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If I am flying from internationally to Orlando then immediately flying to Miami, will I need to be TSA rescreened after landing in Orlando? If so, should I expect to be rescreened in the Orlando's regular rescreening area, or do they have a separate screening area for international passengers transiting?

If you have transited through Orlando as international passenger, please state this in your reply

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    As far as I know, rescreening is required when connecting from an international flight at every US airport. – Nate Eldredge Jan 21 '17 at 23:48
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    Unless you are arriving from a foreign airport with preclearance (mostly these are in Canada), you will be rescreened at any US airport. Where you will be rescreened at MCO depends on whether your departure is in the same concourse as the international arrivals concourse. I think most people will take the people mover to the main concourse and join domestic originating pax. – Calchas Jan 21 '17 at 23:51
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Orlando is a bit of an oddity in the respect to international arrivals due to the way luggage is (or at least, can be) handled.

Presuming you are not arriving from a Pre-clearance airport, then yes, you will need to re-clear security as well as immigration and customs in Orlando.

The flow in Orlando will depend on whether you have bags, and whether you are able to check your bags to your destination or not.

Upon arrival, you will go through immigration, collect your bags (if you have checked any), and then go through customs. If you have bags, and they have been checked through to Miami, then you can then re-drop your bags at the baggage drop, hop onto the train to the main terminal where you will re-clear security at the general TSA area, and head to your gate.

If your bags were not checked to your final destination then there's a few options. If you have at most one bag, then you can take the bag with you on the train, and re-check it with your new airline at the main terminal.

Alternatively - and there is where Orlando is different to most airports - you can drop your bag at the baggage re-check area and it will be transported to the baggage carousel in the main terminal for you. You then catch the train to the main terminal, go to the baggage claim area, and re-claim your bag before checking it in with your next airline. Doing this will take longer than taking your bag with you on the train, but it may be easier, and is mandatory if you have more than one (large) bag.

You can find a brochure that covers some of the details for this process on the MCO website, but keep in mind that this is really designed for arriving passengers, not connecting passengers.

  • is mandatory if you have more than one (large) bag - news to me; at least it is not enforced. I always take my two large bags on the train. You need to be able to handle them by yourself, of course. – Aganju Jan 22 '17 at 2:32
  • After clearing customs, is there a station for airlines to collect your bags for the next flight IN THE STERILE (SECURE) AREA, so that you do not have to leave the sterile area? Please clarify this in the response – gatorback Jan 22 '17 at 16:48
  • @gatorback Customs is not in the sterile area at any U.S. airport. If you're not on a pre-cleared flight, you've left the sterile area as soon as you deplane from an international flight at any U.S. airport. This is because you necessarily have access to your checked baggage at customs, from which you could retrieve items that are allowed in checked luggage, but not in carry-on luggage (including guns and ammunition, knives, liquids, etc.) – reirab Mar 13 '17 at 21:24
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United States airports are not built to handle international transit passengers. Transit doesn't exist. Maybe once did but 9/11 and consequent things put to an end of it perhaps 2003 or so.

This means once you've landed you will be funnelled through immigration then you will need to collect your bags then go through customs and then you will find yourself outside of the secure area.

Edit: yes, if you are coming from a preclearance airport then this is different but for immigration purposes you are already on a domestic flight in that case! This will show in the terminal you land etc.

  • Have you ever been to Orlando? Or any US airport for that matter? The same gates (at least some of them) can be used for both Domestic and International arrivals at many airports, and this is definitely true for MCO. So the terminal you land at will NOT show what you're suggesting. – Doc Jan 22 '17 at 8:21
  • SIgh. Yes. About a million times. There are many cases when flights from Vancouver land at a domestic terminal instead of international because we are precleared. – chx Jan 22 '17 at 13:47
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The US doesn't have international transit, which means everyone not pre-cleared at the airport of departure (in Dublin, Shannon, Abu Dhabi or most Canadian airports) must get out of the sterile zone into the public area (after clearing immigration and customs) and then re-clear security.

While some airports, such as Washington Dulles, have dedicated immigration, customs and security areas for transit passengers, Orlando does not. As such, you will go through the same security check as those beginning their journey in Orlando, unless arriving from any of the above mentioned airports, in which case you'll find yourself in the departures area and can immediately proceed to your next gate.

  • ATL has an international inbound dedicated TSA inspection station, which is located after passengers have been processed by DHS CBP. I do not expect this to always be the case. – gatorback Jan 22 '17 at 16:31
  • @gatorback It isn't at Orlando, or at least wasn't in August 2015 – Crazydre Jan 22 '17 at 16:52

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