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Orlando Melbourne International Airport – Our Complete Guide

Orlando Melbourne International Airport - Shows a TUI plane on the runway

Welcome to our complete guide to Orlando Melbourne International Airport. This small airport is rapidly growing and is attracting a number of airlines. It’s also undergoing a lot of development, and there isn’t a lot of information online about the airport.

After flying to and from Melbourne a couple of times and researching everything there is to know, we’ve assembled a guide to help inform you what it’s like to fly in or out of MLB airport. In this guide, we’ll share information on facilities, car hire, dining options, airlines and more. We’ll also tell you the best ways to get to popular hotel areas, including Port Canaveral for cruises, and Orlando for the theme parks.

If you have any questions about Orlando Melbourne International Airport and we didn’t cover it in this article, send us a message or post a comment below.

An overview/history of MLB Airport

Once a naval base and then a small regional airport for many years, Melbourne Florida Airport (previously named Orlando Melbourne International Airport) has seen a lot of development over recent years and is quickly expanding. As the airport has been developed, it now welcomes international flights, as well as internal flights from across the US.

At the time of writing, it still has a small flight schedule of only a handful of flights per day. However, this is increasing as the airport grows. The increase in flights is a result of local initiatives to reduce the heavily congested air traffic to Orlando International Airport and other nearby airports.

What airlines fly to Melbourne International Airport?

A variety of US regional and national airlines fly to Orlando Melbourne International Airport, including Delta Airlines. As of 2019, UK airline TUI now operates international flights from the UK and Melbourne is their main US airport for Orlando holidays.

As the airport expands, it’s likely that more airlines will start arriving into Melbourne.

Shows a plane taking off at an airport

Where is Melbourne Airport located? Is Orlando Melbourne Airport in Orlando?

Melbourne International Airport is located on Florida’s east coast, just south of Cape Canaveral, north of Miami, and within very close proximity to the beaches of the Atlantic Florida coast. It’s also in the heart of the city, just a 5-minute drive from Downtown Melbourne.

Most passengers fly into Melbourne to visit the theme parks of Orlando, which are a 1 hr 20 min drive. The popular cruise port of Port Canaveral is only a 35-minute drive away, as are all of the east-coast beaches, stretching down to Miami.

On the contrary to its previous name, Orlando Melbourne International Airport, the airport isn’t in Orlando. However, it is very close. As a result, ‘Orlando’ was dropped from its name in 2015.

How to get to Melbourne Airport from the town

The best way to get to Downtown Melbourne airport from Downtown Melbourne, and vice versa, is to get a taxi. Book an Uber, Lyft or local taxi for the 10-minute drive. Melbourne’s small town appeal and close proximity to the airport makes it a hassle free airport to fly from.

How to get to / from Orlando to Melbourne Airport

The majority of passengers flying into the airport are visiting Florida for the theme parks in Orlando. If you’re staying on International Drive, Universal Orlando, Disneyworld, Kissimmee or any of the Orlando areas, the following options will get you to/from the airport.

Cinderella's castle in Magic Kingdom, Disneyworld

Car rental

Renting a car is one of the best ways to get to and from Melbourne International Airport to Orlando. The terminal has a handful of car hire companies, including Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz and Budget.

Personally, we recommend Alamo. They have a good selection of cars, and in our experience, their customer service is the best. Check out the reviews on Google or visit their website here.

Budget are usually the most affordable car rental option, but reviews show that they can be hit or miss.

If you’re visiting Florida from the UK, we recommend using the third party booking website Discount Florida Car Hire. You’ll save money compared to booking directly with the rental company and full insurance is included.

If you don’t want to rent a car for your full trip (car rental these days can be very expensive), consider doing a one-way car rental, picking it up at your hotel and dropping it off at an Orlando office the next day. A lot of Florida car rental companies don’t charge a one-way drop-off fee so you only have to pay for a 1-day rental. You’ll find multiple Alamo and Budget car rental offices around Disneyworld and International Drive.

Airline coach transfer

If you’re visiting Florida as part of a package holiday, tour operators such as TUI include complimentary coach transfers with package holidays. This is a cheap way to get to Orlando from Melbourne International Airport, though it won’t be an option for some people. The option isn’t available for those with ‘flight only’ bookings.

The downside of a coach transfer over car rental or a taxi is the time it takes to get to your hotel. You’ll need to account for the stops at different hotels on the way to yours. The coach is generally 30-40 minutes slower than renting a car.

Taxi/Uber/Lyft

Local taxis, Uber and Lyft services are available in Melbourne. However, as the journey to Orlando is long distance, it may be difficult to find a driver that’ll take you the full length of the trip. As such, this can be an unreliable option for getting to Orlando from Melbourne Airport.

If you do want to take the chance of using Uber or Lyft, expect to pay around $80 – 100 one way for the trip to Orlando. Private taxi companies are more reliable, but the journey could cost you as much as $150+ for the one-way journey to Orlando.

At the time of writing, there aren’t a great deal of private transfer options to and from Orlando Melbourne International Airport due to the remote location of the airport, but this could change in the future.

Our recommendation:

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Orlando from Melbourne International Airport, go with the free coach transfer if your airline offers it. If not, consider renting a car for one day and dropping it off in Orlando the next day. You’ll then need to do the same thing on the way back.

If you’d like to rent a car for the duration of your trip, we recommend booking with Alamo at Melbourne Airport.

How to get to Port Canaveral from Melbourne Florida International Airport

There are a few different ways to get to Port Canaveral cruise port from Melbourne Florida International Airport. These include:

Orlando Melbourne International Airport - Shows a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Taxi/Uber/Lyft

As the drive is only 35 minutes to Port Canaveral from the airport, this is the most convenient option in our opinion. Simply book a ride using your ride share app once you leave the terminal, or use one of the taxis outside the airport.

You can also book a taxi directly with a local Melbourne taxi company. Find a list of these here.

Car rental

If you’d prefer the comfort of your own car, book a car with Alamo at Melbourne Airport. You can then drop it off at the Alamo office at Port Canaveral. This is a great option if you have time to kill before your cruise or are cruising the next day.

Airline coach transfer

Some travel companies offer flights into Melbourne as part of a fly and cruise package. If you’re going on a cruise as part of a package, simply opt for the included coach transfer to the cruise terminal.

What are the facilities at Orlando Melbourne Airport?

Check in

The check-in area at Orlando Melbourne Airport is one of the most modern and newly renovated areas of the airport building. It has plenty of check-in desks, had lots of staff when we were there and also had a hassle free check in process. We were impressed with check-in at Melbourne! It was a lot quicker than other airports.

Melbourne Florida Airport - check-in desk sign

Security

As with a lot of the airport, the security/TSA check area of MLB airport is undeveloped and very small. It consists of only a few scanning machines and handful of staff, so it can be quite chaotic. However, as there aren’t currently many flights through the airport, we found the security process to be very quick.

Equally, immigration at the airport is very quick. There are a few immigration stands and the staff were surprisingly friendly for immigration officers.

Food and drink

The food and drink offerings at MLB airport are very few. They consist of:

  • A Dunkin’ Donuts, serving up donuts, colds drinks, coffee and other snack items
  • Lucky’s Bar – A small bar/restaurant at the entrance of the departure area. It has hot meals such as burgers, chicken tenders and sandwiches, plus a full service bar.
  • Tiki Bar – If you fancy an exotic cocktail or rum and coke before your flight, the Tiki Bar is the place to go. It’s comically misplaced in the middle of the old departure hall but we found it to be a good added touch.

As the dining facilities at the airport are limited, we recommend bringing food with you or stopping by a restaurant on the way to the airport. The eateries they do have can be busy and have been known for running out of food if there are a lot of flights.

On a positive note, food and drink in the airport is very affordable compared to other airports.

Dunkin Donuts sign

Duty free

The duty free selection on offer is extremely small and consists of a couple of stands in the middle of the departure hall. If you’re looking for duty free products, we recommend buying them on your outbound flight or on the aeroplane.

Restrooms / Bathrooms

There’s one main restroom area before departures and another in the departure lounge. We found the restrooms to be clean and well equipped. They also have a free water-bottle refill station.

Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is included at the airport and we found it quite reliable. Simply connect to it on your phone or laptop and click through the connection confirmation page.

Parking at Melbourne International Airport

On-airport long term and short term parking is available at the airport, right outside the terminal building. You can view parking prices on the official website here.

Orlando Melbourne International Airport - Shows suitcases in a car boot

Hotels near Melbourne International Airport

Staying in a Melbourne hotel is a great option for those that have an early morning flight or if you’d like to explore the beaches before heading home. The following Melbourne hotels all provide easy access to the airport and have excellent Tripadvisor reviews.

Residence Inn by Marriott Melbourne – View on Booking.com

A 3-star hotel with a modern interior and plenty of facilities. It’s only a 5-minute drive from Melbourne International Airport.

Comfort Inn & Suites Melbourne Viera – View on Booking.com

The Comfort Inn is a budget-friendly hotel just a 13-minute drive from the airport. It’s basic but well maintained, with all the facilities you need for a short stay.

Tuckaway Shores Oceanfront Suites – View on Booking.com

A beautiful beach-front property that has stunning views of Melbourne’s white sands. It has a small, welcoming atmosphere and is the perfect place to spend a few nights before flying home. It’s a 14-minute drive to MLB airport.

Is Melbourne International Airport a good airport to fly from?

With our own experience in mind, here are the main pros and cons of visiting Melbourne Airport.

The pros

  • It’s well located for those going on a cruise from Port Canaveral or exploring the nearby coastline.
  • The airport is very small. Therefore, lines are small and it takes very little time to exit the airport through immigration on arrival. We made it out of the door in just 30 minutes! Therefore, although it’s quite a distance from Orlando, the quick exit time (compared to the long queues at Orlando International Airport) can mean that the journey time to your hotel is similar.
  • As a less visited airport, flights to Melbourne International can often be cheaper than flying into a more centrally located airport – Miami or Orlando.

The cons

  • The airport is a 1hr 20min drive from Orlando. This can be a long journey to the hotel, especially after a long flight.
  • The facilities at MLB airport are very poor and it can feel crowded if there are multiple flights leaving near the same time. These aspects will improve as the airport expands and a new terminal is built.
  • The transport options from the airport are limited, unless you’re renting a car or using an included coach transfer. Bus and taxi options are expensive and limited.
Close-up of a suitcase lock

Our overall thoughts on Florida Melbourne Airport

When visiting MLB airport, we had mixed thoughts about the overall airport experience. The long drive to Orlando after the flight and lack of facilities at the airport was a definite negative. There were some moments that were even comical, showing how underdeveloped the airport was. However, the friendly staff, small, quiet atmosphere of the airport and quick exit was a major positive.

Melbourne Airport lacks the accessibility and facilities of Orlando International Airport, but it also lacks the crowds, chaos and long queues. It’s also often cheaper to fly into Melbourne compared to other airports.

Would we fly to Orlando Melbourne Airport again? The answer is a confident, yes. In our opinion, the benefits outweigh the negatives. As the airport’s facilities improve, we see this airport becoming a good choice for any trip to Florida.

Is there anything to do in the nearby Melbourne area?

If you like beaches, shopping and relaxation, Melbourne is a great place to visit. Its beachfront is full of nice hotels, apartments and condos. Prices are also very reasonable. Tourists visit year-after-year for a beach holiday, along with a combined trip down Florida’s east coast. It’s also within a short drive of some excellent attractions, including Kennedy Space Center.

If visiting Orlando or going on a cruise, you may wish to extend your trip a couple of days and spend some time in a Melbourne beach resort. Additionally, it has some good shopping outlets, department stores and restaurant options.

Melbourne Florida white sandy beach

Our top tips for visiting Orlando Melbourne Airport

  • If you’re returning to the airport from Orlando or another long-drive destination, leave plenty of time for delays and traffic. You don’t want to be rushing for your flight!
  • Consider staying in Melbourne and visiting the beach for 1-2 nights before your flight home. It’s a great destination in itself and provides a different Florida experience compared to Central Florida.
  • Stop by a sandwich store such as Panera Bread on the way to the airport to collect food or have a big meal at a restaurant on the way to the airport. The food options inside the airport are very poor.
  • The duty free selection at MLB airport is limited. If this is important to you, buy your duty free on your outbound flight/at your outbound airport.
  • Visit this website for up-to-date departure information. The airport doesn’t have many departure boards. You can connect to Wi-Fi for free to access the website.
Melbourne Florida Airport - Shows a set of stairs in an airport
  • There’s a free water-bottle refill station outside of the restrooms. Bring along an empty water bottle for free hydration. 😊
  • Head to the back of the departure area for lots more seating and a quieter atmosphere. Most passengers stay near the café area at the entrance to the departure hall.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before check-in opens to beat the majority of passengers to the queue.
  • Prepare all of your liquids into plastic bags, empty your pockets and take off your jacket before heading through security / TSA check. It can be quite a chaotic experience and this will help minimise your time in security.
  • If car rental is expensive at the airport for your chosen dates, consider getting a taxi 10 minutes down the road to the town of Melbourne and renting a car from a local offices near the beach. The rates of car hire at the airport are often more expensive than city locations.
  • Another way to save money on car rental is to compare rental companies and hold off on booking until rates have dropped. In our experience, car rental prices are at their lowest between 1 week and 6 weeks of arrival. If you’re travelling during a busy period such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving or the peak summer months, it’s best to book as soon as possible as car numbers are limited.

Thanks for reading our complete guide to Orlando Melbourne International Airport. We hope we’ve answered any questions you had about visiting and you can now plan your trip in confidence. The airport is ever-evolving and new flight routes are being added, so we’ll be sure to update the article when news is released.

If you have any questions about Melbourne Florida Airport, be sure to post a comment below. 😊

Ricky

By Ricky MARSHALL

Author bio:

An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.

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