Big air travel shake-up for UK visitors flying to Orlando

May 05, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday May 5, 2020 10:43am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney World visitors traveling from the United Kingdom will be facing major changes when flights resume operations post COVID-19 shutdown.

Virgin Atlantic has today announced that it will be closing its operations at London Gatwick Airport, and will only fly from London Heathrow and Manchester. Gatwick has long been the main airport for scheduled air travel to Orlando International from the United Kingdom, typically offering three direct flights to Orlando per day.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic will only be flying twin engined aircraft, and will no longer use its fleet of seven 747-400 aircraft. The 747 has been the backbone of the London to Orlando route for many years. The changes will also be met by a reduction of 3150 jobs across the airline.

At rival British Airways, the airline has told staff that it may also be unable to resume operations from Gatwick, which includes its daily flight to Orlando International.

Virgin Atlantic has been a marketing and travel partner with the Walt Disney World Resort, including promoting Star Wars Galaxy's Edge last year.

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Sirwalterraleigh4 hours ago

Yeah…we’ve been raging for bout the last 3 months…and the first 3 months of the year…just for context

Robbiem4 hours ago

This summaries the current situation. Most brits / Europeans would need to quarantine outside europe for 14 days before entering the US. Trump was going to end this but biden prolonged the ban until now

Wendy Pleakley4 hours ago

Will this have much of an impact on WDW? I'm in the same boat. I could fly to Orlando tomorrow, but I'd need a COVID test both coming and going. It's an added expense. Hundreds of dollars per person. It's a hassle, having to schedule and get to a testing location. There's risk. Even if I get a mild case of COVID I'm suddenly faced with changing flights, needing a hotel for longer, etc. I feel relatively comfortable doing most things, as a fully vaccinated individual. However, spending time in theme parks in Florida just isn't the greatest idea right now.

nickys5 hours ago

Part of me is impressed they actually updated the U.K. site.

Sirwalterraleigh5 hours ago

There is an easy solution to this move

rmwebs5 hours ago

About bloody time is all I can say. There's been no excuse for it taking this long when the UK especilly is way ahead of the US on double vaccinations. Of course the downsize is Disney immediately tripped the prices on the UK site. Apparently a family of 4 going in december can now look forward to paying close to £10k for the cheapest accommodation, vs < £1k for a decent villa. Yet another thing thats killed the perk of staying on site.

Sirwalterraleigh6 hours ago

…but you wouldn’t have wanted to be is my point. Remember what state we’re talking about? Europe and the Kingdom have eclipsed us in the responses…so has Canada…typical Thank you for the clarification…also see above 👍🏻

nickys6 hours ago

The U.K. has a complicated “traffic light” system, which is being simplified a little. Other European countries have different rules, I think France has just closed its borders to anyone from the US again. Returning to the U.K. from a red list country means compulsory quarantine in a specific hotel. Everywhere else involves a mixture of PCR tests and / or quarantining at home. The US is currently an Amber list country. But the US has refused to allow anyone except US citizens in if they have been in the U.K., Europe or various other places in the previous 14 days.

Angry Warlock6 hours ago

I have flights booked from London to MCO on 8th nov. Fingers tightly crossed.....😬

King Raccoon 776 hours ago

We haven't been allowed into your country since 2020.

Sirwalterraleigh6 hours ago

I haven’t paid too close attention to this.. But isn’t the problem quarantine rules when getting back home to Europe?…not “getting into the US”?

RobbiemMar 02, 2021

I agree. I really want to travel again but I want to do it safely and freely. Traveling this year with masks, testing and potentially quarantine on return to the UK isn’t something want to risk. I’d rather wait it out another year and have a better experience hopefully in 2022 02, 2021

Think it's down to individual families too. Disney seem to think Masks and distancing will be in place at least until 2022 which is not an experience I want to have, so I'll just wait

richiejvMar 02, 2021

Admittedly I might be clutching at straws a little, but I disagree. With talk today of the vaccine rate in the UK going up to 4-5m a week and the USA doing pretty well too, I wouldn’t rule out a travel corridor opening up between the two. I’d be writing off anything in the first half of the year still (July and August are probably tricky too) but beyond that I think there’s a pretty good chance.