Welcome to Montana
We find that many travelers arriving and departing Bozeman Airport (BZN) are not adjusted/ used to using such a small and personable airport. Arrival to BZN is very straight forward; follow the signs and head towards baggage claim and ‘Arrivals’. We do not have separate terminals/ buildings- just one big one. Enjoy the bronze goose sculptures, the ‘Big Bear’. and the cast tyrannosaurus Rex skull. Additionally, the Yellowstone Association, a non-profit conservation group has an excellent information area/ kiosk. The majority of the workers in the store are passionate volunteers and are more than happy to provide as much information as possible about the park. Purchasing a membership not only goes to help preserving Yellowstone, but also offers significant savings on Park Services.
Although luggage is typically released quickly, sometimes it takes a LONG time. Check out some of the free rack cards of mostly non-pertinent information. These are paid for spaces, and just because a provider has a card there does not mean they are the best. Be wary and do a little review research before booking anything- especially some of the fly fishing guides. The abundant Discovery Maps are a great resource.
Be wary of the cafe and gift shop at arrivals. These stores are horrendously overpriced in order to pay the airports concession fee. Think $9 for a piece of reheated frozen pizza. You are better off waiting a couple of minutes or using the water fountain (underneath escalators along with restrooms).
If you are renting a car from an on-airport provider (Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty, etc) it is recommended that one person waits for the bags while another person goes and collects the rental car as the rental car kiosk lines can often be long as well. The airport car rental agency’s kiosks are at the far western side of the building. With your back facing the baggage carousels, turn left and keep walking till you run out of building. Once your rental car is collected you can pull forward, hopefully finding a parking spot, while your family takes the luggage outside to arrivals. Or, you can walk with the family to the rental car parking lot. Just be warned, it is far.
If you have opted for a) a shuttle/ taxi or b) an off-airport rental car agency they will meet you at the base of the escalators as you head towards baggage claim with placard. Whether it is your shuttle to Big Sky, taxi to Bozeman, or rental car- these off-airport concessionaires have dedicated parking lanes outside of the arrivals terminal. If your concessionaire is not parked in the Karst Stage, shuttle lane, or taxi lane be wary as they are probably not an authorized airport sanctioned company. Concessionaires to Bozeman Airport are all required to charge their customers additional airport fees. Shuttles and taxis range from $2.00 per person and car rentals 10% additional airport fee.
If you are able to find transport to one of the off-airport rental car agencies, like Phasmid or TRAC, you will be able to save the 10% concession fee. Very beneficial if you are renting a vehicle for an extended period of time. Hint: both of these companies offer free pick-up service at hotels and around the greater Bozeman area, and many of the hotels offer free shuttle service.
There are no regular buses between the airport and Bozeman. There is a scheduled service via Karst Stage to Big Sky, West Yellowstone, and Mammoth Hot Springs. As mentioned in BZN ground transportation article, there is not a taxi stand at BZN- so all of your travel arrangements departing the airport need to be made in advance.