Air travel and airport security these days is mostly not fun. Particularly here in the Orlando area, where we have one darn busy airport. I should know — I just returned from a visit to Austin. It doesn’t have to all be bad though.
During my recent excursion I took note of some tips that might just help you during your next travel out of Orlando International Airport.
Firstly, early-to-mid-morning travelers typically experience long wait times at the security check. If you’ve ever taken one of the first flights out, or a flight around 10am, then you know you can expect wait times anywhere from half-an-hour to an hour. And that’s during non-peak travel season; it’s worse during holidays or Spring Break. I think we can all agree this is not fun. That’s why late morning or early afternoon flights are advisable — if you can fit that into your travel schedule.
While waiting in the security line this past week I really started thinking about the advantages of the Clear pass. If you’re not familiar with this program, for a fee you can purchase a “bypass” card, which gets you through security much more quickly. There’s rarely a line; according to the security guard I asked, this program costs $100 (not including any additional taxes or fees). I usually only travel by air once a year–sometimes twice–so I don’t really think this would be the best investment for me. However, I’ll be flying a minimum of four times this year, so perhaps I might look into getting the Clear pass. If you travel for business you’re really doing yourself a disservice by not using this program, which is only currently in a few select US cities…Orlando, obviously, included.
Getting to the airport:
This is always a tad tricky. Of course, if you have someone — a relative or a friend — who can drive you to the airport and drop you off, that’s the most advisable scenario. However, I know that’s not always how things work out. If you must drive yourself to the airport there are a few cost-effective options, one of which is off-site parking like The Parking Spot. Sites like this offer-up affordable, secure parking, along with free shuttles to the airport. Do your own research about which off-site parking vendor you’d like to use. I prefer The Parking Spot because they’re friendly, located closest to the airport, and they have the option of covered parking. (Keep in mind that if utilizing one of these off-site parking services, you need to bake-in approximately 20 minutes for travel to the airport.)
While flying back from Austin I was reading a copy of Wired magazine on the plane. They actually had a really great feature, on tips to help make flying–specifically security check–a more efficient experience. Take a look at it here:
** Useful tip: before making any flight arrangements out of Orlando International Airport, check flight availability at Sanford International Airport. It might be a little further to drive but the difference in flight expense and parking arrangements might be worth the effort! **