I am at the Daytona Beach airport right now, and I was initially a little scared of what I would find here. There is a pretty limited schedule of flights on American, Delta, and Jet Blue. However, it turns out that there is plenty here when you have time to kill before a flight or if a standard travel problem comes up.
When I arrived a couple of days ago, the airport was pretty easy to figure out. There are only 6 gates, so it is straightforward to know where baggage claim is. In that sense, this place is similar in size to the Midland airport– same number of gates, although Daytona has fewer flights with somewhat larger planes.
After you leave the secure area, there is a restaurant immediately to your right. There is also a seating area right before you make your way downstairs. The following pictures show the landside area of the airport. Once you get your bags, the doors at the far end of the airport in this picture lead to the cab stand. The doors on the long side of the airport lead to the area where people with a pre-arranged ride can be picked up. I initially got this answer wrong, and a very helpful airport employee was around to point me in the right direction.
Returning to the airport today, it took almost no time to get from my cab to the checkin counter. You then go upstairs to clear security. This picture is taken from the same place as the previous two pictures and shows the walk to the TSA check point. I was there an hour and a half before the next flight, and the lines were very short. From talking to airport employees, however, that is pretty standard at this airport. There is a separate line for those with TSA pre-check, which is fantastic.
Once past security, there were a lot more facilities available than I would expect for an airport this size. In addition to the standard airport store, there is a very nice bar and what looks to be a pretty reasonable restaurant. There was also a business center, which is a great amenity. That had work carrels and the other accoutrements needed to get work done while you were waiting for a flight. Indeed, for me that is the key function of an Admiral’s Club or whatever the airline executive lounge is– a quiet place to get work done. There are also a lot of open spaces for travelers to sit, including a nook with rocking chairs looking out onto the tarmac.
All told, the city of Daytona Beach has done an excellent job with this airport. It is small, and that offers the advantage of making it really easy to deal with. It also, unfortunately, limits your flight options. However, the airport has every service I would expect from a tourist destination and is a great place to catch a flight. Now here is to hoping today’s flight is on time!