Would you like to fly to Disney World or Disneyland on points? If so, you may be wondering which are the best airlines for Disney flights. We used to periodically sign up for an airline credit card and use the bonus miles for our travel. Over time, we realized some programs are much more lucrative than others. So, we’ve decided to rank for you the best airlines for Disney travel on points.
Best Airlines for Disney
1) Southwest Airlines
Why We LOVE It: The number of points for a rewards flights directly correlates to the cash price of the flight. If it’s a cheap flight, it will be cheap on points. Since Southwest is a discount carrier and also one of the largest in the country, many Disney fanatics can take advantage of their rewards program. We have found that Southwest points are worth about 1.6 cents each. For example, 10,000 Rapid Rewards will get you around $160 in free flights. We recently got our round trip flights from Seattle to Orange County for 9,000 miles per person.
Why We LOVE It: Similar to Southwest, JetBlue offers reward flights that are tied closely to the cash cost of the flight. Their points are also worth about the same amount. The only reason we rank JetBlue below Southwest is simply the size of the two carriers. Southwest is going to have more routes for more people. But, if you live in the Northeast, there’s a good chance JetBlue is a better options for you.
Best Credit Card(s): We really like the JetBlue Plus. For people who fly JetBlue regularly, we love it.
3) British Airways
Why We LIKE It: Weird, right? Why do we have British Airways on here? First, you can use British Airways Avios to fly American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. They’re partners. So, you probably won’t ever actually fly British Airways to Disney World or Disneyland. Second, their award chart is distance based. If a flight is 1,151 miles or less (single leg), the flight is only 7,500 Avios (15k round trip). If the flight is 1,152-2,000 miles, it costs 10,000 Avios. More than that in the continental US and it’s the standard 12,500 Avios like you find with traditional airlines. Here’s a great tool to help you estimate how many Avios it will take from your hometown airport: http://wandr.me/Award-Search/Avios-Map/
Best Credit Card(s): The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus both have British Airways as a transfer partner. The British Airways credit card can also be a great option if you happen to fly across the pond regularly.
4) Virgin America
Why We LIKE It: Virgin America runs a similar program to Southwest Airlines and JetBlue except the points are worth even a little more. We typically find that VA points are worth around two cents each. So, 10,000 points will get you about $200 in free flights. The big drawback is that Virgin America only flies to Orlando from Las Vegas, Las Angeles, and San Francisco, and they don’t fly to Orange County. They have tons of flights into LAX, but that’s kind of a long drive, usually in a lot of traffic, to Disneyland.
Best Credit Card(s): If you fly Virgin America regularly, the Premium card is the way to go. For everyone, the basic Virgin America card with the lower annual fee is a better option.
5) American Airlines
Why We CAN LIVE WITH It: American operates the traditional system of 25,000 for a round trip domestic flight. For flights under 500 miles, you can get a round trip flight for 15,000 miles. Phoenix and San Francisco are both just under 400 miles from Orange County to give some perspective. Also, some of their credit cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select and the AAdvantage Gold card come with reduced award rates. With these cards, you can get traditional round trip domestic flights for 17,500 points and round trip flights under 500 miles for 13,000 points.
Best Credit Card(s): Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select or Citi AAdvantage Gold
6) United Airlines
Why We CAN LIVE WITH It: United also operates your traditional program where 25,000 miles gets you a free round trip domestic flight. If the flight is 700 miles or less each direction, you can get the round trip flight for 20,000 miles. DC to Orlando is 759 miles and Nashville to Orlando is 617 miles if that helps give you an idea of the distance.
Best Credit Card(s): United is a transfer partner with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus cards. If you fly United a lot, you might consider a United branded card like the United MileagePlus Explorer.
7) Alaska Airlines
Why We CAN LIVE WITH It: Another of the traditional carriers, Alaska also offers 15,000 mile intra-state round trip flights. So, you can fly from San Francisco to Orange County for 15k miles round trip. But, Las Vegas to Orange County would be the full 25k.
Best Credit Card(s): The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card comes with an annual $122 companion fare, great for that trip to Aulani.
8) Delta Airlines
Why We’re NOT EXCITED About It: Delta has removed their award chart, which makes planning a credit card rewards strategy difficult. They tend to run the traditional program where it takes 25,000 miles to get a round trip domestic flight, but there are no guarantees for better or worse. This makes it tough to recommend for readers.
What Do You Think?
Is your favorite airline ranked too low? Are you a Southwest fanatic and want to throw your two cents in about why they’re the best? Tell us how you would rank the best airlines for Disney vacations.
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