Jump to content

Drive in or Fly in the Morning Of


Recommended Posts

Hello All, 

We were able to book a roundtrip flight from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale for $150/pp. We are the first flight of the day being we would land at 8am (probably before to be honest). 

I found a place in Ft. Lauderdale called Park N Go that if you pre-pay its $5.99/day versus $13/day. There is even a free shuttle to take you to the port. 

My question is... Should I keep our flights on Southwest airlines or should we drive down the morning of? I'm worried about traffic on the turnpike and 95. 

Any suggestions?

TIA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, I say go for the flights. Its early enough that even if there are airline hiccups where the flight gets cancelled, you can still drive from Orlando to the port as a backup plan.  Three hours in a car sounds less fun then a very short flight. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It boils down to your risk analysis.  Do you expect that the airline flight will be cancelled and you will miss your flight?   We actually have flown three times, and twice we arrived same day as cruise.  Despite the plane cancellation and the train breakdown (after airline gave us a train ticket), we still made our connections.  So I wouldn't worry about flying.

On the driving side, their is risk of car breakdown or major accident (yours).   If you are really worried, fly down the day before.

I would fly Southwest myself, as I trust them.  Just make sure there is a back-up flight you can take if the first one has problems.  Also, make sure the flight is covered by your travel insurance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea the more I think about it the more comfortable I feel about flying. Because I fly Southwest pretty regularly and I have been keeping an eye on the consistency of their "first" flights out departing on time. I think its going to be the best bet. 

Also after spending 15 months commuting 2.5 hrs a day I really don't feel like spending that length of time in a car if necessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$150pp seems high for that route, it's often lower than that.

The gotcha is luggage.  Once you check your bags it can be difficult to retrieve them should you need to back out and drive.

I've done flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa getting off one ship and onto another.  But there is risk.

My insurance claim travel blog  documented what should have been an easy direct flight the morning of a cruise.  If everything had gone well it would have been a great cruise.  I missed the ship.  Different airports but that may not matter.  

When things go off the rails when flying the day of departure it really doesn't matter how far you are flying.  A flight that is 20 minutes in the air or 90 minutes in the air is subject to the same risk.  Weather, mechanical, personnel issues, security incidents, protests, etc all can ruin a flight or delay it.  Delays are the worst.  They never tell you straight out how long the actual delay will be, 60 minutes turns into 90 minutes turns into 4 hours.  Once you check a bag it can be very time consuming to get your bag back if you choose not to fly.   

If you are carrying on luggage at least you can make the decision to forget flying and drive while safely predicting the time involved.  Once you or your bag are on the plane it's another matter. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

Also after spending 15 months commuting 2.5 hrs a day I really don't feel like spending that length of time in a car if necessary.

I get that.  I've done 2+ hours a day in a car for going on 25 years but I'd still drive it.  We did the Disney to FLL drive back in October and it was 3-3 1/2 hours.  WHile there might be an accident, to me it's less risky and it won't really take that much longer.  What's the flight time?  45 minutes?  If you get to the airport even 90 minutes prior to the flight, add in the 45 min flight time, and then add in 30 min at FLL to collect your luggage, you're almost at 3 hours.  Any airline delay and driving is quicker.  Not as relaxing but quicker.  Plus no chance of lost luggage.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

I totally agree, unfortunately with timing and amount of Time Off we are already taking I'm not sure if we can add another night. 

Totally get it. If you do end up driving down the day of the cruise, be sure to leave nice and early.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

Oh def! not going to deal with the possibility of issues on the turnpike or 95.

Given your screen name, you're clearly more versed in the Florida traffic than I am.  All I can relay is that we drove on a Saturday in October, left Disney property around 1130, took the turnpike and were at the FLL hotel around 3:00.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would rather just drive down to Ft. Lauderdale the 3 hours than have to deal with driving to the airport> airport parking> taking luggage to baggage check> baggage fees> TSA> waiting at the gate> boarding process> flying to FLL> deplaning> baggage claim> shuttle/bus/Uber to the cruise port and then doing it all over again when you get back.

But, I am also cheap and wouldn't want to pay for airfare when I don't have to!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, FloridaCruiseGirl1210 said:

I totally agree, unfortunately with timing and amount of Time Off we are already taking I'm not sure if we can add another night. 

Or you could drive down the night before. We have to fly for our cruises, basically as we live about 1,500 away from most ports. Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale isn't that far, so driving should work fine, even with added traffic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, MotleyCruiser said:

If concerned about saving vacation time I would drive down after work the night before and fine an inexpensive hotel (Priceline.com Express deals) and park at the port. Nothing worse than the cattle call with all those other people and their luggage.!!

That's my usual strategy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a thought: an hour plus/minus to get to airport, and park.  AT LEAST  an hour to check in and clear TSA.  Thirty minutes flight at a minimum.  Baggage pick-up another thirty minutes.  You can drive and be in control using the same amount of time and less money (airport parking in Orlando is not cheap) and a car takes more people than one $150 ticket.  I am a SWA fan, but have been "burned" many times with weather delays in Fort Lauderdale. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Allen2 said:

One other point - Southwest is cancelling an average of 100 flights per day.  May wish to drive

Those flights are already off the schedule, it's not like they are waiting for the day to start then cancelling flights that day.  They know through October which flights won't fly and have adjusted the flight schedule already.   Two weeks ago I had the option of moving September and October flights around without change fees.  I didn't need to.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Allen2 said:

One other point - Southwest is cancelling an average of 100 flights per day.  May wish to drive

Agreed..they just switched my nonstop flight from FLL to JAX from 11:50am to 7:45pm..nope nope nope.  Doesn't work for me because JAX is still a 2.5 hour drive home after that and I'd rather not get home that late when I can drive it in 7 hours right from FLL.

I'm typically team drive the evening after work to the port and stay in a hotel..usually way less traffic in the evenings.  Depending on a hotel park and fly deal or port parking costs I will either do one-way car rentals or drive my own.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...