MIAMI – Orlando International Airport (MCO) expects a busy holiday as forecasts say that nearly 3 million passengers will move through its terminals during the winter season.
This represents a growth of 7% compared to last year’s holidays. According to the airport, December 23 is estimated to be the busiest day with approximately 155,000 passengers flying through the airport.
Orlando International Airport is the second-busiest airport in the state of Florida and the 13th-busiest airport in the U.S. by total passenger traffic in 2016. The airport serves as a hub for Silver Airways, as well as a focus city for Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines.
However, MCO officials are warning passengers about longer wait times this Christmas. “Pack your patience!” an airport news release said.
Flyers will probably have their first experience with the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, which is why MCO expects security to be one of the prominent obstacles during Christmas.
TSA is warning customers to arrive three hours before scheduled flights and not to bring liquids or gels greater than 3.4 ounces in carry-on luggage.
An airport spokeswoman, Carolyn Fennell, said the rise of passengers this holiday could be for “an improved economy and low gas prices;” customers spend more on traveling.
According to travel club AAA, 5.6 million Floridians will travel on average 50 miles for the holidays, from which 300,000 will fly, and another 210,000 will ride buses, trains, or cruise ships. The rest are expected to take road trips.
New Aerials: The first pictures after the opening of our Parking Garage C & South APM Complex. If you look closely, you'll see ground clearing for Terminal C, expected in 2020. We're delighted to have this new garage on board & look forward to what the future holds at MCO. ?️ pic.twitter.com/nC3Wg2Msz3
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) December 5, 2017
“Across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend – Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving,” said Travel club AAA. “2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel.”
Nevertheless, Florida has had a record-breaking year in the tourism industry. Despite Hurricane Irma, Visit Florida announced that 88.2 million visited the state during the first nine months of the year—a 3% increase from last year.
For the expected passenger traffic, MCO seems confident about parking. The new garage that opened last month has 1,700 parking slots more.
Nothing makes spirits brighter than saving money in your travels this holiday season. @travelbankhq has just ranked MCO #1 for the most-affordable airport parking rates in the U.S. ?
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) December 14, 2017