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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    270

    Default Q?-How far are you willing to drive for a direct flight?

    Many of us are too far from a "Hub,Major" airport with direct MoBay flights...that said, we have a regional airport right here that connects us to either ATL, MEM,or Charlotte...but when you extrapolate the airfare $$$$...and the fact that our last 2 departures out were delayed, causing me to "literally" almost have a heart attack running to our gate to "catch" the door before it closed...To drive to either Atlanta or Memphis from the FL panhandle is 4-5 hours each way...wife says next time,she wants to drive....who else can chime in on this? there is the long term parking issues, and possibly more hotel nights/meals...and who wants to drive 5 hours after flying 4 and another 1-2 in customs?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaPat View Post
    Many of us are too far from a "Hub,Major" airport with direct MoBay flights...that said, we have a regional airport right here that connects us to either ATL, MEM,or Charlotte...but when you extrapolate the airfare $$$$...and the fact that our last 2 departures out were delayed, causing me to "literally" almost have a heart attack running to our gate to "catch" the door before it closed...To drive to either Atlanta or Memphis from the FL panhandle is 4-5 hours each way...wife says next time,she wants to drive....who else can chime in on this? there is the long term parking issues, and possibly more hotel nights/meals...and who wants to drive 5 hours after flying 4 and another 1-2 in customs?
    since your wife wants to drive then
    1)let you wife drive
    2)pack a cooler catch a buzz
    3)put in your ear buds and relax
    the 5 hours will go by quickly since you are in party mode not driving and engrossed in good tunes
    she will be happy you drove and you will not have to worry
    there you go enjoy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    266

    Default

    I'll admit this is something I've never really thought about as I guess I'm spoiled in that I live about a half hour-40 min from O'Hare in Chicago. Though, they haven't had non-stops to MBJ on my airline of choice until recently.

    I guess I wouldn't drive a distance that took longer than the layover itself. If the layover is 2 hours, I wouldn't drive 5 hours to avoid it, you know? You're not really saving any time there. Though I do understand that people, like my husband, would STRONGLY perfer not taking off and landing twice. I think there were almost tears when I told him American finally had non-stops out of O'Hare to Montego.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    194

    Default

    We live in northern WI and so to catch a direct flght we have driven to Milwaukee the last couple of times the night before and stayed in a "park and fly" hotel. It takes us approx. 4 1/2 hours to get there and well worth not having to change flights. We leave early in the morning and leave our car there all week. The drive home is really not bad if your plane gets in "in time" and even if it doesn't we can always spend another night on the way up if we get tired. To me it is less stressful and a big plus, you can get your Rum at the Mo Bay airport after security and take it as a carryon and not have to put it in your suitcase.
    This year we opted to fly out of Minneapolis because it is a little cheaper and are doing the same thing. We will drive the night before which I think is approx. the same time frame and stay at a park and fly hotel. Our plane is scheduled to leave at 6AM and so we have to be there early. The hotel has 24 hour free shuttle service to the airport. It seems less stressful to me.
    Karin (and Jim)
    CTI 1st time this March
    CSS last year March
    CN x3 prior

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    240

    Default

    There are no direct flights from the West Coast, so we have to either go to LA or SF (3-4 hour drive) then get a flight to Miami or Charlotte and then on to Mo Bay. We decided this next trip we are flying out of our local airport to Phoenix then onto Charlotte and Mo Bay. Expensive, but after you figure in the hotel and parking fees it pretty much evens out. Would love to get a direct flight from LAX or SFO!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    326

    Default

    Monica and I have used regional airports and the Hub in ATL. The drive to a regional is about an hour. The drive to ATL is three and a half. After also having problems with a regional, we chose to drive to ATL for our second trip. We drive up the evening before our flight, stay at the Airport Marriott and relax until our flight leaves the next morning. The delta flight into MBJ gets us there around 11:30 and we are at CSA by 2. Our flight out is in the afternoon (about 3:30) and we are back in ATL around 6:30 PM. The cost to park your car in the hotel lot is about $8 a day. They also have a 24 hr shuttle to take you to and from the airport. After being stressed out on our way to Jamaica the first time, we decided to make it as stress free as possible from then on. This really works for us. The restaurant at the hotel is great, the rooms are comfortable, the service is good and the parking lot is watched.
    You could very easily spend the night of your return in the ATL hotel and drive home the next day.

    Here's the time breakdown for us.
    Drive to regional - 1 hr
    check-in/Wait for flight/security - 2 hrs (if everything has gone right and flight isnt cancelled/delayed)
    flight time to Hub - 1 hr
    Delay - 1 hr (If everything has gone right)
    Flight to MBJ - 3 hrs
    or
    Drive to ATL hotel - 3.5 hrs
    Shuttle to airport - 10 minutes
    Check-in/Wait for flight/security - 2 hrs
    flight to Jamaica - 3 hrs

    Mike and Monica
    Jamaica Soon Come.
    CSA Torch Holder 2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311

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    We live in Jacksonville and flew from here via Miami two weeks ago. Next year, we are taking a direct flight from Orlando. Even with the 2 1/2 hr drive, we will leave the house later, get home sooner, and save a few hundred bucks in the process. Pretty easy decision, one that I neglected to research on our first trip.
    Janice and Keith in FL


    CTI 2009
    CN 2010 2011 2012 2013
    CSS 2014

  8. #8

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    We are about 45 minutes from Harrisburg, PA airport but we drive 2.5 hours to BWI for the direct Air Jamaica flt. We also fly out of BWI for almost all of our destinations with Southwest versus Harrisburg because of the connections as you can't get anywhere from Harrisburg unless you connect in Charlotte, Atlanta or Chicago. Even with the extra gas you can still save time and money with Southwest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Hi we are ones that travel for direct flights. In the past we ended up going from Boston to ATL to MBJ and it was an all day affair both directions. We are going April from the 20 to May 1 and we have decided to drive to PHL. We should be in at CSS by 1:00p or sooner. In the past we have driven to Bos the day before booked through Park/sleep/fly for a hotel and parking deal. Be at the airport for 5a take off around 7a 1 - 2 hour lay over in ATL and then if everything has gone right we get to resort in time for supper. PHL is about 5 - 6 hours from us but we figure it is worth the extra effort we also figured out is going to be cheaper for us to spend two nights in hotel in phl, gas and parking than going with connecting flights from Bos go figure. Our returning flight also doesn't leave from MBJ until 5p.

    Bonnie and Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bilkat View Post
    There are no direct flights from the West Coast, so we have to either go to LA or SF (3-4 hour drive) then get a flight to Miami or Charlotte and then on to Mo Bay. We decided this next trip we are flying out of our local airport to Phoenix then onto Charlotte and Mo Bay. Expensive, but after you figure in the hotel and parking fees it pretty much evens out. Would love to get a direct flight from LAX or SFO!
    Bilkat- This sounds just like us! Where do you live? We live an hour north of Santa Barbara. Planning on doing the Phoenix thing next time too, now that they offer it. Phoenix is my hometown, so I can visit the fam at the same time.
    Ben and Jenny
    CSA & CN- November 3-11, 2009

  11. #11

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    Hi
    In 2 weeks we will take the 90 minute (120 miles) motorway (M6) drive to Manchester airport. However its followed by the boring 10 hours non-stop trans-atlantic flight to Mo Bay.
    As repeaters we know its worth it, for the great time we are going to have at CN.
    Ian and Vanda (U.K.)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Small world, MrsRojek. We live in San Luis Obispo and hubby works in Santa Maria. Practically neighbors!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Mrs. Rojek:

    We're an hour north of the base in SLO.

    Bilkat

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by karinjim View Post
    We live in northern WI and so to catch a direct flght we have driven to Milwaukee the last couple of times the night before and stayed in a "park and fly" hotel. It takes us approx. 4 1/2 hours to get there and well worth not having to change flights.
    Wow, I never realized how good we have it! I live in Milwaukee, WI. The airport (Mitchell International) has direct charters to Jamaica. As you know that's about a four hour flight. Every seat is usually filled going and coming. I live 10 minutes from the airport. Friends and family pick us up and drop us off. I have never thought about how far everyone else travels. I hope you enjoy every moment of your well deserved vacation.

  15. #15

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    We have been struggling with the same question. My daughter just went through a nightmare with the airlines. It took her 3 days to get home. A combination of airline screwups and connecting flights. I would die if I missed my time at Couples. We have been using a smaller airport to get to the hub, but we have choices of 2, 4 hour road trips or a 5 hour road trip. We will definatley explore this for next year. Until the, we will stress until we make our connections!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    190

    Default

    WE live in Hackettstown,NJ (North West). WE used to fly out of Newark (1 - 1 1/2 hr drive) go the night B/4,Stay at the Airport Sheraton w/ Park & fly. Then AJ stopped flying out of Newark, so we switched to JFK (2 hour drive, $16.00 tolls each way and $250.00 for the hotel park & fly)THEN Air Jamaica dropped our 7:00 AM flight (changed to 12:45) so we didn't get to CTI until 8:30 PM.Next year I'm going to rethink my flight plan.

  17. #17

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    We live in the Syracuse area. The first time to Couples we flew out of Syracuse in January. We had to de-ice twice but still had plenty of time to make our connection in Charlotte. But, we got to Charlotte and circled for 45 minutes. We had 10 minutes before our flight left. We ran like crazy. The door was closed but not shut. Someone was doing a respiratory treatment because the plane was waiting for gas. Apparently the gas person only filled one side. Because of those two reasons we made our connecting flight. God smiled on us that morning because if both tanks were filled, the plane would have be taxing out. I was so anxious that morning before getting on the plane to MoBay.

    Last year we drove the 4.5 hours to Philly airport for a direct flight. We did the park, sleep, fly for $109. Worth every penny and every mile!!!!! We got to the airport and didn't care if the flight was delayed because it was direct. (It wasn't delayed.) On the way back we didn't have to worry about buying rum and then rechecking our bags. We are blessed to be go again this January and are going back to Philly. I don't want the anxiety associated with connecting in the winter. The drive home was fine. BTW...the cost between the two airports was comparable at the time we booked and still went with the direct flight.

  18. #18

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    We're willing to drive from Tampa to Orlando for a direct flight (2 hour drive). We're also willing to spend more money to fly with JetBlue instead of Air Jamaica because we get there a few hours earlier and it seems to be the more reliable company right now.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    I am the world's worst penny pincher but my husband was able to convince me to spend more money and just fly out from our hometown airport(Huntsville, Alabama ) and to connect in Charlotte to MBJ. We could also drive to Atlanta (3 hrs) then get a direct fight but you know, this is our vacation and we don't want to spend a chunk of it driving. You are so tired after the trip. I love being home in 10 minutes after I land.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Bilkat- We live on Vandenberg... wow that is close. We met a couple from Grover Beach at CSA a few weeks ago when we were there!
    Ben and Jenny
    CSA & CN- November 3-11, 2009

  21. #21

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    After we lost the A.M. charter flight out of St. Louis, who want to leave at 3:10 P.M., we started flying out of Memphis. Now this is quite a drive but it gives us a night on both ends of the trip to enjoy the BBQ or Beale Street and adds to our trip.

    Randy

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    174

    Default

    we live about 30 minutes from the augusta airport and only a little over an hour from the columbia, sc airport but we drive over two hours to atlanta to take the direct flight. Although atlanta is a much larger airport, it really isn't difficult to get in and out of and the security goes fairly fast. We drive up the night before, stay in a hotel, park the car and go! I wish there were something closer, but I do like the fact that I know my luggage is loaded, no layovers or stops and when I get off the plane, my feet are in Jamaica!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    223

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by karinjim View Post
    We live in northern WI and so to catch a direct flght we have driven to Milwaukee the last couple of times the night before and stayed in a "park and fly" hotel. It takes us approx. 4 1/2 hours to get there and well worth not having to change flights. We leave early in the morning and leave our car there all week. The drive home is really not bad if your plane gets in "in time" and even if it doesn't we can always spend another night on the way up if we get tired. To me it is less stressful and a big plus, you can get your Rum at the Mo Bay airport after security and take it as a carryon and not have to put it in your suitcase.
    This year we opted to fly out of Minneapolis because it is a little cheaper and are doing the same thing. We will drive the night before which I think is approx. the same time frame and stay at a park and fly hotel. Our plane is scheduled to leave at 6AM and so we have to be there early. The hotel has 24 hour free shuttle service to the airport. It seems less stressful to me.
    Karin (and Jim)
    CTI 1st time this March
    CSS last year March
    CN x3 prior
    Karin, are there really direct flights from MKE and Minneapolis? I thought I had to go to ORD (O'hare) to get a direct flight... we flew out of MKE at 6am and hopped through Memphis..

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barren View Post
    Karin, are there really direct flights from MKE and Minneapolis? I thought I had to go to ORD (O'hare) to get a direct flight... we flew out of MKE at 6am and hopped through Memphis..
    YES! there are really direct flights out of Milwaukee, I have never made a transfer to Jamaica and this will be my 7th visit (sorry I'm not Karin but knew the answer)! You have to request it and book early because they fill up fast!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    135

    Default

    We drive to Gatwick Airport (uk) from Poole in Dorset which is on the south coast, about 100miles, 2-2 1/2 hours depending on the traffic.We take advantage of Virgin's Check In and Chill Out Service and check in all our luggage (except hand luggage)when we arrive in the evening. We then go and find the airport hotel and either eat there or go to one of the local pubs.Flight is usually early so we leave hotel about 6.00am and go to Duty Free. We usually have breakfast in the airport but this year Virgin have given us a pass to the V room which has a fast service into departures and a nice breakfast awaits us in there!Then we have a 10 hour flight to Jamaica but we are going to St Lucia first which is only eight hours.Does anyone need a holiday to recover from the holiday, I think I might!

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