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Finding Flights to Orlando - Tips

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Mickey Mouse, Epcot. Photo ©  Teresa Plowright. Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Every day, thousands of families search for flights to Orlando, given its status as the world's top family holiday destination with 46M visitors a year.

Below are some tips for finding flights.

Farefinders are your first step: Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights.co.uk, etc.

In addition to farefinders: while good farefinders search dozens of airlines, they don't include every single one! Southwest Airlines, for example, won't turn up in farefinders; yet Southwest is an important budget airline with flights to Orlando from many US destinations. Check the Southwest.com site directly; you can book many types of discount fares.

Check alternative airports. Often a short drive to a different airport can save you money: and if there are four people in your family traveling, even a savings of $50 per ticket adds up. Some farefinder sites let you click an option for alternative airports. Also: check directly at the web sites for Southwest Airlines and JetBlue, to see if these airlines have departure cities near you.

Canadian families who live near the border should always check for flights to Orlando from the nearest US city. Seattle-Orlando, for instance, costs far less than a flight to Orlando from Vancouver BC.

Last-minute bargains: check sites such as lastminute.com which has flights and hotels for departures in a 10-day time-span.

Red-eye flights: if you're flying long distance, sometimes overnight (red-eye) flights to Orlando can work out best in terms of timing and/or price. Be careful, though, to allow time for kids (and grown-ups!) to rest up the next day. Some kids -- especially teens-- are able to boogie right through, but it's best not to count on this.

Allow enough time for connecting flights.
Not every city has a direct flight to Orlando, and with online booking, travelers find themselves selecting flight itineraries, including connecting flights, without any advice from a travel agent. Do you really want to schedule flights with a 45-minute connection time? What if the airport is a huge one, with different terminals? What if your arriving flight is 15 minutes late?

If your initial flight departs late in the day, try to allow more than an hour to make a connecting flight. Why? When a flight departs in early morning, the plane has usually overnighted at the airport, and is likely to be punctual. But every time that plane arrives somewhere and departs throughout the day, the chances increase that it may be delayed. A late afternoon flight has more chance of leaving late -- perhaps too late to get you to a connecting flight. Add in the weather factor: in summer, many areas are prone to afternoon thunderstorms which cause delays.

--check prices for flights to Orlando, at Kayak.com

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