Orlando Airport

No, the Orlando Airport is not necessarily an attraction, unless you are really a flying buff, yet having had folks fly in to Orlando from away to visit with us here, I’ve learned a few things that might come in handy if you are flying into Orlando Florida too.

If you are expecting guests to fly to or from the Orlando airport (MCO is airport talk for this airport’s designation), the airport website is first class in providing information about incoming and outgoing flights and other airport operations.

www.orlandoairports.net

Orlando Airport - Logo of MCO airport in Orlando - www.orlando-florida-attractions.com

But something about the Orlando airport that really burns my butt is….

… It’s A Freakin’ Toll Road To Get There!
 
Since the primary access to the airport is a toll turnpike to get to the airport means paying the highway tolls.
 
In February 2016, the round trip to the airport from I-4 in Orlando cost around $6.50 U.S. When the additional toll booth between the airport and Orlando is completed, the round trip cost will go up.
 
If you, like us, are longer-term visitors to Orlando, we have guests that fly into Orlando, and we get to go pick them up. So it’s not just $6 and change. That’s multiplied by the number of trips to the airport pick up and drop family off.
 
For heaven’s sake, folks have to get to the airport. With all the high cost to fly and the other airport fees, the city of Orlando really insults me with charging me a road toll to get into and out of the airport.

You Can Avoid tolls to Orlando Airport

So, using our GPS, as we approached the toll road, we reprogrammed the route to exclude toll roads. Bingo, the back roads into the airport were free of traffic, we got to drive alongside some runways and approaches, and taking the back roads only added about 15 minutes or so to the trip.
 
If you use the following search string in your search engine, as I did, you can find the actual directions to bypass the tolls. (airport toll road Orlando).
 
Be careful. The Orlando area is full of toll highways – turnpikes as opposed to freeways. You can, if you care to, get around to much of Orlando, the theme parks and much of the rest of Florida without paying any road tolls if you want to. After all, you’re coming here and dumping hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into Orlando’s economy.
 
The city should give us a break on driving to the Orlando airport, for sure.
 
Toll roads, to the airport? A real rip off! Fie on you, Orlando!!!

Terminals

We picked up and delivered folks to Terminal “A”, one of the two terminals at MCO. The other is… Terminal “B”! 🙂

As you approach the terminals, the road markings are excellent, and it’s really easy to make sure you are in the right lane for your terminal, whether dropping folks for departure, or picking them up upon arrival in Orlando.

(Update spring 2016 – the approach roads are horrid to navigate right now due to construction and the propensity of drivers to drive WAY over the posted limit. Be careful!)

In 2016, the charge for parking was still $1.00 per 20 minutes, not unreasonable for the convenience of going into the Terminal to wait, and to not worry about the parking police. Since we didn’t risk it, I don’t know for sure, but I expect the parking police are as efficient at Orlando airport as they are at other airports in North America.

Once you get into the airport, however, there is no clear indication as to which floor you go to await arriving passengers. You would think that there would be a sign saying “arrivals here” or “this way to arrivals”. Nope, couldn’t find one. Asked an airport worker where to go and they said, pointing at the top of the elevator over the door, “follow the signs”. There were none in 2012, and precious little has improved by 2016.

Where Are The Arriving Passengers?

Just follow the signs to the baggage pick up area. There you can wait for your arriving folks at the baggage carousel with their flight noted number noted on it. Check the carousel signs regularly as they appear subject to change and you may find yourself all of a sudden waiting at the wrong one.

Let folks know that, when they are flying into Orlando, that their flight might require them to take a bus to the terminal from wherever their flight discharges passengers, so they aren’t puzzled when they fly for “X” number of hours, then have to take a bus to the terminal for pick up.

MOC is a nice airport, though we felt it difficult to navigate around in once we had arrived. And geez, get rid of the tolls to get to the airport!

Name: Orlando International Airport

Location: One Jeff Fuqua Blvd. Orlando, Florida 32827
Distance: about 12 miles from #408 & #4 in downtown Orlando
Tel: (407) 825-2001
Web: www.orlandoairports.net

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