lesismore
Topic Author
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:26 am

Best Airline From SoCal To MCO

Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:57 pm

I will be taking my family on vacation this summer, and need to fly from somewhere in Southern California (LAX, ONT, SNA) to Orlando (MCO). I've been researching some flights, and was wondering which airline offers the best combination of value and in-flight amenities (IFE, WiFi, meals, etc.) and if possible, wide-bodies and newer planes. There are only a few airlines that offer non-stops - AA and DL, most of the others require a stop somewhere (PHX, DEN, IAH). Thanks in advance!
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1200
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: Best Airline From SoCal To MCO

Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Quoting lesismore (Thread starter):
There are only a few airlines that offer non-stops

VX flies from LAX to MCO nonstop too.

Quoting lesismore (Thread starter):
and was wondering which airline offers the best combination of value and in-flight amenities (IFE, WiFi, meals, etc.)

Unless you're flying F / J then you're not really getting any "meals" unless of course you opt for BOB. I'm a big fan of UA but if you're looking for IFE, WiFi, BOB Meals, then I highly recommend VX. They have one of the youngest and most modern fleet of A320s in the US right now (Mood lighting, leather seats, you can order your food/drinks via your PTVs, Complimentary DirectTV, good choices of movies for a couple of $$, etc)

Feel free to check my TR (although this was way back in 2009): Virgin America & Southwest: JFK-LAX-SFO-JFK (pics) (by JetBlue777 Aug 29 2009 in Trip Reports)

I've also had great flights with DL, although getting an A/C with an IFE can be a hit or a miss unless you're flying via ATL which sees a lot of widebodies.

jetBlue777   
It's a cultural thing.
 
PI4EVER
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: Best Airline From SoCal To MCO

Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:46 pm

DL will offer the most wide-body choices for connections via ATL, DTW or MSP, and those aircraft do offer some in-flight entertainment and WiFi. Meals are Buy-On-Board. These connecting flights make for a long day to get to MCO so still consider the morning nonstops on DL and AA. AA offers a 767-300 on a LAX-DFW-MCO connection @1245pm but no in-flight entertainment, food is BOB as well, and arrival into MCO is late in evening.
VX has one daily nonstop LAX-MCO on A320's offering in-flight entertainment and a varied buy-on-board food service. Would likely be a fun, hip way to travel with kids. Same for B6 but factor in a long travel day with connections via BOS or JFK from LAX, BUR or LGB.
UA has 2 daily nonstops LAX-MCO on 757 and A320 equipment. No entertainment on board to my knowledge and BOB service for food. No wide-body A/C found in schedule on week days I checked in July.
US only offers connecting service and no wide-body aircraft unless on a stray day one is subbed from PHL-MCO.
WN offers direct 1-stop or connecting flights from LAX, BUR, SNA and ONT via various cities to MCO on 737's with no entertainment and snacks/crackers/peanutes only....but free baggage check. Mom and Dad can purchase cold beer and good wine for $5 if they need to mellow out.....
So start your search on these carriers for the best fares on the dates you're traveling, factor in flight times/equipment/bag fees and food purchase for family during your travel day and hopefully you'll be able to narrow down your choices to 2. Definitely consider on the connecting flights the total time of your journey.....it is a long ride to MCO and managing kids on lengthy flights/connections and so on can mar the trip. Factor in the 3 hour time difference as to what time you're arriving and on to where you are staying, so you don't end up falling into bed in MCO swearing you'd never do this again! The overnight/red-eye nonstops can be good for kids sleeping most the flight, but Mom & Dad can be frazzled quickly the next day if they didn't sleep much so be conservative in considering a red-eye with early morning arrival in MCO when kids are primed for a fun day and you're not!
Good Luck with your plans. Let us know what you decide.
Thomas
P.S. Even as So.Californians you realize/know that Orlando is sizzling hot and humid during the peak summer? Think of black asphalt and a sauna/steam bath. Pack and dress light.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
lesismore
Topic Author
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:26 am

RE: Best Airline From SoCal To MCO

Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:40 pm

Thanks jetBlue777 and PI4EVER. Its always amazing the information one can gather from here. (Nice trip report BTW, jetBlue777.)

Regarding my trip, I was really looking forward to Virgin America, but their fares were too high for the days I need to travel. I also looked into AA, DL, and UA - but their fares as well were a bit higher than I wanted to pay.

So in the end, it mostly came down to cost, with a little bit of convenience thrown in. AA, DL, and UA mostly required flying out of LAX, which is about 80 miles away for me. I ended up choosing to fly US from ONT to MCO, connecting in PHX both ways. I could have gotten slightly lower fares if I wanted to fly out of LGB or PSP, but flying out of/into those airports required being on a regional jet - something I nor my wife are fond of. Plus, its nicer to have a little more space with two kids in tow. So, as it is, we will be flying on Airbus A320's on the flights from/to ONT, and newer Airbus A321's in and out of Orlando. I've flown on the A321 before, its a pretty nice experience, except for the lack of IFE. They do offer WiFi though, so that should help. I will probably download a few movies/TV shows on iTunes to pass the time as well.

In any case, the information/advice received was very helpful, thanks for taking the time to respond.
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln

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