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Orlando-MCO Vs SFB  
User currently offlineBAKJet From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 743 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4390 times:

Why is it that most of the major (and non-major) North and South American carriers choose MCO yet most of the lo cost European carriers choose SFB. I'm guessing it has something to do with fees, but if SFB has low fees why aren't all the carriers at MCO moving over to SFB.  bigmouth 

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRookinla From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 307 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4372 times:

Okay so let's look at a couple issues as to why this is the case....
1. MCO carries over 35 Million passengers per year. The airport is huge, has many amenities that SFB doesn't have...Check out SFB's website and look at the terminal and the amenities. They are good for "no frills" passengers, which are generally what SFB attracts...not world-class like MCO.
2. SFB just doesn't have the ability to serve a much larger number of passengers like MCO sees.
3. Look at a map and see the location of the two airports. MCO is a reasonably close drive to Disney. SFB is...in Sanford...nowhere close to Disney...big difference here. When I lived in Orlando, I never even gave SFB a thought. MCO was too convenient.
4. The major carriers, both domestic and international, want good facilities. Carriers like BA, LH, etc would not give SFB a thought. It's just not what they want to offer their customers. Aeropostal tried the switch to SFB and it did not work at all. FI doesn't really care...it's all about operating costs for them.
5. MCO doesn't currently have any South American carriers. Not to say that they haven't in the past...RG, TR, VP, LN, VH, AR, EU, etc. Closest now is CM.


User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4313 times:

What he said.

I think to sum it all up, MCO is a hub-like city, where-as SFB is a smaller airport (in comparison). It's just the purpose of the airports.


User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4248 times:

What I've heard from CM about SFB is that even SFB is cheaper to operate in and in SFB arriving passengers don't have to reclaim their baggage twice (imagine that for a 4 children family) or walk long distances inside the airport plus most of CM passengers at MCO aren't connecting, the distance to/from the major attractions (=driving time to/fr hotels) doesn't make it that appealing.


I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineTeneriffe77 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 465 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4233 times:

I've flown into MCO plenty of times and I prefer that to SFB becuase it's closer to the major attractions and if I want to go straight to the Cocoa Beach area, the Beeline Expressway (or whatever they call it now) runs across the northern border of the airport and I can just hop on that and be on the coast within 2 hours. Also for those not interested in planes MCO has plenty of things to keep them busy. BTW why doesn't the INTL concourse at SFB (the older part fo the terminal) have any wondows?

User currently offlineSacamojus From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4147 times:

Quoting BAKJet (Thread starter):
I'm guessing it has something to do with fees, but if SFB has low fees why aren't all the carriers at MCO moving over to SFB

I asked the same question months ago and still have not recieved a concrete answer. Everybody says that it is the driving distance to the attraction which I think is crap considering that G4 operates a big hub out of SFB as a vacation airline. Personally, I think that the driving distance to the heart of Orlando from either MCO or SFB is a pain on I-4. It must be the faciliies that MCO offers, but then why doesn't B6, FL, or WN move atleast some operations over to SFB because of the lower fees?


User currently offlineRookinla From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 307 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4103 times:

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 5):
I asked the same question months ago and still have not recieved a concrete answer.

I think that my response in this thread is a concrete answer...and extremely factual and accurate. I'm not sure what more you are looking for.


Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 5):
Everybody says that it is the driving distance to the attraction which I think is crap considering that G4 operates a big hub out of SFB as a vacation airline.

It is partly because of distance. If you were a tourist would you rather fly into a world-class airport(which MCO clearly is) that is 10 miles away or a small niche facility 30 miles away and sometimes a bear of a drive. Also G4's SFB operation is more a focus, IMHO. Most of their routes are not even daily...and definitely not a big hub.

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 5):
Personally, I think that the driving distance to the heart of Orlando from either MCO or SFB is a pain on I-4.

The majority of passengers are not going to the "Heart of Orlando"...which I'm assuming you mean is Downtown. They are going to WDW, Universal, etc. Why would you want to subject yourself to a 30 mile trek for no reason in that kind of traffic?


Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 5):
It must be the faciliies that MCO offers

 checkmark 
One of the reasons I listed above.

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 5):
but then why doesn't B6, FL, or WN move atleast some operations over to SFB because of the lower fees?

Why would any of these airlines want to move a portion of their flights to SFB? Splitting operations between two airports would render some of their flights unprofitable and raise costs unnecessarily. If any of these airlines were to shift their flights to SFB, I think you would see their loads drop as passengers would usually opt for the closest and better airport. Then...lower costs mean nothing if butts aren't in the seats.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8894 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4090 times:

From MCO, I can make it onto Disney property within 20 minutes. Really, I've landed at MCO and was at Epcot 50 minutes later - including getting to my hotel to drop off my stuff. At that point from SFB, I could easily be in downtown Orlando sitting on I-4. Much more convinient, much better ground transportation options (more cabs, lower fares to Disney, etc.).

User currently offlineBananaboy From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1574 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 4002 times:

When the UK charters pulled out of MCO, they justified the move because of the "double-bag claim" system. Also, AFAIR SFB was able to provide on-site car rental access (with their affiliated rental companies) where many at MCO required a bus ride. Given that the vast majority of ex-UK customers would be taking a rental car, this would affect a large percentage of their customers.


Not that I totally bought it.. MCO is indeed world-class. I guess they were just going for the lower airport fees no doubt charged by SFB. I don't care about the hire car / double claim system, I just don't believe that it will be more convenient to have to (stay awake) and drive for an hour or so from SFB.


Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineCloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 807 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3821 times:

Disney, and in fact most of the tourist attractions, are not actually located in Orlando but in the towns/cities south of Orlando. The same goes for a lot of the tourist accommodations. Sanford is located well north of Orlando, and so while it is close to Orlando itself, it is far from the rest.

Ultimately the European charters can get away with it because 1) many European tourists aren't particularly aware of spatial relationship - nor of the relative scale - or Central Florida and 2) most Europeans have a lot more time to spend on their vacation, so spending more time getting to and from the airport doesn't seem like such a big deal to them. So if it is cheaper and doesn't affect them much, then why bother to fly into MCO?



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

One reason for the European charter operators using SFB is that their customers are conditioned to long transfers to their resort from the airport. Thus they can get away with using the cheapest airport. In many cases a holiday booked via a European operator includes transfers from the airport to the resort, and return. Thus the distances don't really register, as they are sitting on a bus, and have no real concept of dostances,; some probably don't even know of the existence of MCO

Finally I have noticed that most of the car hire companys are now onsite at MCO, or at least the ones I have used are.


User currently offlineBAKJet From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 743 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3805 times:

[/quote]

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 10):
Finally I have noticed that most of the car hire companys are now onsite at MCO, or at least the ones I have used are.

Most rental car companies that advertise as airport are now usually at the airport (at least in the US)


User currently offlineSacamojus From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3762 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 10):
One reason for the European charter operators using SFB is that their customers are conditioned to long transfers to their resort from the airport. Thus they can get away with using the cheapest airport. In many cases a holiday booked via a European operator includes transfers from the airport to the resort, and return. Thus the distances don't really register, as they are sitting on a bus, and have no real concept of dostances,; some probably don't even know of the existence of MCO


I could see how this would work for international services, but G4 has made SFB successful despite the distances. MCO to Disney can be quite a pain if you take the Beeline to I-4; from the Seaworld exit to Lake Buena Vista there is typically stopping traffic. From SFB you can take 417 all the way around, which is what I do, and save you 15 minutes and a more comfortable drive than going straight down I-4. Personally, I think if you can get cheap tickets to fly to Disney, you don't care which airport it is (which is why G4 does so well). Why wouldn't some LCC's move over to SFB? Is it not that much cheaper? Didn't some of the legacy carriers in the past serve SFB?


User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3743 times:

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 12):
I could see how this would work for international services, but G4 has made SFB successful despite the distances. MCO to Disney can be quite a pain if you take the Beeline to I-4; from the Seaworld exit to Lake Buena Vista there is typically stopping traffic. From SFB you can take 417 all the way around, which is what I do, and save you 15 minutes and a more comfortable drive than going straight down I-4. Personally, I think if you can get cheap tickets to fly to Disney, you don't care which airport it is (which is why G4 does so well). Why wouldn't some LCC's move over to SFB? Is it not that much cheaper? Didn't some of the legacy carriers in the past serve SFB?

The fact remains that pound for pound SFB is three times the distance from where 95% of arriving passengers want to be. Sure the beeline could be busier on one given day than the 417 or I4 from SFB, but the next day it will be the other way around. Don't forget you can also take the south exit from MCO and pick up the 417 that way - I have never yet seen traffic and you get right onto both Osceola or I-Drive. MCO is probably the most efficient and pleasant large US airport I have used - maybe if SFB was up against say ORD or JFK with their weather/ATC delays things would be slightly different.

Airlines today are more cost-sensitive than ever. I bet most of the majors have at one time or another conducted a detailed cost/benefit analysis of the advantages of using SFB vs MCO for at least some of their services (or even additional flights from major hubs). The bottom line is, None moved. That says it all - despite the obvious savings, the potential loss of customer base/yield/revenue etc. far offset the savings in gate leases/landing fees and so on.

SFB has been successful in finding a niche serving the european charters and an ultra low cost vacation oriented scheduled/charter hybrid airline. I can't see that changing anytime soon.

Regards



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlineAlphaomega From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 568 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3743 times:

Quoting Bananaboy (Reply 8):
When the UK charters pulled out of MCO, they justified the move because of the "double-bag claim" system.

Now if you are willing to carry your bags through the terminal you are not required to double check them. I went though MCO on Virgin a few weeks ago and I was at my rental car 45min after landing. SFB really needs to improve their facilities to compete with MCO - Virgin was making a serious consideration to move from MCO to SFB, and after SFB enlarged their ramp area as part of a plan to expand the original terminal building, Virgin decided to stay at MCO.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3535 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting Bananaboy (Reply 8):
When the UK charters pulled out of MCO, they justified the move because of the "double-bag claim" system

I've only once found the "double bag claim" to be a problem. Every time I've used it, there's been no wait to place my bags on the belt at the satellite, and the bags have dropped off the conveyor into the central baggage reclaim by the time I've got there. The one problem time, was when we were told the wrong carousel by the staff at the satellite.


User currently offlineRookinla From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 307 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3584 times:

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 12):
Didn't some of the legacy carriers in the past serve SFB?

Nope...Can't remember a single one.


User currently offlineRookinla From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 307 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Quoting Sacamojus (Reply 12):
Personally, I think if you can get cheap tickets to fly to Disney, you don't care which airport it is

Generally speaking, I have to say that I never have problems finding reasonably priced (and sometimes dirt-cheap flights) into MCO. I have to say that I am glad that SFB exists...It serves a different customer than MCO. It helps the local economy tick but...it will not be taking MCO's domestic carriers away anytime soon. Ditto that for non-discount international carriers. SFB isn't even on the radar of international legacy carriers...MCO is. I am glad that there are some that swear by SFB...I think it's great. But just remember that Disney and MCO are huge economic engines for the area...not SFB. Just the facts.


User currently offlineRdwootty From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 902 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

As a UK travel agent and having been to both airports I prefer SFB.This s for 2 main reasons. The staff at SFB are more pleasant than MCO . I suspect that is because the clients are on holiday and relaxed and this mood helps in both directions.In addition there is a very easy start to the "flydrive" holiday.Just think about the journey from MCO to I27 villa and then the relaxed start from SFB to get you into the routine of driving on the wrong side of the road in an automatic car.It all helps with the holiday feeling and I also cannot understand the reasoning behind the double bag handling policy at MCO.Is it just a union thing? At LGW they use the same people movers and you can even take your baggage trolley onto the train.At MCO you cannot even take your own bag!Who wants to wait after a long flight for your bags to travel from another terminal.

User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Quoting Rdwootty (Reply 18):
I also cannot understand the reasoning behind the double bag handling policy at MCO.Is it just a union thing? At LGW they use the same people movers and you can even take your baggage trolley onto the train.At MCO you cannot even take your own bag!Who wants to wait after a long flight for your bags to travel from another terminal.

Its nothing to do with unions. MCO is a great airport but it is poorly designed for international flights. Domestic flights just use the main baggage carousels in the central terminal area. There was no way to attach a customs facility to this area so the international immigration/baggge claim/customs area is in the satellites. The double drop was required because passengers had to pass through the unsegregated terminal (they mix with departing passengers which is considered unsecure) therefore bags were "redelivered" to the central baggage area for you.

For a while now there has been a dedicated path for international arrivals which is staffed by TSA agents. Once that was in place there was no real requirement for the double drop - its probably partly for passenger convenience and to avoid slower passenger flow and congestion on the trains.

Quoting Rdwootty (Reply 18):
In addition there is a very easy start to the "flydrive" holiday.Just think about the journey from MCO to I27 villa and then the relaxed start from SFB to get you into the routine of driving on the wrong side of the road in an automatic car.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here? SFB undoubtedly has a great "regional airport" layout which makes leaving the airport much easier than most large U.S. hubs. However, MCO has all the rental car firms on site - you literally walk across the road from baggage claim to get to your car. The exit roads are all clearly signed and the roads easy to navigate. After a 9 hour flight surely a 30 minute drive is better than a 60 minute drive?

Regards



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlineCloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 807 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

On a slight tangent, what exactly is the logic behind keeping the passengers separated? They have already gone through security when they boarded the plane, didn't they?


"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineBoeing74741R From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2007, 1155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3327 times:

MCO is popular with the majors/legacies because it is close to the main attractions of Orlando (i.e. what a lot of the passengers that use MCO go through for) such as Disney, Universal, I-Drive etc and with excellent road connections to the rest of the state. Also having used MCO three times (with VS) it is an excellent airport and is probably one of the best airports I have ever used.

The problem with SFB is that (on a good day) it is an extra 30-45mins drive to get to the main attractions of Orlando, and this obviously takes longer when I-4s at gridlock. See it from a family's perspective...they've just landed into SFB from the UK (ok MAN) on a Travel City Direct 747 after 9 hours in the air, everybody's tired, hot and bothered and all they want to do is to simply get to Disney/Universal/timeshare resort/hotel/wherever they are staying and start their holiday, and not use the extra time to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road in an automatic car then get stuck in a traffic jam. (SevenHeavy I agree with you fully about a 30mins drive vs a 60mins drive).

Also despite the lower fees charged to airlines SFB isn't really suitable for the amount of passengers that go through the airport per annum and if it was to cater for more flights they would have to expand the terminal facilities. Cloudboy is right because (unless you're my aunty/uncle/cousins) charter carriers can get away flying into SFB because your average customer on those sort of flights (no offence) are oblivious to the fact that BA and VS serve MCO which is a heck of a lot closer to Orlando's attractions than SFB. Having said that a lot of these passengers are on fly-drive holidays and not on coach transfers (as is the norm in Europe).

I would expect future LCC long-haul start-ups (like Ryanair's proposed long-haul airline) to pick SFB over MCO, but when it comes to airlines who want to please their customers the most (airport facilities, convenience etc) and if they're looking to fly an A380 somewhere MCO is the sensible option.

[Edited 2007-11-11 14:48:06]

User currently offlineClipper136 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 316 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3253 times:

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 20):
They have already gone through security when they boarded the plane, didn't they?

Technically yes.....but they have not gone thru TSA, as the other passenger in the sterile gate areas have. TSA did have a requirement to have the international passengers re-screened after customs before entering the sterile areas. The segregation of the passengers alleviates the re-screening.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32611 posts, RR: 72
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3246 times:

Quoting BAKJet (Thread starter):
Why is it that most of the major (and non-major) North and South American carriers choose MCO

A South American airline hasn't flown to Orlando since 2002.



a.
User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3227 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3224 times:

Isn't the fact that SFB is British owned contributing to the propensity of UK charter operators to fly there? It is owned by the same company that operate BFS and CWL.

TrinToCan.



Hop to it, fly for life!
25 Boeing74741R : I'm not sure that would play a part in attracting UK charter carriers. It's more down to the fees that SFB charge.
26 Post contains images TPAnx : It's the "Beachline"...an effort to lure tourists to the sub-par Atlantic beaches..rather than the award winning Gulf coast beaches... TPAnx
27 Teneriffe77 : Thanks for the clarification but i don't think the Atlantic beaches are sub-par. Ive vacationed on both coasts and I've found the beaches to equally a
28 MCO2BRS : The last time I went through SFB, which admittedly was a number of years ago, it took me an hour and a half to clear immigration. I also picked up som
29 SevenHeavy : It's inevitable that people will have had good and bad experiences at both airports. That aside, as far as I can see the airports simply don't compete
30 Viscount724 : Europeans are also very familiar with flying on carriers like Ryanair that mainly serve secondary airports, often many miles from the cities they pur
31 CIDflyer : I flew into SFB this summer, and although I wasn't going to Disney I was driving to Lake Wales (MCO would have been much closer) but I didn't think th
32 FLALEFTY : Living in the area, I'll add this. MCO has kept growing, reaching capacity and expanding more over the last 30 years. However, as hard as it to believ
33 Clipper136 : Not True. The airport has over 22 sq mi of land, of which only half is developed, and only a small pockets are wetlands. If you are familiar with MCO
34 CitrusCritter : G4's only competition, generally speaking, is an expensive RJ flight on a legacy. They do not compete with any LFC on a route to SFB. Hardly. And les
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