My Airport History: Orlando (MCO)

Hyatt lobby at MCO.

Orlando International Airport
Orlando, Florida, United States
First visit: 30 November 2009

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with MCO.

Orlando has made its way into my top five most visited airports, and it’s the only one to have done so entirely as a destination. (Dallas/Fort Worth has a lot of destination visits for me, but it has many more visits as a layover.) In other words, I go to Orlando quite often—I work doing acquisition of flight simulators, and Orlando is a large modeling and simulation hub.

In theory, I should really like MCO.

But with all that, if I were asked to name my least favorite airport, Orlando would be a strong contender, purely due to the lines and the atmosphere.

Orlando is, of course, a world-class tourist destination; when I’m traveling there for work, I often feel a bit like a fish out of water. The airport is not targeted at me; it has all of the noisy excitement of a theme park, but if I’m traveling for yet another central Florida office visit, it’s difficult to get caught up in the vacation enthusiasm. What’s left is an airport that’s hard to do work in and has huge lines everywhere—rental car counters, check-in, security, you name it.

MCO airfield and parking at sunrise.

That said, it does have great views from the terminal-top parking garage.

Orlando Survival Guide

It is at least possible to mitigate a lot of the problems I have with the airport; here are a few of my tips.

A rainbow over MCO.
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