Parking at Port Columbus

At least 2 hours prior to plane take off
Minimum of 30 minutes after plane lands
At least 2 hours prior to plane take off
Minimum of 30 minutes after plane lands

John Glenn Columbus International Airport Parking

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Port Columbus Airport parking

Despite being a relatively small airport, CMH offers a wide range of parking options to suit all budgets and schedules. However, you can only reserve your space if you’re a member of the airport’s Executive Parking Program.

Short- and long-term parking

A six-level multi-story parking garage is attached to the main terminal via a walkway, which allows you to get from the lot to your check-in desk in a matter of minutes. The facility offers both short-term parking (levels 4 and 5) and long-term parking (levels 3-6). Both areas are available at different hourly and daily rates.

If you’re traveling on a budget, you’ll find long-term value parking in the Green, Red and Blue Long-Term Shuttle Lots. Although these lots are further away from the terminal, a 24-hour shuttlebus is on hand to drop you right outside the main terminal building in just a few minutes. The Blue Shuttle Lot provides both covered and uncovered parking. In each of these budget lots, you will incur a set fee for the first hour and a charge for each additional hour, as well as different daily parking rates.

Valet parking

If your time is at a premium and you don’t want the hassle of finding a parking space yourself, you may wish to make use of the CMH valet parking. You don’t have to make a reservation; just pull up to the curb outside the ‘Ticketing Level’ and let the valet take care of parking on your behalf.

Picking up and dropping off

The cell phone lot is a waiting place for drivers coming into CMH to pick up friends or family. This lot provides 50 parking spaces and allows you to wait safely for the call from your passenger to let you know they’ve landed.

Executive parking

As part of the CMH Executive Parking Program, you or members of your traveling party can reserve parking bays in the multi-story parking garage. For more information, you should contact the Columbus Regional Airport Authority on (+1) 614-239-5009.

Guide to Port Columbus Airport

View of downtown Columbus Ohio Skyline at Sunset
  • (+1) 614-239-4000
  • 43219
  • One terminal, split into Concourse A, Concourse B, Concourse C
  • Car, bus, taxi
  • Free throughout terminal
  • flycolumbus.com

John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) is the busiest airport in central Ohio and the second-busiest flight hub in the state, handling more than seven million passengers each year. Most aircraft flying from CMH are bound for domestic cities, but the airport also offers daily flights to Toronto, as well as seasonal flights to three international destinations, The Bahamas, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Location of Columbus Airport

Situated six miles (9.6 kilometres) east of downtown Columbus in the state of Ohio, John Glenn Airport is easy to reach by road. The airport is conveniently linked to a number of major highways, including I-670, I-270 and the 670/Stelzer Road interchange. It takes approximately 10 minutes to drive from downtown Columbus to CMH.

Frequent bus services run directly to the terminal from in and around downtown Columbus and the nearby city of Athens, Ohio. Buses to the airport from Ohio State University run during academic breaks. The journey time from downtown to the airport is around 40 minutes by either route 7 or the AirConnect service, both of which are provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).

History of Columbus Airport

First opened in July 1929, John Columbus Airport was named Port Columbus in tribute to the seaport airports that inspired its founder, Don Casto, to build CMH. In its original form, the airport covered just 524 acres (212 hectares) of land.

In 1942, the airport was taken over by the by the US Air Force for use in during World War II, when it also served as a site for aircraft manufacturing.

Since the airport came back into public use in 1946, CMH has changed beyond all recognition. The current terminal building was opened in 1958 and has been subject to numerous development programs over the years. These included a $25 million terminal renovation in 1998, which saw the addition of retail outlets and a new food court, as well as the modernization of flight information screens, lighting and flooring.

Further revamps followed, with the addition of a new control tower in 2004 and a major modernization program that started in 2012 and was completed in 2016. In June that year, the airport was renamed John Glenn Columbus International Airport in honour of former-astronaut and US Senator from Ohio, John Glenn, who died six months later.

Airport facilities

From high-street coffee shops and burger joints to family-owned pizza parlours and boutique wine bars, John Glenn Columbus Airport has a wide variety of places to eat and drink, no matter what your taste or schedule.

The airport's stores sell everything from books and magazines to clothing and sports gear. There are even vending machines selling electronic gadgets and accessories to help keep you plugged into the 21st-century.

For special assistance during your time at CMH, you can contact the Columbus Regional Airport Authority on (+1) 614-239-4000.

Facilities at John Glenn Columbus Airport include:

  • ATMs
  • Baggage enquiries
  • Car rental
  • Car valeting service
  • Currency exchange
  • Disabled access
  • Mediation room
  • Family and baby facilities
  • Food and drink
    • Restaurants
    • Cafés
    • Bars
    • Breakfasts
  • Hotels
  • Information points
  • Left baggage
  • Lost and Found
  • Lounges
  • Parking facilities
  • Shipping and courier services
  • Shopping
    • Duty free
    • High-street brands
    • Convenience stores
  • Smoking areas
  • Trolleys
  • WiFi

Port Columbus Airport hotel and parking

There is a trio of three-star hotels within the grounds of John Glenn Columbus Airport: Fairfield Inn & Suites, the Hampton Inn and the Hilton Garden Inn. Each of these on-site hotels provides clean, modern and spacious rooms with large flat-screen TVs and complimentary WiFi, as well as the use of a pool, business center, gym and free parking for the duration of your time there.

Hot breakfasts are also included in the price of your stay in any of these on-site accommodation options. Fairfield Inn & Suites is the closest to the terminal, but all three offer shuttle services to the airport. These shuttles run around the clock from the Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn and from 4am to midnight from Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Top things to do in Port Columbus Airport

Take in the history of CMH and the art it inspired

CMH is rightly proud of its history and culture. This comes as no surprise considering that the airport is named in honor of famous Ohio native, John Glenn, and that it serves a city named after the man who discovered America, Christopher Columbus.

The Legacy of Leadership Lounges at the airport take you through the history of CMH with a display of photos, contemporary news articles, time capsules and political cartoons.

You can also take a look at Brushstrokes in Flight - a sculpture by the late Roy Lichtenstein, an alumnus of Ohio State University and an influential artist of the late 20th century. The sculpture stands at 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall and was created to capture the “essence of flight” and to complement the building’s structure.

If you have some time on your hands before take-off, embrace the opportunity to browse through the exhibits and displays in the terminal. If you’d like to snap a selfie with the artwork, the airport invites you to share your photos on social media with the hashtag #CMHArtWalk.

Show your support for the local college team

The Scoreboard is a sports store selling clothing and memorabilia dedicated to Ohio State University’s athletics teams, known collectively as the Ohio State Buckeyes. Former alumni include the Olympic sprinter, Jesse Owens, and top golfer, Jack Nicklaus, while the university's American football team has won the National Championship eight times. For these reasons, Ohians are rightly proud of their local college’s athletics record.

Come to the Scoreboard to find souvenirs of your time in the state or to show your loyalty to the team on your way to a big game.

Give your shoes a gleaming shine

If your shoes are looking a little worse for wear, Doctor Shine is set up at CMH to make them look as good as new. Doctor Shine proclaims to treat every customer as though they are “the most important person in the world”.

The saying goes that you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes. If you need to look your best before meeting colleagues, loved ones or, indeed, complete strangers, come to the entrance of Concourse B at CMH for great service and a gleaming shine.

Say goodbye to pre-flight stress

If you’re feeling tense after your mad rush to CMH, let a professional take the weight off your shoulders, back or feet with a soothing massage near Gate 23 in Concourse B.

Offering 10-, 15-, or 30-minute treatments, the Massage Bar gives you the chance to let off a healthy amount of steam before your flight, no matter what your schedule or budget.

Get plugged in

John Glenn Columbus Airport provides free WiFi at 150 megabytes per second throughout the terminal and you’ll also find thousands of free power outlets in the building.

Whether you’re looking for something to do during a long wait before take-off, you need to send some business emails or you just want to charge your phone or tablet, CMH helps you get connected – and stay connected.

Try hometown food

Founded in 1972 and named after Max and Erma Visocnik who once ran a restaurant in the neighborhood of German Village, Max & Erma's is a themed restaurant and bar chain that is loved in Columbus and across Ohio.

If you’d like to eat something healthier than fast food, take a seat in this spacious diner, choose from the generous menu and enjoy a warm welcome.

Despite its absence from the airport's official website, this branch of Max & Erma’s also offers a breakfast menu, which is perfect if you need something filling before an early morning flight.

Top things to do near Port Columbus Airport

The southern facade of the Ohio Statehouse

Take a tour of Ohio’s seat of government

The Ohio Statehouse was built in 1861 and many consider it to be one of the best examples of Greek-Revival architecture in the USA. After falling into a state of disrepair, the building was restored to its former glory in 1996.

Come to the Statehouse to see its wide array of historic art, including a distinctive marble bust of Abraham Lincoln and a number of outstanding portraits of former state governors and famous Ohio natives.

Guided and unguided tours of the Statehouse are available, while you can also choose to be a guest at 'Miss Emma's Table'; this group meal event is named after a local socialite who held dinners at the Statehouse in the 19th century.

Take a walk through American automotive history

The Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum is a real treat for anyone interested in American cars and their history. With no website and just a few rave online reviews letting the public know that it exists, the museum is free by appointment only - if you love cars, you’ll be glad you made the effort.

This auto museum is actually an extensive private collection of vintage cars, license plates and other memorabilia tracing the American auto history from the 1920s until the present day. The owner and guide is an expert with a true passion for the subject, so you’ll love hearing his anecdotes as you make your way through the fascinating displays.

Step back in time

German Village is an historic neighborhood just south of downtown Columbus. It’s known as German Village because of the large number of German immigrants who settled there from the early 1800s onwards. Its charming, old Italianate buildings fell into disrepair and the area was declared a slum in the 1950s.

After coming under threat of demolition in the 1960s, some of the area’s locals formed the German Village Commission and lobbied to save the buildings; they were finally added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Packed full of brick sidewalks, antique stores, Victorian houses and old-style restaurants, German Village allows you a rare glimpse of the Columbus of yesteryear.

Witness an impressionist painting brought to life

The Topiary Park is not just any old green area; a visit here guarantees a unique experience. With its intricate topiary landscaping covering seven acres (2.8 hectares), this park is a living interpretation of the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat (famously featured in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)).

With its simple, square-based design, Topiary Park is a great place to take a tranquil stroll or enjoy a relaxing picnic away from the concrete and the noise of a modern airport. The park is open 365 days a year, provides full wheelchair access and is free to enter.

Take in a movie or musical performance at Ohio’s official theatre

Built in 1928, Ohio Theatre is a 2,791-seat cinema and concert hall that’s renowned for its ornate Spanish-Baroque design and great acoustics.

It started out showing silent films and went on to host variety shows starring the likes of Jack Benny and Ginger Rogers.

The theater closed in 1969, but it was saved from demolition and reopened later the same year. It then began serving as a concert venue for rock shows by the likes of Mothers of Invention, The Grateful Dead and Alice Cooper.

Throughout the 1970s, the venue was restored to its original state and has become a favorite with some of the most famous names in music; Bruce Springsteen, Carol King, Prince and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra have all played there.

Whether you appreciate history or you just want to see a good show, a visit to Ohio Theatre is a great way to spend your layover at CMH.

Experience a tropical climate (yes, really)

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is home to many plants you won’t usually see in Ohio. At different points across its 90 acres (36.4 hectares), you will find yourself in the cool climate of the Himalayas, in amongst a steamy tropical rainforest and adrift in arid desert lands.

Come here for a day with the whole family and take the time to explore the beautiful gardens where you will find more than 400 different plant species, a range of beautiful artworks and incredible animated exhibitions.

Which terminal?

John Glenn Columbus Airport has just one terminal with three concourses (A, B, and C) serving over seven million passengers per year. Currently, six commercial airlines and one charter airline provide air travel to and from CMH, which sees 140 flights depart on a daily basis.

The airport mostly offers flights to domestic locations. However, it also runs daily flights to Toronto and seasonal travel to and from Freeport, Cancun and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Air Canada ExpressMain terminal/Concourse B
American AirlinesMain terminal/Concourse B
Delta Air Lines/Delta ConnectionMain terminal/Concourse C
Frontier AirlinesMain terminal/Concourse B
SouthwestMain terminal/Concourse A
United/United ExpressMain terminal/Concourse B
Vacation Express (charter airline)Main terminal/Concourse B
Airline Terminal

How to get to Port Columbus Airport

Car

If you’re using sat nav, you can enter the address 4600 International Gateway, Columbus, Ohio 43219 for accurate directions to CMH. Given that the airport serves passengers from not just Columbus but all over Ohio, it is easy to reach from the major highways across the state.

To find your way to CMH from downtown Columbus, drive north on Cleveland Avenue towards East Spring Street and onto I-670 E. Continue on I-670 for 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometers), take exit 9 towards Stelzer Rd/Airport and follow signs to CMH. The journey should take around eight minutes.

If you’re coming from Cleveland or Indianapolis, follow I-71 S (Cleveland) or I-70 E (Indianapolis) to I-670 E and take exit 9.

To get to CMH from Wheeling, take I-70 W to I-270 N and take exit 35. From Cincinnati, get on to I-71 N, move onto I-270 E and take exit 35 for the airport.

Bus

Columbus Ohio Transport Authority (COTA) operates a number of buses to John Glenn Columbus Airport. The COTA AirConnect bus takes you from the Greater Columbus Convention Center and different hotels in the downtown area to CMH, with buses running every 30 minutes from 6am to 9pm, seven days a week. For more detailed information, you can visit the COTA website.

Useful tips


Download the CMH mobile app

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority provides a wealth of important information via its FLYsmart mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices. To make your time at CMH easier and more enjoyable, download the app and get help finding ATM machines, restaurants, flight times, gate locations and more.

The airport has a free lounge for military personnel

The Jake Brewer USO Lounge provides a place for US troops to gather and relax in comfort with their families before take-off. Inside, you’ll find workstations with fast WiFi, a TV, a children’s play area and refreshments.

There is a dedicated Pet Rest Area

If you’re traveling with pets, you’ll be glad to know that there is a relief area for animals just outside the CMH baggage claim zone.

Non-ticket holders can pass security under certain circumstances

Under normal circumstances, you are not allowed beyond the security checkpoints unless you have a ticket for a flight. However, if you’re accompanying children, the elderly or someone with disabilities through the gate, you can contact the airport to make special arrangements. For more information, get in touch with the CMH customer service team on (+1) 614-239-4000.

It’s easy to mail items not allowed on an aircraft

If you find that you have items that aren’t allowed on an aircraft, you can use the Checkpoint Mailers to mail them back home. All you need to do is fill out the shipping label, place your items in a sealed bag (provided) and place it in the drop box. You can pay for this service by cash or credit card.

The operators make frequent air travel quicker and easier

The CMH EZ Park Program is designed to make parking quicker and easier for frequent passengers at John Glenn Columbus Airport. As part of the service, the airport staff gives you a device to place inside your windshield, which links electronically with your credit card number. This then allows you entry to any CMH parking lot. For more information, you can call (+1) 614-239-3126 or go to the CMH website.

Free bicycle parking is available

If you’re cycling to John Glenn Columbus as a passenger or guest, you’ll find free parking areas outside the departures level.

Port Columbus Airport FAQs


What time does the airport open?

John Glenn Columbus Airport is open 24 hours a day. However, the security checkpoints don’t open until 4:30am and they remain open until the last flight has departed.

How far is CMH from Ohio State University?

John Glenn Columbus Airport is 9.4 miles (15.1 kilometres) from OSU via I-670 W. The journey takes around 12 minutes. Public buses also run during academic breaks.

Is there anywhere to smoke?

Ohio State law prohibits smoking in any enclosed public places. As a result, you cannot smoke anywhere in the CMH terminal. However, you will find places to smoke or vape outside of both the arrivals and departures levels.

What is the code for John Glenn Columbus Airport?

The airport code CMH, which stands for Columbus Municipal Hangar.

I have lost personal items in the airport – is there anyone I can contact?

You can get in touch with CMH Lost and Found on (+1) 614-239-5035.

Does CMH have a worship room?

Whether you need to pray or want to find a quiet place to reflect or meditate during your time at John Glenn Columbus Airport, look for the Interfaith Meditation Room on the baggage claim level (opposite Carousel 6).

Are internet access and power sockets available at CMH?

Free WiFi is available throughout the CMH terminal. To connect, simply enable WiFi on your device and choose 'CMH' from the list of available networks. If you need to charge your phone, tablet or laptop, you’ll find hundreds of freely available power sockets dotted around the main building.

Can I reserve valet parking ahead of time at CMH?

Reservations are only available as part of the Executive Parking Program. Unlike most airports, you don’t need to pre-book valet parking at CMH. To use this premium service, simply drive up to the curb outside the ticketing level, hand the valet your keys and make your way to the check-in desk in time for your flight.

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