What better way to start my 2018 blogging than with news of Florida related vast expense?
I have kept an eye on flights for a month or so now, with no real intention to buy unless the price seemed too good to be true and unlikely to fall further. I did see my arse at times as both Thomas Cook and Virgin seemed to be heading significantly north of £600 as notified by my Kayak alerts, but I held my nerve and told myself all would be well.
So with Louise out during the day on New Year’s Eve I found myself at a loose end. In the afternoon, I fired up the laptop and Emily and I demolished a selection box whilst going over our day by day plan with a fine tooth comb. We had a quick look at the busy day guides and realised that our trip could be summarised as, every park will be busy the first week as it is Labor (sic) day and quieter after that so we gave up trying to reconstruct the plan based on that and went with our gut instincts.
With Freddie in tow, I do realise that all planning will be subject to change, and going with flows will be the order of the trip so I’m not too worried about which park will be on which day. He may only be ten months old at the time, but he will be (quite rightly) dictating our movements.
What I do care about is where we are eating so we spent a good amount of time re-jigging some of those plans and that is now pretty much as planned as it can be until we can book the few ADRs we need. Having said that, new restaurants keep opening which lure us into changes. The Edison being the latest one to tempt us to change the plan.
Anywho, later that day it came to mind that I should perhaps have a quick look at flight prices. I did a Skyscanner/Kayak thing and noted a price with Virgin of just over £500. Now, either Branson was drunk or my laptop had been set to show prices in some weird currency. I tried to go to the Virgin Atlantic site and do a test run of a booking to see how they would double that price before I got to check out, but for some reason their website won’t let you book online if you have an infant in your party.
So I looked at the third-party options listed on Skyscanner. I discounted a few I’d never heard of as their reviews were as good as Trump’s approval rating, but decided to give Netflights a go, as I’d heard of them and indeed even booked with them previously.
They do let you book online with an infant in the party and the price held true. So, on the basis that any price around the £500 mark for direct flights in August (granted, late August this time) was unlikely to be bettered, I shot my bolt.
I did realise that I had not reserved any seats and that would be extra. Once I got the eticket details through from Netflights I went to the Virgin site to see which fellow passengers I would be inflicting a ten month old on for nine hours. As much as I tried to pay them money for knowing where we’ll be sitting, the web site was having none of it. I kept getting one of those ever so helpful error messages that web sites give so often.
“Something went wrong. You can try again or whatever.” was how it went I think. So I gave up. I was glad in a way as by sleeping on it my subconscious Florida brain kicked in and brought to mind “the bubble”. Now we hardly ever fly Virgin. I think we have done so just once in all these years which goes to show –
a) How tight I am
b) How they are pretty much always more expensive than other options
but I have heard and seen lots of talk of the bubble. With a bit of research and watching a couple of vlogs about it (Hi Guys!) it seemed this would suit us well. If we’re going to do economy (and we are, I’m not made of money), then being in that less populated, quieter space would mean we will be inflicting all that screaming on fewer people. I don’t mean Freddie by the way. Louise tends to get a bit vocal when scared. She’s not a good flyer.
So despite it being New Years day by this time, some poor soul was working in the Virgin call centre and I had to actually ring up and speak to someone. This is no way to conduct business in 2018!
Hilary (I think it was) was very helpful and explained that the system did seem to be glitchy, so much so that she could see two payments had been taken from me already from my attempts the previous day online and the seats were allocated.
A good dose of hold music later it was all sorted, a refund for the second payment was processed and I could now see our seats reserved online. For anyone flying on VS75 on the 29th of August, come say hello.
The plan was for Rebecca, Tom and Emily to be on row 80. Three pairs of hands will be needed for those really big smelly nappies! Louise of course has to have the window seat so that we don’t crash, so we will be in row 79 with one of us off our tits on red wine and Diazepam.
A couple of days after booking, our party grew and that spare seat in row 79 was filled. A new character will be introduced to the Mkingdon cast for 2018.
To cut a long story short, a friend of Emily, who is a boy (but not her boyfriend) was added to the party. He also works with Louise and recently attended an Anne Summers party with Louise, Emily and Rebecca! If he can survive that then he should be fine. He’s never been to WDW before and to be frank has no clue about what to expect or that the holiday will be shared in an overly detailed trip report to at least three readers.
Say hello to Mikey everyone. He knows not what he has let himself in for.
There’s no getting away from the fact that a nine-hour flight with an infant is going to be hard work, but if Freddie continues to behave as he has in his first couple of months then it shouldn’t be too bad.
So, by the time I’d paid for our seats it was around £570 each (apart from Freddie who was a very reasonable £9 pre taxes), which is a price I’m happy with and one I don’t think will go down between now and August. At least we now know we’re sorted, have seats in the more peaceful bubble and can really start to plan.
If anyone does spot the same flights for less between now and and August you can keep that information to yourself!
Till the next time….