View Full Version : the airport

03-09-2002, 07:30 AM
can anybody tell me the procedure after landing at orlando inter. airport? and approx. how long does it take until you get to your car?

Mrs Dazzle
03-09-2002, 07:47 AM
Hi Sam:p

Once you've touched down, you have to go through immigration (you will be given yor "green cards" to fill in on board your flight over).

Once through immigration, you then join another "line" to go through their agricultural restrictions (ie last year when we went foot & mouth big news). for these two lines alone it can take anything from 15 mins if you're lucky to an hour.

Once through you then collect your luggage. However, you then have to deposit your luggage at another area (all collected for you by MCO airport workers) and take the monorail over to the main building. (when you land you're almost like in a satellite building - bit like Gatwick if this is where you're flying from - have to get the shuttle out to the departure lounges there - but it feels like you're holiday's REALLY starting!).

You then collect your luggage again - for the last time - and then find your car rental/tour operator etc.

MCO is a large, clean light and airy airport.

Feel free to shout if there's anything else you're not sure about.

Sue F UK
03-09-2002, 07:52 AM
Hi Sam,

Orlando International is a bit odd in that it's in two parts. Once you have collected your suitcases and been through immigration (if necessary) you then have to re-check your bags for them to be taken to the main terminal while you catch the little train which takes you there. On the train a voice says to go to either terminal A or B and you head there to collect your suitcases from the carousels in each terminal. Car Rentals are then downstairs unless you are with Alamo when you have to get a bus from outside over to their compound (apx. 1 mile away)

This all takes about an hour depending on the queues. One way of speeding things up is to dispatch one person to queue for the car while the other deals with the bags.

Hope that helps - it's not as complicated as it sounds (Honest :D )

Sue F UK
03-09-2002, 07:53 AM
Whoops, looks like we posted at the same time Mrs Dazzle :)

03-09-2002, 11:47 AM
im flying with virgin so once in the terminal do you find the tour company or the car hire company?
thanks again.

03-09-2002, 01:24 PM
Hi penlanspice,

I take it you are doing a package with Virgin with car hire included? If so, Virgin has its own Dollar desk (i.e. you don't use the regular Dollar desk). I wouldn't bother with speaking to a rep unless you need to ask directions, etc., although there will be plenty of them around if you do want to speak to one.

If getting out of the airport as quickly as possible is your aim, then here are a few tips which have worked for us.

Make sure you have correctly completed your customs form (white, one per family) and visa waiver forms (green, one per person). If you have made a mistake you will be sent off to complete another and will have to join the back of the queue. They will be handed out on the plane and instructions are in the in-flight magazine - if you make a mistake, ask for another.

When you come down into the immigration hall from the plane, you will see a bank of desks. You have to queue behind the line - DON'T step over it or you will have your wrists well and truly slapped! There will be officials directing you to try to regulate the flow. Look over to the far right of the hall. There is a lane for US citizens. Quite often the one or two lanes next to it are empty because people seem to congregate in the middle lanes. I think when people see lanes with queues and lanes without, they assume those without aren't operational and just join the queue.

Once you have passed through immigration you need to collect your bags. We have suitcases with built in trolleys and a system where they can be strapped together so we don't need to bother with trolleys, but if you do there are plenty about, but I think you will need a dollar or two for them.

You then need to pass through customs and security. This is usually a quick procedure, but since September 11th there are queues. I think it took us about 10 minutes in December.

Next you will need to put your baggage on a conveyor whilst you get the monorail over to the main terminal building. If you can, walk right to the far end of the waiting area to board the monorail, you will then be first off at the other end.

You arrive at the main terminal on level 3. Despatch most of your party to baggage reclaim on level 2 whilst the driver(s) head for level 1 for the car. The main bank of car hire desks is along the back wall. You need the Virgin Dollar desks which are opposite them - you can't really miss them. We don't normally do packages so we use the main Dollar desk, but I think I'm right in saying that you have to check-in at the Virgin desk first which is an island just in front of the dedicated Virgin/Dollar car hire desks. Arrange to meet the rest of your party here as the garage is just out of the door next to the car hire desks.

That's it! We usually get lucky and are usually on our way within about 1/2 an hour of touch-down. It does depend on how many people are in your party and how keen they are on the blitz-it plan!

One thing you shouldn't try to hurry if you've never done it before, is getting used to your car. You probably know that the cars are all automatic and some of them have foot brakes rather than hand brakes. There can be a number of other quirky things, but the Dollar reps will help if you need it.

03-09-2002, 02:38 PM
I was a bit anxious about the double bagging system at MCO before our trip in October last year. But is turned out to be quite easy. There are planty of helpful staff around to help and if in doubt just follow the crowd :)

The imigration guys who check your visa waver form etc. look a bit grim (especially if you make a mistake on the form). The guy we had looked really stern and serious while we were queing, but when we got to him he was really nice and chatty and made a fuss of our DDs.

We didn't have a car so don't know about going to the rental desks etc. We had a towncar transfer (Tiffany). The driver was waiting for us in bagggage reclaim with a sign with our name on. He was really nice and helped get the cases of the conveyor.

03-09-2002, 03:16 PM

first time with Virgin in June and I am finding this thread very informative. Just one query - Debbie mentioned that ............ "you have to check-in at the Virgin desk first which is an island just in front of the dedicated Virgin/Dollar car hire desks." Can anyone confrm this and why you go to this desk first before the Car Hire desk



03-10-2002, 08:52 AM
The only thing I would say is be prepared for a long wait to get out of the airport. You may be lucky, but be prepared.

On our recent trip (11th February), we waited an hour after immigration to go through the security checks. I know that vigilence is very important especially after 11th September, but I cannot see the need to check hand luggage coming off a plan that was checked before you got on. There were numerous bag searches (ours being one of them) and it was an exceptionally slow process.


03-10-2002, 10:47 AM

I <i>think</i> you need to check-in at the Virgin desk first to get the directions to your accommodation and your car hire vouchers. Can someone confirm?

03-10-2002, 12:45 PM
I was going to post and ask about this.
This October for the first time I have arranged car hire seperately from having a fly-drive.Although it's Dollar I know I need to go elsewhere from the large Virgin/Dolar section,Can anyone tell me where I need to go? Also do you still collect the car where you collect it when you have a Virgin/Dollar car just through the doors?

Thanks :rolleyes:

The Murfs
03-10-2002, 01:17 PM

We did our own flight and car hire Dec 2000 and found it to be very easy, so much so that we've done it again this year.

The Dollar desk is on the ground floor of the airport although quiet a trk from baggage collection on 1st floor, we managed well as we had holdalls with wheels and a handle that the DS & DD could manage. You still collect the car from the covered carpark is opposite.

This is a link to the Orlando international airport with floor plans


03-10-2002, 03:23 PM
what about if you leave the luggage and go get the car sorted out first, then return for the luggage, do you think that would be possible?
thanks again

03-10-2002, 03:30 PM
Thanks for explaining:D