Tampa International Airport’s massive $1 billion construction plan began on December 1, 2014. Passengers and guests have seen some significant changes at the airport that has made navigating the airport terminals more confusing and more crowded and certainly less efficient.
These changes have affected the location of the off airport parking shuttle, economy TPA parking garage shuttle, taxis, hotel shuttles, Supershuttle, cruise ship bus stops and other ground transportation operators. Visitors may also notice increased traffic on airport roads.
The ground transportation area as well as the taxi and bus stands on the east side of the ground-floor baggage claim area have been closed so that construction can start inside the main terminal. All off airport parking shuttles and any other transportation options are now at west side of the baggage claim area. All ground transportation can only be found on the west end of the terminal on both the red side and blue side. No ground transportation buses are permitted to pick up curbside of the baggage claim areas
Signage inside the baggage claim terminal is confusing are largely ineffective. The ground transportation pickup areas are red 1 and blue 2 of ground transportation. The confusing part of the airport signage is there is also a red 1 and blue 2 in the baggage claim areas. So travelers have to be very clear that they are at the correct red one or blue 2 or they will be waiting a long time for a shuttle that never arrives. The airport could have easily solved this problem by numbering red 1 and blue 2 in ground transportation differently than the rest of the airport. Seasoned TIA travelers are aware of the ground transportation circle but if your new to the airport or an infrequent traveler it can be very confusing.
Things will really get messy on the third-floor terminal when work on the west end starts in August 2015 before the east end is finished. Next year TIA will also start tearing down the old concession spaces in the terminal and airsides and building new ones. Patrons can expect more changes in how they use TIA as construction runs through 2017.