Our 2010 summer holiday has begun . This year we opted for an indirect service for our villa flights. Previous years we have used Virgin and British Airways mainly from Gatwick direct to Orlando International Airport. But this year we shopped around and and as the kids were older we chose a an indirect flight with Delta via Atlanta,
With 9am flight and a 5am check in at, we decided to travel down Friday and stop over in the Europa Hotel near Gatwick. The hotel was fine for an over night stop and we ate out at the Blue Nights Indian resturant in Crawley. With an early morning call the shuttle bus picked us up at 5am and took us to the north terminal.
Delta Villa Flights
The checkin for our was painless with no long queues and only took around 20 minutes. With the bags all checked in we cleared security and went for breakfast at Cafe Rouge. The food was good with the usual cooked breakfast options you would expect, I had my favourite, eggs benidict The boarding again was painless and we left on time, but…… after being pushed back from the gate the little truck broke down leaving us stranded and our path blocked. It took around 30 minuites for the airport staff to sort things out and we were on our way by 9:30am.
Using delta for our villa flights was a good choice, the entertainment was the best we have seen so far (though it does improve with all airlines year on year). This year the TV’s were all touch screen and there were around 12 movies to watch. However there was only 1 film for kids which was Alice in Wonderland, having said that there were loads of TV choice’s including Sponge Bob and many computer games. One new feature that was fun was a trivial pursuit type quiz where you and your fellow passages answer 20 questions. Scores were kept and a leader board showed the seat numbers of the players . Our friends got quite competitive and play none stop for 8 hours and said the questions we not repeated!!!
Villa Flights to Atlanta
The flight arrived in Atlanta 1:20pm, 25 minutes late due to the issues at Gatwick, leaving less than 90 minutes to clear immigration, customs, security and reach the gate before closing. Being a major hub the service ran like clockwork, we cleared imigration in probably 10 mins!!!! Previous visits with Virgin direct to Orlando this has taken an hour. Thou this would have been help as you no longer need to fill in as many forms now the ESTA online system is fully working. As the flight is international we had to pickup our checked in luggage clear customs and re check in, again this was quick taking around 20 mins. Once we clear security we used the mono rail to transfer from Terminal D to A arriving at our gate with 15 minuites to spare!!!!
The villa flights from Atlanta was not quiet as smooth the aircraft left the gate a few minutes late which meant we missed our ‘slot’ we then sat on the tarmac for around 20 mins waiting for a slot before joining a queue of 12 other aircraft and took off around 35 mins late. There was a bit of turbulence on this last leg and cabin crew were unable to due a full service, but they did manage to dash round with water. Also they had the same entertainment as the previous flights but you had to pay for the movies and some of the games, the trivial pursuit and TV programs were free. As the flight time was only 75 minutes this was not a major problem.
As we had already cleared customs and immigration at Atlanta all that was left to do at Orlando was pickup our bags.
So in summary our villa flights this year were excellent and we would choose Delta again.