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One BIG Thing To Consider When Traveling in or out of Orlando International Airport

One BIG Thing To Consider When Traveling in or out of Orlando International Airport

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Are you getting ready for a trip where you will be traveling in or out of Orlando International Airpot? There is one BIG thing you must consider before you make your travel plans!

Prepping for Your Trip

Credit: Susan

Your travel day is here! It is important to keep an eye on the weather. This means both cities – the one you are departing from and the one you are set to arrive to – and EVERYWHERE in between!

Sometimes, the airlines will be able to avoid any weather concerns by flying a slightly different route. However, sometimes this is impossible. If there is any bad weather at the departing or arrival point (or in between), you may be in for some disappointing news.

Orlando International Airport

Credit: Susan

Orlando International Airport (also known as MCO) has only gotten busier over the past few years. Recently, it was named one of the 10 busiest airports in the United States. And it makes total sense! With Disney World, Universal, Legoland, Sea World, and so many other theme parks and attractions, millions of people fly in and out of the airport every year.

With growing demand came a recent airport expansion. Terminal C boasts international gates as well as shopping and dining opportunities. Take a look HERE at the new Brightline Station.

Ground Stops

Credit: Monica

A Ground Stop is a traffic management initiative requiring aircraft that meet specific criteria to remain on the ground at their origination airport. The Ground Stop may be airport specific, related to a geographical area, or equipment related.

Ground Stops are implemented when air traffic control is unable to safely accommodate additional aircraft in the system. They are most frequently used for severely reduced capacity situations. These include weather, major equipment outages, and catastrophic events.

Weather Making For Difficult Travel

Credit: Disney PhotoPass

One thing for certain when you travel to Florida, especially during the summer, is that you will have thunderstorms. These storms can vary in intensity. Unfortunately, you can’t always poncho up and carry on. Florida thunderstorms tend to hit in the afternoon. However, they don’t usually last too long. Many Floridians will say, “Don’t like the weather? Wait a few minutes.”

Sometimes, these storms are so strong that airplanes cannot fly. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) will issue a GROUND STOP for Orlando International Airport if the they feel it is unsafe.

This can really cause havoc on your travel plans if your flight is affected by a ground stop. Flights can be delayed to down right canceled when this happens. These flight delays and cancelations can cause a ripple effect through out the rest of the day causing planes to be out of place for upcoming flights.

How to Lower Your Risk

Credit: Jaelyn W.

What is ONE thing you can do to significantly lower your risk? Fly early in the day! Just by booking your trip in the morning you have the best chance of your flight going out.

Also, booking a morning flight gives you less of a chance of your flight being affected from earlier flights having issues. If any flight before yours were canceled or delayed, this ripple effect can really cause big disruptions for future flights.

Pirate Tip: Book a morning flight in or out of Orlando International Airport to lower your risk of your flight getting delayed or canceled due to Florida’s afternoon thunderstorms.

Afternoon flights seem to be the most affected from Florida thunderstorms. Recently, FAA issues a ground stop because of these afternoon storms.


During these recent storms, planes circled Orlando International for a while and even thought about diverting to Tampa. Fortunately, they were able to get back en route and landed safely in Orlando, just slightly later than planned.

But what else does flying early help with? If for any reason your flight is canceled, it gives you the best chance of getting to your destination that day! You will have many options ahead of you if you are starting your travel in the morning versus the afternoon. If you are the last flight out, you may be stuck trying to find a place for the night instead.

Other Helpful Flying Tips

Credit: Katie P.

We have some other helpful tips for flying. Be sure to read HERE for traveling with children.

What if your flight does get canceled? What do you do next? I personally, had this experience before. I was traveling to Orlando International Airport and already had boarded the plane, but unfortunately due to severe weather along our route our flight was canceled. Read HERE for some helpful tips on how to handle the situation.

Other helpful tips just to make flying out of Orlando International Airport easier is having TSA Precheck. If you don’t have that use MCO Reserve. You can read the ins and outs of Reserve at the Orlando Airport in Jaelyn’s guide and check out the extended times available HERE. Also, if you are flying Southwest, using their new bag check location may help ease travel stress too. Find the hours for that new location HERE.

Things to Consider

Credit: Susan

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, things will happen that affect flights that cause them to be canceled or delayed. So be aware, even planning a morning flight, you may still have travel issues due to weather. Having a morning flight just lowers that risk because Florida thunderstorms tend to happen in the afternoon.

Traveling can be stressful and if your flight gets canceled or delayed it can really add to that stress. So having control of lowering that risk as much as possible can really help make your travel experience better.

Credit: Katie P

Another good tip is to plan for the worst, but hope for the best. I also tend to keep an eye out for alternate options (flights, rental cars, etc.). Knowing alternate options will give you the upper hand over other travelers that have no back up plan.

We here at Kenny the Pirate always hope you have no travel issues and have a safe and happy trip to your destination.

Has your flight in or out of Orlando International ever been effected by weather? What do you do when planning your flight? Do you consider weather when booking? Do you book more based on time that works for your schedule? Do you just hope things go off without a hitch? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this post with a friend!

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Tuesday 18th of July 2023

A big reason airlines will outright cancel a flight if they expect a long delay is to take flight and cabin crew “off the clock.” If they sit for a really long delay, they are still officially on duty. After a long delay, those on the click crew member may then be “timed out.” Flight can’t leave. If the flight is cancelled, crew are off the click. A few hours later they can reschedule a flight and call back the staff and they will still have enough time to work the flight.

Dennis McRobbie

Monday 17th of July 2023

You failed to mention the terribly long walk at MCO to get from terminal C to terminals A & B via the people mover. Horrible terminal design.

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