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Flydrive package vs flight and seperate car rental

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Flydrive package vs flight and seperate car rental

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
49 replies 23.5K views
MiserlyMartinMiserlyMartin Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
I am looking to get to Florida in Sept. Just been researching the current prices, this is what I have found.

Flydrive £209 with travelcity, but this only includes 3rd party insurance so you need to add on the LDW which Travelcity do at £169 per week(!). So for 14 nights, that makes it £338 just for the insurance! You can hire a car seperately, fully inclusive for about £100 less than that!
So thats a real total of £647 for the fly drive   :(:(

Seperate Flight The best price I've found advertised on teletext currently is £189, but many are £250-£300. Why are they so expensive for Sept at the moment? Its only 5 weeks away. Last Sept, I got a flight out there for £119, admittedly it was only with 4 days notice but there were lots of others advertised on teletext at similar rates.

OK back to the sums....Take the flight only, then add on car hire. The best price I've found for fully inclusive 14 day hire (Compact 2 door) is £232. (yescar So flight £189 + car £232 = £421. Is this the best way to go or would it be possible to take the fly-drive package and get insurance from somewhere else at a much cheaper rate ?

Can anyone help or give any advice on how to do this or how late to leave booking anything?


  • Chris25Chris25 Forumite
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    We're going out there soon too. I've found since the last time we booked flights etc, that they are so much more expensive for late bookings.
    Someone told me that since Sept 11th, virtually all US airlines now fly into another point of entry before Orlando, therefore the flights get booked with people going to those destinations. This was because the US airline industry was affected so badly, they needed to economise,making sure that all the planes are packed to capacity.
  • MiserlyMartinMiserlyMartin Forumite
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    The charters still fly into Sanford airport. As far as I know, there are no direct flights to Orlando airport at all.

    When was the last time you went?
  • Chris25Chris25 Forumite
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    I think it must have been 3 - 4 years ago. I know BA and Virgin fly direct but their prices were extortionate! They come down from November though.

    We thought Blu might have been up and running - it'll be interesting to see whether that venture gets off the ground. Pardon the pun!

    We've decided this time to stopover in New York for a few nights to break-up the journey but coming back we'll have to change :'(
  • jaffajaffa Forumite
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    Virgin and BA definately do fly direct to Orlando International. Also think there may be one or two others.

    Plenty of tour operators fly into Sanford direct.

  • debbietdebbiet Forumite
    51 posts

    we're off there next week, we left it as long as possible to book but prices were going up not down! we booked flight only with travel city (you have to ring if you don't want car hire) for £400 (£250 cheaper than the next cheapest). we aren't having a car and we booked the hotel (Disney resort) through Expedia. com-the american site. you can only book hotels and car hire if you're outside of the US so maybe worth a look at car hire prices as you'll get the benefit of the exchange rate.

    We fly into Sanford, direct from Manchester. you can fly Virgin direct to orlando int.

    debs ;D
  • Miserly Martin,

    There is a company that does an annual policy - I think it's called The policy is £99 so you could take the Flydrive option and that cover. The £169 per week stated by Travel City might cover other things such as airport tax I think but I'm sure that these extra costs on top of the £99 would still bring you under the £169 pw from Travel City.
    I'm no expert on this, this is just info that I've gathered ready for my holiday in October. Somebody correct me if I'm talking rubbish!!! ;);)
  • paylesspayless Forumite
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    I used for my carhire (dollar)- cheap but not absolute cheapest but clearly states includes CDW, Sli and UMP.
    Some others seem a bit vague on these points - stating " inclusive insurance"

    This on top of flights on expedia ( via hub) - flights do seem to have gone up, I paid £391 total pp for peak Aug flights (booked in Jan on expedia)
    Looking at £660 now ( more if direct) , similiar on charter
    (except of course if willing to do last minute charter- even then flights tomorrow appear still over £400)

    Accom on timeshare ( using in Florida is only way to really get full value of this in peak time)
    Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as (financial) advice.
  • As a regular traveller to Florida, let me make the following points:

    1) according to my regular agent, flights are more expensive this year because demand has doubled (due to Pound being very high against Dollar, no war, no SARS). Unfortunately, the tour operators plan their capacity up to 12 months in advance and cannot increase flights if there is an unexpected rise in demand.

    2) Any time you fly for £199 or less, the tour operator makes a loss. Just cos you got out cheap last year thru over-capacity, does not mean you will get away with it this year.

    3) Fly-drives, as the name implies, are a flight + car. Of course, you would have to be crazy to drive over there without insurance, and there are also substantial local taxes to pay.

    4) Best course of action is to find the cheapest flight, then the cheapest properly insured car. At the risk of libel, I would say that Travel City Direct are notorious for offering good flight prices tied to very expensive cars - last time I told them I did not want the car, they added £80 per head to the plane tcket!

    5) Only Virgin & BA fly direct to Orlando (both before & after September 11) - all US carriers fly via their hubs (Chicago, Newark, Dallas, Washington, New York, Boston, Miami etc).

    UK charters fly into Sandford airport nearby.

    6) Never rely on a teletext advert for price comparison (unless you have spoken to them!) Legally, the prices have to exist - but it might be 7 days out of Cardiff on September 30th, not the 2 week Gatwick flight in your imagination!

    7) I used to patronise Holiday Autos, until I discovered that Instant Holidays give 15% off Holiday Autos price. For those of you who don't like 0870 numbers, here is a direct line: 02392 511568. You might want to try them for flights/hotels etc while you're at it - they got us a nice hotel for £19 a night (cheaper than etc)
  • MiserlyMartinMiserlyMartin Forumite
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    Thanks everybody for your replies :)

    I have checked out Although it seems like a good deal, I phoned Dollar rent-a-car in Sanford and asked what would happen if I were to take out a seperate LDW/CDW policy. The woman said we would have to put down $1500 deposit and if the car was damaged at all, the bills would have to be paid by us.

    Then we would have to claim from insurance4hire. At the worse case scenerio this could leave us with $30,000 (write off) to pay upfront! I wouldn't fancy that!

    So I think we will just either go fly drive or find a cheap flight and car hire seperately.

    Almost back to square one and flights still aren't dropping!
  • MiserlyMartinMiserlyMartin Forumite
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    Flydrives for September (now we are in August) have dropped a little.

    Been doing more research and yes theres a lot of price manipulation going on...if you say you don't want their cars or car insurance

    I phoned up Travelcity to enquire again about the £189 per person flydrive. When I told them I did not want the £338 car insurance the quoted price went up to £304 pp!!!!. So if you take this price up and arrange your own insurance policy (£99) it works out to be £354 pp

    If you take the £189 flydrive and having travelcity's own car insurance its £358 pp so you can't win!

    You cannot win..what you see on teletext is misleading and has to be worked out carefully.
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