Orlando Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Orlando International Airport

Orlando International Airport is the city's primary airport, and the second busiest airport in the state in terms of passenger traffic. The airport is located to the southeast of downtown but is conveniently located with respect to the region and area attractions. Orlando International Airport is a focus city (or minor hub) for Frontier Airlines (serving about 10-12 cities), JetBlue Airways (20-25 cities), & Southwest Airlines (40-45 cities), all of which fly numerous routes to/from Orlando. Furthermore, Delta Air Lines offers 10-15 1.5-hour flights daily between Orlando and their mega-hub in Atlanta and American Airlines has around 10 45—minute flights a day to their Miami hub. Non-stop service is offered to nearly every major city east of the Mississippi and to several major western cities (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, & Denver). With Orlando's status as a major vacation destination, most airlines fly to Orlando from nearly all of their hubs (and with multiple daily flights from hubs east of the Mississippi River). The busiest domestic routes (Aug 2011-Jul 2012) from Orlando are Atlanta (1.3 million passengers on Delta or Southwest/AirTran), New York-JFK (700,000 passengers on American, Delta, & JetBlue), Philadelphia, Newark, Detroit, Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, & Baltimore.

Daily flights to Europe are offered by Virgin Atlantic (London-Gatwick & Manchester), British Airways (London-Gatwick), & Lufthansa (Frankfurt). Multiple flights per week are flown to Dublin (Aer Lingus) and Glasgow (Virgin Atlantic, seasonally). To South America, there are daily flights to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (TAM), São Paulo-Guarulhos (twice daily on TAM; seasonally on Whitejets), & Bogota (Avianca, Jet Blue) and seasonal service to Santiago, Chile (LAN). Over a dozen Canadian destinations are served non-stop, many seasonally. Calgary, Montreal, & Toronto are served year-round. Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, London, Moncton, Ottawa, Quebec, Saint John's, & Winnipeg are served seasonally. Destinations in the Caribbean and Central America are: Aruba (Southwest); Cancún, Mexico (JetBlue); Kingston, Jamaica (Carri bean); Marsh Harbour, the Bahamas (United); Mexico City (AeroMexico, Volaris); Montego Bay, Jamaica (JetBlue, Southwest); Monterrey, Mexico (VivaAerobus, seasonally); Nassau, the Bahamas (Bahamasair, JetBlue); Panama City (Copa); Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean); San Jose, Costa Rica (JetBlue); San Salvador, El Salvador (Taca); & Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (JetBlue). The airport was approved in 2012 to operate flights to Cuba. Orlando International regularly sees Boeing 747s from Virgin, British Airways, & Lufhansa; however, and despite being one of the first prepared to handle it, there has yet to be an A380 seen on routes to/from MCO.

Orlando International is structured into two components, landside and airside. There is a central landside terminal (one building divided into sides "A" and "B"), containing airline counters, baggage claim, rental agencies, numerous shops, and a hotel. This central terminal is connected via trams to four other terminals, known as Airside 1-4, with the airplane gates. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in both the central terminal and the airsides.

Security screening is performed in the central landside terminal before taking the tram to the airsides and, as in all U.S. airports, only ticketed passengers are allowed past security. Security lines can become extremely long (1 hr), especially during the summer tourist season and near holidays. Combined with long check-in lines, it is advisable to arrive 2-3 hours before your scheduled departure.

Orlando is the "rental car capital of the world" and, as can be expected, there are many car rental agencies offering a large number and wide range of vehicles for rental. Additionally, there are numerous car rental agencies located off-site which provide free airport transfers from their location and may offer lower prices (See OIA website). Rental agencies at the airport are: Advantage Rent A Car (+1 407-857-1999), Alamo (+1 800-327-9633), Avis (+1 800-831-2847), Budget (+1 800-527-0700), Dollar Car Rental (Domestic: +1 800-800-4000, International: +1 800-800-6000), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (+1 800-325-8007), E-Z Rent A Car (+1 800-277-5171), Hertz Car Rental (+1 800-654-3131), L and M Car Rental (+1 407-888-0515), National (+1 800-227-7368), Thrifty (+1 800-367-2277). Beware: Several gas stations near the airport prey on visitors topping off the tanks of rental cars by charging extraordinarily high prices ($2-3/gallon above local prices)! The practice has made national news and all stations are now required to display their prices on road-side displays. Nonetheless, there are still many unsuspecting visitors who are shocked to pull up to a gas pump with regular unleaded gas for $6.50/gallon, when stations 2-3 miles away are charging just $3.50!!

Public transportation in the Orlando area is provided by Lynx (, +1 407-841-5969) bus system. Lynx buses can be found on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1) of the Main Terminal's "A" side at Commercial Lane spaces A38-A41. Fares are $2/ride with free transfers within 90 minutes. Day passes are $4.50 and a 7-day pass costs $16. Discounted fares for Youth/Elderly requires riders to present a Lynx-issued ID, available only by applying at the Central Station Terminal with a 5-7 day turnaround and therefore not viable for short-term visitors. Routes (known as links) from the airport are:

Link 11—Downtown Orlando (Map/Schedule; departures every 40 minutes between 6AM-midnight M-F, 6AM-10PM Sa, & 6:30AM-9:30PM Su/holidays)
Link 41—Apopka (Map/Schedule; departures between 5:15AM-22:45PM M-Sa & 5:30AM-21:30PM Su/holidays)
Link 42—International Drive (Map/Schedule; departures every 60 minutes between 5:30AM-11:30PM M-Sa, 6:30AM-11PM Su/holidays)
Link 51—Downtown Orlando (Map/Schedule; departures every 40 minutes between 5:30AM-10:30PM M-Sa, 5:15AM-9PM Su/holidays)
Link 111—Walt Disney World (Map/Schedule; departures every 75 minutes between 5AM-midnight daily/holidays)

Almost every medium to high priced hotel in the city offers airport transfers. Additionally, there are several shuttle services options that run from the airport to various points, including Kissimmee, theme parks, University of Central Florida, and the cruise port at Port Canaveral. Approximate rates for shuttle vans range from $18-26 depending on your destination (see OIA website for details on local transport). You may wish to contact your hotel to inquire about discounts on certain shuttles or possibly free airport transfers.

Disney's Magical ExpressPhone: +1 407 939-6244Complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Advance reservations are required.
Mears TransportationPhone: +1 407 423-5566Provides shuttle service from Orlando International to many hotels in and around the region, including those in the Disney area that are not served by Magical Express.
InterPlex Transportation - OrlandoPhone: +1 888 398-5392Provides limousine and car services from Orlando International Airport.

Out-of-town shuttles provide service to destinations within about 1-2 hours' drive. These shuttles are prohibited from serving Orange, Seminole, and northern Osceola counties. A full, up-to-date list of these may be found on the OIA website.

Taxi Cabs/Vans may carry up to 9 passengers/luggage and may be found on the Ground Transportation Level (Level) of both the "A" and "B" sides of the Main Terminal. Rates are determined by a taximeter, regardless of the number of passengers, and flat fares are prohibited. Taxi Cab companies at the airport include: Ace Metro/Luxury Cab (+1 407-855-1111); Diamond Cab Company (+1 407-523-3333); Quick Cab (+1 407-447-1444); Star Taxi (+1 407-857-9999); Town & Country Transport (+1 407-828-3035); & Yellow/City Cab (+1 407-422-2222).

Located inside the landside terminal is the


Orlando-Sanford International Airport

A secondary airport which serves the Orlando area is the Orlando-Sanford International Airport located in Sanford, a city just to the northeast of Orlando, the side of Orlando opposite most attractions. The airport is a hub for the small carrier Allegiant Air, which flies to smaller cities and secondary airports across the Eastern U.S & Canada.

The airport is owned by a European company and, as a result, has strong ties to European charter and holiday airlines. Service between Orlando Sanford International and Europe includes: Monarch Airlines (London-Gatwick & Manchester; seasonally to Belfast-International, Cardiff, Glasgow-International, & Newcastle upon Tyne); Thomas Cook Airlines (Manchester; seasonally to Belfast-International, Glasgow-International, & London-Gatwick); Thomson Airways (Birmingham, London-Gatwick, Manchester; seasonally to Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, & Newcastle upon Tyne); Arkefly (Amsterdam); and Icelandair (Reykjavik, seasonal). Monarch, Thomas Cook, & Thomson flights can only be booked round-trip, originating in Europe; passengers cannot book outbound flights from Orlando-Sanford on these airlines.

Rental car agencies located on-site are:

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

Taxi service is available from

. Shuttles are available from and
Regional airports

Other regional airports within an hour and a half drive include Daytona Beach International Airport ( ; served by Delta to Atlanta and US Airways to Charlotte) & Melbourne International Airport ( ; served by Delta to Atlanta, US Airways to Charlotte, & Baer Air to Marsh Harbour, Bahamas). In addition, Orlando area visitors who plan on visiting the Gulf Coast may consider flying into Tampa International Airport, about 80 mi (130 km) west of Orlando or just over an hour's drive, as it is less crowded and a bit easier to access via road.

If you plan on visiting more than just Orlando and plan on taking international flights, you may want to consider flying via Miami International Airport, a 200 mi (320 km) and a 2-3 hour drive south of Orlando, which offers more international flights and is the largest U.S. gateway for flights to South/Central America & the Caribbean.

General aviation

All persons flying via general aviation should consider arriving via Orlando Executive Airport which is six miles east of downtown and about 10 or so miles (16 km) north of Orlando International Airport. Orlando Executive serves general aviation (95%) and air taxi (5%) exclusively. Additionally, Orlando Sanford International serves general aviation alongside its commercial use.

Orlando Executive Airport provides 24-hour service through two fixed based operators, SheltAir Aviation Services and Showalter Flying Services. Air taxi and air charter companies such as Jetset Charter fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream's down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.

By train

Orlando has an Amtrak station that provides service to other destinations such as Miami, but also connects to other points as far north as New York via the Silver Star and Silver Meteor lines.

In nearby Sanford, the southern terminus of the Amtrak Auto Train which carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link from Orlando to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

By bus

ATC Buses, 3916 Scotsboro Ct, . Offers bus charter transportation to and from the Orlando Airport to Port Canaveral Cruises and hotels in the Orlando-Sanford area.

Greyhound, 555 N John Young Pkwy, . Visitors arriving by Greyhound can go south on SR-423 to I-4 to get to the major attractions.

Runways Transportation Company, Orlando International Airport, Terminal A, Level 1, Spaces A15-A16, . Runways offers daily intercity shuttle service to Gainesville, University of Florida, and Jacksonville International Airport.

Megabus, LYNX Central Station, . Service from Atlanta (three times daily), Jacksonville (once daily), and Gainesville (twice daily).

source: Wikivoyage

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