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Old 07-06-2013, 11:39 PM   #1
mickeyd78
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Help me choose flights

So the last remaining flight to book for our WDW marathon weekend trip is LAX - MCO, and I need some advice from fellow ANZACs.

Our normal airline preference for this sector is Virgin America. We really like them. The terminal at LAX does't seem as crazy as the others and the inflight experience is the best we have had in the USA. I have been checking their website daily for a few months and although they have released flights for the dates in January we want to travel, they still have not released any seats in the non-refundable fare class. So the cheapest is $811!! In the days before we need to fly it's about $230 and immediately following it's $189. So frustrating.

Before we started flying Virgin America a few years ago we used to always fly AA. I have been watching the AA direct flights and they started to rise too - so I have put a 24 hr hold on two seats at $210. Not bad. Still holding out for Virgin if they ever get around to releasing a decent fare. I'll just keep renewing the 24hr hold each day while the AA $210 is available.

The other options I have started to consider are Delta and Southwest.

Delta is $185 (direct) and Southwest is $215 (1 stop, no plane change)

I've never had experience with either of these airlines, so I'd be interest in hearing thoughts from others. I've heard that Delta change their schedules and planes a lot. Southwest seems to have a really loyal following on these boards, but I'm a bit unsure of the no pre-allocated seat thing and the fact that there is a stop (ie not direct). Not a huge thing, but prolongs the journey and add the potential for other delays or problems. The 2 free checked bags is a bonus.

So what would you choose
- Virgin America
- American Airlines
- Delta
- Southwest?

Love to hear your experiences.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
frangipanisam
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I've flown short trips with Virgin America and Southwest. Southwest were pretty good and we paid $10 each for early bird check in on both flights so we were in the first group to board. We made sure we were at the gate, ready to go at a seconds notice to line up and we got rows 3 and 4 so we were altogether both times with two window seats. Our flights were short and we got a drink & peanuts each flight.

Virgin were comfy and we were towards the front. Their plane felt squishier then Southwest in my experience.

I don't think we got inflight entertainment on either carrier though? Virgin we got no food and I think 1 drink?

For price and included bags I'd go with Southwest even with the stop but I've never done the LAX to MCO flight good luck!
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
hjd0411
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I've done the Southwest 1 stop flight to MCO - it was great! I'm a fan of Southwest - much more than American. I've not flown Virgin America so can't compare there.
I'm with farngipanisam, though. If you go on Southwest, purchase the early checkin option - I think it's not $12-50 per person, but it guarantees you an "A" boarding pass, which means you will get on the flight within the first 30 or so passengers. Well worth it!
Southwest doesn't have inflight entertainment, so make sure you have whatever you need to keep you busy on a 5+ hour flight. They so serve you drinks and snacks - quite a lot actually! I bought a sandwich at the airport to have on board too. (American gave us no snacks at all - not even a little packet of peanuts..!!! )
Oh and on Southwest you get free baggage allowance, too. Another reason to like them!!
Good luck with your decision. I you go Southwest I don't think you will be disappointed!
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
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frontier

have you thought of flying frontier..we really enjoyed them the lax-mco flight we did a few years back....do the classic plus...well worth the money.

looking forward to trying out virgin america this trip....and we do like delta, but yep they keep changing times, but in piddling amounts ie 10-15 mins either side.....
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #5
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I would fly southwest as well their airfares go up and down a lot make sure you check their site Tues-Thurs for us the stop over flight was well worth it for the included baggage we had 12 suitcases the only other airline we have flown is jet blue and I would take them over southwest any day but they have less routes!
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
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I've flown AA, United, Delta, SouthWest and JetBlue in the US. AA is my preference; but they are expensive compared to the SouthWest and JetBlue. I'm also happy to fly SouthWest; and they do go on sale quite regularly. If you sign up, you'll get regular emails on their pricing and sales.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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We flew Delta on all of our recent flights and they were great.

We upgraded to Economy Comfort (about $20-$40 each depending on the length of the flight), there was lots of entertainment to keep us sane, and also lots of drinks and snacks. The seats were comfy and the staff were really nice - I have never flown LAX to MCO, but I have flown LAX to JFK and also MCO to Vegas, both long flights and they were great.

I believe in finding the flight that gets us there as quickly as possible as well as at the best price. I have read a lot of horror stories about having to wait and wait and wait - just get me there!!!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
mickeyd78
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Thanks for all the advice guys!

I ended up booking with AA, as I caught a price drop - down to $184 non stop LAX to MCO. Even paying for the bag, this works out cheaper than SW. The other deciding factor was that the SW flight left at 7am, while AA left at 8:30am - so a little more time in bed. And SW had a stop, so less travel time on AA and we get to MCO a bit earlier.
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Apr '10 Pop Century
Sept '09 Disneyland (D23 Expo)
Oct '08 Pop Century
March 2007 - Pop Century
Nov 2003 - All Star Movies - Honeymoon
Nov 2001 - All Star Movies
Nov 2000 - Off Site
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:58 AM   #9
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Sounds like you got a great deal!! Happy travels!!
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:16 AM   #10
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Well done, Mickeyd78. That's a great price.
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