Getting to Disney World isn’t exactly a breeze, regardless of whether you’re flying or driving.
With flight prices getting higher and recent crowd and wait time issues at the Orlando International Airport, it’s not always an easy process flying to Disney World right now. So which airline should you choose in order to have the BEST chance of a smooth trip? We asked DFB readers to share their favorite airlines for flying to Orlando — here’s what you said!
Although flying to Disney World can be pricey and a bit of a hassle, it’s also the preferred form of travel for many guests. That’s because (1) flying gets you to the parks faster than a car usually can, and (2) there’s already plenty of free transportation in Disney World, so you don’t really need your own vehicle if you’re staying on property.
And the Orlando International Airport is also undergoing a pretty big renovation right now, with new restaurants and impressive technology being added to the airport. Guests flying into Orlando will get the chance to check out the latest updates once those renovations are finished.
If you do choose to fly, you’ll have to make a tough decision: Which airline do you choose? With over 30 airlines operating at the Orlando International Airport, that question is not always as simple as it sounds. Luckily, the DFB readers are here to help.
We reached out on Facebook (give us a follow if you want to share your opinions!) to find out what our readers consider to be the BEST airlines to take to Disney World. Their thoughts might help you out next time you’re planning a Disney World visit!
While our readers mentioned many airlines, two in particular stood out as favorites for different reasons, and a third factor emerged as an important consideration to make next time you’re booking your flights. Let’s get into it!
Southwest Airlines was overwhelmingly mentioned as the favorite airline for DFB readers for a variety of reasons. One reader said, “I prefer Southwest! Free checked bag, family boarding, and wonderful staff. Not to mention, they are one of the few airlines that offer non-stop flights from our preferred airport to [Orlando International Airport].”
Two free checked bags was a commonly mentioned perk for Southwest because more bags means more room for souvenirs! Another reader commented, “We fly Southwest. I’ve always had great service from them. Two free bags is a plus with all the souvenirs we are usually bringing back with us,” and Wendy O. said, “We only fly Southwest. Free checked bags, more souvenirs!”
Another reader also had a tip for DFB readers! They commented, “We only fly Southwest. Vacation tip: Put your medium bag inside your larger bag and pack your medium bag. Always take a luggage scale [and] you now have your souvenir bag.”
And depending on where you live, Southwest may also offer the cheapest flights. a reader said, “Southwest is usually much cheaper when flying out of NOLA, thus we usually fly Southwest. [The] bonus is the amount of luggage allowed.”
If you’re looking to save money on those bag fees, Southwest is the airline for you! And who doesn’t end up leaving with a suitcase full of souvenirs?
Why your next Southwest flight could be DIFFERENT!
Coming in hot behind Southwest Airlines is Spirit Airlines! That’s right, the budget airline was a popular option for DFB readers looking for cheap, direct flights. One reader said, “Tons of people complain about it, but we’ve never had an issue on Spirit. I don’t care that they charge for snacks/drinks, I bring my own. I gladly pay a minimal price for a roomy front seat, and be on my way.”
Another reader added, “Both times I’ve flown [to Orlando] was with Spirit. It was surprisingly just fine. Direct flight from a small airport outside Pittsburgh with free parking. No complaints.”
Some readers only select Spirit because of the lower prices. One said, “Spirit worked for us. Honestly, it’s whoever is cheapest.” And a reader noted that there is no correct answer, but “for my family it is Spirit. The airport from which we travel is 10 minutes from my home, has free parking, and quick check-in and TSA check. Works for me.”
Spirit Airlines often (but not always) has much lower prices than other airlines, including Southwest. For example, if you’re flying out of LAX in July of 2022, the cheapest tickets to Orlando cost $547 with Spirit but $980.24 with Southwest. Spirit Airlines might not offer the same perks as Southwest, but when you’re looking for low prices and direct flights, it might be just the ticket.
But remember to compare the prices for your individual flights! Some Southwest flights to Orlando were about equal to (or even cheaper than) Spirit flights, depending on the airport locations.
Learn the average cost to fly to Disney World in July 2022.
DFB readers apparently know what they’re talking about, too, because the responses of Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines match up with statistics from the United States Department of Transportation. According to the department, Southwest and Spirit are the top 2 most popular airlines operating in the Orlando International Airport as of February 2022.
Affordability and Convenience
While Southwest and Spirit stood out as the ultimate favorite airlines, another common response was that there’s actually no correct answer. It can depend on your budget, your local airline hub, whether you have airline miles saved, and if you want direct flights.
A reader said their airline choice “depends on where you are flying to/from and who has hubs and direct flights,” while another reader said they choose “whichever one is cheapest or I have reward miles for.”
One reader said they fly “whoever is [the] cheapest nonstop,” and that they “find them all to be the same.” So the actual airline may not matter so much as the prices you can find when you’re looking to travel!
Similarly, another commented, “Best is a relative term and will vary by city of origin and time of year. All airlines are constrained by the same rules and restrictions with regard to safety and when they can fly safely. Delays and cancellations will vary by city and time of year as well as other unknowns that can’t be predicted.”
You can still have a favorite airline but it’s good to remember that all airlines run into issues, and your “favorite” may be based on certain factors that work specifically for YOU. It might be worth looking into your closest airport to find out which airline offers the best deals and the most direct flights!
Before You Fly…
As you get ready to head out on your vacation, don’t forget to check out some of our best tips for making your trip as smooth and comfortable as possible. We’ve tested out lots of travel hacks and found some very handy products that make flying to Disney World quite a bit easier.
For example, we always bring a portable luggage scale so that we can weigh our bags before arriving at the airport. Does anyone else hold their breath while their luggage is being weighed when checking in? The top end of the weight limit is sometimes a little too close for comfort.
To make your airport visits a little less stressful, bring along one of these bad boys and weigh your bags before you check in to your flight. You can get one for $12.63 on Amazon!
Click here to buy a portable luggage scale.
We all know how difficult it is to find an outlet in an airport — the struggle to keep your phone charged while traveling is REAL, folks. That’s why you might want to consider bringing along a 6-port USB charger station. So you’ll only need ONE outlet to charge all of your devices while you wait to board your flight!
You can get this charger station on Amazon for $12.60 and say goodbye to those low battery notifications during your flight.
Click here to buy the 6-port USB charger station.
One of our FAVORITE travel hacks is to bring along a jewelry organizer — but NOT for the reason you might think. Instead of loading it with earrings and necklaces, we prefer to fill ours with cheese. Yes, you read that right.
You can fill the boxes of these organizers with little snacks and treats for your flight! Then, when you’re on the plane, you’ve got a no-mess container that’s easy to open up or put away. It’s basically like creating your own lunchable, which is AWESOME. These organizers from Amazon cost $9.99 for 6 boxes and have adjustable compartments so that you can fit in larger snacks as well.
Click here to buy the jewelry/cheese organizers.
We’ve got plenty more tips and tricks if you’re looking to make your trip a bit more smooth, so be sure to check out our full post on travel hacks here! And don’t forget to keep following DFB for more Disney news, tips, and updates.
You’re SLEEPING on these travel hacks!
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What is your favorite airline? Tell us in the comments!
None of those airlines offer first class seating… so not even an option for my family.
I like Southwest except for the open seat issue. My wife, daughter and I would like to know we have seats together. It’s no fun setting between two strangers. For that reason we don’t fly southwest.
Southwest really knocks it out of the park with the free bags. And, honestly, their boarding method seems way less chaotic then the other airlines.
Stan Sroka says
Your article mentioned the convenience of a DIRECT flight. This should be a NON-STOP flight as a direct flight makes one, or more, stops along the way to your destination. It’s almost like a connection but you don’t change planes.
Trader Dave says
Southwest is good, but a “hard NO” to Spirit. I’ve had numerous friends and work colleagues show up for their flights just to be told that the flight had been cancelled last minute – not for weather, crew or plane issues. Since you have to book things a WDW far in advance, the last thing you want is to get unnecessarily stranded at the airport by an airline that clearly doesn’t care about getting you to your destination on time.
Ken C says
We fly JetBlue because we are TrueBlue members. TrueBlue is probably the best rewards program I’ve ever had, particularly good if you have the JetBlue Mastercard. I haven’t paid cash for a flight in almost 10 years.
So, yes, it’s all a matter of what works for you.
Maria Parker says
Please, please stay away from Spirit, they have the worst customer service and their boarding pass system on their app has issues constantly. My kids flew into MCO from Atlantic Cuty a few weeks ago and Spirit’s boarding pass issue caused them to miss their flight back home and incurred over $1000 in unexpected Uber fees and lost wages because their new flight was 2 days after the missed one and to an airport 100 miles away from their departing airport. And all they offered was a $50 travel voucher that has to be used within 90 days for their ongoing system issues that they knew about for over a week #NeverflySpiritAgain