ORLANDO, Fla. – For anyone in a wheelchair, for anyone who has difficulty walking, or for anyone who just doesn’t like to walk, it’s a long way from the furthest JetBlue gates at the end of Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C to the front of the newly-completed terminal.
The half-mile trek can take as long as 15 minutes, so some passengers suggested adding golf carts, like at so many airports around the world.
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Turns out - MCO did it.
Spokeswoman Carolyn Fennel said it currently operates three custom-designed 6-passenger electric vehicles to shuttle passengers throughout the airside of Terminal C, which opened in September.
“One of the many goals at Orlando International Airport is to always provide a safe, customer focused facility with the passengers journey in mind,” Fennel said. “As previously discussed, we continue to refine and explore amenities following the budget adjustments made earlier to provide a better experience for that journey. From the opening of Terminal C we have provided at least two modes of transportation, wheelchair service through our airline partners and golf cart service offered by the Authority through our Customer Experience Department. Some of our airline partners are exploring the possibility of electric wheelchairs for those that would like the freedom of moving on their own.”
In 2017, while the $2.8 billion terminal was under construction, MCO deleted moving walkways to cut costs and stay on budget. Currently the airport is evaluating options to retrofit moving walkways into the long corridors, perhaps using “pitless” conveyors that don’t require cutting of concrete.
“The Authority provided golf cart transportation moves from the Palm Court out to the gates and back offering stops at any of the concessions along the way,” Fennell said. “In November, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority entered a pilot program with Oceaneering for specially designed vehicles That can accommodate up to 6 passengers each trip with carry-on bags. Currently, three vehicles are operational with another three vehicles arriving by spring. The ultimate plan is for a maximum of four vehicles to operate around the gates area and two vehicles to operate in the International Arrivals area however some logistics are still being worked for that operation to allow capacity and efficient flow for travelers. All vehicles are currently manually operated with the capability of an autonomous operation in the future.”
So how do you call for a golf cart to assist you inside Terminal C?
So far that’s not an option. Fennell said the three operational golf carts are not stationed in a particular location nor can they be summoned with a phone call or radio call. Your best (and only) bet, according to Fennell, is to stop one if you see one.
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