Never say never....aka, flying to Orlando

I second that Seat Guru is really helpful. If you are afraid of flying, @ryan1, look up your plane layout and if it only has 1 seat on one side of the aisle and 2 on the other (like some of the smaller regional jets that make shorter flights), think about opting out of that for a larger plane. The smaller the plane the ricketier (rickety-er?) it feels and I know you have mentioned before a fear of flying.

Oh. Don’t mention fear of flying tips. That just makes me more nervous. I am trying not to think about it.

You’re probably making a good choice looking for a direct flight if you’re not comfortable flying. With direct, you get it all over with, with stops, you do it twice but stay on the plane. Connecting flight, you get to exit the plane, then go get on another one and do it a second time. If after the first flight you feel okay about the process, great, but if not, well, you’re kind of screwed.

Your direct options out of DTW look pretty limited, Spirit, Frontier and Delta. For the price difference (I didn’t compare checked bags, etc) I would chance Spirit or Frontier, unless that $100 savings goes away by the time you have to pay for your seat cushion, window instead of a screen, etc.

Does Southwest go out of your airport?

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Southwest does but no non-stop flights.
Southwest has one checked bag free.
It feels more civil.

You will still have the ever popular TSA experience. While I cannot recall a really rude TSA person I’m unable to embrace any part of it.

I suppose we could mention that while you’re stripped down to your underwear is a great time for jokes of a security nature.

I thought SWA allowed two checked bags?

We have a little airport - ROC. I don’t fly often but I haven’t met surly TSA. Nor in FLL. Now I’m scared to fly MCO.

They might allow two. Pretty much do carry on.

Last week there was a new sign. Turns out your third bag on the plane is $75. Personal bag and carry on still free. I got a bit of a chuckle over that third bag, not having been thoroughly groped at TSA -so not reeling from shock.

Haven’t flown to mco but I’ve not heard horror stories from those who have.

Apparently some folks either didn’t know about even one checked bag free or they just weren’t going to check their “third” bag. $75 seems steep unless that third bag mentioned in the sign was really becoming a problem.

MCO was a little crazy, but it went fast. The worst I have delt with is in Phoenix. On the way out, I had to take off my shoes and belt, so when returning home, to save time, I started to take my belt and shoes off just before I got to the conveyor belt and some TSA guy starts screaming at me that he didn’t tell me to take my shoes and belt off yet. I was so stunned I didn’t even know how to respond! I now know, thanks to this forum, I should have stripped fully to my undies. My bad :hugs:! Next time.

Other than Phoenix, my experiences with TSA have been relatively painless. My sister who is a flight attendant got a TSA agent in Newark to give one my DS’ Flat Stanley a pat down. It was my favorite Flat Stanley Pic.


Im so glad you’re reconsidering Spirit. It was the first thing I thought of. If you don’t fly often and aren’t particularly fond of this mode of transportation it’s not a good option for you not matter how affordable it seems on the surface. It is often worth it to pay a little more to have a better experience, a philosophy that applies to more than air travel. It is also a good idea to fly nonstop on your case.

Definitely consider asking your physician for some Valium or Ativan to help you with the flights. My husband is a pretty terrible flier and he has found Ativan to be extremely helpful. He takes his dose just after clearing TSA and enjoys a nice relaxing flight, usually fast asleep. He does far better in nonstop flights so we do that almost exclusively even their is often a more expensive fare.

I’m glad someone remembered to instruct you about stripping down. The one time I encountered a TSA agent who was either having an awful day or was on an extreme power trip or both (Tampa), he kept making me leave the line to remove more clothing until I figured out what he was after.

Safe travels to you.


Okay. Even though we will not fly nonstop, my brother used his vouchers to get us tickets on United. Flying first to Chicago, hour layover, and then on to MCO.

They allow one carry on and one personal item compared to Spirit only allowing a personal item.

While it ends up being free, the downside is the layover and the fact it is an early flight (6:30 am).

Maybe I will still be too tired to get nervous?


Just going to echo some of the stuff above with some useful links:

  • Make sure you are prepared for TSA security screening - has all the info you need.
  • If you even remotely consider that this trip will encourage you to fly again, get TSA Pre. Once you have your KTN make sure that it is associated with your flight reservation - just having TSA Pre isn’t enough, it has to actually be printed on your boarding pass.
  • Use to help avoid bad seat assignments
  • MCO is a very easy airport to get through - it has to be to cater for the millions of tourons going to WDW. I would go with the option of Uber to the uHaul facility if the timings works out. Otherwise, MCO has a free cell phone waiting lot - your parents wait there and you call them when you are ready to be picked up, and then they drive over and get you curbside at Arrivals.

This is a highly offensive term.

We are tourists and we are proud. We are people just like you.


United stopped charging for carry-ons? They still did when I last checked for flights.

Edit: I just looked it up. Yes you can. When I was buying flights a few months ago, they were charging for carry ons. Wonder when they changed.

They have two levels. Basic economy and economy. The former doesn’t include carry-ons. But my brother got us economy tickets.


I was going to warn you about this. I fly United all the time, a lot, and I always feel bad when people who bought basic economy find out at the gate that they actually did not buy a ticket that lets them bring a carry on. Good you checked. Know that sometimes the last group to board regular economy (I think it is group 4) sometimes find that by the time they board the overheads are full, so if you can try to manage your carryon as a non-roller bag that you could shove under your seat. if the overheads are full. Or pack so that you would not mind if you ended up having to have it gate checked.

Oh I see. I never look much past basic economy :grin:

Good advice here, regardless.

Don’t worry about the early flight. Sometimes those are the best. My guess is only business people on an in and out trip take them. You might get lucky that way.

Not sure if you know this, since your brother booked it, but you can go to the United site and search up under “book flight” as if you were going to book, then find the flight you’re taking, and check the airplanes being used and the seats that are already assigned and available.

For example, on the Jul 3 Detroit to Orlando 6:30am flight leg one (to Chicago):

Hit the ORD-MCO to get the next leg’s seating.

As the flight date approaches, you can check how full the plane will be and if anyone will be sitting next to you.