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The Comprehensive Louisville Airport Guide

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 9 minutes

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Got a flight out of Louisville Airport and want to know more about it before you fly? You’ve come to the right place. We’re dishing all the info we have about Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in this comprehensive guide.

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a civil-military airport near Louisville, Kentucky. SDF is the IATA airport code for Standiford Field, Louisville Airport’s former name.

Cheap SDF Airport parking

Louisville International Airport has three runways and a total area of 1,500 acres. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA) owns and operates SDF.

The 1,500-acre Louisville International Airport features three runways. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA) owns and manages SDF.

SDF Airport Facts & Figures

  • SDF Airport catered to almost 3.88 million passengers (about twice the population of New Mexico!) in 2022. This was the 3rd busiest year in the airport’s history.
  • When it comes to cargo traffic, Louisville International Airport SDF is ranked second in the United States and fourth in the world.
  • The new airport logo, which features Ali’s profile with his arms raised in a winning stance on a butterfly background, was presented on June 6, 2019.
  • It was designated a key commercial service airport under the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011-2015.

Louisville Airport Terminals & Concourse

Louisville International Airport has a two-story main terminal building. The upper level has an airside connector that links to the two airport concourses, Concourse A and B. The SDF Airport’s two concourses are directly across from one another.

Main Terminal

Baggage claim and ground transportation are on the lower floor of the SDF Airport Main Terminal.

Allegiant, American, and United travelers and those flying with American, Delta, Frontier, and Southwest can claim their bags at separate locations on the lower level. There is a centrally located Information Booth for the benefit of all travelers. Both the right and left sides of the terminal house Lost Baggage Claim counters. One serves US Airways and United, while the other serves American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest/AirTran.

Travelers can reach Concourses A and B via an airside link from the Upper Departures level, which also serves as the ticketing and check-in area and passenger drop-off area. The terminal’s two concourses are on opposite ends.

There are six different ticket counters on the second floor, one for each of the following airlines:

  • United
  • Allegiant
  • American
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • Southwest

The 5/3 Bank, a full-service institution, and an automated teller machine (ATM) are in the hub. There is a Family and Gender-Neutral Restroom on the far left of the floor and a USPS DropBox and Fort Knox Reception Area on the far right.

The main terminal housed concourses A and B.

Louisville Airport Parking

Onsite Louisville Airport parking is available at the Garage, Premier East & West Lots, Surface Lot, Express Shuttle Lot, and the Valet Parking Lot. Parking rates range from $10/day to $16/day.

Offsite SDF Airport parking is available on Way.com for as low as $5/day.

Amenities at Louisville Airport

Shopping and dining opportunities abound at Louisville Airport. These include:

  • Dining: There are several restaurants and cafes throughout the airport for passengers to enjoy.
  • Shopping: Many shops, including DutyFree shops, are available at Louisville Airport.
  • Free Wi-Fi: Passengers can access free Wi-Fi throughout the airport.
  • Lounges: The airport has one lounge (USO), which offers a comfortable, relaxing space before a flight.
  • Language Interpretation: There is a Foreign Language Interpretation Information Booth at the Lower Level Baggage Claim.
  • Charging Stations: Passengers can charge their electronic devices at charging stations throughout the airport.
  • Pet Relief Areas: The airport provides two pet relief areas for passengers traveling with pets.
  • ATMs: ATMs are available next to the Delta Air Lines ticket counter and near the entrance to Concourse A and the Finish Line News.
  • Information Booth: Louisville Airport has an information booth near the Lower Level Baggage Claim to assist passengers with questions or concerns.
  • Art Exhibits: SDF airport has rotating art exhibits on display throughout the year for passengers to enjoy.
  • Mother’s Room: The Mother’s Room is midway down Concourse A and has a spacious common space with three separate, independent suites with locking doors, dimming lights, a comfortable glider, and changing station.

Shops at SDF Airport

Before Security After Security
Brooks Brothers Brighton
Churchill Downs Store CNBC News Express
Kentucky Bourbon Trail Distillery District Marketplace
Louisville Slugger Finish Line News
TODAY Store Wave 3 New

Dining at SDF

Before Security After Security
Book and Bourbon Southern Kitchen Bourbon Academy Tasting Room
The Comfy Cow Chili’s Bar and Grill
KFC Coals Artisan Pizza
Starbucks Café/Deli Farmers Market
The Local Rustic Market
Starbucks Evenings


For more information, read Dining Delights: Louisville Airport Food Guide

Driving Directions to Louisville Airport

  • From Nashville or places south of it, take I-65 North to Exit 131 for I-264 West. Follow the signs for the airport straight to the entrance.
  • From Lexington or other places to the east, take I-64 West to I-264 West to Exit 11 and then follow the signs to the airport building.
  • From St. Louis or other places to the west, take I-64 East to I-264 (Exit 1) to Exit 11 and follow the signs to the airport building.
  • Take I-71 South to I-264 (left lane exit) from Cincinnati or places to the northeast. Follow I-264 to Exit 11, then follow the signs to the airport straight to the terminal.
  • From Indianapolis or places further, north, take I-65 South to Exit 131 and follow the signs to the airport.
  • You can get to the airport from local streets by taking Preston Highway to Phillips Lane, going west on Phillips Lane, turning left onto the Freedom Way ramp (across from the Fairgrounds Gate 1), and following the airport signs to the terminal or parking lots.

Louisville Airport travel tips

  • Before you can get through security, you’ll need your boarding pass and a government-issued photo ID.
  • To check bags, go through security, and board the plane at least 20 minutes before takeoff, passengers must arrive between 1 and 112 hours before their flight.
  • Get some food or browse the shops if you have time before your flight, but get back to the gate in time to board!
  • You should be aware of the wait time at the security checkpoint most conveniently located at your gate.
  • Keep in mind that parking at an off-airport lot is an excellent low-cost alternative to parking at the airport itself. They’re a little farther from the terminals, but they offer better deals.
  • If you’re traveling internationally, you may find information about airport ATMs and currency exchange offices here.
  • Rent a car from one of these agencies if you need to travel to your hotel quickly after landing in a different city.
  • Please inform one of the airline staff in person if your luggage is lost or damaged. They’ll be at the baggage claim or check-in area. You can get vital information like phone and tracking numbers to assist you in finding your missing stuff there.

Security and TSA at Louisville Airport

A few simple steps can make your security and TSA experience at Louisville Airport much smoother.

  • Comply with the 3-1-1 Rule: 3 oz. containers; 1 quart-sized, transparent, zip-top bag removed from carry-on luggage and deposited in the bin; 1 per passenger. Carry-ons cannot contain containers over 3 oz.
  • When a security official asks, remove your laptop, tablet, and other electronics from your hand luggage and place them in a tray.
  • Fill the tray with tiny objects from your top and bottom pockets. The scan requires empty pockets. Put your outerwear, blazer, and shoes in a tray.
  • Before putting your jacket through the X-ray, place jewelry and keys in the pockets so you may change at your gate instead of the checkpoint. Skipping a belt will also speed things up.
  • When removing shoes, use socks for hygiene and warmth, and slip-ons like ballet flats or loafers for men will speed things up.
Also, check the average TSA wait time at SDF before planning your drive to the airport.

Traveling with pets via Louisville Airport

  • Keep your dog’s boarding pass ready if airport screeners ask to see it.
  • There are two pet relief areas at SDF – outside the east doors in the baggage claim area on the lower floor, and in the rotunda, by the lift next to the stairs.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airports demand that all dogs always stay in carriers or crates. The exception to the rule is when you’re going through airport security. The TSA will make you take your pet out of its box and walk it through the metal detector. The X-ray machines will only look at the crates, not the dog.

Sleeping in Louisville Airport

All travelers must remain on the landside areas after security checkpoints close for the night at around 9:00 pm and must re-clear security the following morning. Sleeping may be possible on the vinyl couches near Starbucks and the ticketing booth. Don’t forget your sunglasses/masks if you stay at this airport overnight. A positive is that the terminal is well-lit even after hours.

Nearby Hotels

There are several hotels located near Louisville Airport. Some popular options include the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Expo Center, the Hampton Inn Louisville Airport, and the Fairfield Inn & Suites Louisville Airport. These hotels offer convenient access to the airport and amenities such as shuttle service, free breakfast, and fitness centers. It’s important to check availability and book beforehand, especially during peak travel seasons.

Fore more information, read What Are the Best Hotels Near Louisville Airport?

Lounges at Louisville airport

There’s just one lounge at Louisville Airport – the USO Lounge in the main terminal.

Things to do on a layover at Louisville airport

There are several nearby attractions that you can visit while on a layover at Louisville Airport. These include:

  • Churchill Downs
  • Colonel Sanders Museum
  • Jim Beam American Outpost and Museum
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Louisville Science Center
  • Louisville Slugger Museum
  • Old Louisville
  • Thomas Edison House


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