Sorry, Orlando Airport! I Was Wrong

by joeheg

I recently wrote about how I needed to reclear security at Orlando Airport when going between gates on the same side of the airport post-security.

While this might not be a huge problem for most passengers, an outsized number of people who are likely to be reading posts on Boarding Area might run into this situation. In my case, I had a flight on American Airlines but wanted to spend my time before the flight at The Club MCO lounge located at the other set of gates.

Here’s the layout of Orlando International Airport (MCO)

a map of a airport

We went to the club located by gates 1-29 and when we got back to the terminal to catch the APM to gates 30-59, we exited into the pre-security area.

It didn’t take long for me to hear from our readers that, even after flying in and out of MCO literally hundreds of times, I had made a rookie mistake.

Reader Chris wrote:

All you had to to do was take the train on the left when leaving the club. Or, wait for the opposite doors on the train you were on to open when arriving at the main terminal.


Chris is right. Arguably, the greater frustration is that your experience only applies to one of 2 trains from the airside to the terminal in A gates.

There most definitely is a long-term solution planned: Terminal C, where international flights will move.

Even more impressive was that the Orlando International Airport’s official Twitter account messaged me about how this used to be a problem but now it’s been fixed. I’ll use their explanation as it’s better than anything I could write.

 If you are in the airside area at gates 1-29 about to take the APM, you will have to take the APM on the right side, for that one will allow you to just walk over and get the other APMs to gates 30-59. If you take the APM on the left side it will lead you outside the secure area and you will have to go through security again (if it’s in international arrivals mode). Passengers just need to read the sign on the APM on the right side, that says to take this APM “for gates 30-59”.

Apparently, there’s a sign on the APM on the right that says it’s the one you need to take for gates 30-59. Except we never saw it, because that was the train that was leaving as we arrived at the APM waiting area. When the next train, the one on the left, arrived, we got on that one.

The only people who would wait for the train on the right, even when the one on the left was there, are the ones who know in advance that’s what they need to do.  Might I suggest a sign over the APM on the left, as well, that says to use the other train if you want to get to gates 30-59? Or maybe a sign on a stanchion in the central APM waiting area that says “Use the train on the right side to get to gate 30-59”?

I realize this a problem that affects a very small group of people. Only someone who went to the other gates on purpose, to visit a lounge, for instance, would need this information. But still, an additional sign would solve the problem.

Thanks to the commenters on the blog and the Orlando International Airport Twitter Team (@MCO) for setting me straight. I’ll make sure not to make the same mistake again.

For everyone else. If you didn’t know, now you know. 😉

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Cover Photo by Ian B from Pexels

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Wayne August 28, 2021 - 5:22 pm

At MCO, the East side of the airport has the same issue accessing The Club located in Concourse #4. If you’re flying Southwest, Concourse #2, gates100-129, and visit The Club in Concourse #4, after taking the APM back to the main terminal, you’ll be forced to exit the secure area to get screened again before gaining access to the APM’s that take passengers to Southwest’s #2 concourse.
I’m now wondering if the issue on the East side of the airport can be solved just as it was on the West side by taking the correct APM. If so, it would be the one on the right. Perhaps someone will weigh in with this information.

Chris D December 19, 2021 - 3:18 am

@Wayne: airside 4 was remodelled in 2018, and now only the left shuttle is reserved for international use (unless that shuttle breaks down). So yes, take the right-hand shuttle.


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