Super Silly Question - Flying to the world

We ALWAYS drive. We are going for a long weekend, adults only and we are flying. I NEVER fly! What do I need to know? Flying American out of Philly into Orlando.


This is a broad question, so I’ll start with basics:

  • Arrive two hours early (or more if you really don’t have any idea what you are doing).
  • Make sure to know the rules about liquids.
  • Don’t stress out. Just get to your gate and the airline does the rest. :slight_smile:
  • Arrange for transport from MCO to WDW in advance (preferably several months). Rental car, Mears transport, Sunshine Flyer, etc. (If uber works for you, that doesn’t need to be booked in advance, obviously)

What else are you worried about?


Have a backup plan in case your flight gets delayed.

Nonstop flights are recommended.

Choose an airline with multiple flights per day from PHL to MCO if possible.

Although all airlines are vulnerable to delays and staffing shortages it seems to affect the discount carriers more than the traditional carriers.


I’m worried I’m gonna cram everything into a small suitcase, and they are gonna make me check it. LOL. We are just doing uber. We are supposed to arrive at 4:30. I have dinner ressies at 8:40 at beach club. Is that enough time?

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That should be plenty of time under normal circumstances, but with the unreliability of airlines these days, just be emotionally prepared if you are late and have to miss your arrival day activities. It unfortunately happens all too often.

But if your flight is on time, you should be at WDW within 1.5 hours of landing.

As long as it fits in the dimensions below (from the AA website), you should be fine! If one person’s bag has extra space in it, distribute the belongings from the other person’s bag between them.

Carry-on requirements

  • Shouldn’t exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters (including handles and wheels)
  • Must fit in the sizer at the airport

I flew to Portland from Detroit recently. I had a carry on and a personal item. When I arrived at the gate, they were asking for volunteers to check their carry on, free of charge. I did so, which was nice because I didn’t have to worry about running out of overhead space…and since those bags are last on the plane, they are first off so I had almost no wait for my luggage to come through. It was one of the first. Also, practically no worry about them losing it since they take the luggage from you as you board the plane.

But do have a personal item so you know you will have necessary items while on the flight itself.


Who are you flying with? EDIT: derp, I can’t read. YOu said flying American.
How are you getting to the Philly airport (driving yourself and then shuttling over, having someone drop you off?)

Just to add… depending on when you board (one of the last people) there is a chance that you may have to gate check your bag but that would be free and it’s really no big deal.


If you have to use the restroom when you land, be prepared to wait in line. The bathroom situation in that terminal is terrible - I mean, MCO terminal B is very unglamorous, but that part is always zero fun.

With AA, if you are after Boarding Group 6 and your flight is at all full, there’s a strong chance you’ll have to check it - just to be warned.

When it is time to leave the world and go back to MCO - give yourself plenty of time. If you’re going to eat at the airport or shop, do it BEFORE you go through security. The choices are VERY limited once you go through security!

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After a few long waits for bags at MCO I have rededicated myself to carryon only. I usually start summoning an Uber as soon as we get off of the monorail and it times out perfectly.
Checking the timestamps from our last trip, I see that our flight got in at 10:34 and we popped over to drop our bags at BWI and made it through the IG gate exactly an hour later.

All this to say, that dinner reservation should be very doable if your flight is anywhere near on time but that is a scarily big IF these days so a flexible attitude is a great idea!

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I like to look at the website for the airport, so I can see the maps and have some understanding of how it is laid out and where to go to get baggage and then ground transportation. At MCO you have to ride some monorail-like shuttles that connect the main building to the various concourses.

This is a good point. I always throw in a shirt and underwear in my carry on in case luggage gets lost I have something to change into.

If you’re a new flyer, checking bags can be confusing. There are two ways to check a bag and the difference is where you pick it up after you land. If they ask you to check your bag be sure to ask where to get it later. Gate checking is no big deal because you pick your bag up at your arrival gate and don’t have to wait forever at baggage claim.


Not true with American Airlines. If you’re gate checking because they’ve asked for people to check it in advance because they know the flight is full or because the overhead compartments are full and you haven’t boarded yet - then you will pick it up at baggage claim with everyone else.
Only if it is Valet checked, because the plane is too small too fit ANY bags (…probably not what will be going from PHL to MCO)…then everyone at the gate would get a valet tag and pick their bags up at the gate.

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I would add this about having to gate check a bag.

If you do get told you will have to, then don’t just hand the bags over there and then. Stop and think a minute. What do you have in that bag?

Any medication and valuables like a lap top needs to be kept with you. Plus anything else you might need, like essential toiletries. Plus personally I still make sure everyone has a change of clothes, because that gate checked bag could still get mislaid.

And a baby’s diaper bag etc can always be taken on board. Along with any medical equipment. Although you would hope anyone in that situation wouldn’t be in a later boarding group, it can happen if people are changing onto a connecting flight.

So you need to take your time and repack as necessary. And insist they properly tag the bag and that you can secure it shut too.


And one more addendum to gate checking.

Make sure that bag is legitimate carry-on size. I’ve been on flights where they were having to do gate checks because it was full. They announced that there would be bags checked and if anyone wanted to do it in advance to go to the counter. And on the second or third announcement - I think because someone had gone up with a bag that was larger than carry-on size (yes, there are some that fit through the scanner but are larger than carry-on) - they clearly stated “The complimentary check is for true carry-on size bags only. If your bag is larger than carry-on size - and we will know because you’ll have to bring it back from the plane - you will be charged the checked-bag cost.”

It’s only happened a couple of times, but it has happened.

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wondering if you actually made it to orlando from philly. My connector I’ve been watching has been cancelled several times the past few weeks!!

good luck