Orlando International Airport expects record-breaking travel season

By Spectrum News 13,
Last Updated: Friday, December 22, 2017, 4:08 PM EST

Orlando International Airport officials are expecting a record number of travelers this holiday season.

The travel period from Thursday to Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, will see almost 8 million passengers, a 7 percent increase from last year, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said in a news release.

However, holiday travelers can expect a few presents, with one of them being that some airlines have renovated lobby ticketing and check-in areas. These updated areas will also give people more flight information and entertainment, officials said.

"Our biggest gift to the traveler this holiday season is the expansion of available, easily accessible parking," GOAA CEO Phil Brown said in the statement. "The new 'C' parking garage provides our travelers a new option they previously did not have available."

The parking fee at the new parking garage is $15 per day, while the other garages are $17 a day.

GOAA provided the projection totals for the busy travel days.

2017 Projected Passenger Totals / Busiest Days

1) Saturday, Dec. 23 155,000
2) Saturday, Dec. 30 154,000
3) Friday, Dec. 29 149,000
4) Friday, Dec. 22  149,000
5) Thursday, Dec. 28 147,000
6) Thursday, Dec. 21 146,000
7) Tuesday, Dec. 26 145,000
8) Sunday, Jan. 7 144,800
9) Wednesday, Dec. 27 144,600
10) Tuesday, Jan. 2 144,000
11) Saturday, Jan. 6 142,400
12) Monday, Jan. 1 140,300
13) Friday, Jan. 5 140,300
14) Wednesday, Jan. 3 140,202
15) Thursday, Jan. 4 140,202
16) Sunday, Dec. 31 134,500
17) Monday, Jan. 8 133,400
18) Sunday, Dec.24 132,000
19) Wednesday, Jan. 10 130,600
20) Tuesday, Jan. 9 127,700
21) Monday, Dec. 25 127,000


Travel tips and suggestions

Here are tips and suggestions that GOAA offers for busy holiday travelers:

  • Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.
  • Follow the 3-1-1 rule for carrying liquids and gels in your carry-on luggage: 3.4 ounces or less, 1 quart zip top bag, 1 bag per passenger.
  • Tape a card with your name and contact information on all of your electronic devices.
  • Do not pack fireworks.
  • Firearms are only allowed in checked baggage and must be unloaded and placed in special travel containers.
  • Wear easily removable shoes.
  • Passengers with a disability or medical condition should call ahead to the TSA Cares line for assistance upon arrival at 855-787-2227.
  • Do not wrap Christmas gifts.

  • 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.

  • Remember to check all bins for belongings after going through screening.

  • Use the complimentary cell phone lots when picking up passengers to avoid circling around the airport.

  • Download and use the free MCO mobile app to assist with terminal-wide navigation, flight status and security checkpoint wait times.

  • If finishing that last minute shopping, airport stores and kiosks are open through Christmas Day with everything from jewelry to fragrances to clothing and high-tech gear.