If you’ll be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, be prepared.
Holiday flight costs are high, despite fewer bookings. And between gas costs for those traveling by car and potential complications for those flying, things could be interesting. If you’ll be heading to Orlando, there are some specific things you need to know about before that Thanksgiving travel.
According to the Orlando International Airport (MCO), the Thanksgiving travel period officially kicks off on November 18th and they’re expecting about 1.75 MILLION travelers to pass through MCO within the upcoming 12 days.
That would be the same level reached back in 2019 — which marked a record year for the airport. It would also mark an increase of 157 THOUSAND additional passengers compared to 2021 (10% increase). So yeah, prepare for crowds.
The following list shows the 12 days expected to be the busiest during the 2022 Thanksgiving season at MCO.
Top place goes to November 26th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But not far behind is Saturday, November 19th (the Saturday before Thanksgiving), and Sunday, November 27th (the Sunday after Thanksgiving).
If you are traveling through MCO on any of these dates, please go prepared. Give yourself a LOT of time to check in those bags, get through security, and get to your gate. MCO recommends arriving inside the terminal at MCO (if you’ll be flying out of MCO) at least 3 hours before your flight.
That might mean you’ll need to call your Uber way ahead of time so you can arrive early, arrange for different transportation, or otherwise change some of your plans around to give yourself the time you need.
Kevin Thibault, the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority shared, “Orlando International is ready for the increase.” The new Terminal C (which opened not that long ago) will help ease some of the overcrowding, and they’ve also put some new systems in place to help with parking.
Parking is expected to become a big issue, and the airport could reach capacity in ALL parking garages and its North Park Place and South Park Place parking lots. If all other lots fill up then West Park Place will open for additional parking. If you’re driving to MCO and seeking to park there, watch the MCO app for parking information.
You can also follow MCO on Twitter or other social media platforms to get the latest information or visit the MCO website.
Here are a few more tips if you’ll be flying during this busy season:
- Pack light (if possible)
- Be sure you’ve got everything ready to go ahead of the security checkpoints so you can move smoothly through that area (have your ID ready to go, etc.) (remember any electronics larger than a cell phone have to be taken out of your bag and put in a bin at the checkpoint)
- Check MCO’s app or social media pages to see checkpoint wait times
- Make sure all of your gels and liquids fit the requirements
- Wear shoes that you can remove easily so you can speed up the security process
- Consider buying an Airtag to place in your luggage so you can keep track of its location
- Pack a LOT of patience
- Download the app for your airline so you can stay up-to-date on any delays, cancelations, gate changes, etc.
We’ve got all kinds of air travel tips to help you survive upcoming travel.
- Click here to see our team’s BEST air travel tips
- See air travel tips that’ll change your life
- Check out our best tips for flying specifically through Orlando International Airport
- And take a look at the 21 things a former flight attendant NEEDS you to know
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more travel news and let you know what we find. Stay tuned for the latest updates!
Will you be flying through MCO this Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments.