So…curious to know the experience folks have had with MEARS Connect when leaving from MCO. Do you use your ACTUAL flight time when booking, and did you find it was plenty of time, considering how horrible we keep hearing the TSA lines are as of late? We were thinking maybe we should put in a different (earlier) flight when booking just to be certain.
Also…we will be saying 5 nights at BWV, but our 6th night will be at the Wyndham hotel. We were thinking we would still want to go into Epcot on Saturday before our flight, so thought we would just Uber with our luggage back to the BWV and leave it with Bell services. The concern there is will they let us in since we will not have stayed that night?
The other option is that we leave our luggage at Bell services at BWV, and just take enough in a backpack or something when we go stay at the Wyndham so that we don’t have to worry about it. Then, we can pick up our luggage from Bell Services on Saturday at BWV without having to worry about needing to Uber there. Thoughts?
Do you mean when you are going home? MEARS wants to pick you up 4 hours before your flight. That is crazy to me. I put a flight # in that left an hour after my actual flight and still had an hour to kill in the airport. (More because our flight was delayed). I wouldn’t put an even earlier fight. It seems MEARS pads the time more than enough to accommodate long security lines.
I was nervous too. We did arrive 15 mins early for MEARS. It took about 10 mins to get on the road as well.
A lot of reports I read say they pick up 4 hours early in practice for domestic flights. This is in line with our experience as well.
They wanted to pick us up 3 hours before for our international flight. I contacted them and asked for it to be earlier and they gave me a choice of 30 mins or an hour. I took the 30 min option. And then of course there were no lines at all at security and we sat around waiting for ages. But it was better than the previous time on Magical Express when 4 hours was only just enough and we only made boarding because the flight was delayed.
We were picked up 3 hours. Or thereabouts.
We got our time which was 1:20 pm I think for a 4:45 flight, if memory serves. Clearly they allow for resort stops.
We did go to at least one other resort.
I did not notice the time when we arrived MCO.
SW had set up curbside baggage check so we did that.
Went directly to TSA where the wait was 1 hour to get thru. At this point the one hour seemed ok. I was glad we had not stopped before security to grab some food. This was Saturday 9 December. During that time at least 3 upper security folk came to look at the mass of folks and marvel. In June of 2022 we had virtually no wait at TSA on a Sunday morning - so plenty of wait at the gate. Clearly, on this day in December, the security folk were not expecting such a lot of travelers.
Once finally thru we went directly to our departure gate. Again, did not make note of the time, tho we had less than 30 minutes til boarding.
TSA lines seem to be longest early in the day. I feel like what people are posting on TikTok is the extreme and not the usual; however, MCO is the reason my family has TSA Precheck.
MCO has an app where you can see the TSA wait time. Right now on a Friday at 3:42PM the wait for Gates 1-59 is 28-32 minutes, Gates 70-129 is 17-21 minutes, and Gates C230-C249 is 12-16 minutes.
Using Uber, and with TSA prescheck, I’ve been from Pop to my gate in an hour on three different trips this year. On December 20, right before Christmas, we had a 7:35pm flight home. We left Pop at 4:45pm. Checked luggage curbside for Southwest and only took 90 seconds to do. We were thru security and eating Chipotle 45 minutes after we’d left Pop.
If you want more park time, spring for the Uber. It was $36.97 with tip. How much is Mears?
That would also be me. After getting my AP, I got TSA Precheck. It’s cheap, like $70 for 5 years.
In December 2021 and February 2023, we were in TSA line 1+ hour! The “lobby” was full of people waiting! Both flight left after 6 PM. In 2021, we got to the gate just in time to board.
In December 2023, I used TSA Pre at MCO for the first time. The regular TSA lines were showing about 20 minute wait. I arrived after 5 PM. There were only 3 people ahead of me in the Precheck line. The added bonuses are I didn’t have to take out my laptop or take off my shoes!
What has been more problematic is the backup getting to the terminals once off the freeway. Good thing the rental car return is before the terminal and you fly through, once that lane for rental car return becomes available.