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What Does MCO Stand for and What Airport is It?

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 7 minutes

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MCO is the airport code for Orlando International Airport, a major airline hub located in Central Florida. It is the 13th busiest airport in the United States by passenger traffic and offers flights to over 110 destinations around the world. Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, get all the information you need about this major transportation hub right here.

What Airport is MCO?

MCO stands for McCoy Air Force Base, the airport’s original name. MCO is currently the 13th busiest airport in the United States by passenger traffic and offers flights to over 110 destinations around the world. Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, MCO serves as a convenient stopping point for travelers throughout the Southeast.

Cheap MCO Airport parking

Location and History of MCO Airport

The predecessor to MCO, Orlando Municipal Airport, was established in 1928. It was a small airfield near downtown that was mostly utilized for military training flights. As commercial aviation expanded in the 1950s, the airport’s limitations became obvious. The airport was too small to handle the increased traffic, and its central location made expansion impossible.

In response to these problems, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority was created to oversee the building of a new airport. The new airport, known as the Orlando Jetport at McCoy, was built on a former Air Force installation in the city’s southeast. In 1976, the airport’s name was changed to Orlando International Airport.

MCO is now one of the world’s most modern and well-equipped airports. Many awards have been bestowed upon it for its design, amenities, and customer service. MCO is located 12 miles southeast of downtown Orlando, making it easily accessible to the city and its surrounding areas. Today, MCO boasts four concourses, over 150 shops, and other services catering to travelers. MCO covers more than 19 sq. miles and is one of the largest airports in the United States.

MCO Airport Terminals

The main terminal building at Orlando International Airport is massive and has north and south sides. It also has four airside concourses that can be reached by elevated people movers and a total of 93 gates. Airside 4 is where most international arrivals are handled, but Airside 1 and Terminal C also do some work.

  • Terminal A is the northern half of the main terminal. From there, you can take a tram to Airside 1 (Gates 1 to 29) and Airside 2 (Gates 100 to 129).
  • Terminal B is the southern half of the main terminal. From there, you can take a tram to Airside 3 (Gates 30 to 59) and Airside 4 (Gates 70 to 99).
  • Terminal C is made up of the south terminal complex, which has gates 230 to 245, and a tramway that goes to Terminals A and B before security.

What airlines fly out of MCO?

MCO Flights and Airlines
Main Terminal A Main Terminal B Terminal C
Alaska Airlines Aeromexico Aer Lingus
Avelo Airlines Air Canada Air Transat
Avianca Airlines American Airlines Azul
Breeze Bahamas Air British Airways
Copa Airlines Delta Air Lines Caribbean Airlines
Frontier Airlines LATAM Airlines Emirates
Interjet Rouge (Air Canada) Eurowings
LATAM Airlines Silver Airways GOL
Southwest Airlines Spirit Airlines Icelandair
Spirit Airlines Sun Country Airlines JetBlue
Virgin Atlantic United Airlines Lynx Air
Viva Air Norse
Volaris Sunwing Airlines

MCO Airport Amenities

Orlando International Airport has a lot of services and amenities to make sure travelers have a comfortable travel experience. A USO Lounge, Airline Club Lounges, family restrooms, and nursing rooms are among the amenities. There is also a fitness center on-site, as well as other dedicated spots throughout the airport for quiet reflection and prayer. When it comes to dining and shopping, MCO has a range of restaurants, quick food options, duty-free retailers, specialty retail shops, and more. Here’s a breakup:

  • Restaurants and cafes: MCO has more than 70 restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve American, Italian, Mexican, and Asian food, among others.
  • Duty-free shopping: At the airport’s international terminal, passengers can shop duty-free for a variety of luxury goods, cosmetics, and alcohol.
  • Retail stores: MCO has more than 90 stores that sell things like clothes, gifts, and electronics.
  • Lounges: The Delta Sky Club, the United Club, and the American Airlines Admirals Club are some of the lounges at MCO Airport.
  • Spa services: At the airport’s Be Relax Spa, people can relax and unwind with a massage, facial, or other spa services.
  • Services for families: MCO has a number of play areas for kids, as well as family bathrooms and places to change babies.
  • Wi-Fi: All of the terminal buildings at the airport have free Wi-Fi.
  • Pet relief: The airport has 7 pet relief areas, 4 indoors after security and 3 outdoor ones.
  • Therapy animals: MCO Paw Pilots, the airport’s therapy dog program helps ease travel-related stress by petting some very good doggos.

Essential Travel Tips for MCO Flyers

To ensure your trip to and from MCO is smooth and stress-free, here are a few essential travel tips:

  1. Arrive early: MCO, like any big airport, can have long lineups and delays, particularly during peak travel hours. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time for domestic flights and three hours before your scheduled departure time for international flights.
  2. Sign up for TSA PreCheck or CLEAR: If you travel frequently or want to skip long security lines, consider signing up for TSA PreCheck or CLEAR. These services allow you to travel through security in a dedicated lane while wearing your shoes, belts, and jackets.
  3. Prebook MCO airport parking: If you’re driving to the airport, don’t risk driving up without a reservation to find out the lots are full. Book an offsite MCO parking lot ahead and fly with peace of mind.
  4. Check your flight status: Before you arrive at the airport, check your MCO flight status and TSA wait times at MCO to ensure there are no delays or cancellations.
  5. Eat and drink well: Carry an empty water bottle to fill up after security, as staying hydrated is critical during air travel. MCO airport boasts a variety of dining options, so make sure you eat or snack before your journey.
  6. Keep travel docs handy: When you approach security and the gate, make sure you have your boarding card and ID handy. This can help you save time and avoid delays.
  7. Find an MCO hotel for longer layovers: If your layover is long, it’s best to book a room at any of the hotels near Orlando Airport.

Fun facts about MCO Airport

  • The central atrium of MCO airport is unusual for an airport in that it has a water fountain, palm trees, high ceilings, and an abundance of natural light.
  • The airport’s food court features a 3,000-gallon aquarium filled with marine life native to Florida, including stingrays and sharks.
  • The airport has an on-site hotel, the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, which offers guests direct access to the airport’s main terminal building.
  • MCO airport has an on-site wildlife control team that helps prevent bird strikes and other hazards to aircraft.
  • MCO Airport has some of the most colorful art installations in America, with even the airside carpet and terrazzo welcome mat being major focal points.
  • Orlando International Airport is known for its dedication to sustainability thanks to efforts like its usage of renewable energy from a solar farm and its scheme to recycle spent cooking oil from restaurants in and near the airport as biodiesel fuel for airport vehicles.

Are MCO and SFB the same airport?

No, MCO is Orlando International Airport while SFB is Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Is MCO closest to Disney World?

Yes, MCO is the closest airport to Disney Parks in Orlando.

Is MCO a small airport?

MCO Airport is one of the largest in America.

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