Trip Report: The Villages/Orlando (part 1)

 

Report Index

Feb 2-Feb 4 Superbowl weekend

The Villages/Orlando (part 1) Southwest Airlines flight Milwaukee (MKE) to Orlando (MCO)
The Villages/Orlando (part 2) Hanging out in The Villages (Food and Drink)
The Villages/Orlando (part 3) Southwest Airlines flight Orlando (MCO) to Milwaukee (MKE)
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Southwest Airlines flight 3249 Milwaukee (MKE) to Orlando (MCO)

My wife’s mother and husband are snowbirds and thus for a few months every winter live in Florida to get away from these brutal Wisconsin winters!  Last year (2013) we went down to visit them for the first time during the Super Bowl weekend.  This year we decided to visit them again during that same weekend.  This time my wife’s big sister decided to join us (however she went down two days earlier than us).

We took the early flight to arrive in Orlando as early as possible to maximize the three day weekend.  So Saturday morning we woke up about 4:40am-5am to another fresh snowfall (will this winter ever end)!!  We actually left the house late at around 6am for a 7:10am departure!  We arrived at the airport around 6:35am and luckily there was nobody in security line (not one person). The flight started boarding around 6:50am or so thus giving us a few minutes of waiting around before starting to line up for boarding.

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On time for now

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Snowy 737’s this morning

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Only B30 at T minus 24, lots of families buying early bird positions it seems

There was a ton of children on this flight as usual for Orlando flights and especially a Saturday Orlando flight. I would guesstimate about 30-40 kids at least on this flight however they were all pretty well behaved. The flight was completely full.
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My favorite economy seats in the industry

We pushed back pretty much on time however we encountered a decent delay while we had to wait to get de-iced.  There was only one truck and they were trying to get another truck out there to help de-ice the planes.  Between the Air Tran flight before us and us, we took off about 40 minutes late.

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Air Tran plane got de-iced first

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Took about 15-20 minutes for the Air Tran de-icing

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Our turn, we got the exit row if you couldn’t tell 🙂

Before takeoff they let us know the wifi wasn’t working on this plane.  Thus I watched an episode or two of Downton Abbey on the iPad. We had a normal takeoff but hit some minor turbulence a few thousand feet and the kids were screaming like it was a roller coaster with a few of them putting their hands in the air!! They were obviously excited for the Disney rides!  They handed out breakfast bars instead of the trademark peanuts for this flight. This was the first time we had them and I imagine they serve these on the early morning flights.

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Overcast Orlando on approach

 

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Almost there!

We landed about 20 minutes late and immediately went to baggage claim. My wife checked a bag only because of her contact solution.  Well the baggage claim was a cluster and at one point it looked like about 300 people around carousel 12!!!  Eventually they announced a few carousel changes and our bags were moved to carousel 11. It still took about 30 minutes for our bag to come off which is the longest time I can remember in a while.

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Chaos at the baggage claim

All in all a decent flight since we landed safe and sound!

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

We put our Southwest companion pass to good use again for this trip!  We redeemed 18,960 rapid rewards points for our flights.

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Our points reservation confirmation

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Our confirmation email

Like all direct flights we paid $2.50 per segment ($2.50 is the 9-11 security fee) so I paid $5 total and my wife’s ticket was $5.  Grand total of $10 out of pocket plus we paid about $7 per day for parking at the airport park and ride so $21 for 3 nights.

Southwest points are typically worth $.0167 cents per point so multiplied by 18,960 means this airfare was $316 if we paid cash. Having these points and the companion pass is the difference between taking this weekend getaway and not.  We would not spend $316 per person for a weekend get away more than likely but for $10 plus $21 parking we can do these types of get aways!

Remember at this time the Southwest credit cards are offering a 50,000 bonus!!!

-pointspinnacle


 

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