Home Airports The Lounges of Orlando International Airport (MCO) – UPDATED 2/2022

The Lounges of Orlando International Airport (MCO) – UPDATED 2/2022

by joeheg

Orlando International Airport, known as MCO in airline speak, was a destination for over 50 million airline passengers in 2019, making it the 10th busiest airport in the U.S. based on total passenger traffic. For many of those passengers, Orlando is their final destination. The need to spend hours at the airport waiting for a connecting flight isn’t as great as at a major hub airport like Miami, Atlanta, Chicago or New York-JFK. Subsequently, the airline lounge market was stagnant (or even declining) for years because leisure travelers aren’t the bread and butter customers for lounges. These lounges were designed with business travelers in mind, giving them a place to be productive while waiting for their next flight.

Times have changed and more people have lounge access thanks to credit card benefits, so lounges at MCO are finally starting to catch up.

disabled_access_map

MCO has two TSA checkpoints; one of them will give you access to gates 1-59 and the other to gates 70-129. The gates are divided into four separate areas that you reach by a monorail system:

  • Gates 1-29 and Gates 30-59 are reached through one checkpoint
  • Gates 70-99 and Gates 100-129 are reached through the other checkpoint

Once through TSA security, you can take the monorail to either of the gate areas on that side of the airport. So, using the above picture as a guide, if you’re taking a flight from Gate 10, you can go to the lounge by Gate 40 but not to the one by Gate 80, which is through the other checkpoint.

One thing to note is that if you’re at gates 1-29 and want to go to gates 30-59 without clearing TSA again, you have to take the APM on the right. I found this out the hard way and the Orlando Airport Twitter team was glad to explain why this happens.

If you are in the airside area at gates 1-29 about to take the APM, you will have to take the APM on the right side, for that one will allow you to just walk over and get the other APMs to gates 30-59. If you take the APM on the left side it will lead you outside the secure area and you will have to go through security again (if it’s in international arrivals mode). Passengers just need to read the sign on the APM on the right side, that says to take this APM “for gates 30-59”.

This is important to know as it’ll make a difference in what lounges you can access. I’m not going to go in-depth about how you can get access to these lounges in this article as each airline has its own rules about who can access clubs depending on what type of ticket you have purchased. However, I will list the price to buy entry and some ways you would be able to get into the club without getting access through status or as a benefit for which ticket you purchased.

GATES 1-29

The Club MCO – Airside 1

Photo Jul 28, 9 11 35 AM

Location:  In the Main Shops area of Airside 1, adjacent to XpresSpa

Access: This is an independent lounge that contracts with AeroMexico. You can also access this lounge with a Priority Pass membership (available with the American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige, Ritz Carlton Rewards or Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards). You can purchase a day pass for the club for $45 per person. LoungeBuddy also sells day passes for $45 and remember that if you have an AMEX Green Card, you get up to $100 a year credit for LoungeBuddy purchases.

IMG_7172

This lounge isn’t very large but does its best with the space it has. To the right of the entry area is the bar and then the buffet.

Photo Jul 28, 9 09 09 AM

Photo Jul 28, 9 09 15 AM

Since reopening, The Club MCO locations have modified their food options. You have a limited selection and have to tell the staff which items you want. They are also limiting capacity which may cause a wait to get in.

On the other side of the lounge, there’s seating against the wall with plenty of outlets and other tables along the wall that look out onto the tarmac (these were always in use, so I didn’t want to take pictures of people sitting there).

Photo Jul 28, 9 10 19 AM

IMG_5152

This lounge does offer shower rooms. You have to ask the agent at the front desk to unlock the room and they’ll make sure you’re stocked with towels. The shower room is currently closed and is being used as a second bathroom.

Use: JetBlue, WestJet, Frontier and other international carriers fly from these gates so there are no other lounges in this area. Besides fast food, the other food options at Gates 1-29 are rather limited. If you have access with a Priority Pass card, you could spend time in the lounge if they let you in.

Gates 30-59

United Club

UnitecClubMCO

Location: Near Gate 43

Access: One time passes are available for $59 each for those with a same-day United ticket. Otherwise, you need to be a member of the United Club to enter. People who have the United MileagePlus Explorer card get two lounge passes per year.

Use: Access to this club is mainly for those flying on United with United Club access.

The United Club at Orlando Airport was renovated a while ago and is now modern-looking and comfortable. They offer free snacks and well drinks with premium wine and spirits available for purchase. The club agents are very helpful and managed to get us on an earlier flight to New York when many flights were delayed.

I no longer have the United MileagePlus credit card so we don’t get passes to the lounge, which isn’t a big problem now that we aren’t flying on United.

American Airlines Admirals Club

AmericanClubMCO

American Airlines Admirals Club at MCO

Location: Near Gate 55

Access: One time passes are available for $59 each if you have a same-day ticket on American. You can also get access by having the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, but that also comes with a hefty $450 a year annual fee.

Use: This club is the newest addition to the lounges at Orlando Airport and is, from all indications, a very nice space. It’s a tad small but since American only operates flights from Orlando to their other hub airports such as Miami, Charlotte, Chicago-O’Hare and Dallas, the space is mainly for frequent flyers to spend a short time before their flights and not meant to be for long layovers.

I don’t have Admirals Club access so I’ve never seen this club for myself. I did try to get a peek by asking the desk agent if I could go in for a second or two, just to take a few pictures for my travel blog, but was shut down cold. Oh, well.

Agents at the Admirals Club are also tired of Priority Pass members trying to enter because they are not a partner with Priority Pass.

Gates 70-99

Delta SkyClub

017SKYCLUBORLANDO-vi

Location: Atrium, next to Starbucks

Access: Day passes for SkyClubs are only available to passengers with certain credit cards. American Express Platinum and Delta Reserve cardholders flying on Delta flights can enter SkyClubs for free, but guests (a maximum of two) will cost $39 each. You can still buy a day pass for yourself and two guests for $39 each if you’re flying on a Delta flight and have an AMEX Delta Platinum card.

Use: I’ll be honest and say that I have a fondness for the Skyclub at MCO. When I first started this hobby, it was the first lounge I ever had access to. I reveled in the free Biscoff cookies and the soup with oyster crackers. Every bite of carrot or celery was a sign that I made it to the next level of travel.

DeltaBiscoff_Embedded

Looking at this club now, I realize it hasn’t changed a bit from that day. Well, except that the well drinks have gotten cheaper in quality, the lounge is often overrun with families and children, and the decor screams of the mid-1980s.  We used to get to the airport early to spend time here at the beginning of our vacations but since I didn’t renew my American Express Platinum card I don’t have any way to access the club. I doubt that I’d pay $39 each anyway because of the other option available in the terminal.

The Club MCO – Airside 4

IMG_4531

Location: By Gate 91, Next to InMotion Store

Access: This is an independent lounge that contracts with British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa. You can also access this lounge with a Priority Pass membership (available with the American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige, Ritz Carlton Rewards or Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards). You can purchase a day pass for the club for $45 per person. LoungeBuddy also sells day passes for $45 and remember that if you have an AMEX Green Card, you get up to $100 a year credit for LoungeBuddy purchases.

This is the second of The Club lounges at Orlando International Airport and is much like the one in Airside 1 gates. If you have an AMEX Platinum, you have access to this lounge by using Priority Pass and can bring guests, unlike at the Delta SkyClub. This lounge is also significantly newer than the SkyClub across the atrium.

I was shocked about how nice this lounge is. It’s bright, has multiple seating areas with plenty of seats, and decent food options with an open bar.  Directly behind the check-in desk, there’s a bunch of office seating with plenty of outlets. The area isn’t very private but would be suitable to work on a laptop.

IMG_4545

Off to the right is the food. It’s a large area with a small bar with finger foods and the more substantial foods behind it, against the wall.

Since reopening, The Club MCO locations have modified their food options. You have a limited selection and have to tell the staff which items you want. They are also limiting capacity which may cause a wait to get in.

IMG_4543

They even have a pancake maker (just like in the Alaska lounges)

IMG_4551

There’s a seating area with tables located near the bar.

IMG_4541

The lounge’s main area have grouped seating behind dividers, several tables for small groups, and individual loungers that look out the window onto the tarmac.

IMG_4550
IMG_4547

On the other side of the lounge, there’s a smaller food area with snacks and a coffee maker. There is also a departure board, as they don’t make any announcements in the lounge.

IMG_4532

The lounge has a shower room, something not available in other lounges at MCO. I didn’t bother them to open it up for me to take pictures, sorry.

IMG_4542

They even have a kids room with books and video games. They had Lego Harry Potter set up the last time we looked (pre-COVID), a nice touch for Orlando Airport since we have the Harry Potter area of Universal Studios nearby.

IMG_4546

(Note: since reopening, the kids’ area and shower rooms are closed.)

I would gladly spend time in this lounge instead of the Delta SkyClub. Since I can bring a guest in with me to The Club at MCO for free, this is my lounge of choice. It really did blow me away and was far more than I was expecting.

Gates 100-129

If you’re flying on Southwest or Alaska from these gates, there’s not much in the way of lounges. However, you’re able to eat at Cask and Larder, which was named the third best airport/regional restaurant in the United States a while back.  It even beat out One Flew South in Atlanta airport, which many bloggers feel is the best airport restaurant. Now that I’ve eaten at both, I can’t say that one is better than the other. I liked the meals at both places. Cask and Larder is more casual, while One Flew South is fancier (and more expensive, as well).

Cask-Larder_54_990x660

We’re very familiar with Cask and Larder as it was developed by the same people that run a local restaurant here called The Ravenous Pig. That restaurant barely missed making our list of favorite places to eat in Orlando outside of the theme parks, just because we couldn’t list all of our favorite places.

img_4850

So that’s the list of the lounges in Orlando airport. They’re generally good locations to find a quiet(er) place to relax before your flight and hopefully a place to plug in your devices.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

9 comments

How To Find Reviews & Info About Airport Lounges Around The World – Your Mileage May Vary November 29, 2017 - 2:01 pm

[…] and you want to know what lounges are there. Of course, you just could read Joe’s report on the lounges at MCO, but (and don’t tell him I’m saying this) (Note from Joe: I can see this!) you may be […]

Reply
JohnB June 7, 2019 - 12:20 am

Thanks for the info. We are flying out of MCO end of June. While we arrive early, we are meeting friends so we can leave the airport. But we’ll have a place to go when we come back for our late afternoon flight.

Reply
Michael Galt November 19, 2019 - 5:44 am

Hello – thanks for the article. I see that you didn’t mention sleeping pods or beds – is there no way to sleep in the airport if you have a flight the next day?

Reply
joeheg November 19, 2019 - 11:11 pm

Orlando Airport does not have sleeping pods or beds. There is a Hyatt Regency in the airport terminal if you need somewhere to sleep overnight. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking like “The Traveler”

Reply
Kris February 13, 2022 - 8:07 pm

I use the American Admiral’s Club at least 3-4 times per year, including multiple visits since July 2021. It’s bright, modern, and clean. The food offerings are pretty much standard fare for American – snack towers, soup, cheese, cookies. The MCO location does seem to have the full complement of pre-pandemic food options, such as they are. There’s basic snacks and drinks – including a Coke Freestyle machine if that’s your thing – available on the upper level (where you enter the lounge), and the bar is downstairs with table seating and more food options. You can order sandwiches and snacks at extra cost (prices competitive are with the food court). It’s certainly compact, but they have fit in a surprising amount and variety of seating and have loads of outlets. There’s a quiet room and several areas where you can easily set up a laptop to work. The restrooms (the women’s, at least!) are small but clean and well-maintained. I’m pretty sure they do not have showers. Even when busy, it’s a nice respite from the craziness of the terminal.

Reply
Julie March 20, 2022 - 7:26 pm

What side of gate area do JetBlue flights come in on

Reply
joeheg March 20, 2022 - 9:30 pm

JetBlue flights currently use gates 1-29.

Reply
Lance June 2, 2022 - 5:05 am

If I am flying Alaska will I be able to use the Club at MCO near gate 91 without having to go through security by switching over to the other people mover?

Reply
joeheg June 2, 2022 - 12:36 pm

Yes, you should be able to take the people mover back to the main terminal and change to the one for gates 100-129 post-security. However, the Southwest/Alaska gates are currently the nicest in the airport. You can grab a space at Cask & Larder where they have seats with plugs and hang out there.

Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: