Which Airports to Use
In general, there are three airports to choose from when traveling to South Florida (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int - FLL, West Palm Beach Int - PBI, Miami Int, MIA). The Miami International Airport is located 33 miles from Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beach Airport is 44 miles from Fort Lauderdale. The great thing about these 3 airports is that they are all connected by a commuter train called Tri-Rail. This allows you the option to fly into any airport and travel to your final destination very easily. I personally have taken the 45-minute Tri-Rail ride from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, and it is cheap, clean and easy.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport
When flying into Fort Lauderdale the closest airport is Fort Lauderdale International (FLL). No matter where your final destination, access to all public transportation can be found on the lower level of the airport. There are several signs posted that will let you know where you need to go. There is only bus transportation directly from the airport. Specifically, Broward County Transit (BCT) Route 1 runs about every 20 -30 minutes from about 5:30am until about 11:30pm daily. The bus goes between downtown, the airport, and Aventura Mall. Buses can be picked up at terminal one, between terminal 2 and 3, and between terminals 3 and 4. I would suggest using the Trip Planner feature to figure out exactly how to get to your specific destination directly from the airport.
Miami International Airport
If you are intending to travel from MIA to Fort Lauderdale you want to head over to the Tri-Rail. There will be a shuttle at the bus transportation center that transports passengers to the Tri-Rail station, which is approximately 1 mile away. There are several Tri-Rail Stops along the way from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and it is about a 45-minute trip to the Miami Airport costing $3. From my experience, if you are going to the Fort Lauderdale the best option is to take the free shuttle from the train station to the airport and utilize any of the shuttles, cabs or buses that service the airport. For example, a person could take the Tri-Rail from MIA to FLL, free shuttle to airport, then free hotel shuttle. It seems more complicated than it actually is, but if you save 50-100 dollars on a flight it certainly is worth it.
Palm Beach International Airport
PBI also has quite a few budget airlines including Sun Country which is not available at Fort Lauderdale International. When traveling to Fort Lauderdale you may want to check what PBI has to offer, because there may be specific deals that would make it a more attractive option. For example, you may find a Southwest Ding Fare to Palm Beach that would be much cheaper than flying into FLL. Regardless, there is a free shuttle on the lower level of the airport that will take passengers to the Tri-Rail Station. It is about a 50-minute trip to the Fort Lauderdale Airport costing $5.00. Take the train to the FLL Airport station stop and another free shuttle will take you over to the airport. Once at the terminal you can utilize any of the shuttles, cabs or buses that service the airport.
Remember for the most up to date and accurate travel plans use the Trip Planner.
If you are in a hurry or would much rather take a shuttle there is one relatively cheap option from FLL. The Go Airport Shuttle is a great deal from FLL for about $11 to $18 to most destinations in Fort Lauderdale.