What airline for the Not-So-Frequent Flyer?

One of our members is planning a big family trip to Disneyworld in Florida, and asks the question

I am looking to take the family to Disneyworld around September. So basically Sydney to Orlando. Assuming I am bronze member in both Frequent Flyer programs, and the money for the flights is roughly the same. We are flying in economy. We are once a year flyers at best. Which airline would you travel on?

While it’s only one trip, it does involve at least four flights for a family of two adults and three children. That’s a lot of miles and status credits! As some of our members point out, the question is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. Value is different for all of us: for some, seat comfort is important, while others – especially those travelling with children – may well see in-flight entertainment the key.

With neither Australian airline having direct services to Orlando, the airline choice also need to factor the routing and it’s impact on miles returned. The main gateways to the US are Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. After that, it’s an American carrier to Orlando, either direct or via a hub. Timing is also key

I am happy to pull the kids out of school for a week before the holidays (start on the 22nd of September) if it means saving a couple of thousand dollars. I was looking at some dates and leaving mid Sep and coming back a couple of weeks later the flight are around the mid 8K with both Qantas and Virgin.

I would love to minimize the stops on the way and it seems like both of them have a stop in Los Angeles and then straight onto Orlando.

As our member is also planning a weekend in Las Vegas the following year sans family, it seems Virgin might have the edge. The Velocity family pooling feature plus it’s good redemptions, puts it a nose in front. Earning status for one family member being the icing on the cake.

Of course Virgin and Qantas are not the only options. Air New Zealand, United, Delta, Hawaiian as well as Fiji Airlines all offer services to the USA.

Taking the family to Disneyworld is not cheap, do you agree with our experts suggestions? Or is there something else that’s been overlooked? It could be important for the frequent flyer in the making. Have your say HERE.


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