In anticipation of near pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels this past holiday season, Orlando International Airport put in place a number of enhancements around the airport, including to the parking system.

The airport parking and operations staff re-evaluated the overall parking experience from top to bottom, in hopes of improving the service in time for the Christmas/New Year’s holidays.

“Early indications are the enhancements we instituted worked, allowing us to better regulate parking and conveniently move passengers from the lots into the terminal,” says Tom Draper, Chief of Operations for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We used the issues from Thanksgiving as a learning opportunity and we put those lessons into action, benefitting our passengers.”

Enhanced Parking Measures included:

  • Increasing the time from 2 to 3 hours for arrival at the airport for travelers wishing to park
  • Enhanced signage/wayfinding
  • More staffing
  • Better regulating the opening and closing of parking areas to fit the quickly changing demand Holiday Travel Numbers

The early travel projections at Orlando International Airport predicted traffic at near pre-pandemic levels with approximately 2.6 million passengers during the 19-day holiday travel period. Preliminary numbers now show MCO actually hosted about 2.5 million passengers. While short of initial projections, the final number is more than 1 million passengers above what they were this time last year.

The busiest travel day of the season was Monday, January 3rd when roughly 145,000 passengers navigated a strained national airline system dealing with numerous cancellations.

The system-wide cancellations, due to the Coronavirus and bad weather stretching across the nation, impacted both airline flight and support crews. At its peak, during the holidays, MCO experienced the cancellation of approximately 10 percent of its daily operations.