simonriat
Topic Author
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:03 pm

Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:07 pm

Hi All

Would just like to get opinions really. My family and I (2 adults, 2 young children) are planning a trip to Florida March 2011.

We have a choice:-
1. Virgin Atlantic - Manchester - Orlando International. (Dont like the carrier, not keen on airport)
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)
3. US Airways London Gatwick or is it just Gatwick now - ? I know I have to transfer somewhere in the states (never flown before but wouldnt mind giving it ago).

Any opinions would be much appreciated.

Regards
Simon
 
PI4EVER
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:06 pm

OK, we'll rule out VS as the first choice or any recommendation.
The US service from LGW would be via connection in CLT - Charlotte, North Carolina - a large hub for US and a great airport to clear customs and connect on to MCO. Much has been said about US and its transatlantic product - some of it not always a positive - more hit and miss - but you would fly on a A330-300, have a meal and snack and complimentary (non-alcoholic) beverages. In-seat AVOD and with a 4 abreast center section, good seating for the 4 of you together. Total travel time is almost 15 hours, with a 3 hour layover in CLT.
Thomson/Thomsonfly. Not familiar with their in-flight product but from the standpoint of traveling with 2 children, nonstop I assume from MAN, to a smaller and effecient airport you are familiar with, I'd strongly suggest you consider their service. Certainly your accessability to the Greater Orlando area is equally convenient at SFB with ground transportation options (shuttle service or car hire) and less congestion.
I doubt you'd be hugely disappointed with US so in fairness their service is worth considering if you're comfortable with the longer journey time and how you feel the chidren will manage on the trip.
I hope you can plan a visit to our beautiful beaches here in the Tampa Bay area. No oil except in a Petrol Station! Good Luck with your plans, and let us know what you decide.
Thomas
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
simonriat
Topic Author
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:03 pm

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:16 pm

Thanks PI4EVER

I think unfortunately its going to come down on what my wife decides and at the minute its looking like VS, which is why I thought I would get peoples opinions on here.

This will be my 5th visit to Florida, as I have fallen head over heels with the state. And I know what you are saying about the beaches. I got married last year in Clearwater on the beach. We will be going back to Clearwater this time. I could quite happily retire there with a small house with an ocean view and a well stocked library.

Thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.

Simon
 
HT
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:43 pm

First decision: MAN or LGW ? Which one is easier to reach for you ? (parking, public transport, ..) ?

Second decision: As PI4EVER already mentioned: Do you really want to transfer with 2 young kids at CLT (which is a nice airport) when you have the option to fly nonstop ? The nonstop sectors to MCO/SFB will only be marginally longer.

Third decision: How are timings for departure out of MAN resp. LGW - And out of MCO / SFB ?

Forth decision: How are fares ? Is VS [i[that[/i] attractive from a finance point of view, that it would sweeten your discomfort with both VS and MCO ? In the end it might be better for all to pay some extra quid for the flights if the overall impression of that vacation is positively influenced by it. (nothing worse than beginning and ending a vacation with a disagreement (aka. fight) within family ...).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
ajd1992
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:05 pm

I've flown 2 out of 3 (VS and US) and I'd say US. I'm only 5'10 and I was in quite a lot of pain at the end of the flight because they cram you in. I know it means having to change in Charlotte (or if you fly from MAN, via PHL) but I think that space is important on an 8 hour flight. VS are better orientated towards dealing with the kids though, I will give them that.
 
PI4EVER
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:01 am

Simon:
One other option to consider I failed to mention in my original post. Might muddle the argument with the Mrs. but you could reference the romance of beginning and ending your trip at the beach of your wedding.....flying BA nonstop LGW-TPA. Fares for TPA usually match MCO on BA and VS and if you're coming to Tampa Bay anyway, just re-work your plans to begin and end your transatlantic segments "at the beach."
If you do come to TPA, send me a PM and we'll meet up for a cold beer and lunch at the beach.
Thomas
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
Tango-Bravo
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:40 am

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

Based on your own comments, this would be "the way to go" IMHO.

Virgin should be categorically out of the running based on your own opinions stated.

With USAirways you will fly into/out of Orlando MCO which you say you don't like, plus you add hours to your flight while risking an even lengthier ordeal by having to make a connection vs. flying non-stop.
 
PGNCS
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:26 am

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

If you "like both," don't like Virgin Atlantic, and have no knowledge of US, why not go with what you know and like unless the cost is greater? If you do decide to go on US, CLT is a great airport to connect in and should be trouble free. If you like Thompsonfly (or whatever) and they are nonstop I can't imagine why you wouldn't use them. Nonstop is ALWAYS best, especially on long trips with children involved.
 
dazbo5
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:04 am

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

If you like both, then go for it, assuming the price is right. TOM's economy product is better than VS's in my opinion with greater seat pitch, and flights are non-stop to SFB.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
GrinddalCPH
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:02 pm

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:14 am

Hi Mate,

Just one question?

Do you really favour a charter airline over VS IMO pretty good Y product? Anf cheap Y+ Tickets?

Daniel
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway!
 
David_itl
Posts: 5969
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3

Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:30 pm

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
3. US Airways London Gatwick or is it just Gatwick now - ? I know I have to transfer somewhere in the states (never flown before but wouldnt mind giving it ago).

Are the US fares on MAN-PHL-MCO that much more than LGW-CLT-MCO?

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