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What is your longest drive to an airport with the best fare?

What is your longest drive to an airport with the best fare?

Nov 25th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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What is your longest drive to an airport with the best fare?

In an effort to find the best ticket prices for a February trip to Paris I am considering airports farther afield. I haven't seen any winter travel bargains yet in my Baltimore/DC area.

I've never driven more than an hour to get to an airport in the US and am wondering what's the farthest you usually drive.

My main concern is the drive home on the return. Should that be any more difficult than driving upon arrival at the beginning of a trip?

Thanks for any experiences you can share. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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I have an international airport 1/2 hour from my home (SeaTac) I would never bother going out of any other airport myself.
suze is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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I frequently go from Vancouver to the Seattle airport, which involves a 5-hour journey (when border crossing is included), and I typically stay overnight as well. I use a shuttle bus service.

For the drive home, consider the possibility of staying overnight at an airport hotel, using Priceline, and then driving home in the morning. Or, are there shuttle bus services you could use?
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Under normal circumstances I would not choose an airport farther away but I am paying for my travel and the travel expenses of another person so I am watching my budget more closely than usual.

There is not a bus service but there is the possibility of train service. Thanks, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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I have often driven about 2 hrs from home to another international airport (which includes crossing border from Canada to US). I also will look at flights with one stop between my start and endpoints.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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We happen to live close to an international airport. We never drive to the airport for an international flight, even though it's only a 20-30 minute trip home. We always take a car service (luckily, we get an excellent rate since DH uses them for work trips), but if we couldn't do this, I'd still have a shuttle service of some sort.

I don't like the idea of driving after such a tiring trip. On our last flight (Frankfurt to Chicago to LA), a fellow passsenger admitted that he still had another connecting flight and THEN had a 100 mile drive home! I could never do that.

The furthest I've ever been from an aiport was when I lived on the east coast and it took about 1-1/2 hours to get to JFK. Always took the shuttle service. I just have no confidence in my ability to drive safely after traveling all day.

So, to answer your question, I'd recommend concentrating on getting home safely, even if it does cost a bit more. Nothing would ruin your wonderful vacation more than a car accident on the way home.

connecticutyankee is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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We live in Rural PA. We usually drive either to Dulles or BWI (2 hr 45 min) but, this summer we drove to Philadelphia (4 hrs 15 min) because the airfare direct to Munich was almost 600 dollars a ticket less. We have a small airport locally, but that always involves 2-3 plane changes and it's just not worth the worry.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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I regularly drive 3 hours to get to OHare. Sometimes I will go the night before and get a hotel near the airport, if I'm flying out anytime "early" the next day. If my flight is at noon or later, I just drive up that morning.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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There is a good sized airport 20 minutes from my house - unfortunately it has no international flights (other than to Mexico and Canada)

So for international trips, to avoid having to connect, I usually drive 2 hours to one of 2 airports or sometime 3 hours to another one.

I usually book a hotel for my arrival night - but I don't priceline it. I pay for a "park/fly" package so I get free parking for 2 or 3 weeks. PL plus paid parking usually costs more. If I have and early a.m. flight out, I sometimes book hotels for both departure and arrival nights. But PL one and "park/fly" the other.
janisj is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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To get to SFO and the gate one must leave 3 hours ahead of time. But there is a great shuttle bus about 35 to 40 minutes from my home so to me it makes more since to have a family drive me there and consequently pick me up at the hotel where the shuttle bus stops when I return.

But with an early morning flight staying overnight at a hotel by SFO makes more sense due to our horrible traffic.

When I use the Sacramento airport I take a shuttle both ways. That takes around 45 minutes one way.

LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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thanks, your comments will help me "think more creatively" in my search for bargain fares. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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It depends....

I'm going to Lisbon over Christmas, and I found that I could fly Continental out of Raleigh for about $200-$250 less than flying out of Charlotte, where I live. RDU is about 2.5 hours from CLT by car. But once I factored in the jet-lag and just exhaustion from flying home internationally (LIS-EWR-RDU/CLT), I felt that it was not worth driving to RDU. Yes, I'd save $200+ on the airfare, but then I'd have to spend $75-$100 for a hotel the night I came home. Plus gas. Plus food. All in all, I may still have ended up in the black by flying out of RDU instead of CLT, but the differential, once all of the expenses were factored in, was negligible. My time and sanity are worth more than the differential.

That said....

When I lived in Georgia, I also would drive 4 hours to go to ATL, TPA, or MCO if the price was right.
tdyls is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I, too am lucky enough to live near an international airport...

This is a little off the topic, but we are driving from Salzburg to Frankfurt to avoid flying out of Munich with a stop in Heathrow! I try to avoid stops whenever possible!
lvillinois is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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This is so helpful, with so many factors to take in. I was somewhat aware of the park/fly hotels but had not realized how many airports offer this possibility.

For my travel dates right now, I am seeing a price difference of almost $250 per ticket x2 out of Philly vs the DC airports. Like tdyls I have to see if that is worth the drive.

thank you, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Closest airport is 30min from home, but has limited flights and high prices.

Rather than having to connect I'll routinely drive to one of 4 other airports from 60-90min away.

From one of those 5 airports I can get virtually anywhere in the world non-stop, or at most one connection.
J62 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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We used to drive EIGHT hours to the international airport that offered the cheapest flights. There was an airport two hours away but it was a wee little one that had an odd/sporadic flight schedule. It was tough - it took an entire day to drive there, stay the night, get on the plane, and do the same upon our return.

We have since moved. Now we have to drive just under three hours.
travel2live2 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Here in Florida's capital it's routine for people to drive to Jacksonville (2 hrs 15 min) for flights, because our fares are always inflated. It is not unheard of for people to drive to Atlanta, Orlando, or even Tampa (all between 4-5 hours). I have done all of those. Now that we travel with children I try to minimize that because the hassle of loading tired kids into the car at the end of the trip does not seem worth it...but just last winter I flew by myself up to DC and got a good fare from Jacksonville, so I took that instead of flying from here.

As long as I don't arrive back in FL too late, the drive home does not seem to be a problem.

Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Deborah, you should be able to get a flight from Dulles that is as cheap or cheaper than a flight from Philadelphia!

Use Kayak to search. As the city or airport you're leaving FROM, use "WAS" (all DC/Baltimore airports), and click on the "my dates are flexible" line, to search for a few days before and after the dates on which you really want to travel. Also, limit your search to non-stop flights, because there are plenty of them from Dulles and they are generally no more expensive than flights with intermediary stops. Check often, including just after midnight, and when you find flights with schedule & fare that is good, buy it INSTANTLY.

Good luck!!
AllieNC is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 08:00 PM
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I live in Illinois exactly between Chicago, (ORD/O'hare) or MKE (Miwaukee) Wisconsin. DH is willing to pay $100 more PER TICKET to avoid O'Scare.

That said, we've done fly/drive packages at MKE, $99 for one night, a $20.00 credit toward dinner in hotel (usually pretty good)and 7 nights free parking with a shuttle to and from the car. I don't remember what we paid for extra days, but we always pay for at least 2 more nights.

If I HAVE to go to O'hare, then it's usually a limo, 55 minutes (they drive slower than I do!) and it's around $85.00 + tip.

Even if it was a 2 hour drive, I'd go MKE just to miss the traffic. SO much less congestion.

Milwaukee rocks!
morgiesmom is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Allie, that is what I always have done, using Kayak and listing all the local airports. I have been watching my Feb departure on Kayak and other sites daily since Oct and weekly since this summer.

This past week for instance it listed Delta, PHL$520, BWI $776 and DCA $737. US Air has similar pricing.

What is showing up on Kayak for cheapest fares at Dulles is the consolidator fares, the type you can't get seat assignments when you book. Would rather not go that route unless I have no other choice.

I expected to see some better priced fares for February travel. Thanks for the help, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  

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