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Making your flying process plane and simple

To help make your entire process at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to food and bev options.

Sunrise at Columbia Metropolitan Airport

Passenger pick up and drop off are a breeze at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE).

Photo provided by CAE

Table of Contents

Feeling the travel bug, COLA? Same. Hopping on a plane means that in just a few hours you’ll get to explore an exciting destination.

If navigating an airport sounds stressful, leave those worries behind. To help make your time at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on CAE’s nonstop flights to cities like Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and more.

What to know

  • Check Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check your flight status here in a pinch.
  • Arrive Early | According to CAE’s website, passengers should arrive 90 minutes to two hours prior to scheduled departure for domestic flights. Here are tips for a smooth security experience.
  • Food and drink | If you have spare time — because your check-in experience was so quick — you’ll probably want to grab a bite to eat. A breakfast sandwich from Riverbanks Bar and Grill and coffee from Red Eye Express will tide you through to your next destination.
  • Real ID reminder | By May 3, 2023, you will need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.

Current airport updates

CAE is currently undergoing updates to the ticket counter area as part of the in-line baggage system project. The first phase was recently unveiled and features a modern system that allows checked bags to be processed right at the ticket counter — making the check-in process for passengers easier than before. The entire upfit will be completed in early 2023.

Parking, shuttles, and rideshare

Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from their late-night landing. The surface lot option offers 30 minutes of free parking with each additional 30 minutes costing $1. Beyond that, the price per day is as listed:

  • Surface lot parking | $10/day
  • Garage parking | $14/day
  • Premier parking lot | $1,000/per year for frequent flyers

All parking options are within walking distance of CAE’s main entrance, TSA, and your gate.
Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from CAE. Here are a few services offered at CAE:

  • Taxi | $2.50/mile, plus $2 starting on the meter | Taxi pick-up is on the lower level of the terminal in the baggage claim area outside the doors to the left of the rental car counters.
  • Hotel courtesy shuttles | Shuttle | Contact your hotel for details.
  • Rideshare (Uber and Lyft) | Rideshare services are available for pick-up/drop-off. Rideshare pick-up is located on the lower level of the baggage claim area in front of the parking garage.

Nonstop flights

CAE offers multiple nonstop flights to nine airports in eight cities. Below is a list of CAE’s current nonstop flights:

  • Atlanta | Delta | Year-round destination
  • Charlotte | American Airlines | Year-round destination
  • Chicago | United Airlines | Year-round destination
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth | American Airlines | Year-round destination
  • Miami | American Airlines | Seasonal destination
  • New York, NY | Delta | Year-round destination
  • Philadelphia | American Airlines | Year-round destination
  • Washington, D.C. (Dulles) | United Airlines | Year-round destination
  • Washington, D.C. (Reagan) | American Airlines | Year-round destination

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.

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