The Orlando Airport is shaped like a flower, with the Main Terminal on an island at its center and four concourses set around it like petals. The Main Terminal is further divided into Terminal A (the northern half of the airport, Gates 1 to 29 and 100 to 129) and Terminal B (the southern half, divided into Gates 30 to 59 and Gates 60 to 99). The main terminal has three floors. The Rental Car Center is on the bottom (first) floor. Ticketing and restaurants are on the top (third) floor, while most of Baggage Claim is on the second floor (with some overflow on the first floor).
Getting to the Rental Car Center at Orlando Airport
To reach the Rental Car Center from any gates (including international flights), take the APM (Automated People Mover) train to the Main Terminal. Look for overhead signs labeled “Shuttle to Terminal & Bag Claim” and the distinctive round windows with a view to the railway tracks.
Head into the corridor between the shuttles to board. The platform and the floor of the train are the same height with just a slight space in between, making it easily accessible for passengers using wheelchairs or strollers to board. Overhead signs will show which side the train is arriving at, in this case, the left side, as indicated by both the words “APM Arriving” and the little picture of a train above the track. Trains arrive every four minutes.
A closer look at the electronic display indicating the APM arrival.
Inside, the APM is designed mostly for standing passengers with handrails and grab bars. At the front and back of each train car are priority seating areas for pregnant and elderly guests and those with limited mobility. More overhead signs indicate where to find the designated Baggage Claim areas for each airline. To the right of the doors, an electronic map shows the location of the APM, in this case, about halfway between the gates and the Main Terminal.
A closer look at the map showing where the train is in relation to the gates and the Main Terminal.
A glance out the window as the train leaves the gates and airplanes behind.
The APM stops on Level 3 of the Main Terminal in between the A and B Terminals. Rental Cars and Ground Transportation are on the first floor. If you don’t need to pick up luggage, go straight down to Level 1. Otherwise, proceed to Baggage Claim on Level 2. Airlines that currently have bags available for pickup are listed on the signs near the APM exit.
Follow the overhead signs toward A and B Baggage Claims and Ground Transportation.
Choose side A or B Baggage Claim depending on which airline was used. Both A and B sides have access to all Rental Cars and Ground Transportation options. This is Terminal B. The escalator down to Level 2 and Baggage Claim is here on the lower center-left; a person with a gray backpack is stepping onto it here.
For elevators, follow the overhead signs straight back to the wall.
Heading toward the elevators. The elevators can reach Level 2 and Baggage Claim or go straight down to Level 1 and the Rental Car Center.
Arriving at Baggage Claim on Level 2. There is an information desk at the bottom of the escalator (if taking the elevator down, take a right as you exit to reach the information desk).
Luggage carts are near the luggage carousels, available to rent for $6.00, payable by cash or card.
There is also one nursing pod in the Baggage Claim area, only on the B side. Other nursing pods are found near the gates, one in each of the four concourses.
Retrieve your luggage and head downstairs to the Rental Car Center. Follow overhead signs toward Rental Cars and Ground Transportation. If your luggage has arrived on belt 28B, it will be down this way, too.
Rental car counters line the wall of Level 1 of the Main Terminal. All major car rental companies are represented here. In this photo are Sixt, National (the green wall to the left), Alamo, and Enterprise in the distance.
Picking Up a Car at the Rental Car Center
Orlando is the largest rental car market in the world, and the airport is the busiest site for car pickups in the whole Orlando area. In spite of that, picking up a rental here is a smooth and fairly quick process. All rental car counters are lined up on Level 1 of the Main Terminal. From left to right, travelers will find Dollar, Thifty …
Most car rental companies will check guests in at the counter and give them a contract and stall number to pick up a particular car or direct them to the part of the garage where they can choose their vehicle. The keys are almost always inside the car.
After signing any necessary paperwork, guests should head toward the parking garage. There is a rental car garage across the street from both A and B sides. To reach the garage, guests will need to cross via an underground passageway. Take the escalator or elevator downstairs and follow the signs for “Rental Car Pick Up.”
Cross through the tunnel and go up the other side to the Rental Car Garage.
The elevators here are shared with the public parking garage.
All rental companies have a customer service kiosk in their areas of the garages, like this one at Enterprise.
Higher-end cars and SUVs at Enterprise, including Range Rovers and a Mustang.
More moderately priced SUVs, minivans, and sedans in the same Level R1 lot.
The National garage area with the customer service kiosk in the back left. The blue signs in the distance mark the Alamo section of the rental car garage.
Upgraded cars at National include Alfa Romeos, BMWs, and Audis.
The Alamo lot has signs pointing the way to minivans, midsized cars and SUVs, and 8 to 15-person passenger vans.
Compact cars and midsize SUVs in the Alamo lot.
Various sizes and styles of infant car seats at Alamo. All car companies offer child seats, but it’s best to book ahead as there may be limited availability.
Down one floor leads to the R1 level of the rental car garages. Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Payless are all represented here.
The Hertz customer service kiosk in the R1 garage.
A whole row of Teslas in the Hertz lot, part of their collection of premium upgrades.
Three different sizes of child seats at Hertz: rear-facing for infants, forward-facing for toddlers, and booster seats for young children.
Heading toward the Avis, Budget, and Payless areas with instructions on how to retrieve your car on the sign: proceed to your numbered parking space, keys will be in the cup holder, then simply exit the garage.
A Ford passenger van, Kia sedans, and a Jeep in the Avis/Budget lot. The signs show overlapping parking space numbers for both rental agencies.
A look at the back side of the rental car spots, showing the stall numbers on the signs above the cars and painted on the ground.
Head down one floor to P1. Sixt is the only car rental company on this level of the garage.
The Sixt customer service kiosk with strollers for rent, along with the usual child seats.
Pickup trucks, sedans, and SUVs in the Sixt lot.
Returning a Car to the Rental Car Center
Drive toward the Airport. When approaching, keep an eye out for “Rental Car Return” signs alongside the road.
Continue following signs as they get more specific. Rental Car Returns are located in Terminals A and B. Head to whichever return area is closer to you.
Take the exit toward Rental Car Returns and pull into the garage marked for your rental car company.
Follow the yellow “Return” signs painted on the floor and pull ahead as far as possible. Wheelchair users should follow the overhead signs to reach a designated car return area that is closer to the Main Terminal.
Usually, an agent will meet you at your car to take note of the mileage, fuel levels, and time of return. It’s a good idea to take a photo of your dashboard before exiting the vehicle to have a copy of the same info. If no agent is available, just leave the keys in the ignition. Collect your things and head toward the terminal.
If you forgot to leave your keys in the vehicle, there are drop boxes near each rental company’s customer service area. Luggage carts are available for rent in the garage for $6.00, payable by cash or card.
Proceed toward the Main Terminal via the underground tunnel.
Off Airport Car Rentals in Orlando
To reach offsite car rentals from the Main Terminal (A or B side), follow signs downstairs toward Rental Cars and Ground Transportation.
Head outside toward parking spaces A11, A12, or A13 right in front of Terminal A or toward B11, B12, or B13 in front of Terminal B. Free shuttles to transport guests to the rental car companies pick up directly outside the building.
An Off-Airport Car Rental shuttle on the A side of the terminal.
Contact information for the most popular Off-Airport Car Rental companies is posted in front of the shuttle parking spaces. The pickup spots are also listed at the top of the page.
A shuttle arrives to pick up guests and take them to their offsite rental cars.
Boarding a rental company shuttle. There is a step to get inside the van, making it less than ideal for persons with limited mobility. Passengers using wheelchairs may consider arranging alternate transportation to the rental company.
Inside a typical rental car shuttle, seating one driver and 14 passengers.
Shuttles fill up quickly.
Luggage too large for laps is stored in the back of the van, behind the last row of seats.
Shuttles deliver guests directly to the rental car agency to pick up their cars.
More Transportation Options at Orlando International Airport
Probably the easiest alternative to renting your own car is catching a rideshare from the Orlando Airport. From Terminal A or B, just head down to Baggage Claim on Level 2 and make your way toward the exit seen here.
Rideshares pick up directly at the curb in one of ten numbered spaces. Make a note of which space number your car is slated to arrive at.
Pickup space numbers are shown on overhead signs. Proceed to the designated pickup space for your rideshare. Make sure that the license plate number of the car matches the number listed in your reservation in the app.
Taxis and Shuttles
Taxis and shuttles are found on Level 1 of the Main Terminal on both A and B sides. Head to Baggage Claim if needed, or take the elevator or escalator straight down.
There are signs posted throughout the terminal, like this one in the Baggage Claim area, showing approximate rates for taxis and shuttles to various destinations. Prices vary per person, per destination, and depending on whether the ride is round-trip or one-way. Hotel shuttles are usually free but need to be arranged in advance.
Head out the exit doors to find the taxi stand. In Terminal A, taxis pick up in spots A22 to A25; in Terminal B, look for spaces B30 to A34, as seen here.
Shuttles to destinations outside of Orlando pick up in this area, too. Look for signs labeled “Out of Town Shuttle” in spaces A14 and A15 or spaces B14 and B15.
Hotel shuttles also pick up at the Ground Transportation curb. In Terminal A, the spaces are A1 to A4, A30 to A33, and A42 to A45. On the B side, hotel shuttles use spots B1 to B4 and B40.
Disney Resort Area Hotels and Disney Cruises have a partnership with MEARS Transportation to get their guests from the airport to their resorts and cruise ships, as well as other destinations in the Orlando area. To catch a MEARS shuttle, head to Terminal B, Level 1, and follow the overhead signs for MEARS Shuttle.
Use MEARS Connect for Disney hotels.
Lines for the MEARS are organized according to which hotel guests are traveling to.
Disney Cruise transportation has a separate check-in desk in the same area of Terminal B, Level 1.
Check in before heading out to the shuttles and buses. If you forget, you’ll be redirected back inside to the MEARS Connect or Disney Cruise check-in areas.
MEARS Transportation picks up from parking spots B42 to B47. Here is a variety of MEARS shuttles and buses, including a Disney Cruise bus.
Buses have doors that slide up from the bottom to allow luggage storage underneath the bus. Shuttle vans have luggage space in the rear.