Columbia Airport Car Rental

Columbia Metropolitan Airport Background…

The United States Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the United States Air Force, built Lexington County Airport, the original airfield that Columbia Metropolitan Airport is built over, in 1940 as a means to help buildup its military airborne units when World War II initially broke out. The airport belonged to Lexington County when ground was first broken for construction, but in 1941 it came under military control and was renamed Columbia Army Airbase. The airport was deactivated and handed back to Columbia soon after the war was over in 1945, and two years later it was renamed Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

In 1965 the terminal currently in use finished construction and commercial flights began to pickup drastically. Over the last few decades the airport has seen a number of different upgrades and expansions, including the original terminal being renovated in 1997. Today the airport serves about one million people and hauls more than one hundred and fifty thousand tons of cargo each year.

Columbia Airport Car Rental

Columbia Metropolitan Airport Car Rentals…

All eight major national car rental companies service the airport day-in and day-out. All counters can be found within the baggage claim area on the lower level of the main terminal. For those who may not know, the eight major national car rental companies in the United States, the ones found on-site at the airport, are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Enterprise, National, and Thrifty.

Once you’ve finished signing all the proper paperwork, you’ll be directed to your rental vehicle, which stands outside and to the East of the Terminal.  For those that don’t know which way East is, simply walk out of the front of the terminal, and take a right. Your car will be parked in one of the two surface parking lots depending on the rental car company.  Alamo, National and Hertz will be on the right side of the airport road, and the others will be on the left.  Simply walk until you find your car rental company signage and out you go!

Columbia Airport Directions to Downtown Columbia…

To get to Columbia (we’re going to take you to the Williams-Bryce Football Stadium) there are a few different ways out of the airport, but they all lead out to the John H. Hardee Expressway. As you exit the airport area, you will see an overhead blue sign directing you to 26 – Columbia.  Take the right, get on the John Hardee Expy and travel on it until it ‘T’s’.  Take the left on Highway 302 and travel North towards the city for about 2.5 miles until you get to a stoplight.  Go straight thru the light and travel on 321-176-21 towards the city – staying with traffic all the way to Assembly Drive.  Turn right on Assembly and drive all the way to Williams-Bryce Stadium.

If you follow the same directions I just gave you as a means to get back to the airport, you will find several gas stations on Highway 302 traveling back to the airport.  Any of the stations would make a fine choice to pull over, fill up, and travel back to catch your flight.

While you’re in the area, and hungry, I thought I might recommend the True BBQ joint on 1237 D Avenue, West Columbia.  It’s not far from your route above, and sources say, it’s a very fine place to eat.  Don’t let the outside fool you.  Inside is some pretty tremendous barbeque.

True-BBQ in Columbia

Other Airport Amenities…

Being one of the smaller regional airports in America, Columbia Metropolitan Airport doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities outside of the usual. You’ll find a food court with various dining options from some big name national restaurant chains, the general gift shops that offer tons of last minute items for exorbitant prices, and all the other little things you probably won’t need to use, like ATMs, will be available as well. Hopefully your stay at the airport will be as brief as possible.

Other Car Rental Options at Columbia Metropolitan Airport…

One of the ways you can shorten your time at the airport is to already have your rental vehicle reserved before you arrive. If you make a reservation you’ll have to spend less time at the counter and will only have to deal with waiting in line. You may even be able to get out quicker if the agency you choose to go with has a separate reservation only line! So reserve your vehicle today and spend less time worrying about semantics tomorrow. You’ll save a lot of time and some money in the process. 
Source: Columbia Metropolitan Airport

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