There’s no point having a holiday home in the winter sunshine if you can’t get there easily. And that’s why so many of us choose Florida for our affordable, accessible winter sun. Here’s your Florida flights guide.

Flights to Florida are still outstandingly affordable. Moreover, as Florida is one of the most-loved USA holiday destinations with British tourists, there are an array of ways to travel to the state from all across the UK. The airline you choose, time of year you visit and even the day of the week you book can seriously affect how much you pay for your ticket. In this Florida flight guide, we offer our insider tips on finding flights to Florida that suit you.

How many airports are there in Florida?

There are 13 international airports in the state of Florida, guaranteeing easy access to whichever corner of the state you wish to holiday in. Additionally, there are six regional airports catering to less major locations, allowing you to hop on internal flights with ease.

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Miami Beach after take-off

Which airlines fly to Florida?

The major airlines that fly directly from the UK to Florida are Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian Air and British Airways. TUI offers flights from Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol, although some of these routes are seasonal.

Orlando is the state’s number one location with tourists. Therefore, to cater to the thousands of of travellers that arrive daily, the city boasts two main airports; Orlando International and Sanford International. You can fly directly to Orlando International from the UK with Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian and British Airways, who operate six direct daily flights to Florida from both London Heathrow and Gatwick. Should you prefer to fly to Sanford, it’s best to fly with TUI.

For details of which additional carriers fly to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, click on their respective links. If you’re happy with an indirect service, which can save you money (particularly if you plan on travelling during peak season), you can also find flights from the UK operated by Delta, United Airlines, US Airways, Iberia, KLM, Continental Airlines, Air Canada and American Airlines.

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What are the best Florida and UK airports to fly in and out of?

The cheapest Florida airports to fly into are Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. It’s possible to get a one-way ticket to Miami for as little as £180. You can get flights to these locations from most of the UK’s regional airports too, including Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Do bear in mind, however, that you won’t find as many direct flights as you will from Gatwick and Heathrow.

Miami International Airport

Orlando International Airport

Palm Beach International Airport

Tampa International

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

How long does it take to fly to Florida from the UK?

The average flight time for a direct flight from the UK to Florida is just over nine hours. For example, flying from London Gatwick to Orlando International with Norwegian Airlines takes nine hours and fifteen minutes. A direct flight from Manchester to Orlando averages 9.5 hours, or with one stop, the fastest option is 13 hours. Should you hope to save money by adding in a stop – travel time can increase to as much as 19 hours.

What’s the average cost of flights to Florida?

Fortunately, flights to Florida are very affordable. They tend to be the cheapest if you can fly from Gatwick or Heathrow, However, if you live miles away, the travel costs to and from these major airports might make paying the extra to fly from somewhere local more cost effective. According to Skyscanner, a leading price comparison website, the average cost of a return flight from London is £240, Manchester £480, Glasgow £370, Birmingham £350 and Edinburgh £330.

What do I get for the cost of the ticket?

It’s important to double-check what your ticket includes as the cheapest seats now sold by many airlines may not include food, drinks or entertainment. On a long-haul flight, this can prove problematic. For example, Norwegian Air operate on a more easyJet-style system, despite the fact that the journey between the UK and Florida is long-haul.

Low fare ticket holders don’t get meals, but LowFare+ and Flex, which are a little more expensive, both do. You can also opt for Premium Economy, which includes free meals, beer and wine. If you opt for the low-cost fare and then decide to pre-order your meal, bear in mind that it costs £25 for three courses and a cup of tea or coffee, which is a considerable amount when you consider the quality of plane food.

If you know that you only require hand luggage, that you’d rather bring a pack lunch and that you never drink when you fly – a low cost fare might be fine. Conversely, if you know you’ll be wanting to enjoy a few wines and a warm meal, the extra cost of upgrading you ticket might make more sense.

It’s also important to check whether hold baggage is included in your ticket, or whether your ticket is hand luggage only. If it’s hand luggage only, you’ll be charged a fee for any larger bags. Most tickets with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways include 23kg per person, 5kg hand luggage, as well as in-flight entertainment, food and drink.

Flying into a Miami sunrise (Ernesto Juan Castellanos / Shutterstock.com)

How are prices affected at different times of year?

Florida receives a huge volume of visitors at all times of the year, but it is possible to save yourself some cash by travelling between January and September. If you do so, flights can be as much as 18 percent cheaper. According to Skyscanner, the cheapest month to travel to Florida is January, when flights are as much as 23% cheaper than the average ticket price.

What other ways can I cut costs?

It’s best to book your tickets as far in advance as possible, but always make sure it’s a minimum of five weeks to secure the best fares. Also, where possible try and book your flights on a Tuesday, at around 8pm at night (UK time). Tickets are often cheaper at this time because it’s the day that airlines release their best fares, prompting other airlines to drop their prices too, in order to compete. Always compare ticket prices using a comparison site to ensure you’re securing a competitive price.

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I want to fly in style. What are my options?

The majority of the aeroplanes flying between the UK and Florida are Boeing Dreamliners, which are larger planes, and therefore offer passengers a little more wiggle room. Additionally, most airlines offer premium cabin upgrades, which – for an additional cost – give you priority check-in and baggage reclaim, more spacious seats, more legroom, and an upgraded dining and entertainment package.

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