Flint Bishop Airport Car Rental

Airport Basics.....

Opened in 1993, Bishop International Airport is located in Flint, Michigan. Flint is famous as the birth place of collective bargaining in the auto industry during the 1930s and more recently as the focus of the famous Michael Moore documentary “Roger and Me”.  

Bishop International aka “Bishop” is a city-owned airport under the auspices of a privately-operated airport authority. The airport offers an almost perfect central location off of 3 major interstate freeways (US 23 to Ann Arbor (30 miles) and Ohio, I-75 to Detroit (40 miles) and Ohio (70 miles) and 1-69 to the state Capitol of Lansing (30 miles) and Indianapolis (slightly over 4 hours by car). It is the third busiest airport in the State of Michigan behind Detroit Metropolitan in Romulus near Detroit, and Gerald Ford Airport in Grand Rapids.  

Bishop has grown tremendously in the last decade.  It currently serves about 600,000 passengers per year. The airport is projected to continue to grow to the 750,000 annual passenger range by the middle of the decade coinciding with redevelopment upgrades. These upgrades will include an additional runway added to the current two, larger economy parking lots, and upgrades in the terminal ramp.  The airport is also a growing carrier for commercial cargo services and is looked at as a major backbone of Flint’s redevelopment plan. The region is aggressively transitioning to a transit center, from an auto-industry based economy

Overall, the consistent solid growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, but location and proximity to the affluent and expanding cities of northern and central Oakland County has doubtlessly played a large factor.  Although in miles, the drive to Detroit Metropolitan west of Detroit is closer for many in Oakland County, the traffic is much less heading north to Flint, making for a smoother trip.  

The other large growth impetus has been the increase in direct flights to larger cities in states beyond Michigan or Michigan border states. Bishop  serves direct flights to Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa and seasonal to Fort Myers.  It also serves Chicago O’Hare, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, and  Minneapolis St. Paul. The non-stop flights to Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers through Air Tran are especially popular during the winter months in frozen solid Michigan.



The clouds are leaving

Bishop’s major strengths are convenience of use, ease of access from a variety of locations, and a growing list of direct destinations.  It is worth noting that the airport is fool-proof for people who may find themselves overwhelmed by larger airports with multiple exits, ramps, and terminals.  Bishop obviously took great care to post large, easy to follow signs both inside and outside the airport property. The terminal itself is a simple long straight terminal with 3 road lanes and clearly marked signs with adequate curbside parking for each passenger, even in busy times. It was clearly constructed with great thought towards future growth. Parking is convenient to the terminal with plenty of available spots even in peak service times.

If there is a downside to Bishop it is that it’s somewhat rural location places a premium on having quality internal refreshment and convenience facilities. In the nearby area, there are still very few restaurants, convenience stores or hotels within a short, car rental driving distance to the airport. The likelihood is that this will correct as the growth of the airport advances and retailers discover the opportunity of providing these services.  Bishop is centrally located in terms of large population and commercial areas, but isn’t within a 10 mile radius of any one of them.  This makes a bus ride (the only mass transit option to major cities) long and inconvenient. This also creates a higher cost for a taxi ride. Renting a car is probably a better option at Bishop International if you are doing business in the nearby commercial areas. The airport is served by Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and Alamo.

Flint Bishop Airport Car Rental.....

There are six car rental companies set up at the Flint Bishop Airport.  These include the industry leaders Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Enterprise and Alamo.  Each desk is set up near the baggage claim area in the arrivals area of the airport.  Taxiing out of the airport, you will pull out onto West Bristol Rd, just a few hundred feet from the facility.  Once on West Bristol, you have choices depending on where you want to go.  To get to Flint, head East on W. Bristol, exit North on I-75, then travel East on I-69.  This road will take you right to Flint.  The city of Flint center is located about 5 miles from the airport.

When returning your rental vehicle back to the Flint Airport, you will be able to re-fuel your vehicle at service stations located on W. Bristol, the road running right in front of the airport.  There is a Mobil station less than one mile from the turnoff into the airport complex.  This would make a great choice to re-fuel your rental car before returning back to the airport facility.


Flint Airport Amenities.....

As mentioned, Bishop is a smallish airport relative to the major city hubs such as Chicago O’Hare and Detroit Metropolitan Airport.  The amenities for refreshment and shopping are not numerous and they all located near the long passenger access ramp to the airport gates.  Form doesn’t supersede function, and keeping with Bishop’s reputation as a passenger-friendly basic airport, probably never will.

There is a restaurant/ tavern on the land side of the terminal outside the security checkpoints for the general airport population and another on the inside of the gate area for passengers who have passed security. There is also a shoe shine area just before the security gate.

As far as gift shops/convenience stores, Michigan Marketplace, is located just up the escalator from the ticket counters. The CNBC Newsstand is located in the gate area, just past the security checkpoint. Inside both shops, you will find all the latest books, magazines and newspapers, plus snacks, gifts, cards, toiletries, and more.

There is also a business center with full Wi-Fi capability, copy center, and individual work stations. This can be found near Gate 3 beyond the security checkpoint. Overall, Bishop is an airport that knows what it is, knows what matters to travelers and is well run. The people in charge are sharp. They will continue to look for ways to improve the entry and exit to the airport, the parking, and the ease of travel over the next decade to further exploit the strong geographic advantages of this growing hub.

Car Rental Driving Distances.....

As mentioned above, the city of Flint is about 5 miles from the Bishop Airport.  However, we know that not every traveler leaving the Flint Bishop Airport is headed to the city of Flint.  Many travelers have different destinations in mind, so we thought it would be handy to list some of those nearby towns and attractions, and their distances from the Flint Bishop Airport.  All distances are from the airport, and are only estimates.  Reserve a GPS to get exact driving distances.

Detroit, 66 Miles.
Lansing/East Lansing, 53 Miles.
Saginaw, 38 Miles.
Grand Rapids, 110 Miles
Ann Arbor 50 Miles.
Muskegon, 145 Miles.
Battle Creek, 102 Miles.
South Bend, IN 197 Miles.
Kalamazoo, 130 Miles.


Halo Burger


Car Rental Types at the Flint Bishop Airport.....

Just about any type of vehicle is available at the Flint International Airport.  From compacts, to SUV's, to Economy Cars, to Minivans.  This airport has just about any type you could imagine.  Keep in mind however, often airports run out of stock on the larger, more expensive models.  Reduce the risk of this possibility by booking early.  Don't wait until it's too late to reserve your Flint Airport Car Rental.


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