John Glenn Columbus International Airport
Columbus is within 550 miles, just a one-day drive or one-hour flight, from nearly half of the U.S. population. Sitting at the northeast corner of the city about seven miles from downtown, the John Glenn Columbus International Airport is easy to access from I-670 and the I-270 loop.
Named for notable Ohio native son and astronaut John Glenn, the Columbus airport skillfully services 20,000 air travelers each day as they pass through the country’s 14th largest city. Formerly known as Port Columbus and originally opened in 1929, John Glenn Columbus International Airport relaunched in 2016 with updated facilities, new restaurants, and modernized services. Together with the Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) passenger terminal, John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) facilitates approximately 160 daily departures to nearly 50 destinations (40 nonstop) on a number of regional, national, and international carriers.
The airport now welcomes travelers through a breezy gateway area with skylights and terrazzo flooring, and also boasts new ticket counters, art installations, modernized seating/workstations with Wifi, and an expanded selection of on-site restaurants.
The three jet concourses branching off from an airy centralized ticket lobby are populated with a diverse variety of restaurants and shops along with ATMs, accessible restrooms, private spaces for nursing mothers, an interfaith meditation room, and designated pet relief areas. Strategically positioned video banks across the facility keep visitors up to date as to arrivals and departures. The airport also works to provide special-needs travelers with services like handicapped-accessible parking, wheelchairs, Braille signage, Aira service for the visually impaired, and visual paging displays for the hearing-impaired.
The Columbus airport keeps travelers connected with complimentary Wi-Fi via a dedicated guest network, and offers power outlets and charging stations strategically located across the entire facility.
The airport offers a number of convenient parking options for travelers and visitors, from short-term hourly spaces, valet, garages, and long-term lots with shuttles that operate 24 hours a day. Complimentary parking space is available for bicycles, but the airport does not currently provide motorcycle parking.
Short-Term and Long-Term Parking Garage: Intended for stays of 24 hours or less, short-term parking is available on level four of the on-site garage within easy walking distance to the terminal in a facility that includes elevators and handicapped-accessible spaces. Rates are $5 for the first hour and $3 for each additional hour with a $30 maximum for a 24-hour period. Nearly 3,000 long-term garage spaces are also available on levels three to six at the same hourly rates with a $20 24-hour maximum. Electric Vehicle Charging stations can be found on level five and are available on a first-come, first-served basis for no additional fee.
Long-Term Parking Lots: For trips and stays longer than 24 hours, the airport provides three long-term parking lots serviced by shuttle buses that transport travelers between stations and the terminal. The Blue lot offers the added advantage of covered spaces ($10 covered and $9 uncovered for 24 hours). Further out, the Red ($7 for 24 hours) and Green ($5 for 24 hours) lots are uncovered. A monitoring service allows passengers to check spaces and capacity in each lot online to see what’s available before they head to the airport.
Walking Lot: For travelers who want to log some steps before boarding or stretch their legs after a long flight, the airport’s newest Walking Lot sits between the parking garages and the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Rates are $5 for the first hour and $3 for each additional hour with a $13 maximum for 24 hours.
Valet Parking: Cutting it close to departure time? Let someone else take care of the parking with premium valet service on the main terminal’s ticketing level, offered 24/7. Rates are $10 for the first hour and $2 for each additional hour with a $24 maximum for 24 hours (tips not included).
Cell Phone Waiting Lot: If you’re picking up someone from the airport and don't want to pay to park, you can cool your heels in the free cell phone lot, then zip over to meet them curbside when they arrive.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Public Transportation: The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) runs direct bus service between the airport and Downtown Columbus for just $2.75 one way. The airport bus stop is located next to the taxi station with busses running every 30 minutes. Once downtown, the free-to-ride CBUS connects downtown Columbus to the Brewery District and the Short North Arts District.
Taxis, Shuttles, Limos, and Rideshares: Taxi service and rideshares are plentiful in Columbus, meeting airport travelers at any hour of the day or night on the ground level of the main terminal. Rideshare rates vary depending on real-time demand; the average rate for a taxi ride from the airport to downtown Columbus hovers around $25. Limos, shuttles and charter buses present additional options to consider.
Where to Eat and Drink
The Columbus airport maintains a wide collection of eateries and bars from Charley’s Philly Steaks, Bob Evans Express, Wolfgang Puck’s Gourmet Express, and hometown favorite Max & Erma’s to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Chili’s Too, Donato’s Pizza, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and of course, Starbucks Coffee. Relax with a glass of red or white at Vino Volo, or sip a pint of local craft beer at Land-Grant Brewing Co.
Shopping in the Airport
The PGA Tour Shop caters to duffers of all skill levels, and Short North Marketplace carries lots of tasty Columbus-made souvenirs and gifts. If you really need to unwind before or after a flight, stop in the Massage Bar in Concourse B for a heavenly 10, 15, or 30-minute break.