There are some problems that you know to avoid when you travel by airplane:
- Decide if parking on-site or at a nearby lot is quicker
- Check-in online to avoid some of the lines at the airport
- Join TSA Precheck and/or CLEAR to shorten your time at the checkpoint
However, there’s one time-sink at Orlando International Airport that I can’t believe they still haven’t fixed.
The airport is split into two sides, each having its own security checkpoint. Once through X-ray, you can board an APM (Automated People Mover) to your gates.
We were flying on American Airlines from gate 57. We got to the airport extra early and had almost 2 hours until our flight. Since there are no good dining options at those gates and we don’t have access to the American Airlines lounge, we decided to take the APM to gates 1-29. Once there, we could enter The CLUB MCO with our Priority Pass card.
There are two of these clubs at the airport and we enjoy spending time there before our fights. We stayed at the club until around 40 minutes before our flight. We boarded the APM to head back to the main terminal and take the other APM to gates 30-59. However, once we got off the APM we were forced to exit into the terminal, out of the secure area.
I knew this used to be a thing, but I never experienced it. More importantly, I didn’t realize it was still happening. Here’s MCO’s response when asked about this happening back in 2017.
During int’l flight arrivals at gates 1-29, it’s possible that you will have to pass through security again. This is a precaution that is to prevent ability for nonscreened int’l arrivals from accessing secure areas. Thanks for understanding & sorry for the inconvenience.
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) November 21, 2017
Fortunately, since we have CLEAR and TSA Precheck, we were able to get through security in less than 10 minutes. We arrived at the plane in what we thought was plenty of time. But since we were flying on American, that almost wasn’t the case. But that’s a story for another day.
Part of me was upset that I forgot this could happen when transferring between gates on this side of the airport. On the other hand, I can’t believe that it’s almost four years since I wrote about this (and it was going on for long before then) and Orlando Airport still hasn’t fixed this problem. To make things worse, gone were the signs saying that you’d have to exit the secure area when boarding the APM to the terminal.
I’m hoping that MCO has a plan to fix this. Maybe it is part of the Terminal C Expansion. Whatever the case, the current situation is a major pain.
MCO’s social media guru saw this post and responded. Click here for the update!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary