Published: October 21, 2009 at 6:27 PMI'm sorry, but I must vehemently disagree with Mr. Eliott's assessment of the TSA process at OIA. First of all, I'm unsure why they put the 'Frequent Traveler' & 'Families' signs out there because they are rarely adhered to by the flying populace, nor do the agents enforce it.
The setup they have is more like a cattle call than an organized series of lines. This can cause serious bottlenecks during times of high volume.
OIA could take a lesson from their friends down the road in Tampa. You don't go through the TSA screening until AFTER you ride the tram to the terminal, and they have two or three distinct lines for you to get in. It's a MUCH smoother process.
Published: October 21, 2009 at 6:39 PMAlso, it should also be noted that Sunpass (that toll box thingie) is no longer offered in 'box' format. It's a $4.99 sticker that gets permanently affixed to the windshield in order for it to work. Unless the local drug or grocery stores had the older style in stockpile, you'd be hard pressed to find one.
Unless Sunpass has changed back to the old box style again without telling me, (which is entirely possible). :) As a frequent driver of FL's toll roads, and one that gets new cars every 3-4 years, I'm glad I have the box that can move from car to car. I've often wondered if local car rental companies offered Sunpasses to their renters.
FYI, for those that have never driven from OIA to the theme parks, you WILL pay at least one toll to get to your destination, unless you want to take local roads and go a bit out of your way (and risk getting lost or confused). The 417 is the most expensive, it's the most direct to WDW, but it's also the least backed up.
Published: October 21, 2009 at 7:45 PMI really like the suggestion about taking shoes off the children to help them relax on the flight - - - Good one!
Published: October 22, 2009 at 5:00 AMInteresting read. I was just went through there last month with my wife (6 months pregnant at the time) and my two year old daughter. The airport is amazing. Everything is a breeze when you are there. I have never had issues with security. The family option is great!
I don't know, I guess since I live in the Boston area and have to deal with Logan airport, I see anything else as an improvement, which is why I am so impressed by Orlando.
Published: October 22, 2009 at 8:30 AMI have flown into OIA 5 times in the past 2 years and in my opinion I feel that traveling into OIA is a breeze and that everything usually goes according to plan...
Leaving from OIA is another story. We are the 'typical' Disney vacation family. The family that goes for a week and usually arrives on a Saturday and leaves on a Saturday. If you rent a car then you really should plan on getting to the airport about 2 1/2 hours before your domestic flight. The line at the security checkpoint for us has been at least 30 minutes on 3 of the 5 occasions. We have flown Southwest 4 out of the 5 times and the line to check bags has been about 45 minutes 3 out of the 4 times. The rental drop off surprisingly is fairly quick, maybe 10-15 minutes. So between checking bags, dropping off your rental and going through security you are talking about 90 minutes. Then you still have to take the tram over and walk to your gate.
Published: October 22, 2009 at 8:36 AMMCO (OIA) is one airport I wouldn't mind having a lay over in...too bad it is usually a destination. A fun airport to spend time in!
Published: October 25, 2009 at 3:25 PMi am from scotland and lots of british and irish visitors fly into Sanford as apposed to Orlando International. do you have any advice for people like myself who use that specific airport?
Published: October 26, 2009 at 11:25 PMMy biggest tip for the Orlando airport would be NOT to depend on the flight information posted on the big electronic board outside security. One time our flight home was listed as delayed a couple of hours (I don't recall the exact time frame), so we hung out in that "lobby" area (near the Disney, Universal, and Kennedy Space Center stores). We finally went through security with plenty of time to spare (according to the time posted), caught the tram, and made our way to our gate about the time we figured boarding would begin. The boarding area was completely empty, and the gate agent called out to us, to verify if we were the two passengers she was looking for. We said yes, and she said "Get on the plane NOW!" We ran over and just barely made our flight -- which was leaving at least a half-hour earlier than the posted "delayed to" time. So my advice is: even if your flight is listed as "delayed," go to your gate anyway!