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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Orlando International Airport Gets Ready For Record Levels Of Thanksgiving Holiday Travellers

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Orlando International Airport is getting ready to welcome a record amount of passengers this Thanksgiving holiday travel period, with the number of passengers between November 18 and 29 expected to reach 1.75 million.

This is the same milestone reached previously in 2019, a record year.

The busiest day at MCO is projected to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving with approximately 165,100 passengers, and the airport is warning travellers to expect heavy traffic around the airport, and with tens of thousands of passengers transiting through the airport, the advise is to arrive early.

Plus, as this is also the first major travel holiday since the new $2.8 billion Terminal C opened, passengers are also being reminded that if they have a flight leaving from Terminal C, to plan accordingly because it’s different now than if you’re coming into Terminals A and B.

Thanksgiving Traffic Expected To Reach Record Levels At Orlando International Airport

During a news conference Thursday at the airport, Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said “Being able to reach our record pre-pandemic traffic numbers, this holiday season, is a reality we didn’t think would happen for several years"

He continued “Orlando International is ready for the increase. We have the new world-class Terminal C that will help ease overcrowding. There are new systems in place to assist with parking and we have innovative technology and processes in place to enhance the customer experience.”

Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Airport officials said airport parking is a big focus for the holiday season as garages and surface lots are expected to reach capacity.

“We expect them to fill, so just give yourself ample time to find adequate parking to satisfy your needs,” Director of Operations Marquez Griffin said. “We intend to keep the community informed, as to the parking status, so that they can make informed decisions prior to getting to the airport.”

MCO could reach capacity in all of its parking garages and in the North Park Place and South Park Place parking lots.

West Park Place, which is only activated during extremely busy periods, will also be operational when all other parking is full.

Travelers seeking parking at MCO are advised to monitor the MCO App for the most up-to-date parking information.

The airport have issued some important Thanksgiving travel tips to help ease passengers journeys through MCO this holiday period:

Pack your patience. Record crowds could cause lines at various points throughout your travel journey.

Allow yourself plenty of time. Arrive inside the terminal at MCO at least 3 hours prior to your flight. This will allow time for any congestion that you may encounter.

Continuously check the MCO App or social media pages for the latest parking information.

To receive the latest parking updates, visit or follow MCO on Twitter @MCO or Facebook @FlyMCO. You can also download the MCO app, Orlando MCO.

Continuously check the MCO App or social media pages for the latest checkpoint wait times.

Pack as lightly as possible.

Adhere to the TSA 3-1-1 rule for gels and liquids at the security checkpoint.

Do NOT bring guns or weapons through security. Check your bags for prohibited items before coming into the terminal.

If picking someone up at the airport, please wait in the cell phone lots. Have your party call you when they are ready for pickup from the curb, not before.

If we have reached parking capacity, please consider using a rideshare program or a taxi.

Remember, enhanced screening rules mean electronics larger than a cell phone will need to be removed from your bag and placed in a bin at the checkpoint, unless you are in the TSA PreCheck program, but even TSA PreCheck and MCO Reserve passengers may be subject to additional screening.


Do not leave bags or packages unattended or accept items from strangers for transport.

Place identification tags on the outside and inside of checked and carry-on luggage.

Wear easily removable shoes.

If traveling with a pet or comfort animal, bring a leash. The pet will need to be on a leash while the animal carrier is properly screened by the TSA.

Orlando International Airport Holiday Travel


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