I’m in airports several times each month. Since 2010 Swarm has me checked in at over 500 of them. I actually enjoy airports, as it gives me a sense of the city that I’m in, even if I’m making a connection. Looking to try some great BBQ, then fly out of Memphis (MEM). Need a new pair of cowboy boots, connect at Dallas Love Field (DAL). If playing slots is your kink then McCarran International (LAS) will meet it.
My general rule when flying is that I leave for the airport 3 hours before my flight. If I’m in the Washington DC area, I give myself 24 hours, traffic sucks that bad. Our local flight hub is Orlando International Airport (MCO). It’s a great place to slay an hour or two before your flight. so here are a few things that you might not know about MCO.
1. The airport code for Orlando International Airport is MCO. Locals joke that MCO stands for “Mickey’s Corporate Office”. Since Walt Disney World is minutes from the airport it makes sense. Orlando International Airport really gained its airport code, MCO, from its former name. McCoy Air Force Base, which operated there until 1974/1975.
2. In 2016 42 million passengers flew through MCO, a new record! MCO welcomed 3.1 million additional passengers in 2016. That equates to an additional 8,531 new passengers per day on average. That equals 18 extra Boeing 747’s or an extra 39, A321 aircraft arriving every day at MCO.
3. Looking to brush up on your CPR skills? MCO offers a kiosk where you can practice. The kiosk has a touch screen with a short video that provides an overview of Hands-Only CPR. It’s followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice manikin, or a rubber torso, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions, as well as proper hand placement – factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.
4. If you need to apply for TSA Pre✓® then MCO is your place. The TSA Pre✓® Enrollment Center is located on the A-side of the terminal. It’s on Level 3, opposite SunTrust Bank, yes there’s an actual bank in the airport. Walk-ins are accepted, but document requirements, pre-enrollment and appointments may all be found on the TSA Pre✓® web site.
5. I have no idea why anyone would book a 6:00 AM flight, but if you do there’s a 445 room Hyatt Regency attached to MCO. Take some of that money you saved by booking the suicide flight out and stay at the Hyatt Regency the night before. Everyone you’re traveling with will thank you.
6. This is how pitiful my life is, I look forward to airport food. MCO offers a great selection, but it’s not always at your terminal. The main terminal offers Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express & Moe’s, just give yourself enough time to clear TSA.
7. MCO also offers a chance to “get your art on“. The art collection is comprised of works reflecting a variety of styles and media. The art connects the broad architectural spaces, light-filled areas, and green foliage to create a unique impression of Florida’s warmth, brightness and natural beauty. The art also serves as a wayfinding element for the airport’s passengers. The artists commissioned to create these works are of regional, national and international renown. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is solidly committed to a model program of Art in public places, with pieces distributed throughout the terminal complex.
Traveling shouldn’t introduce stress into your life, especially if you’re on vacation. Give yourself plenty of time to catch your flight. MCO provides an app that will give you a ballpark on wait times as well as allowing you to log where you parked.
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