First Choice versus Virgin

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by eeyorefanuk, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    Flying with either of the above, the seats in economy are about the same size.

    To fly with virgin, it would cost another £1,000 plus.

    Has anyone flown with both of these airlines, and if so, with the price difference, do you think it is worth going with Virgin. I gather with Virgin your drinks are free, but with First Choice they are not.
     
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  3. DizneyDaze

    DizneyDaze Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happ

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    We have flown with them both but only in premium so my comparison is based on this. There are a few differences:
    1) First Choice flies into Sanford and Virgin into Orlando. Personally we found Sanford to be a more user friendly airport however it is about 40 mins travelling time further than MCO.
    2) Travel allowance with First Choice you only get 1 x 23kg (think it is 20kg in economy) compared to 2 x 23kg allowance with Virgin.
    3) As I said not sure about economy but in premium your drinks are free - we found no difference with service at all.
    4) Virgin offer the early morning bag drop/check in at Downtown Disney - there is no option for anything like this with First Choice. This is a really nice feature from Virgin and frees you up all day and means you have no checking in at the airport you just go straight to departures for the security checks and your in.

    I think it is down to personal preference, however if Virgin pricing is £1000 more I would certainly think very hard about it as this is a lot of money that you could be spending on the nicer things when you are there!!
     
  4. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    I am sure someone has put on here that virgin now only allow one 23kg, but do not quote me on this !

    Yes I thought that £1,000 alot of money, but I know virgin is very very popular and just wondered if flying with them is anything spectacular :goodvibes:goodvibes
     
  5. gemmybear83

    gemmybear83 <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<

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    I would prefer to fly First Choice, new interiors with more update in flight entertainment, more leg room that virgin and a smaller plane so less of a queue at immigration etc. If we could get a could get a good price for First Choice I would prefer to fly with them than Virgin, who for the LGW/Man routes are very overated (even though I am flying Virgin in 3 weeks as they were the cheapest price!).
     
  6. matty624

    matty624 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, couldn't help myself!!! :goodvibes
    The luggage allowance on Virgin flights changes from the 23rd September, but to Florida, its still 2 pieces at 23kgs each piece, travelling economy, I'm very happy to say!
     
  7. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    We flew with Virgin a couple of weeks ago and I would certainly not call the experience spectacular. It was OK at best. We flew through the night on the way home and landed at LGW at about 7.30am and we didn't even get breakfast, still what can you expect for the best part of two grand:sad2:
     
  8. orangetiggs

    orangetiggs Married my sweetheart in DISNEY!!!!!

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    most flights fly through the night going back to the UK, we flew virgin last week and fly home with them on friday

    This is the only airline I will fly with out of choice (used to work for them so may be biased)
     
  9. grannyed

    grannyed Mouseketeer

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    If we could we would fly First Choice. but Virgin seem to be much more flexible.

    We are hoping to go for four weeks and it seems that First Choce do not allow bookings for that duration wheras Virgin do.....

    also Virgin fly evey day from Manchester and First Choice don't.....

    we are flexible for the day we fly .. but really want to go for four weeks since we can't go evey year and probably won't be able to go again for 3 or 4 years.
     
  10. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    Oh that is another thing I forgot .... smaller plane ... is it much smaller than Virgin?

    Also with Virgin I have been told on here you cannot pre pay to book your seat, but with FC you can (have severe fear of flying).

    We are going back and forth between the two and cannot decide.

    For us to catch FC plane is only two hours drive, but Gatwick 4/5 hours.

    But with FC might have to refuel/pick people up on way out at manchester. Between us we have asked four separate people via travel agent and first choice, and they all say difference (obi kindly checked no flight on same day at manchester but still chance of refuel I suppose).

    We know FC is sanford but disney say you can pay for transfer to disney. (how far away is it?)

    Then issue of smaller plane.

    Now someone has kindly confirmed you do get 23kg x 2 luggage (which I thought had been stopped).

    We were originally going for 14 days but then other day decided 18 (so had to be virgin) but now saying shall we just go for it and go 21 days ! (FC)

    Any other thoughts appreciated.
     
  11. JohnnySharp2

    JohnnySharp2 No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a

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    Yes, Virgin use 4 engined 747-400 aircraft, First Choice not 100% sure what they are but are either a smaller boeing or airbus plane.

    Personally being a nervous flyer the bigger the better for me, and much prefer flying to MCO though I appreciate Sanford is quieter and perhaps less hassle immigration wise.

    If the prices are similar I would go with Virgin.
     
  12. Hilary

    Hilary There's always something new to learn!

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    ITA :thumbsup2

    As well as the comfort of the plane, (as mentioned above) the saving of 2.5 hrs driving in the uk (especially at the end of a long flight home) is a huge plus for us when looking for flights. At the end of the day, though, we choose based on a combination of 'best fit' factors - price, availability, regional airport, etc., etc.

    On balance, we're happy to pay MORE to fly with FirstChoice than Virgin - but we can offset that against the need for an overnight hotel the night before. If I could SAVE £1000 by flying First Choice, I'd be doing cartwheels! Our flights with Virgin have been perfectly ok, but certainly not noticeably better than any of the other airlines we've used for a transAtlantic flight, and not an experience worth paying an extra £1000 for! But others clearly do prefer the Virgin experience.

    For us, the re-fuelling in Manchester is an annoyance rather than a reson not to choose First Choice. The luggage allowance was a slight concern, but we managed fine! We prefer Sanford for ease of access, and the extra transfer time in Orlando is no more than the extra time it often takes to clear MCO.
     
  13. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    Re manchester stop off, I hate flying, but I suppose it is only two take off and two landing on the way out, as it comes direct home.

    Re virgin I do like the thought of four engines (yet again nervous flyer) - i wonder how many you get with first choice.

    Also as I thought yesterday, if we fly into gatwick, we were going to stay overnight that night and drive back the next day, but we arrive at gatwick early in the morning and then wont be able to book into hotel until at least twelve
     
  14. kevin harrison

    kevin harrison DIS Veteran

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    I have done both and would say go with price.

    The FC plane is a two engine boeing, can't remember it's number. It is certainly a lot smaller than the 747.

    Sanford wasn't bad really, it's a lot smaller, but I found the queuing time similar, I am used to landing at MCO and being out of there quite quickly so didn't enjoy the extra time getting to the hotel.
     
  15. Hilary

    Hilary There's always something new to learn!

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    When we do fly into Gatwick (although we try hard to avoid it!) we book a day room, grab about 4 or 5 hrs sleep, shower and change, then drive home in the evening. We just don't feel safe driving M25, M4 for 4.5 or 5 hrs after a sleepless night flight, but don't really want to spend an extra night in Gatwick before getting home - so the day room suits us better.
     
  16. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    What is a day room? And who does it? That does sound a good idea to get some sleep as soon as off the plane but not stay the night. :goodvibes
     
  17. Elise79

    Elise79 Moderator Moderator

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    A day room is the same as normal hotel room but you have it for a few hours during the day. The Hilton & Sofitel both offer them. Not sure about the Yotel.
     
  18. gemmybear83

    gemmybear83 <font color=royalblue>I would blame it all on Bob<

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    Yotel does by the hour, or its approx £50 for an overnight stay in standard cabin or £80 for a premium one.
     
  19. Hilary

    Hilary There's always something new to learn!

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    We've been able to book these at a couple of the airport hotels - but I can't remember which ones :rolleyes: - and, more recently, at The Lawn Guest House in Gatwick which we also use the night before flying out, and we leave our car there.

    I think you often have to contact the hotels direct to book this, as the option doesn't always appear on booking sites, although I have seen it as an option on Holiday Extras occasionally for a few hotels, but not all. I also remember one of the bigger hotels not letting us book it until we arrived for our night before the flight - I got the impression they would only book the day room in conjunction with a night room booking.

    Sorry, that's all a bit vague!
     
  20. kevin harrison

    kevin harrison DIS Veteran

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    I thought day rooms were used for something very un-Disney like..
     
  21. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Is that included in the £50? :goodvibes
     

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