Very happy to recommend John - he is very professional and makes booking flights easy.
Thanks again DialAFlight for your knowledge and expertise. A great team.
Many thanks again to Jordan and team. Excellent as usual
Perfect service from the team expecially Richard Stumph, who went over and above for us two seniors. A big thank you .
Patrick sorted everything to his usual high standards and professionalism
Thanks Nadia and the team again. Always brilliant and professional.
I would like to take the time to especially thank Jarvis who booked the flights for 9 people. Some with different return flights. Marvellous work and a big thank you. Of course our organisation will definitely be using you again and again and will recommend you to our friends and family.
Excellent service again.
All sorted as usual and good communication
Jonathan Greaves was such a help to us and arranged everything we asked for. We flew Virgin and Delta and we found Virgin to be superior for premium economy. We had a wonderful holiday and would definitely use DialAFlight again
Try to find a different rental car company at reasonable price please.
Used DialAFlight on many occasions and have never been disappointed. Contact before, during and after our trip is polite and non invasive.
Kennedy is a wonderful successor to Marcus who looked after us for probably 10 years. I look forward to working with her in future
Our first time with Virgin Premier - would do it again.
Russell and Mason were both very helpful and handled any queries I had promptly and very well. Customer service was excellent and gave me real peace of mind both before we went and during our holiday. Everything went to plan. A great family holiday had by all.
Jackson Cowton was absolutely brilliant in sorting our flights and hotel stay. We call him every time we want to go away. He’s AMAZING.
Excellent service from Travis as always. Totally reliable and friendly at all times. Would and have recommended friends and family.
Excellent service from Callum as always
Have booked through Saf more than once and will do again. Excellent service from first call - very helpful and the best price all round. Great customer service
Had an issue but it was all sorted pronto. Excellent service
All top drawer service yet again from Tristan Chatburn.
Spent time looking at flights and different airports to find most economical route. Great communication.
As always excellent service
Everything was smooth - the only issue was the car hire was poor
Superb service as always. I would not go anywhere else when arranging flights and car hire. We very much appreciated the call before departure, nice personal touch. Darren was outstanding.
Unfortunately Virgin downgraded two members of our family on our return flight. We are waiting to hear back from them but it definitely put a negative feeling at the end of a lovely holiday
Dexter handled all that was needed as usual so thank him on our behalf
I have used Roy since 2004 - I always recommend him to friends and family as he always does a great job
Good prices and everything worked out without an issue.
They are the best
Frankly, I was at the bottom of the learning curve when it came to Tampa. I had heard of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the local football team, but that was about it. Most British visitors to Florida make a bee-line for Orlando and Miami.
But the old pecking order is changing fast. That's probably why Virgin Atlantic, scenting a winner, is now offering direct flights to Tampa. Parts of the city are run down; public transport is pretty basic. Tampa has been up, down, up again, down again, like one of the rollercoasters in Busch Gardens, the family theme park to the north of the city centre.
But its overall trajectory is emphatically up. I stayed for three nights at the spanking new JW Marriott hotel, in the heart of Tampa, and had a blast.
The city combines the dynamism of 21st-century America with just a hint of old-fashioned Southern charm. It is quite a cocktail - and Floridians love their cocktails.
All around the sunlit bay, I unearthed parks and museums, terrific bars and restaurants, quirky neighbourhoods and, best of all, a wealth of history.
In its heyday, Tampa was known as Cigar City, thanks to Vicente Ybor, a Spanish born entrepreneur who moved here in the 19th century, bought up swampland, then lured thousands of Cuban migrant workers to join him. Soon Ybor City, as the area became known, was turning out more cigars than anywhere else on the planet. No longer, alas.
But I would not have missed Ybor City for anything. Like Little Italy in New York, or the French Quarter in New Orleans, it encapsulates the American Dream - beautiful but fragile - in perfect miniature.
After disembarking from a rickety old streetcar, I soon found myself in a rabbit warren of scruffy streets, some overrun with chickens, some featuring bars and businesses, both weird and wonderful. 'Save a horse, ride a cowboy,' read one sign. 'The only shop in Tampa where death and dysfunction dance a graceful ballet,' boasted another, with dusty skeletons in the window.
Should I risk it? Or play safe and visit the more sedate-looking J. C. Newman Cigar Factory and Museum? I played safe. I am scared of skeletons.
Newman is not just a world renowned company, but the last operational cigar manufacturer in Tampa. Watching highly skilled workers cut tobacco and hand-roll cigars with such loving care was a revelation.
Vicente Ybor wanted to build a community, not just churn out cigars. The 19th-century migrant workers were well housed, got a good education and, after work, met at a Cuban club, of which a local guide gave me a tour. It was built on a palatial scale, with a ballroom fit for a king.
Lunch beckoned - and what a lunch. The family-run Columbia restaurant has been a fixture in Ybor City since 1905. I have never had Spanish food of this calibre outside of Spain. Unable to decide between the grilled snapper and the shrimp and crabmeat casserole, I had both and was soon whinnying for more. Olé!
If Ybor City evokes Tampa past, Hyde Park Village, across the bay, embodies its future.
It's a substantial urban development, less than ten years old, beside a much older residential area - the sleepy pre-war Tampa of shady streets, rocking chairs on porches and tattered Stars and Stripes fluttering overhead.
There are no rocking chairs in Hyde Park Village because everyone is on the move: joggers, dog walkers, teenagers on electric scooters, friends snatching a coffee before repairing to their laptops. The village has already become a magnet for young people working in the creative industries. They hang out in shared work spaces and, after hours, meet at the sort of bars where everyone knows everyone else and the cocktails flow like water.
Want to watch an arthouse movie in a funky bistro? Here's your chance. Or eat excellent Italian food in stylish surroundings? Look no further than Timpano, another humdinger of a restaurant.
For lovers of museums and galleries, the new Tampa Riverwalk is another must, linking a string of visitor attractions, from the vibrant Tampa Museum of Art to the Henry B. Plant Museum, an oasis of tranquillity.
I had brunch at the nearby Oxford Exchange, a much-loved Tampa institution. Part cafe, part shop, the Exchange is a lovingly crafted shrine to books. They even present your bill discreetly folded into a dusty old novel. Class.
On my last morning, I had breakfast in Goody Goody, a retro American diner, then took a mini powerboat out into the bay.
The views were so thrilling that I nearly disturbed a nesting pelican just 50 yards from the general hospital.
My final port of call was Sparkman Wharf. Millennials in shorts and T-shirts sipped craft beer in refurbished shipyard crates, soaked up the sun and yakked about baseball, love and life without a care in the world.
It was hard to drag myself away to catch my plane home.
But isn't that true of all great cities? They leave you wanting more.
First published in the Daily Mail - November 2022
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