When I posted my article about MCO’s press release advising passengers to allow more time at the TSA screening due to new security measures, I never expected to get so many responses about, essentially, how horrible that airport was. I mean, we heard things like…
I’ve traveled out of the country enough times to have a really good idea of how Immigration/Customs/Border Patrol works. I’ve also gone to the airport to pick up friends who are coming in from overseas, so I’ve had experience from that end, as well. And there’s one thing that just drives me insane, yet it would be so simple to fix if the Border Patrol people put just a little bit of thought into it…
Orlando International Airport, otherwise known as MCO in airline speak (Please don’t call it OIA. Well, you could. But you’d be wrong 😉 ), was a destination for over 47 million airline passengers in 2018, which made it the 10th busiest airport in the U.S. based on total passenger traffic, seeing more passengers than MIA. For many of those passengers, Orlando is their final destination and the need for them 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 has been stagnant (or even declining) over the past decade because leisure travelers weren’t the bread and butter customers for lounges. These lounges were designed with the business travelers in mind, giving them a place to be productive while waiting for their next flight.
Fortunately, times have changed and many more people have lounge access thanks to credit card benefits, so the lounges at MCO are finally starting to catch up.
We all know the process of getting through X-ray has become something of a time consuming organized chaos in the past several years. In fact, I’d put it up towards the top of the more stressful parts of air travel, up there with delays and the actual flight. Getting approved for TSA Pre✓® , Global Entry or CLEAR does help tremendously, but even then, there are people who are not super familiar with the modern-day process of going through X-ray, with or without those ways to get through the line faster, simply because they don’t fly very often, and sometimes that unfamiliarity can cause the line to snag even more.
For those of you who don’t fly often, or who knows anyone who doesn’t, here’s a list that might help:
Get your mouth and belly ready, travel friends, because May is Airport Restaurant Month and there are a bunch of airports all around the U.S. that are creating new and different menus only for this special event.