Options

Flight Discussion Thread

Josh5890Josh5890 ChicagoRegistered User regular
edited October 2012 in PAX East
This thread is for talking about flying to Boston and helping out with tips for those (like me) who don't have much experience in the air.

The main airport that most of us will fly into is Logan International Airport, only a couple miles from the convention.

As for me, right now I'm looking at United Airlines right now. They currently have the best deal for me out of Chicago for $225 round-trip. Advice?

[quick mod edit: no need to use the [east]/[prime] tags anymore with the split forums :) ]

This space for rent
zerzhul on
«13

Posts

  • Options
    grayfawkesgrayfawkes Registered User regular
    I think the best time to buy tickets is 6-8 weeks before. That's when I bought mine last year and got round trip from Orlando for about $265 on Jetblue, probably not the best but it was good enough for me. Right now I'm looking at $350, so I'm definitely waiting a little more.

    PAX East 2015:
    3 Single Day Passes [x]
    Hotel [x]
    Flights [x]
    Packed []
    Excitement[x]
    ————————————
    PAX East 12'
    PAX East 13'
    PAX East 14'
    PAX East 15'
  • Options
    LazorzLazorz Tokyo, JPRegistered User regular
    grayfawkes wrote: »
    I think the best time to buy tickets is 6-8 weeks before.
    Definitely this.

    Also, keep it in mind that you're able to buy two one-way flight tickets from two different airlines if you're trying to save some money. Certain companies charge less for taking one flight at a certain time on a certain day (Thursday mornings, for example, cost much less than Wednesday nights). I did this for Prime, and I was able to save ~$150. Prices also naturally fluctuate, so don't freak out if you waited on a $150 ticket and it went up to $250. It's more than likely going to go back down again; just be sure to keep an eye on it.

  • Options
    LimondLimond Registered User regular
    I am going from BWI to BOS the total cost was 351.20 bucks for round trip tickets for 2 on jet blue. I heard Bing has a good travel feature that shows the trends of ticket prices.

    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • Options
    RicinRicin Registered User regular
    Be careful flying with American Airlines. THey are having labor issues and there have been a large number of flights grounded or delayed due to worker actions.

  • Options
    MushroomSambaMushroomSamba Registered User new member
    Limond wrote: »
    I am going from BWI to BOS the total cost was 351.20 bucks for round trip tickets for 2 on jet blue. I heard Bing has a good travel feature that shows the trends of ticket prices.

    I booked my roundtrip for BWI/BOS for $66 each way including taxes on AirTran. While it might be a general rule that 6-8 weeks is the sweet spot, I doubt it will be much cheaper before then, and would rather lock it in now.

  • Options
    KoalaBro2KoalaBro2 Registered User regular
    Ricin wrote: »
    Be careful flying with American Airlines. THey are having labor issues and there have been a large number of flights grounded or delayed due to worker actions.

    One *presumes* this will be resolved by late March. Not guaranteed, of course, but if you're worried about American, I'd recommend just waiting a little bit and seeing what happens rather than booking a flight that's not as good for you just to avoid American.

    Important information to have is that the T (Boston subway) runs two lines directly to the airport. The Blue line will take you downtown, where most of the hotels are, and the Silver line (actually a bus that spends part of its time going through subway tunnels) goes directly to the convention center (and the really close hotels like the Westin and the Seaport, for you lucky dogs who snagged those). The Silver line is also good for leaving directly from PAX, if you choose to fly out Sunday evening (as I always do).

    More info on the T is here: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/

  • Options
    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    KoalaBro2 wrote: »
    Ricin wrote: »
    Be careful flying with American Airlines. THey are having labor issues and there have been a large number of flights grounded or delayed due to worker actions.

    One *presumes* this will be resolved by late March. Not guaranteed, of course, but if you're worried about American, I'd recommend just waiting a little bit and seeing what happens rather than booking a flight that's not as good for you just to avoid American.

    Important information to have is that the T (Boston subway) runs two lines directly to the airport. The Blue line will take you downtown, where most of the hotels are, and the Silver line (actually a bus that spends part of its time going through subway tunnels) goes directly to the convention center (and the really close hotels like the Westin and the Seaport, for you lucky dogs who snagged those). The Silver line is also good for leaving directly from PAX, if you choose to fly out Sunday evening (as I always do).

    More info on the T is here: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/

    I think this info is still mostly up to date as well (re: the T) http://wiki.paxcommunity.net/paxwiki/MBTA

  • Options
    SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    This will be my first time flying in for the con, once you're there, is there a better method than taxi to get from the airport to the convention center/hotel area?

  • Options
    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Schmulki wrote: »
    This will be my first time flying in for the con, once you're there, is there a better method than taxi to get from the airport to the convention center/hotel area?

    The two posts above yours have info on exactly that.

  • Options
    SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Schmulki wrote: »
    This will be my first time flying in for the con, once you're there, is there a better method than taxi to get from the airport to the convention center/hotel area?

    The two posts above yours have info on exactly that.

    ....this is what happens when I type a post, go to lunch, come back, and hit submit. :oops:

    Thanks!

  • Options
    RichSoCashRichSoCash Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    I watched prices pretty close last year flying out of PDX, and never found anything less than about $350 w/stops. I went with nonstop last year and this year on Alaska for ~ $400.

  • Options
    RaughnRaughn Registered User regular
    For those without much flying experience, consider whether the timing of your flight is important to you. A little more rest, and maybe a less congested trip to your nearest airport, might go a long way to help you get your trip off on the right foot. I went ahead and booked my flight already just because the arrival/departure times of one option were perfect for me, and I was more eager to lock those in than to wait for a price drop.

  • Options
    LimondLimond Registered User regular
    Limond wrote: »
    I am going from BWI to BOS the total cost was 351.20 bucks for round trip tickets for 2 on jet blue. I heard Bing has a good travel feature that shows the trends of ticket prices.

    I booked my roundtrip for BWI/BOS for $66 each way including taxes on AirTran. While it might be a general rule that 6-8 weeks is the sweet spot, I doubt it will be much cheaper before then, and would rather lock it in now.

    Yea I saw the Air Tran flights but I like to watch the final Omegathon match up. It is always exciting and last Air Tran goes out at like 6:30.

    One clip, one kill.

    I am a monster truck that walks like a man.
  • Options
    SlyxSlyx Registered User regular
    I like to use Kayak.com. You can compare versus other sites right on Kayak and if the timing is important you can sort flights very easily by specific arrival/departure times. You can also set up a price alert so Kayak will email you daily or weekly about the flight prices. I have not booked directly through them before, but it's a great way to find and compare specific flight times and prices across airlines.

    Other flying tip: don't check your luggage. It isn't free on most airlines if you fly economy ($50/bag last time I flew) and the size limit for carry-ons is rather large. Check the size/liquid requirements on the airline's website before you fly.

  • Options
    RaughnRaughn Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Slyx wrote: »
    Other flying tip: don't check your luggage. It isn't free on most airlines if you fly economy ($50/bag last time I flew) and the size limit for carry-ons is rather large. Check the size/liquid requirements on the airline's website before you fly.

    Agreed a thousand times over. In most cases, efficient packing can fit 3-4 days worth of stuff in a carry on. That way your bag stays with you, doesn't cost you extra, and can't be lost if you have a layover.

    Raughn on
  • Options
    LazorzLazorz Tokyo, JPRegistered User regular
    Raughn wrote: »
    Slyx wrote: »
    Other flying tip: don't check your luggage. It isn't free on most airlines if you fly economy ($50/bag last time I flew) and the size limit for carry-ons is rather large. Check the size/liquid requirements on the airline's website before you fly.

    Agreed a thousand times over. In most cases, efficient packing can fit 3-4 days worth of stuff in a carry on. That way your bag stays with you, doesn't cost you extra, and can't be lost if you have a layover.
    You're also allowed to have an under-the-seat backpack, making it even easier to bring everything you need without checking luggage. I've found that I can efficiently pack four sets of clothes plus a ton of extras in a medium duffle bag, and anything that doesn't fit can just go in my pack.

  • Options
    zebrafishzebrafish Registered User new member
    Most airlines announce their sales on Tuesdays, so sometimes you can score deals then. I am also very fond of Kayak.com to help gather all the airlines info.

    I've been flying between Seattle and Milwaukee, Seattle and DC, and Milwaukee and DC over the past few months and have managed to score the best prices 2-3 weeks in advanced.

    Its almost a hobby of mine to find really good flight deals, even if its not for myself.

  • Options
    HeadhunterHeadhunter Registered User regular
    I got a pretty good deal last year from Toronto, about $250 during a Boxing Week sale. Hopefully I can do that again!

    "Perception is reality." -unknown
  • Options
    rubykavalierrubykavalier pink is the new bacon Registered User regular
    JetBlue seems to always be my go-to for Orlando to Boston flights; if you don't mind napping a little on the plane, fly early mornings/late nights and you'll be blessed with lower fares and less crowded planes. Also, if you have the extra $30, JetBlue's Even More Space/Even More Speed option is amaaaaaaazing. The legroom wasn't as much a worry as I am a short, stubby-legged person, but being able to use the expedited line for security leaving Logan meant I got through security 20 minutes faster than my friends, who had to wait in the regular lines. Think of it as a single rider line at an amusement park. Because BOS security lines are ridiiiiiiculous (or at least, they were for us at around 7-8 pm.)

  • Options
    JimmyWildJimmyWild Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    I always use Travelocity and usually get a good deal. I actually just bought my flight this past weekend. $208 round trip from Austin on United. Which is an amazing deal in my eyes. Travelocity will also allow you to get different airlines for each half of the flight.

    I generally consider under $300 a great deal on a flight. I try to book as far in advance as possible. I personally would rather get it out of the way so i don't have to worry about getting a bad deal (or not getting flight times i need) later. But if you're looking at $225 for a flight that sounds great to me.

  • Options
    treezatreeza Registered User regular
    Headhunter wrote: »
    I got a pretty good deal last year from Toronto, about $250 during a Boxing Week sale. Hopefully I can do that again!

    Porter and Air Canada are both having seat sales right now - round trip from Toronto comes out to:
    Air Canada: $270.23 (from Pearson)
    Porter: $273.69 (from Billy Bishop)

    I think I ended up paying around $315 last year, so $270 is not too bad.

    The Air Canada sale ends tomorrow, and Porter's sale ends Friday. I'm sure there will be more sales between now and next April, but not a bad deal for people who already know their travel dates and want to secure flights early.
    :)

  • Options
    GamerPopJeffGamerPopJeff Registered User new member
    treeza wrote: »
    Headhunter wrote: »
    I got a pretty good deal last year from Toronto, about $250 during a Boxing Week sale. Hopefully I can do that again!

    Porter and Air Canada are both having seat sales right now - round trip from Toronto comes out to:
    Air Canada: $270.23 (from Pearson)
    Porter: $273.69 (from Billy Bishop)

    I think I ended up paying around $315 last year, so $270 is not too bad.

    The Air Canada sale ends tomorrow, and Porter's sale ends Friday. I'm sure there will be more sales between now and next April, but not a bad deal for people who already know their travel dates and want to secure flights early.
    :)

    Haven't tried Porter yet, gonna give them a go with the sale. Wish I could've got a flight out of Hamilton.

  • Options
    H2OCakeisalieH2OCakeisalie Enforcer Registered User regular
    I usually fly southwest but for prime I flew delta and i wouldn't recommend them for a handful of reasons but southwest gives you two free checked bags and flying tulsa to boston is $600 even

  • Options
    HeadhunterHeadhunter Registered User regular
    treeza wrote: »
    Headhunter wrote: »
    I got a pretty good deal last year from Toronto, about $250 during a Boxing Week sale. Hopefully I can do that again!

    Porter and Air Canada are both having seat sales right now - round trip from Toronto comes out to:
    Air Canada: $270.23 (from Pearson)
    Porter: $273.69 (from Billy Bishop)

    I think I ended up paying around $315 last year, so $270 is not too bad.

    The Air Canada sale ends tomorrow, and Porter's sale ends Friday. I'm sure there will be more sales between now and next April, but not a bad deal for people who already know their travel dates and want to secure flights early.
    :)

    Doh I missed it, next sale it is. Personally, I think Porter is the way to go!

    "Perception is reality." -unknown
  • Options
    Sleepy KittySleepy Kitty Registered User regular
    treeza wrote: »
    Headhunter wrote: »
    I got a pretty good deal last year from Toronto, about $250 during a Boxing Week sale. Hopefully I can do that again!

    Porter and Air Canada are both having seat sales right now - round trip from Toronto comes out to:
    Air Canada: $270.23 (from Pearson)
    Porter: $273.69 (from Billy Bishop)

    I think I ended up paying around $315 last year, so $270 is not too bad.

    The Air Canada sale ends tomorrow, and Porter's sale ends Friday. I'm sure there will be more sales between now and next April, but not a bad deal for people who already know their travel dates and want to secure flights early.
    :)

    Haven't tried Porter yet, gonna give them a go with the sale. Wish I could've got a flight out of Hamilton.

    Porter is IMHO the better way to go , the airport being downtown and convient and free shuttle from Union station as opposed to Pearson which is a pain to get to. They tend to have a seat sale 1 x month just keep eyes and ears open for it and even without a sale the rates are decent currently return flights are $350 p/person and 5 flights to choose from.

  • Options
    GamerPopJeffGamerPopJeff Registered User new member

    Porter is IMHO the better way to go , the airport being downtown and convient and free shuttle from Union station as opposed to Pearson which is a pain to get to. They tend to have a seat sale 1 x month just keep eyes and ears open for it and even without a sale the rates are decent currently return flights are $350 p/person and 5 flights to choose from.

    Free shuttle from Union? Hello...

    That opens up the GO train option from the West. Thanks for the tip.

  • Options
    treezatreeza Registered User regular
    Yeah, I flew Porter last year, and it was great. It's way more relaxed than Pearson, and I like to load up on free cookies in the Porter lounge! >_<

  • Options
    lutra_canadensislutra_canadensis Registered User regular
    Alright, so I have never flown anywhere before. I'm relatively familiar with BWI, as I've had to pick my brother up there before, but I've never actually been on a plane. So, that said, any advice for people new to flying? Anything I should prepare for?

  • Options
    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Alright, so I have never flown anywhere before. I'm relatively familiar with BWI, as I've had to pick my brother up there before, but I've never actually been on a plane. So, that said, any advice for people new to flying? Anything I should prepare for?

    You'll want to know these things, to make your life easier:
    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/what-know-you-go

  • Options
    SlyxSlyx Registered User regular
    My friend's first time flying was for East last year too, so I'll tell you what I told him.

    Give yourself extra time at the airport. Most airlines recommend 90 minutes before your flight, but I usually do 2 hours. I'd rather be way early and have time to relax while waiting to board the plane than be rushed, which just makes me more nervous about it.

    The basic sequence at an airport goes like this. First you will check in at either a kiosk or a desk with a person. You'll confirm your reservation and seat, if you're checking any baggage, ending with you receiving your printed boarding pass. You may need some code or your credit card to check in, depending on how you book your flight (If you book online, for example, it will say if you need something.) Your boarding pass has all the information about which gate you need to go to and what time the plane allows you to begin boarding.

    After you receive your boarding pass, you'll go through security checkpoints. There will likely be a line. Some TSA people along the way will check your boarding pass and ID (driver's license probably). You'll eventually make it to the scanners. Anything you're bringing on the plane has to go through the x-ray. Any liquids like shampoo will probably need to be removed from your bag and go through separately so remember to pack them last. There are VERY specific guidelines to follow as far as liquids go (what you can bring, how much, and how to package it) so check your airline's website before you pack. You'll probably need to remove your shoes and any sweatshirts or jackets as well. You'll go through a body scanner (these are different at every airport) at the same time as your luggage goes through the x-ray, then you'll meet up with your stuff on the other side. Make sure to keep your ID and boarding pass with you at all times.

    After you make it through security, you'll head to the gate listed on your ticket. There will probably be shops, food, etc. that you can check out if you have extra time. Anything you get here should be fine to take on board as long as you don't go over your limit of 1 carry on piece for the overhead bin plus 1 small backpack for underneath the seat. Everything here is really expensive though. I usually just grab something to drink and some gum.

    When you get to your gate, double check the signs to make sure the gate hasn't been changed. Don't listen to music while you're waiting to board in case there is an announcement about a gate change or a delay. The plane usually starts to board about 20-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. You'll board in groups, based on where you're sitting (your group # will probably be on your boarding pass).

    Towards the end of the flight, there will be announcements about which baggage claim gate to go to (if you claimed any luggage). If you miss it, you can ask the attendant at the desk once you reach the terminal or just follow the crowd of people who flew with you. They usually almost all walk straight there and the exits to taxi/bus/shuttles are right by there too. There are signs everywhere.

    Not sure how much help you wanted, but at least this is here for anyone else worried about flying.

    Bonus tip: chew some gum or make yourself swallow a lot as you begin to descend on the flight. My ears always pop a lot when I fly, painfully, and this seems to help me.

  • Options
    RaughnRaughn Registered User regular
    Slyx wrote: »
    When you get to your gate, double check the signs to make sure the gate hasn't been changed. Don't listen to music while you're waiting to board in case there is an announcement about a gate change or a delay.

    This is great advice. If you've become immune to PA announcements because you know you can't be the person who lost their kid in a department store, it's time to reactivate that awareness when you are at the airport. They could be talking about your flight, and knowing that can save you a lot of panic. Depending on the timing of the change and the flight that replaced yours, a gate change can look an awful lot like you missed your flight, if you're not aware.

  • Options
    Sleepy KittySleepy Kitty Registered User regular
    treeza wrote: »
    Yeah, I flew Porter last year, and it was great. It's way more relaxed than Pearson, and I like to load up on free cookies in the Porter lounge! >_<

    And the almonds and canned pop and bottled water ... all for free

  • Options
    Sleepy KittySleepy Kitty Registered User regular

    Porter is IMHO the better way to go , the airport being downtown and convient and free shuttle from Union station as opposed to Pearson which is a pain to get to. They tend to have a seat sale 1 x month just keep eyes and ears open for it and even without a sale the rates are decent currently return flights are $350 p/person and 5 flights to choose from.

    Free shuttle from Union? Hello...

    That opens up the GO train option from the West. Thanks for the tip.

    The shuttle actually picks up across from Union Station, in front of the Royal York Hotel, runs about every 15 minutes and takes about 10 - 15 minutes to get to the ferry to cross to the airport ( will check closer to East's dates , but the pedestrian bridge may be open by then and you may not need the ferry ride )

  • Options
    AxonAxon Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    75,000 mile annual flier here. Rules of thumb:

    1. Monitor prices closely. Use kayak.com and the other travel sites, but don't rely on them exclusively. All of the majors have sales from time to time. Try Delta.com, aa.com, united.com, et cetera. Once you see a price you're happy with, grab it, and don't look again. You'll just drive yourself crazy. If the prices drop by $15, do you really care?

    2. Depending on how long your flight is, do not hesitate to grab a one-stop flight. Not only are they cheaper - often by hundreds of dollars - but they give you the opportunity to get off the plane, stretch, and get some not so horrific food from a restaurant. Usually you lose two hours, tops, in the domestic 48 with a connecting flight. Rookies often go in only for direct flights.

    3. If you don't mind spending a bit more, ask for upgrades. It's a great way to sneak off with a much better seat. To me, a first class upgrade for $75 is a GODSEND on a 3+ hour flight. It may not be for you, but it is for me. Approach the gate agent before your flight and ask if any upgrades are available. Be as nice as possible. The gate agent controls all seating, and if you're nice, they'll be inclined to do you a favor.

    4. Get a frequent flier account. No matter which airline you're going to fly with, get a frequent flier account. They're always free. At the worst, you'll end up with a thousand miles banked for some other time.

    5. Jetblue is kinda overpriced. I personally avoid it as much as I can, but they occasionally have good fares.

    6. Pack light. I can get by with four tshirts, a couple pairs of jeans, and clean undies and socks per day. Much easier to have a nice, small carry on. But don't be that guy bringing the 50 pound carry on onboard. It makes other people want to murder you. Okay, it makes me want to murder you. You can also "Gate check" your bag for free; e,g., bring a relatively large bag through security and then check it at the gate before your flight. I've never had an airline charge me for this.

    More as I think of it.

    Axon on
  • Options
    stardust462stardust462 Leominster, MARegistered User regular
    Axon wrote: »
    2. Depending on how long your flight is, do not hesitate to grab a one-stop flight. Not only are they cheaper - often by hundreds of dollars - but they give you the opportunity to get off the plane, stretch, and get some not so horrific food from a restaurant. Usually you lose two hours, tops, in the domestic 48 with a connecting flight. Rookies often go in only for direct flights.
    ...
    4. Get a frequent flier account. No matter which airline you're going to fly with, get a frequent flier account. They're always free. At the worst, you'll end up with a thousand miles banked for some other time.
    ...
    5. Jetblue is kinda overpriced. I personally avoid it as much as I can, but they occasionally have good fares.

    2. It's not always the case that one-stop flights are cheaper, especially along major routes, but I definitely agree that it's worth being able to get off the plane for a bit to stretch and eat, especially for long flights. Also, check and see where the connections are before booking. I don't think it's worth it to fly from Chicago to Boston with a connection in Atlanta.

    4. This, times a million. If there's an airline you fly often, I'd recommend getting one of their credit cards. You usually can get a really nice deal for a lot of miles right away, either by using it once or spending a certain amount, and you often get bonus points for booking travel with it. Some, like one of the Delta cards, let's you check a bag for free. I use a JetBlue American Express card to pay for my CrossFit membership, and then I pay that off each month. I only got it this summer, and I already booked a round trip ticket from Boston to DC using miles. The major downside is there is an annual fee (boo). Just be careful with your spending and don't spend what you can't pay off every month.

    5. I disagree, but this may be because Boston is one of their focus cities, which is where I almost always fly out of, so that might mean better and cheaper options. Between travel I used to book at my job and travel I book personally, I've rarely seen JetBlue cost more than the legacy carriers. Plus you can check one free bag.

  • Options
    AxonAxon Registered User regular
    Well, while it's possible to have a connection cost more to a major thoroughfare, it's rare in my experience. My job is constantly on me to take the cheapest flight, which is almost always a one stop (except to say, JFK to ATL). No one should exclude the option is what I'm saying.

    JetBlue is wildly overpriced out of JFK/LGA for me. Delta almost always beats them handily. YMMV as always.

  • Options
    stardust462stardust462 Leominster, MARegistered User regular
    Axon wrote: »
    JetBlue is wildly overpriced out of JFK/LGA for me. Delta almost always beats them handily. YMMV as always.
    Funny that you say that. JetBlue never has good prices from Boston to JFK/LGA.

  • Options
    douglasbouttelldouglasbouttell Glasgow, UKRegistered User regular
    Just my two cents. For anyone flying from the old Kingdom of Great Britiain your two best bets are BA or Icelandair. Both about 9-10 hours travel time and around £450 at the time I bought my tickets (about 2 weeks ago)

    Douglas Bouttell: Geek, Engineer, Weirdo

    PAX East 2013 Status
    Hotel: Waterfront Westin; Flight: Booked; Pass: Purchased; Suitcase: Packed

    PAX Prime 2012 Status: Level Complete
    TWDT'12: Hufflepuff OotP
  • Options
    lutra_canadensislutra_canadensis Registered User regular
    Good info guys, thanks!

  • Options
    DeciusDecius I'm old! I'm fat! I'M BLUE!Registered User regular
    This may be my first foray into the US using my frequent flyer program (Aeroplan). Free flight ftw.

    camo_sig2.png
    I never finish anyth
Sign In or Register to comment.