A new addition to ABIA, the South Terminal plays by its own set of rules. It is located in a separate building NOT connected by any sort of tram or walkway (although you can hop on a shuttle bus). The South Terminal has its own parking lot, security lines, and gates. Here’s a few items of note…although the terminal is changing almost on the daily, so don’t hold us to this in the future!
- The South Terminal has its own entrance, so do not follow the signs to ABIA. The terminal is located behind the main terminal and has its own long way to get there. Google Maps does have its directions accurate. There are a few not so well placed signs for encouragement along the way.
- Parking is super convenient. For the upgraded lot you can literally park in front of the door of the airport. The long-term parking lot ($7/daily) is still walkable, although there is a shuttle for you lazy folks.
- Only two airlines currently fly out of the terminal, Via Airways and Allegiant Air. Therefore the security lines are typically VERY short. Often there is only one flight departing at a time.
- That being said, prepare for a VERY engaged TSA staff. Kind of like policemen in small towns giving loitering teenagers a hard time for lack of any major crime to bust, these lovely people seem to have a lot more time to do their jobs much more thoroughly. Remember that if you’re packing questionable items…not that we would ever endorse that…but Allegiant’s main flight goes to Vegas…so sometimes people get a little crazy.
- Once you’re in the terminal, there is not a whole lot to do. Like nothing.
- Some days during some hours there is a local food truck. On my first flight out of the South Terminal I was pleasantly surprised by this so I came hungry for flight #2, only to be saddened by an empty space where the truck had stood. So don’t count on food.
- The terminal currently does not have a liquor license (as of 7.11.17). So while the vendors (there’s only two) cannot sell alcohol, most of the food trucks are giving it away for free as a sign of goodwill and to spark sales. Not gonna lie…it worked for me.
- The “convenient store” vendor inside the terminal has a freezer of locally produced popsicles in all sorts of delicious flavors. Which are perfect to eat while sitting out on the patio…because this terminal does have outdoor seating, which is great on a nice day.
- You board on the tarmac, not through a gateway.
Based on my past two experiences, small does not equal punctual. I got to know my fellow passengers (there weren’t very many of us) very well. As well as the airline staff, who after notifying us in-person of updates to our flight delay, knew us all by face. So be nice…because odds are you will definitely see these people again.