Orlando International Airport (MCO) has been my home-base airport for the past twenty years. But did you know that Orlando also has a second airport? Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is about 50 miles from Disney World, about double the distance from MCO. Though great for me, SFB is only 10 miles from my house, compared to 30 miles to MCO. It offers close proximity to the Lake Mary, Longwood and Altamonte Springs areas.
I flew out of SFB for the very first time last night. A business trip to Reykjavik had me searching Delta and Continental, though with 3 to 4 connections and very high fares, a direct flight to Reykjavik out of Sanford’s airport was a quarter of the price in a quarter of the hours! Granted, getting no miles towards my Diamond or 1K status may have me regretting this flight later in the year, but its practicality won me over for this trip.
SFB has two terminals, with about four airlines flying out of each. It’s an airport that if you blink, you may miss it. However, I was surprisingly very impressed with the airport.
Security was a breeze with only one other passenger going through the line with me. The airport is larger than it looks from the outside, with a huge seating area near the international gates, restaurants, Duty Free and other stores, and free wi-fi. Though what surprised me the most was the lounge for international travelers.
The Royal Palm Lounge is available to business class international travelers and those with Priority Pass. Day passes and arrangements with tour providers for access are also available. This lounge offers a bar area (2 free drinks of beer or wine included), a children’s play area and a Sony Playstation area. There is a separate behind-glass doors smoking area, which is very rare to see within a lounge. You can also order food from a nearby restaurant and the lounge attendant will deliver the food directly to you. Nice to be able to eat a full meal instead of just living on lounge snacks.
There is a bar/eating area, a big-screen tv room, as well as a good-sized comfy sofa and chair area.
Now that I am impressed with the airport, its lounge and the close proximity to my house, I’d love to see a few flights by Delta or Continental come into SFB. Can’t hurt to hope!
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