Flying Orlando International to Canada - how long to clear security?
May 24, 2016 9:53 AM   Subscribe

We are flying on a Saturday morning, in a couple of weeks. Wait times to clear security have been in the news lately. How bad is it? How early do we need to arrive?
posted by walkinginsunshine to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I flew a couple times, not at your airport, in the last few weeks and both times the security line was maybe 30-45 minutes? So if you're used to showing up an hour ahead of time and strolling in don't expect that, but 2hrs lead time (including parking and checking a bag) seemed doable if tight, for a solo traveler. I'm flying internationally in a couple weeks and am planning to allow ~3hrs just to be sure (which they do recommend for international).
posted by advil at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2016

Actually I should add that both of those were on weekdays, so it could be worse on weekends.
posted by advil at 10:32 AM on May 24, 2016

The TSA has a website where you can check out real-time wait times for your airport.
posted by holyrood at 10:56 AM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

We flew in January, on a Saturday afternoon, and it was a solid 45 minutes in a poorly organized line. I think you want to allow at least an hour with the new cruelty.
posted by wnissen at 11:10 AM on May 24, 2016

I want to post especially to echo wnissen. In April, it was a mass of people with no structure, and then when somebody needed a patdown, they stopped the line instead of moving them to the side. Then, a kindly man of at least 130 years of age corralled us from getting onto the tram until every last person had gotten off and cleared the area, because heaven forbid people pass by one other while ambulating.

It was probably 90 minutes from when I arrived at the airport until I reached my gate. I would allocate 2 hours between your arrival at the airport and your schedule departure.
posted by ftm at 12:45 PM on May 24, 2016

To elaborate, this was flying domestic out of MCO. We got lucky, actually, and got pulled into a shorter line. The regular line was spilling into the terminal. Normally I'm skating in 45 minutes to an hour before, but with the current situation I'm doing two hours for domestic. Maybe tack on an extra 20 for Canada, which doesn't have to go through much extra on departure, right?
posted by wnissen at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2016

FYI, the TSA website to which holyrood linked relies on user-reported data, not official TSA statistics, so I would take it with a huge grain of salt.

My last few trips have involved the following:

BDL (Hartford, CT): 5-10 minute waits both times on Fridays, mid-morning
GRR (Grand Rapids, MI): 15-minute wait Monday afternoon
BWI (Baltimore-Washington): 10-minute wait Monday evening
DTW (Detroit, MI): no wait at 12 noon on Sunday

I've heard that the worst time is 6-9 am, especially on weekdays.

You could check out Twitter. A search on #MCO TSA is useful, and you can also follow the airport's Twitter account.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:30 PM on May 24, 2016

I'm with winssen and ftm. Did it in January on a weekday, flying to Montreal, and it was close to an hour in a crush-then-line with disorganized and uninterested workers. Go early.
posted by Cuke at 4:32 PM on May 24, 2016

Flew MCO-YYZ two weeks ago (Westjet, leaving around 7am on a Wednesday) and with TSA pre-check I was through in 5 minutes. Total breeze. The regular, non pre-check lines were really long though, as they usually are at MCO, and filled with theme park visitors who we'll just say aren't super quick or familiar with being efficient in the security lines (I'm trying to be nice). Assuming you all don't have pre-check, I would definitely arrive two hours in advance to be on the safe side. Saturday mornings at MCO can be particularly nutty with visitors flying home, etc.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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