Orlando (MCO) Concourse Confusion

For whatever reason Orlando International Airport (MCO) makes navigating their terminal overly complex due to how they are lettered/numbered. MCO operates from one main terminal building which houses check-in, baggage claim, security and an on site Hyatt Hotel in addition to 4 satellite midfield concourses called “Airsides.” MCO further splits up these buildings into Terminal A and Terminal B designations. However, how they split up their two terminals doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Terminal A consists of the north side of the main building plus Airside 1 and Airside 2.

Terminal B consists of the south side of the main building plus Airside 3 and Airside 4.

This seems to start making sense until you actually look at how the buildings are laid out and where the security checkpoints are located.

2020-02-28 16_39_02-MCO.pptx - PowerPoint

Despite the A or B terminal designations, Airside 1 & 3 share a security checkpoint on the west side of the terminal building and are connected post security Airside 2 & 4 share one on the east side. Once through either checkpoint, utilizing the tram system you can traverse between either connected air side freely. So simply knowing which terminal you are departing from has absolutely no bearing on which security checkpoint you need to traverse or which other concourses you have access to once through. Knowing which airlines operate from which airside and where lounges are located is useful too.

Connected via West Checkpoint

Airside 1 (Terminal A)

Airside 3 (Terminal B)

Airlines
Aeroméxico, Avianca, Azul, Copa Airlines, Frontier, JetBlue, Silver Airways

Airlines
American, Spirit, United

Lounges
The Club at MCO

Lounges
Admirals Club, United Club

Connected via East Checkpoint

Airside 2 (Terminal A)

Airside 4 (Terminal B)

Airlines
Alaska, Southwest

Airlines
Delta, Sun Country and all other international airlines not in Airside 1
Lounges
none

Lounges
Delta Sky Club, The Club at MCO

Conclusion

While MCO is a modern and pleasant airport with some unique amenities like the integrated Hyatt hotel, signature Disney and Universal stores and quick tram system, the way the terminal and concourses are designated defies logic. Using A & B to designate either side of the main terminal building but then not have the airsides in the same terminal share a security checkpoint only causes mass confusion. The A & B nomenclature should either be eliminated or aligned to the airsides that are connected post-security.

Having a West Terminal and and East Terminal would make more sense with the West Terminal consisting of Airsides 1 & 3 and the East Terminal consisting of Airsides 2 & 4. MCO does plan a massive renovation in the coming years so perhaps with that they can come up with a better way to letter and number their facility.

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