Orlando International Airport braces for record Memorial Day travel numbers

This Memorial Day weekend, Orlando is the top travel destination, leading to bustling beaches, packed roads, and a busy airport. 

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is preparing for an influx of travelers, urging those with flights to allow plenty of time, especially for parking. Parking lots are filling up fast, with the entire parking garage nearing capacity and surface lots quickly following suit. You can check MCO parking status updates here.

Around 152,000 passengers passed through the airport yesterday, and over 170,000 are expected today. These high numbers are anticipated to continue through the weekend.


The demand has outstripped supply despite the additional parking spaces added a few months ago. Parking Lots A, B, and C, the North Place Economy Lot, and one of the new surface lots were full as of 5 p.m. on Friday, May 24. Travelers are encouraged to arrange drop-offs if possible.

Wait times at the gates increased to 13 to 17 minutes late on Friday afternoon, a manageable delay for most. Earlier in the day, wait times were as short as five minutes. The airport projects a 6% increase in travelers this weekend, with Memorial Day itself expected to be the busiest, anticipating 177,000 travelers.

Orlando International Airport [Credit: Greater Orlando Aviation Authority]

What to know about reserved parking at Orlando International Airport (MCO)

In December, MCO opened three new surface lots to respond to parking needs. The lots are accessible with E-Pass and SunPass Plus. SunPass customers must be enrolled with Easy Pay, and a transponder must be used to enter and exit the lots. The airport has more than 2,000 new parking spaces compared to last year.

Through MCO's new Reserve Parking program, passengers can guarantee a parking spot (if they haven't all been booked). The reserve parking program works by allowing passengers to log in to Reserved Parking at MCO or use the MCO mobile app in advance of their arrival at the airport, punch in their vehicle information, make a payment, and receive a QR code for easy access to Level 4 of Parking Garage C.

You can check MCO parking status updates here.

What to know about passenger security checks

Knowing the process and the requirements can help expedite your passage through the security screening. The TSA website provides useful information, including:

You may also want to consider applying for one of the expedited screening programs, TSA PreCheck, Global Entry (which also provides TSA PreCheck benefits), or CLEAR.

Free ‘reservation lane’ for security screening

Orlando International Airport (MCO) has introduced a "Reservation Lane" service, allowing travelers to plan ahead by reserving a dedicated security lane time slot for their party. This service is available at no cost.

Travelers can easily view and reserve an available time slot online. Upon arrival at the dedicated MCO Reserve lane, travelers scan their issued QR code to proceed directly to TSA, where they will screen their boarding pass and ID before continuing through standard TSA security screening.

Terminals A, B, and C have dedicated MCO Reserve lanes with limited daily slots. Travelers can book their time slot up to seven days in advance. Security screening times are available from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for flights departing between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

More Orlando International Airport (MCO) resources