I am hoping to do a last minute holiday to Orlando with my DH and 3 DD's they are aged 1, 2 & 3 (almost 4). Yes madness I know. I've had good flight prices come back from Monarch travelling in their Premium Economy class. However I have read lots and lots of horror stories but I'm not sure what to believe as I saw lots of horror stories about Virgin. Anyone used them before??
I would point out that this airline does not fly direct to Orlando but to Sanford which is about an hour further north from Orlando itself. This I would bear in mind as you are travelling with very young children.
We tried to book through virgin last year as we had heard they were the best airline to fly with, as we left it late they only had first class left, which we couldn't afford, we ended up flying with mytravel to Sandford. We were a bit worried about the flight, but it turned out to be fine. If you are hiring a car it's not a bad drive from Sandford to Orlando.
Many years ago DH and I flew Caledonian to Orlando as it was the cheapest option (I travel to Florida at least once a year). I would have to say it was the worst flight I ever took. I don't know if Monarch would be the same, but these charter flights going long haul tend to have too many rows of seats squeezed in and not up to the standard of regular transatlantic carriers. It was crammed full, no room and the service was of the shoestring variety. I have flown Virgin on a couple of occasions and found them OK, but British Airways service is excellent (I fly with them the most). Am flying Delta in a few weeks who are also pretty good, but then I don't fly to the Orlando area. Sanford is a good bit further out and used mainly by charter airlines but the road connections are far better there than they are here - freeways all over giving fast connections. Do you have any info on the premium economy? That may negate my quotes about cattle class if you are travelling premium.
We have just come back from flying with Monarch to Sanford, the drive to Sanford from central Orlando did not put me off - it is about an hour.
I however don;t think I would use them again, although I am currently jet lagged so am very biased. The seats are very cramped and uncomfortable - but I am a size sixteen my skinny ds had no problems. If you do use them do pay for extra leg room. The only screens are in premium class.
We upgraded to extra leg room as we could not get premium seats and actually we had more room in extra legroom than the people sat in premium. The advantages of going premium are individual screens, proper cups and plates for your food, slightly better food, free drinks, your chair reclines further back and the cgair is marginally bigger but the legroom is cramped hence we chose extra legroom only as dp is tall.
Our flight on the way back was delayed by eight hours and there isn't much at Sanford if you are delayed, I was so tired on the way back I considered upgrading to premium but didn;t as the cabin crew said it was not worth the money as they were giving complementary drinks anyway and as we were flying overnigh we would not use the screens and we had more room overall in the seats we had.
I flew Monarch to Cyprus and found it pretty cramped (I'm 5'9"). Return flight was 4.5 hours and frankly I wouldn't want to be squeezed in that tight for any longer. Extra legroom seats looked ok, though.