We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Will Rogers World Airport (OKC).
Named for the famous actor and cowboy, Will Rogers World Airport is the main airport in Oklahoma City, and the busiest airport in Oklahoma. OKC is located just 10 miles southwest of downtown Oklahoma City, making for a 15 to 20 minute drive during most parts of the day. While the airport isn’t served by Oklahoma City’s public bus service, there are numerous shuttle services available, as well as taxis, Uber and Lyft. Taxis are located in the Transportation Plaza, accessed on the lower level from baggage claim, while the ride share pickup area is on the upper level departures roadway, marked as "TNC Pick Up." The rental car facility is located just a few minutes north of the airport terminal, accessed by a complimentary shuttle.
Southwest has the most flights and passengers in and out of OKC, but many of the other major domestic airlines also have routes through Oklahoma City, including United, Frontier, Delta, American and Allegiant.
Most of OKC’s eating options are familiar restaurant chains, such as Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, Cinnabon, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. However, there are also some restaurant options that are unique to Oklahoma. This includes Coolgreens, next to Gate 8, which is a casual Oklahoma city restaurant chain specializing in healthy salads, wraps, sandwiches, quinoa bowls, flatbreads, and create-your-own dishes. Across from Gate 18 is Tucker's Onion Burgers, which features Oklahoma’s signature onion burger. The Oklahoma City franchise is considered one of the best local burgers. Elsewhere is Route 66 Grill, located between Gates 8 and 10, and Cafe Oklahoma, which is located before security across from the Southwest ticket counter.
Route 66, which I mentioned above, is one of a couple places to enjoy a drink at Will Rogers World Airport. The full-service restaurant and bar has a full drink menu, including a couple Oklahoma-themed cocktails. Cross Grain Brewhouse, located between gates 18 and 20, is a full-service brewpub specializing in craft beer—much of which is local—and craft cocktails. Belly up to the bar for a Bloody Mary or locally brewed craft beer on draft.
Like most airports, Will Rogers has art installations spread throughout the terminal, which you can get a glimpse of on the airport’s website. OKC has a limited number of shops, such as EA Sports, a CNBC newsstand and Bricktown Square, which is named for the Oklahoma City entertainment district. Unique to Will Rogers World Airport is "Jet Sets," which is the airport's live music program, showcasing some of the city’s local musicians. You're most likely to catch a live band playing on weekend days during select times. Otherwise, because the airport is just 10 miles from downtown Oklahoma City, travelers can be to nearby attractions like the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Bricktown and the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum relatively quickly during a long layover.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps in the app to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.