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Saturday, May 25th 2024

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How To Get The Best Deal On Flights From Halifax To Orlando

Guides >> North America >> Florida >> Flights from Halifax to Orlando

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flights From Halifax (YHZ) to Orlando

Ydeals logo There are thousands of price comparison travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on airfares to Orlando. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there are really only two sources of unique prices for Haligonians on flights to Orlando.

This guide will remove the noise and show you what those sources are, so you can stop wasting so much time when searching for the best deal on a flight south.

What are the unique sources of prices on flights from Halifax to Orlando ?

Unique Source #1 - The Major Airlines

There are 5 major airlines that offer fares from Halifax to Orlando, and they are:
Air Canada, Delta, United Airlines, and WestJet.

Where should I look to get the greatest travel deal?

All you really need to do is learn how to search all the major airlines, preferably at once. My current favorite way to do this would be using Google Flights Explorer because you can just enter 'Orlando (MCO)' into the 'To' box, and see current airfares from all the major airlines, to Orlando, at one time. Not to mention how easy it is to browse through different date combinations.

Even if you're planning to go for a longer date range than Google Flight Explorer supports (currently up to 2 weeks), it will give you an excellent idea of what the typical bottom price for a flight is right now, and which airline(s) it can be found on. Use it as a starting point, and then use an air holiday selection tool with more precise search options, such as...

My second favorite way would be to search using Kayak. It has all the sort and filter options I need, and searches all major airlines. Click on 'Make my dates flexible' and set it to '+/- 3 days'. You may be surprised how often being a little flexible with your travel dates can result in a better price.

Similar to using Google Flight Explorer, in the 'To' box on Kayak, use 'Orlando, FL - Orlando (MCO)' as your destination.

What about the thousands of other sites that have airfares to Orlando?

This is the noise. There is no shortage of travel sites or vacation booking brands trying to convince you that they have the cheapest flights from Halifax to Orlando. The truth is though, there's only one unique source of prices that they're gathering their prices from, and that's the prices from the major airlines themselves. They can't offer a lower price than the airline itself, as there's already virtually no markup.

There's a few reasons why I think travelers waste an enormous amount of time checking multiple websites, hoping for a better deal than the one they already found (studies show it to be an average of 22 different sites over 10 periods of research!). The first reason is just human nature. We all want to compare airfare prices and make sure we're getting the best holiday deal.

But I think the biggest reason is simply the noise of travel marketing. With so many travel branded sites competing for your attention, all hoping you'll book through them, combined with the fact that not one of them will *ever* admit to you that their source of prices is the same as everyone else, it's little wonder travelers waste so much time searching.

What about searching the airline's website directly?

There's nothing wrong with doing that. It's usually just a lot easier to search all of the airlines at once, with a better interface using a good search tool. It's amazing how poor many of the airline's search interfaces are. The fares found on any half-decent search engine will be the same as the fares found on the airline's own website.

One thing you can do is just use a program to search all the airlines at once, and then go to the airline's own site to book it once you've figured out exactly which flight you want, and what the price is.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent here in Halifax?

They're seeing the same prices you are. Depending on the agency or agent, they may or may not charge you a 'booking fee' on top of the airfare price, for their time. As there's virtually no markup on the cost of flights, they can't offer you a price that's any cheaper than from the airline, or from a search tool that properly searches the latest airfares.

When should I book my trip to get the best price?

This is never an easy question to answer, as airfares are not 100% predictable. Airlines start by setting their price at a level they think will fill the maximum number of seats, based on the demand they expect to see. If they experience less demand than they expected, they may decide to lower them. If they experience more demand than they expected, they may raise them. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence demand can be unpredictable.

How long a person can wait it out in hopes of a better price is a personal decision. Personally though, I am usually not afraid to watch prices on the major airlines up to about 8 weeks before departure in hopes of a better price without fear of the price rising. But everyone has a different tolerance for risk.

What about last minute deals out of Halifax airport?

Last minute airfare deals to Orlando on the major airlines don't really exist. Typical of most airfares on the major airlines, as you get fairly close to the departure date, if the airline has done their job correctly, and filled most of the seats on the plane, they feel the last remaining seats become more valuable, and often decide to raise the price.

What's a decent price to Orlando from Halifax?

From Halifax, flights to Orlando on the major airlines tend to bottom out around $450 - $500 roundtrip after taxes. This is just a general guideline though, based on average demand periods of the year. And note that we're talking about the major airlines here. Charter flights can be cheaper, as we'll see in Unique Source #2.

Airfare prices are highly affected by demand. So anytime you can think of a reason that there might be higher demand than usual for travel to Orlando (such as dates when many people in Halifax have holiday breaks) you can expect prices to react accordingly.

What about one way flights to Orlando?

Travellers from Halifax should be able to get to Orlando (MCO) for about 50-60% of the cost of roundtrip flight. Use the same search techniques as for round-trip flights, and just change the search option in your favorite search tool to 'one-way'.

What about non-stop (direct) flights to Orlando?

From Halifax, there are non-stop (direct) flights to Halifax (MCO) on the following major airlines:
Air Canada and WestJet

As we'll see in Source #2 - The Charter Airlines, there are a couple more airlines that fly non-stop (direct) from Halifax to Orlando.

What about a multi-city flight? Such as into Orlando and out of another city in Florida?

Searching for multi-city flights in travel is still a bit of a pain. Even Google Explorer currently can't handle it, as there's too many possible combinations. I'm sure eventually someone (likely Google) will put enough processing power behind it and create something useful for searching multi-city fares.

But for now, you're stuck with searching one departure date at a time when it comes to multi-city fares and experimenting with different destination combinations. Most of the decent travel sites will offer a multi-city option (it should be right next to 'one-way' and 'round-trip').

Kayak would be my preferred option here. Just click on the 'multi-city' option and in the first box, enter in Halifax (YHZ) to Orlando (MCO), or whatever airport you want to fly into, and then in the second box, enter Miami (MIA) to Halifax, or whatever airport you want to fly out of.

You never really know what you're going to get with a multi-city fare. From Halifax to Florida, it can often be around the same price as a typical roundtrip fare to the same destinations (or an average of the two). Sometimes it can be slightly more. In rare cases it can even be cheaper. Of course, you're still left with figuring out the cost of getting between the two airports.

Unique Source #2 - The Charter Airlines flying out of Halifax

There are 2 charter airlines that offer fares from Halifax to Orlando, and they are:
Air Transat and Sunwing.

Where should I look to get the best deal?

In Unique Source #1 - The Major Airlines, I showed you how to search the major airlines in the best way possible. Those same techniques will cover the latest charter fares on Air Transat.

Sunwing's fares on the other hand, are not currently searchable in Kayak or Google Flights Explorer, so you will want to search for those separately, through Sunwing's travel booking site.

Over the years I've also noticed that prices on Air Transat's own site, www.AirTransat.ca, on rare occasion can be different than what is listed in the common search engines. It's usually worth a separate search. After searching, hit the 'Flexible Dates' tab to make it a little easier to see what's available.

What about the thousands of other sites that list charter airfares to Orlando?

This is the noise. There are *many* travel sites and brands that sell Air Transat and Sunwing's charter airfares to Orlando. Most of them are based in Canada. You may already be familiar with some of the sites & brands that spend the most on advertising, such as:

RedTag iTravel2000 Flight Network Sell Off Vacations Tripcentral
Flight Centre Signature Vacations Sears Travel Escapes Marlin Travel

This is by no means a complete list of all the Canadian-based travel sites. The only important thing you need to know as someone searching for the best deal from Halifax to Orlando is that they are all retrieving their prices from the same source, and all trying to sell you the exact same flights at the exact same prices.

One site or brand can't offer a lower price than their competition, as there is virtually no price markup on flights, and they can't legally change the airfare prices themselves anyways.

In other words, it is a huge waste of your valuable time to check any more than one of the Canadian-based travel sites. (And if you've checked out prices using the searches I already mentioned, it's a total waste of time to check any of them, as those searches already gave you the current charter airfares to Orlando).

A large number of Canadians out there have been fooled into thinking they are comparison shopping, since no travel site or brand will ever admit that their prices are identical to their competition.

What about a local travel agency in Halifax or an independent travel agent?

If it's through a travel agency in Canada, or a Canadian travel agent, you can think of them as being identical to the sites I just mentioned above. They're accessing the exact same prices, and from the same sources.

Depending on the agency or agent, they may or may not charge you a 'booking fee' on top of the airfare price, for their time. As there's virtually no markup on the cost of flights, they can't offer you a price that's any cheaper than from the airline, or from a search tool that properly searches the latest airfares.

When should I book a charter flight to get the best price?

The advice I gave in Unique Source #1, about 'when to book' on the major airlines applies to charter flights as well. The one big difference though, is that there is a greater possibility of charter airlines offering a significant price drop around 4-6 weeks before departure (sometimes even less). The major airlines pretty much never do this, so you can typically 'wait it out' longer when watching charter airfares than when watching fares on the major airlines.

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that a charter airline will drop their price, as it depends on whether or not they end up with some seats that they couldn't sell, which is an unpredictable event.

What are the drawbacks to flying with the charter airlines?

Compared to flying one of the major airlines, the biggest drawbacks to the charter airlines are usually:

  • The seats are more cramped
  • No seat-back entertainment (Air Transat is working on upgrading their fleet to offer this)
  • If something happens with your plane (cancellation, delay, etc) or flight plans, the charter airlines probably won't be able to do anything for you, since the number of flights they have is limited. Contrast that to the major airlines who typically have more flights on a regular basis, and might be able to do something about it.

What about one way flights to Orlando on the charter airlines?

You can find one way flights on both Air Transat and Sunwing, but they're not always great deals, particularly on Air Transat. Sometimes their one way flights are as much, or more, than roundtrip ticket prices. I would definitely make sure to look at one way fares on the major airlines as well.

What about non-stop (direct) flights to Orlando on the charter airlines?

Both Air Transat and Sunwing offer non-stop (direct) flights from Halifax to Orlando.

What about a multi-city flight on the charter airlines? Into Orlando and out of somewhere else in Florida?

Neither Air Transat or Sunwing offer any multi-city flight options involving Orlando.

What about cheap flights to Orlando from U.S. airports within driving distance of Halifax?

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. airports within driving distance of Halifax, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an airfare from a U.S. airport to Orlando that's at least a certain number of dollars less per person than the airfare from Halifax.

How much cheaper it needs to be depends on which U.S. airport you're flying from. Below, I'll list how much cheaper I feel it should be from each U.S. airport, to be worth the drive.

From Bangor, Maine (BGR)

I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an airfare from Bangor to Orlando that's at least $600 less per person than from Halifax. Maybe $500 if you have 4 in the vehicle.

Considering flights from Halifax to Orlando are cheaper than this, I feel it's not usually going to be worth the drive, unless the cheapest flights you can find from Halifax are priced significantly higher than usual for your dates.

From Portland, Maine (PWM)

Similar advice as Bangor, only Portland is even further from Halifax, so it's even less likely to be worth the drive.

I think I've found a great deal on a flight to Orlando!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow travel lovers from Halifax, they will appreciate it and thank you for it! You can post it in the YHZ Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of people from Halifax are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YHZ Deals contact form or on Twitter @YHZdeals or through Google Plus. Great deal finds are always appreciated.

Why should I trust this guide?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my observations of the travel industry over the years, including all the thousands of websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

The goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so people can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YHZ Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!

I think I have some info that could help improve the Halifax deal-finders guide!

Great! Please post your info in the Facebook group above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

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