There are two main airports in the Orlando area: Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). As you’re looking for the best prices on plane tickets you’ll likely have reason to wonder if there’s a significant difference flying into one versus the other. Check out our simple guide to help you decide which one is right for you.
If it’s all about price then you’ll be all about Sanford
If your only concern is the price of your flight, then you’re likely to want to go to Sanford. Though it does vary based on where you’re flying from, most flights are cheaper into Sanford than they are into Orlando. Be sure to read on to make sure that affordability truly is the only consideration, but at the end of the day, if your pocketbook is driving your final decision, you’ll want to stick to Sanford.
If it’s all about convenience then you’ll be all about MCO
While Sanford isn’t prohibitively far to drive, it is about 20 minutes further from the Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks compared to MCO. As a result, those who want to be as close as possible will choose MCO. This can be especially important for those who want to arrive or leave early in the morning or late at night, as they find it much easier to arrive and depart at a closer airport. It’s typically the case that SFB has many fewer direct flights than MCO, so those who don’t want the inconvenience of a layover should take this into consideration as well.
If flexibility is key head to MCO
Sanford may be cheaper in most cases, but MCO offers hundreds more flights. If you want to travel after you get off work in the late afternoon, or first thing in the morning, or mid-day – really if you have any specific requirements for when you want to fly – then you’ll find tons more options flying out of MCO than SFB. On the other hand, if you’re totally flexible then you may choose to save money and fly whenever you can through SFB.
The cost may be more than what your plane ticket tells you
As you compare the pros and cons of both airports, remember that the cost of your plane ticket isn’t the only thing to consider. Many Orlando hotels and even vacation home rentals offer free shuttles from MCO. We aren’t aware of a single hotel that offers free shuttles to and from SFB. This leaves you to either pay for your own ride to your hotel or vacation home, or to rent a car. In some cases flights into SFB can be so much cheaper that it’s worth the extra cost, but you’ll need to do the math to figure out what’s best for you.