primary airport for the Detroit metropolitan area and most of southeastern Michigan. The travel time from the airport to downtown Detroit takes about 25 minutes during normal traffic conditions. Many travelers are surprised by the distances between the airport and the various downtown suburban areas when they first come to the area. The metro area in Detroit is fairly unique in the way it is spread out. For example a trip from the airport to Auburn Hills, MI where the Detroit Pistons play can take 60 minutes from the airport.
Overall the Detroit Airport is not a difficult place to navigate and your airport transportation provider should be able to further explain their procedures regarding pick up’s and drop offs. Regardless of your reason for coming or departing from Detroit we hope that your experience in Detroit is a good one.