FOLLOWING multiple delays of the start of its much-anticipated Miami - Orlando service, Brightline has announced that trains to Orlando International Airport will officially begin operating on September 22.

Brightline was due to commence the service on September 1 after the operator celebrated the completion of the project to construct a 273.5km extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando in June. However, additional crew certification and train testing, as well as the disruption caused by Hurricane Idalia, resulted in delays to the launch.

Brightline offered refunds for passengers who purchased tickets from September 1-6 and September 7-21. The operator 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.

Brightline says 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. Tickets are available on Brightline’s website or smartphone app.

“Opening Orlando fulfils our ultimate business model,” says Brightline president, Mr 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.”

Smart fares

For a limited time, Brightline is offering one-way Smart fares starting at $US 79 for adults and $US 39 for children. 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 Wi-Fi, multiple power and USB outlets and an array of food and beverages available for purchase.

One-way Premium fares start at $US 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. Students with eligible email domains can also receive up to 25% off Smart rides.