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Family Trip

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
13,881
Glasgow
I should really start this trip report. I'll ease myself in by going over actually getting there.

We flew out on the Sunday. On the Friday is when the US announced that they no longer required testing but everything was so vague. The CDC website hadn't been updated and we couldn't get a straight answer on a few things. It said no more testing from midnight Sunday. Did that mean Saturday midnight Sunday or Sunday midnight Monday. All we knew was that if you were vaccinated, you didn't need tested. The adults were fine but my nephew was going, he was 4 and obviously not vaccinated. We couldn't get an answer for him and had ordered our tests anyway. So we did his test, no issues and asked for a refund for the adults. No issue except that we had to return the tests within 2 weeks and we were going for almost 3 weeks and it was a Saturday afternoon so the post office was closed. Luckily my brother wasn't going and managed to return them.

We left on Saturday night from Glasgow to Manchester and booked an overnight close to the airport dreading the busy queues that had been all over the media.

We got to the airport about 3 and half hours early. We go to check in and the woman checking us hadn't heard anything about the no testing. Because we hadn't tested, we were not able to fill out the form needed so we had to fill it out then. All in, it took about 45mins and everybody else was in the same boat.

We were flying premium and had a dedicated check in which was some how longer than the economy check in. When we booked, it was somehow cheaper to fly premium.

Finally checked in, we get to security and the queue was long but not as bad as expected but it was moving constantly which helped. Aguy asked if we wanted to go to the family security which was a mistake. We only had 10 groups in front of us but it took almost an hour to get through. It was like half the people had never flew before not understanding how to go through a metal detector or what they could bringon a plane. Not to mention the volume or baby food getting scanned. No doubt about it, we would have far quicker going through the normal security.

Manchester airport has been renovated since my last flight there but it looked awful. Poorly laid out and no wifi or phone reception. Me and Laura went to a different place for breakfast and then couldn't get a hold of my family to meet back up. Our flight had been delayed by an hour fortunately because the flight board displayed the wrong gate. When I finally got a hold of my family and they said they were at the gate, we went to the complete opposite end of the airport. To get to where we needed to go, we had to go back through security.

We made it to the gate just in time. The flight was on an almost new a350. The flight was virtually empty.



The flight was quiet and the staff were great. I think there were 80 people on board including 14 members of staff.

Once we arrived, we were promptly off the plane and through security and then had to wait 90mins for the bags to arrive. This was annoying after a 9 hour flight but it was kind of a blessing in disguise. Our flight times had changed before leaving. We were leaving an hour earlier (which cancelled out by the flight delay) but we arrived an hour early. Our return flight had been moved back by 4 hours which meant almost a full extra day at the end but the problem was the car hire. Because of the difference in time between arriving and take off was almost 6 hours, when we got the car, we would be charged an extra day unless we returned early or left later.

Either way, it all worked out. The excuse for the delay in the bags arriving was that it was raining. I'm sorry but this is Florida and that's just a pathetic excuse. Our bags arrived but the prams took an extra 20mins and the staff didn't really seem to care. Anyway, we were there and got to the car.

I had booked the Visitor Toll Pass (I can explain what this is if nobody knows) but my phone decided that it wanted to sign me out and I couldn't use it which didn't matter since the pick up was in the other terminal and I just couldn't be bothered walking that far, so I was just going to pay cash for the toll road to Pop Century.

I had been nervous about 5 adults, 1 kid and 6 suitcases and hand luggage into a single minivan.



But no problems and room to spare.

Check in like everything else took a while. It was a single booking but they could only find 2 of the rooms when there should be 3. They were also limiting guests to 1 card per room but that was also our park tickets. They wanted us to use our phones for our park tickets.Me and Laura had our magic bands anyway (Which I'm surprised still worked) and we planned on buying the rest of the group some but for the inexperienced, that was kind of a ridiculous ask.

We were kind of in a far away room but the car park was close and was still only a 5min walk to the Skyliner and the front desk.

I'll come back to this later, could be tonight, tomorrow or next week.

Probably my biggest surprise is that I preferred Disney to Universal but I won't be returning to Disney for a while because of the planning/price and lack of new rides coming.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,690
Pittsburgh area
I should really start this trip report. I'll ease myself in by going over actually getting there.

We flew out on the Sunday. On the Friday is when the US announced that they no longer required testing but everything was so vague. The CDC website hadn't been updated and we couldn't get a straight answer on a few things. It said no more testing from midnight Sunday. Did that mean Saturday midnight Sunday or Sunday midnight Monday. All we knew was that if you were vaccinated, you didn't need tested. The adults were fine but my nephew was going, he was 4 and obviously not vaccinated. We couldn't get an answer for him and had ordered our tests anyway. So we did his test, no issues and asked for a refund for the adults. No issue except that we had to return the tests within 2 weeks and we were going for almost 3 weeks and it was a Saturday afternoon so the post office was closed. Luckily my brother wasn't going and managed to return them.

We left on Saturday night from Glasgow to Manchester and booked an overnight close to the airport dreading the busy queues that had been all over the media.

We got to the airport about 3 and half hours early. We go to check in and the woman checking us hadn't heard anything about the no testing. Because we hadn't tested, we were not able to fill out the form needed so we had to fill it out then. All in, it took about 45mins and everybody else was in the same boat.

We were flying premium and had a dedicated check in which was some how longer than the economy check in. When we booked, it was somehow cheaper to fly premium.

Finally checked in, we get to security and the queue was long but not as bad as expected but it was moving constantly which helped. Aguy asked if we wanted to go to the family security which was a mistake. We only had 10 groups in front of us but it took almost an hour to get through. It was like half the people had never flew before not understanding how to go through a metal detector or what they could bringon a plane. Not to mention the volume or baby food getting scanned. No doubt about it, we would have far quicker going through the normal security.

Manchester airport has been renovated since my last flight there but it looked awful. Poorly laid out and no wifi or phone reception. Me and Laura went to a different place for breakfast and then couldn't get a hold of my family to meet back up. Our flight had been delayed by an hour fortunately because the flight board displayed the wrong gate. When I finally got a hold of my family and they said they were at the gate, we went to the complete opposite end of the airport. To get to where we needed to go, we had to go back through security.

We made it to the gate just in time. The flight was on an almost new a350. The flight was virtually empty.



The flight was quiet and the staff were great. I think there were 80 people on board including 14 members of staff.

Once we arrived, we were promptly off the plane and through security and then had to wait 90mins for the bags to arrive. This was annoying after a 9 hour flight but it was kind of a blessing in disguise. Our flight times had changed before leaving. We were leaving an hour earlier (which cancelled out by the flight delay) but we arrived an hour early. Our return flight had been moved back by 4 hours which meant almost a full extra day at the end but the problem was the car hire. Because of the difference in time between arriving and take off was almost 6 hours, when we got the car, we would be charged an extra day unless we returned early or left later.

Either way, it all worked out. The excuse for the delay in the bags arriving was that it was raining. I'm sorry but this is Florida and that's just a pathetic excuse. Our bags arrived :cheers: but the prams took an extra 20mins and the staff didn't really seem to care. Anyway, we were there and got to the car.

I had booked the Visitor Toll Pass (I can explain what this is if nobody knows) but my phone decided that it wanted to sign me out and I couldn't use it which didn't matter since the pick up was in the other terminal and I just couldn't be bothered walking that far, so I was just going to pay cash for the toll road to Pop Century.

I had been nervous about 5 adults, 1 kid and 6 suitcases and hand luggage into a single minivan.



But no problems and room to spare.

Check in like everything else took a while. It was a single booking but they could only find 2 of the rooms when there should be 3. They were also limiting guests to 1 card per room but that was also our park tickets. They wanted us to use our phones for our park tickets.Me and Laura had our magic bands anyway (Which I'm surprised still worked) and we planned on buying the rest of the group some but for the inexperienced, that was kind of a ridiculous ask.

We were kind of in a far away room but the car park was close and was still only a 5min walk to the Skyliner and the front desk.

I'll come back to this later, could be tonight, tomorrow or next week.

Probably my biggest surprise is that I preferred Disney to Universal but I won't be returning to Disney for a while because of the planning/price and lack of new rides coming.
Been waiting with anticipation. :cheers:
 
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randompixel

Rookie
Dec 16, 2015
300
Surrey, England
I should really start this trip report. I'll ease myself in by going over actually getting there.

We flew out on the Sunday. On the Friday is when the US announced that they no longer required testing but everything was so vague. The CDC website hadn't been updated and we couldn't get a straight answer on a few things. It said no more testing from midnight Sunday. Did that mean Saturday midnight Sunday or Sunday midnight Monday. All we knew was that if you were vaccinated, you didn't need tested. The adults were fine but my nephew was going, he was 4 and obviously not vaccinated. We couldn't get an answer for him and had ordered our tests anyway. So we did his test, no issues and asked for a refund for the adults. No issue except that we had to return the tests within 2 weeks and we were going for almost 3 weeks and it was a Saturday afternoon so the post office was closed. Luckily my brother wasn't going and managed to return them.

We left on Saturday night from Glasgow to Manchester and booked an overnight close to the airport dreading the busy queues that had been all over the media.

We got to the airport about 3 and half hours early. We go to check in and the woman checking us hadn't heard anything about the no testing. Because we hadn't tested, we were not able to fill out the form needed so we had to fill it out then. All in, it took about 45mins and everybody else was in the same boat.

We were flying premium and had a dedicated check in which was some how longer than the economy check in. When we booked, it was somehow cheaper to fly premium.

Finally checked in, we get to security and the queue was long but not as bad as expected but it was moving constantly which helped. Aguy asked if we wanted to go to the family security which was a mistake. We only had 10 groups in front of us but it took almost an hour to get through. It was like half the people had never flew before not understanding how to go through a metal detector or what they could bringon a plane. Not to mention the volume or baby food getting scanned. No doubt about it, we would have far quicker going through the normal security.

Manchester airport has been renovated since my last flight there but it looked awful. Poorly laid out and no wifi or phone reception. Me and Laura went to a different place for breakfast and then couldn't get a hold of my family to meet back up. Our flight had been delayed by an hour fortunately because the flight board displayed the wrong gate. When I finally got a hold of my family and they said they were at the gate, we went to the complete opposite end of the airport. To get to where we needed to go, we had to go back through security.

We made it to the gate just in time. The flight was on an almost new a350. The flight was virtually empty.



The flight was quiet and the staff were great. I think there were 80 people on board including 14 members of staff.

Once we arrived, we were promptly off the plane and through security and then had to wait 90mins for the bags to arrive. This was annoying after a 9 hour flight but it was kind of a blessing in disguise. Our flight times had changed before leaving. We were leaving an hour earlier (which cancelled out by the flight delay) but we arrived an hour early. Our return flight had been moved back by 4 hours which meant almost a full extra day at the end but the problem was the car hire. Because of the difference in time between arriving and take off was almost 6 hours, when we got the car, we would be charged an extra day unless we returned early or left later.

Either way, it all worked out. The excuse for the delay in the bags arriving was that it was raining. I'm sorry but this is Florida and that's just a pathetic excuse. Our bags arrived but the prams took an extra 20mins and the staff didn't really seem to care. Anyway, we were there and got to the car.

I had booked the Visitor Toll Pass (I can explain what this is if nobody knows) but my phone decided that it wanted to sign me out and I couldn't use it which didn't matter since the pick up was in the other terminal and I just couldn't be bothered walking that far, so I was just going to pay cash for the toll road to Pop Century.

I had been nervous about 5 adults, 1 kid and 6 suitcases and hand luggage into a single minivan.



But no problems and room to spare.

Check in like everything else took a while. It was a single booking but they could only find 2 of the rooms when there should be 3. They were also limiting guests to 1 card per room but that was also our park tickets. They wanted us to use our phones for our park tickets.Me and Laura had our magic bands anyway (Which I'm surprised still worked) and we planned on buying the rest of the group some but for the inexperienced, that was kind of a ridiculous ask.

We were kind of in a far away room but the car park was close and was still only a 5min walk to the Skyliner and the front desk.

I'll come back to this later, could be tonight, tomorrow or next week.

Probably my biggest surprise is that I preferred Disney to Universal but I won't be returning to Disney for a while because of the planning/price and lack of new rides coming.
Visitor toll pass?
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
6,520
Upper Lower
Great thanks. Had no idea that existed
A few years ago there was a real scandal where the hire companies were back charging customers for toll fees incurred but adding excess surcharges for doing so. With pressure they came up with a temp pass solution so you don't have to open a formal toll account. Better all around, the publicity was terrible.
 
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