Punta Gorda, Florida Airport

Punta Gorda Florida Airport 

Do large airports add to your anxiety around traveling?  Are you looking for an inexpensive direct flight to SWFL?  The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) could be just the ticket you’re looking for.  The Airport is conveniently located off of I-75 between Sarasota and Fort Myers.  Both Allegiant and Sun Country provide low-cost, non stop air services to more than 50 destinations.

The airport itself is small with just two terminals that sit side by side.  It is easy to navigate, parking is convenient – just in front of the building and the staff is helpful and friendly.  You will find some unique features here that I think are worth the mention especially if you are used to a larger airport.  There are no boarding bridges here, you will be walking outside and up a ramp to board the plane; the eating options are minimal and there is a flybrary!

Let’s talk about boarding first, because let’s be honest most of us are used to the boarding bridge – that long tunnel we walk through to board a plane.  Passengers at PGD board the plane by walking along the ground-level and up a gently sloping ramp.  I’ve walked the ramp, it is a bit of a workout.  If you have any mobility issues or are unsure of your footing, I would suggest you talk to a member of airport staff and request wheelchair assistance.  You will be wheeled up the ramp and to your seat.  Lots of people do this every flight, so feel comfortable asking – you won’t be the only one!  If it is raining outside, airline staff will accommodate passengers by providing ponchos.  Keep in mind however that safety standards require that lightning within a five-mile radius subsides before passengers, staff or crew begin the boarding or deplaning process.  These are standard safety regulations, even large airlines that use passenger bridges must adhere to these regulations.  

There are several eating options at the PGD, but beware if you are used to the full service restaurants at larger airlines you will not find that here, at least not yet.  

  • The Snack Shack, located past security, offers fresh and frozen vending options just south of the Bailey Terminal.  There is casual seating indoors and outdoors.  The Snack Shack has healthy options, microwavable entrees, ice cream, coffee, beverages and snacks.
  • The Junction, located past security, offers made-to-order food and cocktails as well as grab-and-go snacks, and the typical airline store experience.  Right now seating is limited, I’ve never been able to find a seat!  However, The Junction is in the process of expanding!  A new 40 seat bar with runway views is under construction to accommodate the expanding airport.  
  • Food Trucks are often parked in the short term parking lot.  Grab your eating options before heading through security and enjoy once you’ve settled in. 
  • Sky View Café, located just outside of the arrivals door, offers a casual dining experience if you are very early for your flight, or your ride is running a bit late!  

Let’s talk about the Flybrary!  You can take, borrow or trade a book for free at the Bailey Terminal near baggage claim.  The books and magazines are intended for traveling guests, family and children flying in and out of PGD.  Once you have read the book, return it to the Flybrary or pass it on to a friend.  You are not obligated to return or replace the book you borrowed!  This is a great way to pass the time while waiting for your flight, especially if delayed.  The PGD Flybrary partnership with the Charlotte County Library System is intended to promote literacy, reduce flight anxiety and help create a positive travel experience.  The library system takes on the responsibility of replenishing reading materials for the PGD Flybrary using its excess inventory and/or donations from the Friends of the Punta Gorda Library.

Let’s talk about travel options once you have landed.  There is a rental car center just across from Bailey Terminal.  It’s a quick and easy walk outside the departure door to the rental car center.  Really, you could throw a stone and hit it, super convenient.  If you don’t want to rent a car the airport will suggest Gulf Coast Car Service.  They have a fleet of minivans and mobility options for special needs customers.  They offer professional service, competitive pricing and free bottled water for each passenger.  Their rates are defined by zones, not meters.  The rates to the zones are regulated by the Charlotte county Airport Authority and cannot exceed the rates listed on the Taxicab Zone Map.   There is no charge for child safety seats or crated animals.   You can also uber, lyft or call another car service. 

Gulf Coast Car Service:   https://www.gulfcoastcarservice.com/