Try This: Flying to Florida with ease from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)

Silver Airways hot pink plane sitting on runway
Silver Airways’ hot pink planes can whisk you to Tampa or Orlando directly from CAE for the perfect long weekend | Photo by the COLAtoday team

Feeling the need to get away? Jess here — I recently got to escape to Florida for a long weekend, and it couldn’t have been easier. 

Enter: The newest airline at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Silver Airways. With low-cost, direct flights from Columbia to 3 Florida destinationsOrlando, Tampa, and Ft. Lauderdale (Ft. Lauderdale is currently offline for the season, but plans to return soon) — you can plan a mini-vacay that doesn’t break the bank (think: fares starting at $69 for 1-way).

The best part? Boarding the hot pink plane and arriving in Florida in ~2 hours. I already felt relaxed by the time we landed, and I still had the whole weekend ahead of me. Pro tip: Silver Airways offers these flights each weekend, leaving from CAE on Thursday evening and returning Sunday afternoon, so you only need to take the 1 day of PTO. Who’s ready for a long weekend? 🌴

What we tried (with pricing): 

Before the flight and arriving at CAE, I pre-booked our parking online ($10/day for surface parking; see rates) to make parking at the airport a breeze. There is a new helpful system to light the way to the vacant parking spots so you won’t waste time, or gas, searching for an open spot. 

Reminder: Don’t forget your mask when you are collecting your luggage before heading inside the airport — as of Oct. 2021, the federal mask mandate for airports + flights is currently in place through Jan. 18, 2022.

Woman in flannel rolling suitcase through airport
Grab your masks + luggage and head to the gate at CAE | Photo via COLAtoday team

Traveling can be stressful, but with CAE’s short wait times + helpful staff, I made it through security in less than 15 minutes. 

What not to miss:

After the TSA security checkpoint, don’t take off without seeing the current Art in the Airport installation or grabbing a book from CAE’s Little Library.

Painting of sunset over water hanging in airport terminal
Don’t miss seeing the Art in the Airport exhibit as you walk to your gate | Photo provided

When it’s time to board, you can feel like a VIP walking on the tarmac to board the plane from the back. Once you find your seat, get ready for your vacation to take flight, literally.

Animated GIF
Hopped on a plane at CAE, with a dream and a cardigan… | Gif by the COLAtoday team

What we’re still talking about: 

Your time in Florida will *fly* by, but returning home after a much-needed vacation will feel so sweet when you catch your flight back to CAE, knowing home is just a short drive away once you land. 

Woman wearing mask holding up peace sign while standing on tarmac ready to board plane
See you next time, Florida | Photo by the COLAtoday team 

Things to know if you go: 

  • Experience: Flying to Florida with ease from Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) 
  • Price: Low-cost, direct flights available here (1-way starting at $69)
  • Website: 
  • Address: 3250 Airport Blvd., West Columbia, SC 29170
  • Hours: Times vary depending on your flight destination
  • Social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram