Brightline Orlando to Officially Launch Service This Friday, Sept. 22

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor, Railway Age
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Brightline starts Orlando service on 9/22/23
David C. Lester

MIAMI ––Following multiple delays of the start of its much-anticipated Miami-to-Orlando service, Brightline has announced that service to Orlando International Airport will officially begin on Sept. 22

Service was originally slated to begin this summer, with Brightline celebrating the rail line completion between Orlando and Miami back in June. However, additional crew certification and train testing, as well as the arrival of Hurricane Idalia, created delays in the service’s launch.

Let’s go! Brightline train sitting outside the Orlando maintenance facility. David C. Lester photo.

Brightline offered refunds for passengers who purchased tickets on the route from Sept. 1-6 and from Sept. 7-21. The railroad also provided reduced rates on Avis car rentals and upgrades to premium fares in an effort to allay the disappointment of those who had booked travel on the entire line, reported Railway Track & Structures (a Railway Age sister publication) on Aug. 30.

According to a press release issued by Brightline on Sept. 13, passengers can now book their inaugural ride between Orlando and South Florida, with stops in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, on Brightline’s website or by downloading the Brightline app on iOS and Android.

“Opening Orlando fulfills our ultimate business model,” said Brightline President Patrick Goddard. “We have seen incredible enthusiasm from the business and tourism industries eager to travel between Central and South Florida. As we start service to Orlando for peak holiday seasons, I encourage everyone to check calendars, make plans, visit our website or app and reserve a seat now.”

Brightline train being serviced in the new Orlando maintenance facility. David C. Lester photo.

For a limited time, Brightline is offering one-way SMART fares starting at $79 for adults and $39 for kids. Groups of four or more will automatically save an additional 25% on SMART fares. SMART service offers a comfortable business-class option onboard in hand-stitched leather seats, complimentary Starlink WiFi, multiple power and USB outlets and an array of food and beverages available for purchase.

One-way PREMIUM fares start at $149, a first-class experience with added amenities, including a dedicated PREMIUM lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage, and complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the journey.

Brightline also offers a variety of industry promotions for its guests. For corporate riders, Brightline for Business is a dedicated portal for companies to save with fixed rate rides designed for company needs. Starting this fall, students with eligible email domains can receive up to 25% off SMART rides after creating a Brightline account using an active college or university email. Travel advisors can sign up now for information on discounted rates. Brightline says it expects to offer commissionable fares soon, and to be bookable on GDS by the end of 2023.

Brightline is pet friendly, too! David C. Lester photo.

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