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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Click headings to reveal answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Checking In

How early does the airport open?
The airport is open 24 hours per day; however, each airline sets its own hours of operation which is dictated by its flight schedule, therefore please contact your airline directly to determine how early you may check-in for a flight.

How long before my flight should I arrive at the airport?
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority recommends arriving two hours before a domestic departure, or three hours before an international departure (or a domestic departure connecting to an international flight at another U.S. airport), but please check directly with your airline for specific recommendations.

Does my child need an I.D. card?
Children under 18 years of age usually are not required to have a photo ID for domestic flights; however, as each airline has its own requirements, please contact your airline directly to confirm its ID requirement for minors. If you do need to obtain a photo ID for you or your child, they can be obtained from a number of suppliers.

Getting Around

How do I cross the terminal from Baggage Claim A to Baggage Claim B?
Terminal A and Terminal B are opposite sides of the same building, which is only 525 feet across. Crossing from Terminal A to Terminal B (or vice versa) can be done on Level 3 of the terminal building.  If you have descended to the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level (Level 2), you may return to the Departures Level (Level 3) with your baggage then cross to Terminal A (or Terminal B).

Can I go to an Airside Terminal (Gate Area) that I'm not departing from (arriving at)?
You will only be allowed through the security checkpoint for the Airside Terminal (Gate Area) that you are departing from. However, due to the configuration of the airport, it is possible to access either Airsides 1 AND 3 (Gates 1-59), OR Airsides 2 AND 4 (Gates 70-129) once you have passed through the security checkpoint for your airside. 
Similarly on arrival, you may access either Airsides 1 AND 3 (Gates 1-59), OR Airsides 2 AND 4 (Gates 70-129) depending on the Airside on which you arrive, by switching AGTs (trains) in Terminal A or Terminal B. If you wish to access the other Airside Terminal which is paired with yours, go directly to the other AGT (train) as soon as you disembark in terminal - do not go past the security checkpoint and out into Terminal A (or Terminal B) otherwise you will NOT be allowed back through security to access the other Airside Terminal.
Please note that this may not be possible during certain times of the day for security reasons while international passengers are arriving in the terminal.

Switching from one AGT (Train) to Another

How far do I have to walk through the airport?
Golf carts are not available for transporting passengers. In Terminal A and B passengers may use the elevators, escalators and moving walkways to minimize walking distances. The roll-on/roll-off AGT (train) then transports passengers between Terminal A (or B) and the Airside Terminals (Gates Areas). The minimum and maximum walking distance on each airside are as follows:

Airside Terminal
Minimum
Maximum
Airside 1 (Gates 1-29)
Airside 3 (Gates 30-59)
Airside 4 (Gates 70-99)
Airside 2 (Gates 100-129)
515 feet/157 meters
479 feet/146 meters
467 feet/142 meters
200 feet/61 meters
812 feet/247 meters
903 feet/275 meters
944 feet/288 meters
600 feet/183 meters

How do I request assistance for elderly/minor/disabled passengers?
Skycaps are available to assist passengers. Typical services include curbside check-in, carrying baggage, wheelchair assistance, etc. Please contact your particular airline to arrange for assistance from its skycaps. It is customary to tip skycaps a few dollars for service provided.

How do I request a wheelchair?
If you require a wheelchair, please contact your airline in advance and they should be able to provide a wheelchair for your use within the airport. If you require one for the duration of your stay, please email Visit Orlando or visit their web site. They should be able to provide you with a list of companies offering such a service.

While You're Waiting

Where are the best places for aircraft spotting?
On completion of a "Use of Facilities Form", aircraft spotting/photography is permitted on Level 9 of the Terminal Top Parking Garage, which provides a panoramic view of most of the airfield and airside terminal buildings. The form must be completed in person, and accompanied by a valid photo I.D., between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), at the Public Affairs office, located on the 3rd level of Terminal A in the Aviation Authority Executive Offices (to the left of the East Security Checkpoint for Gates 70-129).

What can I do while waiting for my flight?
Orlando International Airport offers many ways to pass the time while waiting for your flight. In addition to the numerous shops, restaurants and bars in Terminal A, Terminal B and Airside Terminal buildings (Gate Areas), the hotel atrium between Terminal A and Terminal B provides a very pleasant "city park" atmosphere where you can sit and watch the world go by. The terminal top parking garage is also one of the highest points around, and provides excellent views of the airfield, downtown Orlando, and the attractions, including the nightly fireworks displays.

Is wireless internet (Wi-Fi) access available in the terminal?
Wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) is available in all public areas of the airport and is provided free of charge. These Access Points provided by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) use the SSID "Internet". Other access points and peer-to-peer connections which may be listed as available networks are NOT provided by GOAA.
Please note that "personal hotspot" devices interfere with the airport’s free Wi-Fi and so if you experience poor performance on the airport "Internet" SSID, please try moving to another location away from other passengers’ active devices, and please help us conserve bandwidth by turning off personal hotspots when not in use.
Cellular/PCS wireless is also available from AT&T, Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Nextel has declined the opportunity to participate.
There are also several kiosks which offer travelers internet connections, in addition to the standard dial service offered by the phone company via the RJ-11 jacks in the pay phones.

Is there a chapel/church services inside the terminal?
Orlando International Airport has a chapel inside the terminal, located just beyond the west security checkpoint (Gates 1-59), which can be accessed by any passenger holding a boarding pass.

Where can I smoke in the terminal?
As of July 1, 2003, in accordance with State law, Orlando International Airport became a non-smoking facility.

Picking Up/Dropping Off

How can I find out if a flight has arrived?
Please use our live flight information display, call 407-825-TIME (8463) or contact the airline directly to determine whether a specific flight has arrived.

Where is the best place to meet passengers arriving in Orlando?
There are a number of places which are recommended for meeting arriving passengers:

  1. In the Express Pick-Up location underneath Terminal A or Terminal B
  2. Under the Flight Information Display Boards in either the East Hall (Hotel Atrium) for gates 70-129, or the West Hall (Great Hall) for gates 1-59
  3. By the fountain in the East Hall (Hotel Atrium), which is surrounded with benches
  4. In the baggage claim area for the airline being flown.  Please check here to determine which baggage claim is used by each airline
  5. On the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Curb (Level 2) outside baggage claim (please note that cars may not be stationary in this area unless actively loading/unloading passengers and/or baggage, therefore please allow at least 20 minutes after aircraft arrival time to allow for passengers to transfer to Terminal A (or Terminal B), and exit the baggage claim area)
  6. In one of the restaurants or bars in Terminal A or Terminal B
  7. In McCoy's Bar & Grill, Hemispheres Restaurant, or the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport at the east end of the terminal
Please see the Airport Terminal page or the Arrivals Guide on our web site to find these locations.

Can I meet passengers at the gate?
Although only ticketed passengers are allowed through security and out to the airside terminals (gate areas), it is possible to have gate passes issued to non-travelers under certain circumstances. These are issued at the airline's discretion, so please go to your airline's ticket counter, provide a valid photo ID, and the airline will determine whether they are able to issue you a pass based on your particular circumstances.

Can I pick-up passengers outside baggage claim?
Picking up passengers at the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Curb (Level 2) outside Terminal A or Terminal B is still permitted; however, vehicles may not be stationary unless actively loading passengers and/or baggage, and under no circumstances may vehicles be left unattended. Therefore please use the FREE! Cell Phone Lot and allow at least 20 minutes after aircraft arrival time (30 minutes if passenger has checked baggage) to allow for passengers to transfer to Terminal A or Terminal B, and exit the baggage claim area. To determine on which Terminal (A or B) your airline operates, please visit the Airlines page of our web site.

Can I drop-off passengers without parking?
Private vehicles may drop domestic passengers off at the curbside check-in on the Departures Level (Level 3) of either Terminal A or Terminal B. If you wish to park after dropping off passengers and luggage, follow signs to either Economy Parking or use the "Quick Park" ramp (located on the left, at the end of the Departures Curb) to access the Terminal Garage Parking.
Although dropping off passengers on the curb outside Terminal A or Terminal B is still permitted, vehicles may not be stationary unless actively unloading passengers and/or baggage, and under no circumstances may vehicles be left unattended.

At which terminal (A or B) do I pick up/drop off passengers?
To determine on which Terminal (A or B) your airline operates, please visit the Airlines page of our web site.

Ground Transportation

Which hotel is closest to the airport?
The Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport is located inside the East Hall, between Terminal A and Terminal B, at Orlando International Airport.

Which hotels offer free transportation to/from the airport?
Please see the Local Hotels page of our web site for a list of hotels offering free airport shuttles.

How much does it cost to park at the airport?
Please see the Parking page of our web site for a list of the parking options at Orlando International Airport.

Can I leave my bicycle at the airport?
Yes. Bicycle racks are provided at Terminal A, at the east end of the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1).

Security

What can I take in my carry-on baggage?
Please see the Security page of our web site for details of permitted and prohibited items, special items, disabilities/medical conditions, etc.

To whom should I report items missing from my baggage?
Please contact your airline directly regarding your missing item(s) as directed on your ticket or baggage receipt. Claims for missing items may also be filed with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for the screening of passengers and baggage at all U.S. airports.
You may also file a report with the Orlando Police Department, which has jurisdiction over thefts which occur at the Orlando International Airport. This may be done by calling the Orlando Police Department Information Desk, which is available 24 hours per day, at (407) 246-2470.

To whom should I direct security-related comments?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now responsible for security checkpoints at all U.S. airports, therefore all checkpoint security related comments should be directed to the TSA at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov, at 1-866-289-9673, or via its web site at www.tsa.gov

International Visitors

Can I get my sales tax refunded at the airport?
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web site (www.cbp.gov), foreign visitors to the United States frequently confuse the state sales tax with value-added tax (VAT). The state sales tax is a small tax on purchases or services, calculated at the time of purchase, which the individual states assess and which the U.S. federal government neither determines nor receives. VAT, on the other hand, is a national tax commonly applied in foreign countries that is included in the actual sales price of an item. The United States does not have a VAT, and the federal government cannot refund state sales taxes. Some states do not charge tax on items shipped out of state, therefore please ask about sales-tax policies in the state where you make your purchases.

Can I bring baby formula into the U.S.?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the majority of milk products originating from countries affected with Foot and Mouth Diseases are prohibited; however, Plant Protection and Quarantine has been instructed to provide some exceptions including "Milk and milk products intended for use by infants or very young children are enterable (into the U.S.) if in a reasonable or small quantity for several days' use".
For more information on this topic please visit the USDA Animal Product Manual website.
For information specific to importation of milk and other dairy products in passenger baggage, please see: Importations of Milk and Other Diary Products on Page A - 1- 5.

Can I bring animal products/foodstuffs into the U.S.?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) regulates the importation of animals and animal-derived materials to ensure that exotic animal and poultry diseases are not introduced into the United States. For more information please see the APHIS web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports_anproducts.shtml

Can I bring alcohol (including homemade wine) into the U.S.?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) regulates the importation of animals and animal-derived materials to ensure that exotic animal and poultry diseases are not introduced into the United States. For more information please see the APHIS web site at https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/190/~/bringing-alcohol-%28including-homemade-wine%29-to-the-u.s.-for-personal-use

Pets/Service Animals

Where can I walk my dog while at the airport?
Dogs are not permitted in Orlando International Airport unless they are either working dogs, or they are in a carrier approved for traveling onboard an aircraft. Service Animal Relief Areas are available on Level 2 of both terminals. The “A” side area is located at the far East end of the building (to the right as you exit the building). The “B” side area is located at the far West end of the building (to the right as you exit the building).

What requirements are there for traveling with/transporting a pet?
Before traveling with a pet you should review the APHIS web site. If you are importing pets from another state, please review the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services web site.

Who do I contact to ship a pet as cargo?
There are many companies that do this, including the airlines and cargo handling companies listed on our website, as well as AirAnimal, a company specializing in transporting pets.

Where do I go to pick up a pet shipped as cargo?
Pets which are shipped rather than carried on-board the aircraft by a passenger are generally handled through the cargo facility for the airline, not in the passenger terminal, so please contact your airline or cargo handling company directly for details of where to drop-off/pick up your pet.

Other

How do I contact Lost & Found?
Please visit the Lost & Found page of our web site.

Where can I leave my luggage?
Unfortunately, due to changes in federal security requirements, the baggage lockers and baggage check facilities at Orlando International Airport have closed.

Which is the closest airport to Orlando? Disney World?

    Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to the world-famous Central Florida attractions (20 miles), the Orange County Convention Center (13 miles), International Drive (13 miles), downtown Orlando (12 miles), and so much more...

    Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) is located near downtown Orlando, but is a general aviation airport and is not served by commercial airlines.

    Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB) is 33 miles from Orlando International Airport, and 60 miles from Disney World, along toll road SR 417 which takes you right past......Orlando International Airport!

    Orlando International Airport (MCO), the airport that lands you closest to your final destination, wherever that happens to be in Orlando.


How do I find out about job opportunities at the airport?
Applications must be completed online, but must be submitted for specific job opportunities which are currently open, as stated in the Application Procedure, which can be found on the web site, along with our current job postings. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority only recruits for the Aviation Authority, employment opportunities with the other organizations at Orlando International Airport, such as airlines, cleaners, concessions, parking, etc. are handled by each separate organization that must be contacted directly (see the Employment Guide for more details).

Can you tell me how much it costs to fly to Orlando?
Unfortunately the Aviation Authority cannot provide airfare information. You may review the Flight Schedules on our web site, but then we suggest you contact the airlines, a travel agent, or use an online reservation system to obtain airfare and seat availability information.

Can you tell me what all these acronyms/jargon means?
Please see the Glossary page of our web site for an explanation of many of the abbreviations, acronyms and jargon used throughout this web site and the aviation industry in general.

Where can I rent a cellular/mobile phone?
Airport Wireless, in the North Walk Shops supply high-tech accessories, and may be contacted at (407) 825-6475, while some of the rental car agencies also offer cellular/mobile phone rental to their customers. Alternatively we suggest you contact the Visit Orlando who should be able to provide you with a list of local companies offering such a service.

Can I get a temporary disabled parking permit while in Orlando?
If you are in possession of a disabled parking permit, you may obtain a temporary permit for use in Florida during your stay. Permits are issued by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles from their Motor Vehicle Services offices. The closest office to the airport is located at 8185 Lee Vista Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32829, telephone number (407) 836-4145, and is open Monday - Friday 8:30-5:00. To obtain a permit, you must:
  • Be present at the office to provide your signature
  • Have your out-of-state/country parking permit
  • Have a letter from your doctor stating your need for a permit for the duration of your vacation
  • Pay $15
How do I charter an aircraft/helicopter?
The quickest way to get quotes for your charter is either call an aircraft charter company directly or call a broker that deals with charters. Any number of them will show up on an internet search for "Aircraft Charter." The beauty of aircraft charter is that the company does not need to be based at your departure airport because the aircraft are constantly in use and widely distributed.

How did the airport get the designator "MCO"?
Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy
The airport designator code "MCO" comes from the former McCoy Air Force Base, named after Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, on which site, located at -81.08W 28.96 N, and at 113 feet (34 meters) above sea level, Orlando International Airport now stands.

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