Destin Florida airport options number two in total, for both regional, national, and international flights within the Emerald Coast area. Okaloosa Regional Airport is otherwise known as Northwest Florida Regional Airport. The airport’s location is southwest of Valparaiso, roughly 40 minutes northwest of the city of Destin and serves as the main airport for both the Destin area and the surrounding Fort Walton Beach area. It offers commercial passenger services via several major airlines including Delta and Northwest. The Destin Fort Walton Beach Airport is the closest to the city, but only receives limited charter air carriers.
The Northwest Florida Regional Airport, also known as the Okaloosa Regional Airport, is located in Valparaiso, directly on the Elgin Air Force Base, and is a short drive from the Destin city limits. The airport offers passengers commercial service into the Destin area and is the only major airport serving the gulf coast. When booking flights, the airport code used is VPS. This airport covers service for those traveling to Destin as well as Pensacola and Panama City. Roughly 40 minutes from the center of Destin, the airport welcomes regular flights from major American carriers like Northwest, US Airways, and Delta. There are several travel options available when leaving Okaloosa Regional Airport, including a number of well-known car rental companies located inside the facility.
The Okaloosa Regional Airport (VPS) provides flight services to almost 1 million travelers annually with direct service to Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, Atlantia, and Memphis. In June of 2010, it opened the doors to the new Freedom Lounge, which offers services to over 29,000 troops as well as their families. There are more than 45 airport shuttle Destin buses are available from this Destin Florida airport, which include service to and from the entire region encompassed by the Florida Panhandle. Many locally owned shuttle companies provide affordable services as do local taxis, vans, and limousines. Restaurants, free Wi-Fi, free shuttles from the airport to the parking area, a courtesy phone, and ATMs are available.
The Fort Walton Beach Airport is situated in the center of Destin and is accessed by the major route of Highway 98. It’s only a short distance from the many beautiful beaches along the Destin coastline. Also called the Fort Walton Beach Airport, the airport code is DTS. The Destin Florida airport isn’t an option for commercial flights, but it does accept charter flights as well as private planes, serving the area as a general aviation facility. Though much smaller in commercial offerings than Okaloosa Regional Airport, this airport features modern passenger amenities updated in 2007, and world-class facilities with many amenities for passengers. The only regular commercial service received at DTS is via Wings Air, which flies direct from Atlanta, Georgia.
Travelers searching for cheap fares to Destin should look at flights arriving at Northwest Florida Regional Airport. Anyone planning a visit to Sandestin, Santa Rosa Beach, and any other destination along the Emerald Coast will likely arrive via Okaloosa Regional Airport VPS. Anyone flying into Destin and planning on getting around with a car rental might consider a look at some of the many well-priced vacation packages available through the booking tool on this page. A rental car makes it easier to travel around the area between the west and east, where the all the main attractions lie.
Image: I'll Never Grow Up (flickr)