Not long ago, Lucky (Ben) from One Mile At A Time wrote an article about GOAA (The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which represents MCO and Orlando Executive Airport) suing Orlando Melbourne International Airport, claiming that the name “Orlando-Melbourne International Airport” is false and deceptive advertising.
The lawsuit asks the court to permanently stop Melbourne’s aviation board from using the word “Orlando” in MLB’s name, advertising or promotional materials, to display a retraction statement on its website for at least one year and to pay damages and attorney’s fees.
The lawsuit states that, “By causing a likelihood of confusion, mistake and deception, MLB is inflicting irreparable harm on the goodwill symbolized by GOAA’s Orlando International Airport Trademark and the reputation for quality that it embodies.”
Friends, I live in Orlando and trust me when I say that MCO is making a mountain out of a molehill with this lawsuit. Here’s why…
MCO is growing by leaps and bounds and in the past few years has gone from being the 14th busiest airport in the country to the 11th busiest one. Multiple huge airlines fly in and out of MCO…Delta, United, American, Southwest, JetBlue, etc. To say nothing of international carriers up the ying yang.
Do you know what airlines fliy in and out of Melbourne?
- American Airlines (Flight since 2010, all to/from PHL and CLT)
- Delta Air Lines (Flights since 1983, all to/from ATL)
- Elite Airways (Flights since 2014, 1-3 times times a week to/from IAD)
- Porter Airlines (Flights since 2015, 1-2 times a week)
- SunCountry (Once a month)
Last year I posted about when MCO was in “discussion” with Melbourne and Sanford regarding the names they use (Sanford has also has been using the word “Orlando” in its name for the past few years), and I posed the question to several FB groups based out of the U.S. and the U.K.: “Were you ever confused with the names of the 3 airports?” Maybe 1 in 20 responses said it confused them, and even then they mentioned that they didn’t know the other 2 airports’ names because the airlines they flew didn’t go there.
Melbourne is a small, local airport with 1 restaurant, 1 gift shop, 1 ATM and 3 each of mens’ & womens’ restrooms. It averages between 7 and 11 each of arrivals and departures per day, and serviced slightly over 200,000 passengers between April 2017 and March 2018, 167,000 of which were Delta flights to/from Atlanta. As a comparison, MCO serviced over 43,000,000 passengers in 2017, and nearly 48,000,000 in 2018.
As a Florida resident who travels throughout the U.S. several times a year, I’ve never seen ANY advertising for MLB (although I occasionally see ads for them being close to the Port Canaveral terminal for cruises, which would make sense…Melbourne is on the Atlantic coast), nor have I seen ads, not even from their largest airline, Delta, suggesting that it’s a good flight if you want to go to Walt Disney World.
In other words, MLB is absolutely NO threat to MCO’s tourist/theme park traffic whatsoever, whether they use the word “Orlando” in their name or not.
I like MCO, I really do. But really, those 200,000 passengers MLB gets instead of MCO (that’s less than 1/2 of 1% of what MCO gets) is not going to make or break them – and has nothing to do with MLB having the word “Orlando” in their name. This lawsuit just smacks too much of Big Business trying to make sure it gets every single piece of business it can. Just like Amazon. Just like Walmart. I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of money they’re spending on this lawsuit is many times more than the dollar amount of business they’re losing because of “confused” passengers.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary