Flying Home to Grey Britain
We used to holiday in Spain years ago and even if we had spent just the one week, we would always be looking forward to getting home and putting the kettle on. Flying home from an Orlando holiday is quite the opposite. We never want to come home but life has to get back to normal and we have to leave this amazing place. We still put the kettle on when we get home and we start planning the next Orlando holiday almost immediately. So be warned, if this is your first time, you will probably be feeling like this as well.
We usually do the same last day things on our last day in Orlando. An ‘almost full’ day at a Disney water park is a way of forgetting your holiday is about to end. We try and book the latest return flight that we can so we get almost a full day in an Orlando water or theme park. Make sure you head away from the park at least 4 hours before your flight is leaving.
Weigh Your Luggage
All airlines seem to have a different weight allowance for your luggage so make a note of it from the Baggage Allowance section. Also check this with your specific booking and stick to it on your return. You will pay the price if your luggage is too heavy. We bought one of these handy gadgets from Amazon and it cost us £6.99.
They are not as scientifically accurate as airport calibrated scales but they give you a good idea. There is also a handy little tape measure built into the side of these scales so that is quite handy. I found the below digital scales on Amazon and what looks like our original scales. You may also find them in a discount store but sometimes you buy cheap, you buy twice.
A friend of mine is a sales rep and he travels to China quite regularly. During one trip he decided to make the most of it and bring lots of new products back with him. When he got to the airport, his suitcase was really heavy but still not too heavy to lift. He knew it would cost him extra but he didn’t expect it to be another £1050. He nearly died when they told him but he paid the bill with the company credit card.
The goods were worth more than the charge but it shows how excessive charges can be. If you are even just a few pounds over, you will not get charged just a few pounds. Keep your eye on your weight!!!
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
MCO is split up over 3 floors, Floor 1 is where you would enter if you have just returned your rental car or arrived on a shuttle bus. Floor 2 is where you would collect your cases so you don’t need to worry about this when flying home. Level 3 is where you need to check-in and get the train to your gate. Make sure you jump aboard the correct train because the two trains go to different departure gates. Virgin Atlantic use Terminal A. British Airways, Norwegian Airlines and Thomas Cook use Terminal B.
If you haven’t eaten before you get to the airport, make sure you eat before going through security. There is a lot more choice before security than after security. The food court in this area contains Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Panda Express and many more outlets.
One of the last photo opportunities you may come across on your holiday is just in front of the Walt Disney World Store in MCO. This sculpture of Mickey is a great place to grab a last picture. Especially if you haven’t been lucky enough to track down the real Mickey whilst at Disney World. There is also a good place for a photo of you or your little princess sitting with Snow White at the right hand side of the store.
Here is the official MCO Website
MCO General Inquiries: (407) 825-2001
MCO Lost & Found: (407) 825-2111
Address: Orlando International Airport, One Airport Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32827-4399
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)
As Sanford (SFB) is a much smaller airport than MCO, there isn’t a great deal of choice when it comes to food. There are a couple of cafes and an American Grill bar and that is about it. The one thing they do have over MCO is the large Budweiser bar called the Budweiser Tap Room.
Here is the official SFB Website
Sanford Airport Authority (407)-585-4000
Address: Sanford Airport Authority, 1200 Red Cleveland Blvd. Sanford, Florida 32773
Flying home with Virgin?
If you are flying home with Virgin Atlantic, you could check-in at Disney Springs. The Disney Springs check-in opens from 8.15am until 1.00pm. This service allows you to have a last few rides, go shopping or visit a waterpark before heading home. You will be given your boarding passes and you are free to go and have a stress free final day. Make sure you get there as early as you can because it is quite a popular service.
The service is free if you have booked a Virgin holiday. If you are just a Virgin Atlantic (flight only) customer then you will pay a $10 charge. Once checked-in you would need to be at the airport just one hour before your flight. Remember to keep hold of your passports, money, theme park tickets etc. If you do go last minute shopping, try not to buy too much because your carry-on baggage may be too heavy.
Make a claim for a delayed flight
In 2019 I successfully claimed £259.28 per person for a delayed flight from New York. Read my Delayed Flight Compensation page to get tips on how to make a claim.
Making a Complaint!!!
If your airline does anything wrong whatsoever during your holiday make sure your airline knows about it by complaining. Years ago I flew to Orlando and when we arrived, two of our suitcases were damaged. We tracked down the airline representative to inform them. She told me she couldn’t help me just yet because they were under-staffed and she had to transport some suitcases to a different part of the airport. She said if I helped her move the luggage, it would save time and then she could deal with me. I said ok and helped her move the luggage. She then issued me with a receipt that allowed me to go and buy new suitcases in Orlando. They would pay me up to $100 for each case if I sent them the receipt when I got home.
A few days later I felt a bit of back trouble which affected my enjoyment of the holiday. I put this down to becoming an unpaid baggage handler so I made a complaint. The airline sent me a £50 voucher to spend off a holiday or Duty free on my next flight. Here is the best bit, I told them that I will not be flying with their airline again after the service I received in Orlando. The customer relations manager then offered our whole family a free upgrade on our next flight. The following year I took my parents to Orlando with us and all 7 of us were given free upgrades.
Not every airline or holiday company will give you this level of compensation but if you think something didn’t go as it should, complain.
And remember to file a claim if your flight is more than 3 hours late