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All you need to know about the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport

To help make your entire process at SDF as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 52 nonstop flights.

a shot of people walking through an airport terminal

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport officials say that direct international flights could be coming to SDF soon.

Photo provided by Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Traveling by plane is fun — jet-setting over beautiful blue waters or rolling hills, taking in cloud formations, and landing in a completely different location in a matter of hours is unlike anything else.

The whole navigating the airport part? To help make your time at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 52 nonstop flights.

Did you know: The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport was formerly known as Standiford Field? That’s why the three-letter airport code is SDF.

What to know

  • TSA | According to the SDF website, officials recommend arriving 1.5 hours prior to a domestic flight and 2 hours for flights to international destinations. Pro tip: Register for TSA pre-check, and make the security lines a breeze.
  • Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps of the entire airport will be your saving grace.
  • Food and drink | Get a sip of Kentucky comfort with one of over 85 bourbons on the menu at Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchenit is the first stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail, after all — located before the security checkpoint line. Pair that sip with the house steak with fork-smashed potatoes for dinner or the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich for lunch. In for an early flight? Try the fried green tomato benedict for breakfast. It’s one of 12 food + beverage options at SDF.
  • Reminder | By May 7, 2025, you will need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US. Learn how to get one.
  • Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check the airport’s dashboard for your flight status in a pinch.
baggage claim belt

The SDF Next Program will see around $400 million worth of improvements to the SDF terminal.

Photo provided by Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Current airport updates

The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is currently undergoing a $400 million terminal improvement project, which includes a new 10-lane security checkpoint, geothermal technology, and a new airport operations center. Future phases of the project include new ticketing counters, exterior improvements like new finishing, and art + skylights in the rotunda. The project has been ongoing since 2020, with the security checkpoint expansion set to wrap-up later this year.

Parking, shuttles, and rideshare

Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from their 3 a.m. landing. The parking garage and the Premier Lot East each offer 10 minutes of free parking. After that, it’s $2 for the first hour and another $2 for each additional hour. Need more options? Price per day, as listed:

  • Surface parking lot | $10/day
  • Parking garage | $16/day
  • Premier Lot East + West | $12/day
  • Express Shuttle Parking | $8/day
  • Valet | $30/day

Bonus: Louisville’s airport only has one terminal, so all of these parking options are within walking distance of TSA and your gate.

Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from the terminal. These services are suggested by the LOU Airport:

  • zTrip | Taxi | Bonus: Either hail one from the terminal, or download the app to choose your vehicle.
  • Mint Julep Experiences and Transportation | VIP Service | If you’re travelling with a large group, this service will take your wherever you need to go.
  • Courtesy Van | Shuttle | Several hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to and from SDF.
  • Lyft + Uber | Rideshare | Find out how you can save $5 on your next trip to the airport.

The rideshare pick-up location is located on the west side of baggage claim while you can be dropped off on either the upper or lower-level of the terminal.

Breeze Airways plane at SDF

You’re one flight away from sunny Tampa, Charleston, New Orleans, and San Francisco via Breeze Airways.

Photo provided by Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Nonstop flights

SDF offers 52 nonstop flights — all domestic flights offering direct service to 37 destinations across the US. Here are 5 nonstop flights to nearby locations.

Bonus: Get lower fares by making a free account on Going. Add the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport to your notification list (you can add up to five airports on the free plan), and you’ll get emailed when flights are 40-90% cheaper than usual.

Pro tip: Remember that flight times and schedules will often change you should rely on your respective airline for exact timing and to stay updated on any changes.

  • Boston, MA | American + Delta | Daily | Multiple times
  • Austin, TX | Allegiant | Twice weekly | Times vary
  • Charleston, SC | Allegiant + Breeze | Twice weekly | Times vary
  • Orlando, FL | Multiple airlines | Daily | Multiple times
  • Tampa, FL | Breeze + Southwest | Daily | Multiple times

Fly comfortably

While we may not be able to offer solutions for crying babies or mysterious in-flight meals, we do have some tricks up our sleeves for upping your comfort while flying. Browse some of our favorite travel essentials:

  • Lights Out Sleep Mask | This eye mask provides optimal comfort and aids restful sleep amidst changing environments and varying light conditions.
  • The AirFly Pro | Make sure you can always access in-flight entertainment (while avoiding the wired headphones airlines pass out) by using an AirFly. It plugs into your seat’s headphone jack and connects to your earbuds or headphones via Bluetooth.
  • Trtl travel pillow | The Trtl pillow is scientifically designed to provide a better head position when sleeping upright, thanks to an internal support system comfortably cushioned in cozy fleece.
  • Leather Dopp Kit | Keep your essentials organized and easily accessible, ensuring hassle-free journeys wherever you go.
  • Bose Noise Canceling Headphones | These headphones are tried-and-true traveling companions, beloved for their crisp sound and ability to block exterior noise.
  • Cozy Earth joggers | These Oprah-approved joggers are polished enough to navigate the airport in, but comfy and stretchy enough for long flights.
  • Snacks | Bringing your own snacks ensures dietary preferences are met — plus, you’ll save time and money while traveling.
  • Anti-nausea wristbands | Some simple anti-nausea wristbands might relieve a nervous stomach or sensitivity to turbulence while flying.
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