In January I flew to Orlando from Albany on Southwest Airlines. I had a great deal of stress preparing for this trip, as it would be the first flight for my children. The last time my husband and I flew anywhere was April 2001, pre-9/11, so we sort of felt like newbies too. The hardest part of the whole trip was waking up sleeping children at 5 am to get to the airport for a 7:50 am flight! Since Albany airport is a small airport you don't have to deal with long lines at the security gate. Security was very tight, but as the line was very short, it wasn't as stressful as I imagined it would be for a sleep-deprived family of four. The Southwest Airlines representatives were very friendly and accommodating. The flight arrived in Orlando about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. I would definitely recommend Albany airport for people traveling with children who don't want to deal with the chaos of JFK or Newark. Parking was also very easy. Now they have a new economy parking lot too, just $5/day.
Leaving from Orlando was more stressful. We had to be at the airport 2 hours prior, and my 6 year-old had to go through extra screening due to her bulky Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Next time, I will dress the family in leggings and flip-flops no matter what the season. The flight home was uneventful and we arrived back in Albany on-time. We brought all our carry-ons on board instead of checking them in so that cut down on waiting around time too. To learn more about Albany Airport visit their website. Photo is courtesy of Southwest Airlines.