Orlando International Airport – How To Survive

Orlando International Airport MCO is the gateway to a ton of attractions from Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, Sea World,…

Orlando International Airport MCO is the gateway to a ton of attractions from Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, Sea World, and other parks. To experience everything that Orlando has to offer you need to survive one of the craziest airports I’ve ever experienced, Orlando International. I’m going to offer you the critical tips and suggestions to make coming in and out of MCO a smooth experience.

Orlando International Airport Overview

Orlando International Airport is home to an extensive amount of airlines.

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air Transat
  • Alaska
  • American Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Azul
  • BahamasAir
  • British Airways
  • Caribbean Airlines
  • CopaAirlines
  • Delta
  • Edelweiss
  • Emirates
  • Eurowings
  • Frontier
  • IcelandAir
  • JetBlue
  • Lufthansa
  • Magni Charters
  • Miami Air
  • Norwegian
  • Silver Airways
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • SunCountry
  • Sunrise
  • Sunwing
  • Thomas Cook
  • United
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Volaris
  • WestJet
  • World Atlantic Airlines

MCO has over 120 gates but you will likely be at Terminal A or B. I recommend always looking up your gate location before getting to the airport. There’s a lot of distractions and you can easily get lost in this airport.


As you probably already know, Orlando International Airport is the busiest airport I’ve ever encountered. For instance, I’ve encountered TSA and security lines as long as 2 hours here so plan accordingly! I recommend purchasing Clear and TSA PreCheck. Therefore, the combination of both Clear and TSA PreCheck can shave off hours from your normal Orlando Airport time allowing you to enjoy some of the finer things at the Airport. 

Orlando International Airport Lounging

Orlando International Airport has lots of cool things to do once checked in. My first stop is typically a lounge to enjoy some free drinks and food and just kick my feet up. 

MCO has five lounges that you can access if you have a membership.

  • American Airlines – Admirals Club – Airside 3
  • Delta Air Lines – Sky Club – Airside 4 
  • The Club at MCO – Airside 1 & Airside 4 

If you’re Military affiliated, Orlando International has a great USO Welcome Center in the main terminal that you can use.

Getting Around

orlando international airport hertz

MCO is very rideshare friendly, so using a service like Uber or Lyft is really easy. Orlando Airport even has a dedicated rideshare area to gain access. Next, I recommend renting a car. Hertz is a short walk from the terminals and makes returning your rental smooth.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information check out our disclosure policy.

  • i think you should do a series on surviving ALL the airports… next up LAX and CHI. They need a guide! LOL

  • We must have been lucky the few times we’ve been at Orlando International, we never had security lines that long, but I can see how it could easily get that way.

  • Oh great! I’m so glad I read this as we have an international flight departing out of Orlando coming up, and I’ve never gone through there. Thank you! 🙂

  • This is great! Having been to Orlando countless times it can be very crowded and the adult to child ratio is a little different then other airports 🙂

  • I plan on traveling to Disney in 2021, I’ll be pinning this for tips to survive the airport!

  • I haven’t flown to Orlando. Strangely, our longest lines were in Kansas City. We flew to LAX last summer, and it was so easy to deal with compared to our departure city of KC! Great tips!

  • I have waited in some of those horrendous lines at Orland International. They are no fun! Now we have TSA PreCheck. I need to get Clear and Global Entry. I hope the next time I travel to Orlando it is smooth sailing.

  • One thing I love about the MCO airport is that there is a Hyatt Hotel inside the airport. We stayed there last time and loved it!

  • This is great information. I have actually started flying out of PBI since MCO is so popular. The lines are intense!

  • I loved Orlando airport. The tram ride is so cool. I left my stuffed toy at the shuttle counter. And, they delivered to my hotel.

  • Airport survival is the least talked about tip needed for travel! I always breathe a sigh of relief once we get through TSA!

  • Great tips as MCO can be very busy…and who wants to waste time in those lines when there’s so much to do in Orlando.

  • Great post! I always fly out of Atlanta and I feel like I know that airport well despite its busy-ness and size. Bookmarking for future reference.

  • I love this guide. There should definitely be one for Atlanta too. And this is a good reminder to get Clear. Thanks!

  • Great post! And I love this idea, I have been to so many airports and they are all so different, very handy knowing the differences!

  • I always choose TPA if I can when choosing between the two. While both airports are nice you are so right about the crowds. I’m surprised they haven’t found a better system yet. You have a lot of great tips!

  • I am MCO 4-5 times a year and never have an issue. It is a pretty well-run airport, especially if you have TSA pre-check!

  • I’ve not been to the Orlando International Airport, but if it’s anything like Hartsfield, I’ll pass haha

  • I’m forwarding this post to my friends that are flying into Orlando. Thank you for your helpful tips.