I’ve had a lot of people ask me about our experience with National Airlines, so I figured I would dedicate an entire blog post to it for anyone who was wondering. National Airlines is the reason we booked a spontaneous weekend trip to Florida, as we were able to get such a good deal on flights and fly direct from St. John’s to Orlando. We paid $310 per person for a round-trip, direct flight that included free checked luggage, free food, and free drinks. Honestly, could you ask for a better deal than that?! A similar, non-direct flight through Westjet would have cost us $1500 per person had we booked at the same time (approximately a week and a half prior to departure) without any of the free perks.
National Airlines started servicing St. John’s in January 2016 and currently only offer flights to Orlando. They fly Monday and Friday only, departing at 4pm from St. John’s and arriving in Orlando around 7-7:30pm (local time), and departing from Orlando at 9am and arriving back in St. John’s around 3pm (local time). It is important to note that they fly into Orlando Sanford International Airport and not the larger Orlando International Airport which most of us are accustomed to flying into. One downside of this is that two planes arrived at the same time on the night that we flew there which made for slow wait at customs, as the airport is smaller and not equipped to handle large crowds. However, our friends said they went through customs quickly when they arrived there, so I think it was just bad timing on our trip as our flight arrived early.
As for our in-flight experience, we couldn’t have asked for better service. There were three pilots and five flight attendants on each flight and they ensured that we had a safe, comfortable flight. Shortly after departure, they offered everyone a complimentary alcoholic beverage, followed by hot towels, a lunch (sandwich, apple slices, and crackers), snacks (cookies and pretzels) and free drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). The sandwiches were ham but there was a vegetarian option as well, which was nice. I would have liked to see a different type of sandwich option on the way home but that is minor. They even offered mints as you were exiting the plane, which is something I’ve never seen before!
One major point that I have to include is that the planes do not have in-flight entertainment. For me, this wasn’t a big deal as I generally just read or listen to music while flying anyway, but for anyone who enjoys watching movies on flights, I would suggest bringing an iPad. Also, there was no wifi, but that was to be expected. The plane itself is a Boeing 757-200 with 170-184 seats (22-26 first class). The seats were comfortable and had a decent amount of leg room. On both flights, the plane was not at full capacity and we were able to move about if we wished.
Overall, we enjoyed traveling with National Airlines and will definitely fly with them again in the future if we can get a great deal on seats. They have also recently partnered with Provincial Airlines and are offering round-trip flights from multiple airports across Newfoundland and Labrador, starting as low as $456! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.
Tags : travel