The snowstorm affects Florida airports as well

A major snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow in cities across the north-east US early Friday morning, causing thousands of flight cancellations, school closures and paralyzing road travel. Though weather in Orlando stays calm, this causes serious problems for people traveling to and from Midwest and northeast parts of the country. Flights to other parts of the country also were delayed as the effects of the storm rippled through the nation’s airline system. On Thursday U.S. airlines canceled more than 2,300 flights due to snowfall and low visibility. There are currently no flights in or out of John F Kennedy International Airport, according to the airport’s website. Fliers are recommended to check with their individual airlines for an update on flight status. The terminals remain open. La Guardia and Newark airports are experiencing heavy delays.

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As of Friday morning, nearly 40 flights to and from Orlando were reported canceled or delayed, according to a flight tracking service on the airport’s website. Continue reading “The snowstorm affects Florida airports as well”

The best of 2013

It is the end of the year and it’s time to look back. 2013 was a good year for Orlando Interplex Destination Services and we are proud of it. We released this innovated website and kept working on improving the company’s web presence. We aim to cover the full process of planning a trip and the new website is a proof of that. We hope we made your experience as easy and intuitive as possible.

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A lot happened not only for our company but for the city of Orlando and its transportation options: Continue reading “The best of 2013”

Record high temperatures and lots of lights for Christmas

Florida is not the place to go if you want classic snowy Christmas. Yesterday proved it with a new temperature record of 87 degrees measured at Orlando International Airport. The previous record had stood for 85 years – since 1928 – and was 85 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, the next days also have the potential of setting records. Yet Christmas is expected to be a little more chilly (Florida standards)

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But Christmas spirit is not all about snow. There are also the Christmas lights. According to OrlandoSentinel many people who come from colder states compensate with extreme outdoor decorations. Continue reading “Record high temperatures and lots of lights for Christmas”

SeaWorld’s counterattack on Blackfish gets more aggressive

PETA-s-Whale-Slavery-Lawsuit-Against-SeaWorld-Tossed-2The “Open Letter from SeaWorld’s Animal Advocates” — which appears in today’s Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, among other papers — is SeaWorld’s answer to criticisms raised by the CNN film. It doesn’t identifies the “Blackfish” directly but defends the park’s way of caring for its 29 whales SeaWorld President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison said in an interview Thursday that the company decided to respond after several well-known performers backed out of concerts that had been scheduled for early next year at SeaWorld Orlando, most of them citing the “Blackfish” controversy. Continue reading “SeaWorld’s counterattack on Blackfish gets more aggressive”

Which airline gives most opportunities for flying from Central Florida?

No, it not Southwest, even though they are the biggest carrier at Orlando International Airport (MCO), it is confirmed that low budget Allegient beats them, offering  52 different destinations from Sanford International Airport (SFB). They offer a great variety but to small town airports Little Rock, Ark. and Tulsa, Okla. And some of the flights are only available once or twice a week; some are seasonal…

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OrlandoSentinel gives more details about the pros and cons of flying with Allegiant, but whatever you choose, make sure one of our chauffeur waiting for you when you land or helping you with your bags when you leave.

SeaWorld’s Bands, Brew & BBQ loses performers

Country singer Willie Nelson and rock bands Heart and Barenaked Ladies have canceled their planned performances at SeaWorld in Florida. This comes after CNN’s documentary “Blackfish” – focused on Tilikum, an orca currently held by SeaWorld and the way the park treats animal in captivity. The film had huge impact and many petitions had started after its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on 19 January 2013. willienelsonWillie Nelson is the latest act to cancel a concert at Orlando’s SeaWorld in the wake of CNN’s “Blackfish” documentary. The legendary country singer’s decision comes after the Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies pulled the plug on their show at the Florida theme park. SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck confirmed Nelson’s decision not to sing at SeaWorld. But the spokesman said the reasons weren’t tied to the recent documentary on SeaWorld’s captive killer whales and a resulting petition calling on acts not to play SeaWorld. Instead, the Sea World spokesman cited scheduling conflicts in the Nelson cancellation. “I understand there are petitions going around with thousands of people’s names on it, so I had to cancel. Also, I don’t agree with the way they treat their animals. It wasn’t that hard a deal for me,” Nelson is quoted as saying. A posting on Heart’s official Twitter page said the decision was influenced by the recently-released documentary “Blackfish.” “The Sea World show was planned long ago as an Orlando show,” the tweet said.”Had we known, we’d have said no then. We said no today. Love you all.” When the Barenaked Ladies nixed their plans to play at SeaWorld last week, they explained that it was a decision made after viewing “Blackfish.” “This is a complicated issue, and we don’t claim to understand all of it, but we don’t feel comfortable proceeding with the gig at this time,” the band said on a Facebook post. Joan Jett on Monday also joined the list of recording artists distancing themselves from the marine park when she sent a letter to SeaWorld President Jim Atchison asking that the park stop using her song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” as the opening music for its “Shamu Rocks” show.

Flying magic comes to Orlando

GC131202_Mickey_640x360_78542915748The Canadian airline WestJet introduced its custom-painted aircraft this Monday. The “Magical Plane” comes as result of the collaboration between WestJet, WestJet Vacations and Disney Parks & Resorts. Its first flight between Calgary and Orlando International Airport took off yesterday and brought its passengers for a three-day vacation at Walt Disney World. After that „Magic Plane” will fly on WestJet’s domestic, trans-border and international network, which includes 39 flights per week from various Canadian cities to Orlando. The special livery is designed to tell a story from tail to nose. It starts with Sorcerer Mickey, prominent on the aircraft’s tail, with magic stars coming from his hands. The magic stars swirl around the fuselage and past the wings, culminating with fireworks over the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. Inside, the seats are sprinkled with stars and the plane’s crew will pass out Disney-shaped cookies. According to WestJet, to paint the plane took a team of 26 people working around the clock for 24 days. The design, which features Mickey Mouse as Sorcerer Mickey in the Disney classic Fantasia, includes 36 different paint colors. The paintjob also has a little riddle – both side of the plane are mirror images, except for one detail – it left to the viewer to find out what it is exactly. “It’s a flying billboard,” said Gregg Saretsky, president and CEO of WestJet. “I think it just brings our whole partnership to another level.” WestJet and Disney have been working as partners for nearly a decade and the “Magic Plane” is designed to lead the passenger to Disney before the plane has even landed at Orlando. westjet-magic-plane-mickey-mouse-e1386022759145“Families and kids, they’ll be in an airport somewhere and they’ll look out and they will see Sorcerer Mickey,” said Marlie Morrison of Walt Disney Company. “That little bit of Disney magic, you know, just might surprise them anywhere they are at any particular airport.”

Bad weather didn’t disrupt Thanksgiving travelers

Winter storm was expected to drench the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states with rain through Thursday morning and to bring snow to the Midwest through New England. That could have caused serious trouble to people traveling for the holidays. Some airlines were even advising customers headed to destinations such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia that they could reschedule their travel without a penalty or receive a refund. Despite the storm Thanksgiving travel started smoothly Wednesday at Orlando International Airport.

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Delays were concentrated in the Northeast, where the storm brought wet weather to already busy airports and snow to inland areas. By midafternoon Wednesday, Orlando International Airport reported three canceled flights and 65 delays of more than 30 minutes.  These are the times when we’re reminded it’s one system,” said MCO spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell. “If planes can’t get out of their point of origin, then there are delays here.” The longest delay was two hours, airport officials said. Southwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at Orlando International, said operations were getting back on track Wednesday afternoon after minor delays because of the storm. Spokesman Dan Landson said about 75 percent of the airline’s system had great weather, which helped things run more smoothly.  Allegiant, the primary carrier at Orlando Sanford International Airport, said the airline has only a handful of flights scheduled Wednesday, which is a quieter day for departures from the Seminole County airport. Airline spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler reported no problems at midday Tuesday. Officials at Orlando International predict air traffic will be back to normal by Saturday and Sunday, which are forecast to be the busiest days at OIA during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Orlando International Airport sets a new record

orlando-airport-codeOrlando International Airport ends 2012 – 2013 fiscal year with a record number of international travelers. International traffic increased to 3.9 million travelers, 5.2 percent more than last year. At the same time domestic traffic is down by 2 percent to 23.4 million passengers. “As we continue to set new international travel records year after year, it is imperative that the Authority plans for more international growth by enhancing our infrastructure and maximizing our customer service efforts,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. The airport authorities approved $1.1 billion expansion plan in October. The project includes four additional international gates, an automated people mover, improvements to the ticket hall and baggage screening areas, and a rail terminal to support All Aboard Florida, a train service between Orlando and Miami that is being backed by private investors. Traffic to MCO comes from the new air services from several airlines this year. GOL Airlines increased service from five to seven days per week to Sao Paulo, Brazil and Southwest Airlines increased service to Minneapolis to seven days per week. Also notable in September, Delta Air Lines celebrated 43 years of service at MCO, Frontier Airlines celebrated 14 years and SunWing 7 years of operations at Orlando International Airport. JetBlue and Spirit Airline added new flights to the airport. Spirit will fly daily from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and JetBlue – from Worcester, Mass. The latest addition is from two days ago. Air Canada rouge will officially began service at Orlando International Airport. Eventually, the airline will provide service from Toronto to Orlando with six flights per day, seven days a week, according to a news release. Air Canada rouge is a component of Air Canada Leisure Group and the A-319 aircraft seats 136 passengers.

A week devoted to attractions in Orlando

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has chosen Orlando for its annual expo. The Event will take pace at the Orange County Convention Center this week. Over 25,000 people are expected to attend the show coming from more than 100 countries. “We would encourage people to buy tickets early as they may sell out throughout the week,” said Colleen Mangone, manager of media relations for IAAPA.

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More about the convention on OrlandoSentinel