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Preparing to Travel in 2022

After a period of change in the travel industry, we want to address many of the issues that may have affected you as you prepare to go on holiday.

As a family-run business, and Florida specialist that has been operating for 19 years, we have always prided ourselves on doing the right thing for our customers and trying to offer the best service possible.  

Whilst we continue to strive to do the best for our customers, it’s undeniable that COVID has impacted our ability, and many others in the travel industry, to do so consistently. Our valued customers have been overwhelmingly patient and understanding over this period - especially as you, like us, faced continual uncertainty about when you would be able to take your much-needed holiday.  

As travel to the USA started to open from November 2021, albeit with limited notice and patchy information, it soon became apparent that a return to some sort of ‘new normal’ presented some unique logistical challenges for everyone in the travel industry. That’s why we wanted to give some background, from our perspective, on some of the issues that have been raised in various forums:


Airlines have faced substantial logistical challenges with restarting their flying programmes. We are seeing significantly more schedule changes from airlines including cancellations, altered flight times and aircraft changes. This means that the usual predictability of airline schedules is reduced and we, like many travel companies, are facing greater complexity in finalising flight details - especially those booked before or during COVID that have been moved in 2022. However, whilst there have been frustrations and challenges, we are currently working through all bookings that have been impacted to find the best solutions. 

Flight Reference Numbers 

One of the main requests we receive is for customers requesting flight reference numbers so that they can pre-book seats together. Most airlines release their flight schedules 11 months in advance and most of our customers only pay their full balance 12 to 16 weeks before departure. If a holiday is booked within 11 months of departure, then we can provide a flight reference number at the point of booking.  

Advance Booking Programme

We know that many of our customers are keen to secure their Florida holiday far in advance, to give the whole family something to look forward to and save for. Utilising our airline partnerships and years of experience in bookings holidays to the Florida market, we are one of the only tour operators in the UK to have developed an Advance Booking Programme that enables our customers to secure their holidays up to 3 years in advance with the price of their holiday guaranteed.  If a holiday was booked more than 11 months before departure, then we provide the flight reference number 8 to 12 weeks before departure at which point you can reserve your seats and ensure that everyone in your group is sitting together. For any bookings that have special assistance requirements we will provide everything you need to organise your holiday.


Whilst we haven’t been able to travel to the USA over the last couple of years, Americans have been visiting Florida in record numbers. They are also moving to Florida in huge numbers and the real estate market has grown significantly in the Orlando area since 2020. This means that many villa owners are selling their villas to cash-in and it’s disrupting the supply of villas for international rentals where we had existing bookings in place. To deal with this, we have been working with our villa partners to source new villas and manage the significant number of accommodation changes that have occurred.

Car Hire

At the start of the pandemic most of the car rental companies sold their stock of cars as demand plummeted. They have struggled to increase their stock due to global supply shortages in chips and other car parts. Aligned to the increase in domestic demand and reduced supply we have seen an increase in car hire pricing. To improve this situation, we have been increasing the number of rental companies we work with to ensure we get the best possible pricing for our customers. However, this has led to some additional logistical challenges that we have been working through but thankfully we have been able to manage this for all our clients to date.


As UK visitor numbers to Orlando dropped and domestic numbers increased, the theme parks have faced multiple challenges around managing capacity – especially with COVID restrictions - to ensure health and safety for their guests. There have also been multiple changes to prices, packages and dining plans in the last 2 years which has impacted new customers and those with existing bookings. We have managed to update all our customers’ bookings to take advantage of any changes but as this situation continues to evolve, we will ensure we keep you informed as soon as we know.

Customer Service

As travel to Florida returns, we have seen a significant increase in calls to our Customer Service team. We are currently prioritising customers in order of departure date and have recently doubled the size of our team and deployed new technology and processes to support our customers. 

Whilst we are proud to have helped many customers during this period of travel disruption, we appreciate that we haven’t always got it right. We are sorry to everyone who has had issues or uncertainty recently and we promise we are doing everything we can to help everyone enjoy their perfect Florida holiday.

If you have an existing booking, and wish to speak to one of our Customer Service team, it is recommended to visit our Manage My Booking platform and submit a query.

If you are looking to book a holiday for this year, or beyond, then please call 0208 131 5064, and one of our travel specialists will be happy to help with any of your questions.

From our family to yours, 

Harry Hastings 

Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Ocean Holidays 

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