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Which flight would you take - all votes welcome!


wcook

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Normally, I'm a cheapskate and pick overseas flights based on where the bargains are. But I'm seeing zero deals for what I want next summer and have decided to just splurge and get the best flight instead of the best deal. Problem is, I can't quite decide what's the best flight.

 

Ignoring me for a minute, I'd love to hear what you guys would choose given these two options

 

Option 1: 45 minute drive to "local" airport. Easy and reasonable long-term parking. Simple check in for small (prop!) flight to Montreal. Either a 1 or 3 hour layover, then direct flight Montreal -> LHR. Return flight with connection and pre-clearance in Montreal. Land at local airport, grab bag and head home.

 

Option 2: Two hour drive to big city airport (plus cushion for traffic). Expensive and/or inconvienent long term parking. Long lines to check in. Direct flight to LHR. Return flight with wait in customs/immigration in big city airport. Two hour drive home.

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Since you don't mention cities, airports and airlines, I will have to answer with: whatever makes you happy.

 

Airline inflight service differs, airports differ, schedules differ.

 

Finally, don't sniff at the number of FF miles that you will get on a TATL round trip. You won't want those orphaned, because they are, in effect, a rebate on your ticket price.

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Option 1.

 

I face this same decision for all my flights - I can get to my local airport in 25 minutes or to IAD (Washington Dulles) in about 2 hours. I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather make it to the airport in town and have a connection somewhere than grab a nonstop from IAD. The drive there isn't actually all that bad, and I've never had an issue with clearing security or dealing with parking shuttles even at the larger airport, but at the end of vacation, I just want to be home - and unfortunately a 2 hour drive after a relaxing week can bring you right back to a world of stress and frustration.

 

I only consider driving to the farther airport in times of HUGE price differences - for example, last September I flew IAD-ANC for $400, but to fly RIC-ANC was nearly $900. It's hard to argue with that kind of price difference (especially buying two tickets!) but if it's only $100pp, I always stick with the smaller airport :)

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And when the flight from RIC is cancelled or delayed, how many options do you have other than wait for the next flight? And hope that you haven't missed your connection. Contrast that with the options available to you if you start at IAD. More flights, more options. Which is one reason why connecting through a mega-hub has many more upsides than the downside of it being "big".

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Normally, I'm a cheapskate and pick overseas flights based on where the bargains are. But I'm seeing zero deals for what I want next summer and have decided to just splurge and get the best flight instead of the best deal. Problem is, I can't quite decide what's the best flight.

 

Ignoring me for a minute, I'd love to hear what you guys would choose given these two options

 

Option 1: 45 minute drive to "local" airport. Easy and reasonable long-term parking. Simple check in for small (prop!) flight to Montreal. Either a 1 or 3 hour layover, then direct flight Montreal -> LHR. Return flight with connection and pre-clearance in Montreal. Land at local airport, grab bag and head home.

 

Option 2: Two hour drive to big city airport (plus cushion for traffic). Expensive and/or inconvienent long term parking. Long lines to check in. Direct flight to LHR. Return flight with wait in customs/immigration in big city airport. Two hour drive home.

 

One of the frequent fliers here can correct me if my info is out of date, but I don't think you can transit US->International (and reverse) through Montreal and bypass Canadian immigration. Why add another set of immigration formalities if you don't need to? Even if you can bypass, I doubt I would bother. Unless the flight through Montreal had a vast cost savings, or a very superior schedule, I would rather just fly to the big airport. You're only talking another hour and change of driving, which is probably less than the time wasted waiting for and then flying the connecting flight.

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If that big city in option 2 happens to be Montreal, I'd definitely opt for option 1. This is based purely on personal preferance and previous driving experiences in Montreal.

 

I'm thinking the big city airport in option 2 is Boston or New York. The local airport in 1 strikes me as Hartford for some reason LOL.

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I'll have to assume you live in the USA. I'd choose option 3 - which is what we do every time we travel to UK to visit my Dad - who lives 2.5 hours from Gatwick. Also, it's best to use same airline all way, and non-stop flights rule!!

 

Normally, I'm a cheapskate and pick overseas flights based on where the bargains are. But I'm seeing zero deals for what I want next summer and have decided to just splurge and get the best flight instead of the best deal. Problem is, I can't quite decide what's the best flight.

 

Ignoring me for a minute, I'd love to hear what you guys would choose given these two options

 

Option 1: 45 minute drive to "local" airport. Easy and reasonable long-term parking. Simple check in for small (prop!) flight to Montreal. Either a 1 or 3 hour layover, then direct flight Montreal -> LHR. Return flight with connection and pre-clearance in Montreal. Land at local airport, grab bag and head home. If you choose this option, pick the 3 hour layover in Montreal, not 1, because you'll have to go thru Imm on arrival and then there are security, preparations etc for the international flight out of Montreal.

 

Option 2: Two hour drive to big city airport (plus cushion for traffic). Expensive and/or inconvienent long term parking. Long lines to check in. Direct flight to LHR. Return flight with wait in customs/immigration in big city airport. Two hour drive home. No, see option 3

 

Option 3: Same as option 2, but book a taxi instead of drive and park. Shop around (locally) for a taxi/cab/limo which will drive you to the airport and then pick you up when you return. This way, you can relax and not worry about the parking charges. Get to the airport with plenty of time - and remember to take rush hour times into consideration when deciding on the time for the taxi to pick you up from home to go to airport.

 

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Perhaps instead of costly and inconvenient parking, you could do a sleep/park/fly with a hotel near the airport. Even though I live only 20 mins from BWI airport and 65 mins from IAD I have stayed the night before an early flight in a hotel. Once we stayed overnight because the night with breakfast was cheaper than the parking in the airport lot! See what you can arrange (hint talk to the local hotel desk not the booking reservation center and look for sleep/park and fly options on the airport website or hotel web sites. Good luck.

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I'm assuming the OP lives in Canada, I honestly can't think of a reason to drive from the US to fly from Canada. Plus they don't mention clearing customs on the drive to/from Montreal and home.

I'd vote go to Montreal, take the extra driving time but stay at one of the local park and fly hotels. There are lots, shuttles run every 30 mins or more and they are easy to get to off the highway. You don't have to deal with Montreal traffic, the highways are no worse than any other big city. Might want to brush up on your French to translate those road signs :)

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I'm assuming the OP lives in Canada' date=' I honestly can't think of a reason to drive from the US to fly from Canada. Plus they don't mention clearing customs on the drive to/from Montreal and home.

I'd vote go to Montreal, take the extra driving time but stay at one of the local park and fly hotels. There are lots, shuttles run every 30 mins or more and they are easy to get to off the highway. You don't have to deal with Montreal traffic, the highways are no worse than any other big city. Might want to brush up on your French to translate those road signs :)[/quote']

 

No, the OP is definitely in the US. He/she says pre-clearance in Montreal on the way home.

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Thanks folks. Should have put in the airports. As some guessed, it's a short drive to Hartford vs a longer drive to Boston.

 

The fundamental question is using the easy airport with a connection (and associated risks) vs a less convienent airport and a direct flight.

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Thanks folks. Should have put in the airports. As some guessed, it's a short drive to Hartford vs a longer drive to Boston.

 

The fundamental question is using the easy airport with a connection (and associated risks) vs a less convienent airport and a direct flight.

 

My vote would be Boston.

 

Have you seen the pilots of those turbo props?

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Thanks folks. Should have put in the airports. As some guessed, it's a short drive to Hartford vs a longer drive to Boston.

 

The fundamental question is using the easy airport with a connection (and associated risks) vs a less convienent airport and a direct flight.

 

Boston does have lower priced parking options, no chance of getting a drop off pick up?? Look at the park fly hotel packages, and taking the train in. Boston is an easy airport to get around.

 

It would be the Boston choice for me.

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Thanks folks. Should have put in the airports. As some guessed, it's a short drive to Hartford vs a longer drive to Boston.

 

The fundamental question is using the easy airport with a connection (and associated risks) vs a less convienent airport and a direct flight.

 

I wouldn't even look at Montreal for this. I'm assuming you are looking at Air Canada for this. They fly the little 19 seat Beechcraft between Montreal and Hartford. True, the flight is only 80 or so minutes, but that is 75 minutes more than I want to be in one of those. Second, in looking at a random day next summer, it looks like a minimum of 3 hours in Montreal on the way back. That first available flight gets into Hartford around 530pm, and then you have your drive home. I have to believe that you can get a similarly timed flight to Boston as you can to Montreal coming out of London. Give yourself an hour to get luggage and clear immigration and drive 2 hours, and you are home around the time your flight to Hartford leaves Montreal.

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Can you tell us the airlines. Is it Air Canada and than US Airways overseas?

 

We leave from the closest airport.

 

We have no problem with a prop plane, and next year will fly a prop plane to NYC to pick up LAN to South America. Our other option was prop with Air Canada to Toronto and than on to South America.

 

If you are looking at Air Canada Jazz we have flown them multiple times to Montreal with no problem.

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