Choosing Flights from the UK to Orlando - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Hints and Tips
The age of cheap flights sadly seems to have passed; however, you still have some options to consider when planning your dream holiday to Orlando.
Orlando is served by two airports, Orlando International, and Orlando Sanford. The scheduled flights go into International and the charter flights go into Sanford. Sanford is about 30 minutes further away from most villas than International but it is a much smaller airport and so it often takes less time from the aircraft touching down to driving away than it does at the larger airport.
A few years ago we thought that the charter flights were not as good as the scheduled flights but their long haul flights have now improved significantly and we find that they now have better legroom than the scheduled and the payments for premium economy seats are much less than for the scheduled flights. This is very subjective but we also think the food is better, although you may find that you have to pay extra for it.
When making price comparisons it is really important to take all the costs into account. With scheduled flights the tickets cover everything including drinks, in-flight entertainment, seat choices, and food. With charter flights you have to look carefully to see what all the extras add up to. Most charge for giving you seats together, some charge for each bit of hold luggage, some charge for meals. These are usually booked when you book your ticket but you need to remember that you will probably be charged for drinks and you may have to pay for more choice of films.
When to buy your tickets is a difficult decision. In general if you are looking at peak travel times it is probably better to buy early. Often scheduled flights get more expensive nearer the date you want to fly. However, it is helpful to know that both Virgin and British Airways have regular sales when they will give temporary reductions for some dates. These usually occur in January and September but can happen at any time. If you have strong nerves, are prepared to gamble, and are only looking for a few tickets you might want to keep checking charter flight prices. If there are a lot of seats remaining they may start to reduce prices about 3 weeks before the flight dates. The price reductions can be substantial but as soon as they have sold a lot they will start to put the price back up again so you really do need to monitor carefully.
The other option for getting cheaper flights is to fly indirect. Flights via Amsterdam can be cheaper as can flights that make first landfall in the USA at another airport. This does extend your travelling time overall but does split the journey so that you are not confined for so long at a time.
If you fly regularly it is worth collecting air miles and trying to use these to reduce prices.
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Page added on: 31 December 2010
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