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2013 Travel discussion

zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
edited July 2013 in PAX West
Taking the train? Flying? Have tips and tricks?

This thread is for you.

zerzhul on
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    Kiss Me GoodByeKiss Me GoodBye Registered User regular
    Hey, my boyfriend and I have attended the last 3 PAX Easts' and we've had a blast meeting people from everywhere and are now considering traveling across the US to make it to prime. Anyone have any tips so we don't spend more of a fortune than we have to? Approx pricing for train if you've done it before? Secret cheap airlines? We are from Philadelphia if that helps.

    SQUID
    PAX EAST 2011 * 2012 * 2013 *2014 *2015 *2016 | PAX PRIME 2013| PAX UNPLUGGED 2017
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    adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    We came from MI last year and it cost us about $500 per ticket. Not sure if you can get better rates out of Philly or not.

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
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    Kiss Me GoodByeKiss Me GoodBye Registered User regular
    We came from MI last year and it cost us about $500 per ticket. Not sure if you can get better rates out of Philly or not.

    $500? Dang MI. Round trip I've found is close to $400 from Philly. $400 isn't bad but it's always good to look for something cheaper if possible.

    SQUID
    PAX EAST 2011 * 2012 * 2013 *2014 *2015 *2016 | PAX PRIME 2013| PAX UNPLUGGED 2017
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    Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    4 of us driving down from Calgary. Get to experience the joy and wonder of the grand state of Montana again this year.

    PSN: Canadian_llama
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    adias.angeladias.angel Tech-Savvy Wife Kalamazoo, MIRegistered User regular
    We came from MI last year and it cost us about $500 per ticket. Not sure if you can get better rates out of Philly or not.

    $500? Dang MI. Round trip I've found is close to $400 from Philly. $400 isn't bad but it's always good to look for something cheaper if possible.

    You might check out the ride share thread that usually goes up. I know we are not the only ones from the mid-west heading out to Prime. ;)

    Prime '12, '13, '14, '15, '19 .. East '12
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    ThirmuriThirmuri CalgaryRegistered User regular
    If I end up going to Prime this year I'll be flying. A 2 hour flight is infinitely better the the 14 hour road trip I did last year

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    FenrisfangFenrisfang Edmonton, AB, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Flying instead of taking the train this year. As far as I have seen it is going to cost us about $400/person from Edmonton. Once I know I have tickets, I will be watching Alaska Air like a hawk to hopefully get a better deal.

    If I remember correctly, the airlines usually put sales out on Wednesday nights (it's been a few years since I worked in travel so correct me if I am wrong here). Something to keep an eye on for those looking for deals on air. :D

    PAX Tickets: check!
    Hotel Booked: check!
    Sitter for the kids: check!
    Excitement level rising: check, check and triple check!
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    sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2013
    @Fenrisfang I think you're right about the Wednesday sales/deals.

    Also an easy and easily forgotten tip for anyone browsing flights. When you finally decide to buy your ticket clear your cookies. Did it for mine and saved almost 20 each way/got the price I originally saw.

    sanovah on
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    FenrisfangFenrisfang Edmonton, AB, CanadaRegistered User regular
    @sanovah Yay! I still remember some stuff! LOL! Thanks for the tip about the cookies...I wouldn't have thought of that.

    PAX Tickets: check!
    Hotel Booked: check!
    Sitter for the kids: check!
    Excitement level rising: check, check and triple check!
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    sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Fenrisfang wrote: »
    @sanovah Yay! I still remember some stuff! LOL! Thanks for the tip about the cookies...I wouldn't have thought of that.

    Yeah the cookie trick isn't guaranteed to give a lower price because airlines don't appear to always do it, but when they do its nice to save that money.

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    BadNews65BadNews65 Data Solutions Analyst ArkansasRegistered User regular
    Last year flying out of Arkansas I got my tickets round trip for $250, This year I have already gotten mine for $308. Trick for flights? Don't buy your tickets in the same two weeks of a holiday, and do not buy plane tickets on the weekends. I did this and saved $50 this year.

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    MTSonic11MTSonic11 Registered User regular
    Hey, my boyfriend and I have attended the last 3 PAX Easts' and we've had a blast meeting people from everywhere and are now considering traveling across the US to make it to prime. Anyone have any tips so we don't spend more of a fortune than we have to? Approx pricing for train if you've done it before? Secret cheap airlines? We are from Philadelphia if that helps.

    We took the train from Philly last year and on the way over, you need to have a stop in the middle of the night in Pittsburgh for a few hours and then sit at Chicago Union for a few more hours. Then it's 2 full days on the train, no getting off besides 10 minute smoke breaks. Data coverage is almost non-existent during this 2-day stretch, so I couldn't even get any work done. It costs almost as much as flying, between $800-900 for a rail pass for 2 and that's not including a private room/shower. No showering for 3 days!! Food is also pretty bad from the snack car, unless you spend $10-20/meal in the real dining car. The private rooms sell out fast, even way in advance and add another $600-1200 to the trip.

    I've done it twice (the other time from Washington, DC, one less leg) and I don't want to again. 3 days there and 3 days back is just too much, especially after PAX. If neither of you have a problem with flying, it's probably your best option. Flying will run you around $400-500 RT from PHL, though keep an eye out for specials. Alaska and USAir fly direct to SEA and is around $500 RT currently. I'd love to drive across country one of theses days, but I wouldn't want to put the miles on my car.

    With all that being said, go to Prime if you can. Seattle is awesome and it always feels like a very different experience.

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    TheAggroCraigTheAggroCraig Ultimate Lucky Douchebag MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to fly from Boston again this year, I'm starting a new job next week and need to find out if I can even get that time off... I'll have to wait a bit before I'd even ask for it anyways, but there's still plenty of time to figure it out.

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    lolmontlolmont Brooklyn, NYRegistered User regular
    Not 100% sure if I can go this year but if I do. I'll for sure be flying not gonna drive from New York City to Seattle. Lucky I got a $300 voucher from Alaska Air so I'll use that if I can go.

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    Ben2998Ben2998 Master Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    I just came back from my first PAX in Boston and it was phenomenal and I'm now thinking about going to Prime next summer. The problem is I'm from Montreal and the plane tickets are crazy expensive (360$ one way expensive). I've been told by many friends that driving to an airport in the US and taking a plane in a small city like Burlington VT could save me around 100$. Does anybody has any other tips to share?

    I would also be leaving Seattle on the 2nd to go to Vegas, again, any tips to help me find good rates?

    Conquered PAX East 2013!
    Planning PAX East 2014 invasion:
    [ ... ] Hotel | [ ... ] Travel | ✓ Pass
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    FenrisfangFenrisfang Edmonton, AB, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Ben2998 wrote: »
    I just came back from my first PAX in Boston and it was phenomenal and I'm now thinking about going to Prime next summer. The problem is I'm from Montreal and the plane tickets are crazy expensive (360$ one way expensive). I've been told by many friends that driving to an airport in the US and taking a plane in a small city like Burlington VT could save me around 100$. Does anybody has any other tips to share?

    I would also be leaving Seattle on the 2nd to go to Vegas, again, any tips to help me find good rates?

    Totally agree with what your friends say. I live in Edmonton, but travel from Vancouver lots and air is, at times, about 50% cheaper if we drive just over the border.

    As for tips...depends on how you are booking things. If you go to a travel agent, make sure to ask that they check the fare doing all one way flights. Might save you some cash. If you are doing it on your own, I mentioned before that airlines like to do their discounts if you book on a Wednesday. (West Jet used to have "sales" if you booked between midnight and 6 in the morning on Wednesdays only) Get on the mailing list for the airlines that you prefer so that you can get an email for sales as well. Hope that helps!

    PAX Tickets: check!
    Hotel Booked: check!
    Sitter for the kids: check!
    Excitement level rising: check, check and triple check!
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    sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Not really a tip and not sure what airport you'd be flying in from, but make sure you check every airline that flies out of there. Not just your favs or past ones.

    If it's not a tiny tiny airport the time differences shouldn't be much and you can either save a killing or get a way better flight. Like I was personally gonna fly the general cheap southwest out of LAX, but checked Virgin America and for about the same price I'll be flying a lot nicer than I would have.

    From Sea to Lav I'd recommend checking out Virgin regardless of who you fly in with. Great airline in general and I'm pretty sure they always have a to Vegas special

    sanovah on
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    miker525miker525 New YorkRegistered User regular
    lolmont wrote: »
    Not 100% sure if I can go this year but if I do. I'll for sure be flying not gonna drive from New York City to Seattle. Lucky I got a $300 voucher from Alaska Air so I'll use that if I can go.

    I'm in a similar situation. I sure as hell can't drive it from NYC. Unfortunately I don't have a flight voucher so for me travel is looking real pricey, plus I still have to add in hotel and pass fees plus I'm unsure if I can get off of work...Hopefully I can....been meaning to go to prime for a while, as I've been doing East since 2010

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    jamsyarbotsjamsyarbots Wilmington, DERegistered User regular
    miker525 wrote: »
    lolmont wrote: »
    Not 100% sure if I can go this year but if I do. I'll for sure be flying not gonna drive from New York City to Seattle. Lucky I got a $300 voucher from Alaska Air so I'll use that if I can go.

    I'm in a similar situation. I sure as hell can't drive it from NYC. Unfortunately I don't have a flight voucher so for me travel is looking real pricey, plus I still have to add in hotel and pass fees plus I'm unsure if I can get off of work...Hopefully I can....been meaning to go to prime for a while, as I've been doing East since 2010

    Have you thought about taking the train? It has to be cheaper than flying plus I believe there's a thread that usually goes up specifically for people who are travelling by train.

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    CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    miker525 wrote: »
    lolmont wrote: »
    Not 100% sure if I can go this year but if I do. I'll for sure be flying not gonna drive from New York City to Seattle. Lucky I got a $300 voucher from Alaska Air so I'll use that if I can go.

    I'm in a similar situation. I sure as hell can't drive it from NYC. Unfortunately I don't have a flight voucher so for me travel is looking real pricey, plus I still have to add in hotel and pass fees plus I'm unsure if I can get off of work...Hopefully I can....been meaning to go to prime for a while, as I've been doing East since 2010

    Have you thought about taking the train? It has to be cheaper than flying plus I believe there's a thread that usually goes up specifically for people who are travelling by train.

    That's usually for people traveling up the west coast. Not that I'd discourage anybody else from traveling by train, it's a fun ride, but if you really want to have a PAX train, you'll want to make sure you coordinate with other PAXers and all take the same trains; you might want to make a thread in this forum for cross-country training, is what I'm saying. That, or fly into LA; back in '11, there were even a couple of guys who flew from England into LA just to ride the train up the coast with us.

    CuvisTheConqueror on
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    Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    We came from MI last year and it cost us about $500 per ticket. Not sure if you can get better rates out of Philly or not.

    $500? Dang MI. Round trip I've found is close to $400 from Philly. $400 isn't bad but it's always good to look for something cheaper if possible.

    This is a bit late, but if you don't mind a one stop, I think there are decent prices on onestops out of EWR (last I heard in the 2-300 range). Only like 1.5 hours from Philly.

    Personally I always spring for the US Air nonstop PHL -> SEA, but I hate flying.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
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    jamsyarbotsjamsyarbots Wilmington, DERegistered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    We came from MI last year and it cost us about $500 per ticket. Not sure if you can get better rates out of Philly or not.

    $500? Dang MI. Round trip I've found is close to $400 from Philly. $400 isn't bad but it's always good to look for something cheaper if possible.

    This is a bit late, but if you don't mind a one stop, I think there are decent prices on onestops out of EWR (last I heard in the 2-300 range). Only like 1.5 hours from Philly.

    Personally I always spring for the US Air nonstop PHL -> SEA, but I hate flying.

    My girlfriend and I are coming from Wilmington, Delaware which is only about 20 minutes from PHL but we're considering flying out of Baltimore's BWI. The BWI airport has prices that are about $40-$100 less than PHL.

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    CodeMonkey76CodeMonkey76 Software Developer Orem, UTRegistered User regular
    Maybe those on the east coast could use the forums to arrange a group rate and all fly from the same airport, on the same flights. Heck, if there's enough of a demand, see about chartering a flight and packing it full of PAX people.

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    CrogothCrogoth Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Last year was my first PAX, and first time travelling via Train, here's a couple of things that I learned:

    Carry-on: if your luggage isn't xbawks huge you can probably bring it onto the train with you(i saw a lot of bags on the train that were well over the "approved dimensions" of carry-on), there are several places you can put your stuff where it won't be in the way of anyone.

    Multiple bags: don't forget which bag has what, last year on the train i left my laptop and cellphone charger in my checked baggage and had to deal with dead electronics for a greater portion of the train ride.

    Crogoth on
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    RidleyDragonRidleyDragon Registered User regular
    You aren't going to believe me, but bing travel is probably the best way to know when to buy your airline tickets, their predictions are pretty good.

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    peetsnackpeetsnack Team Green Poké Assist, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Head Girl House Hufflepuff The Cleave LandsRegistered User regular
    You aren't going to believe me, but bing travel is probably the best way to know when to buy your airline tickets, their predictions are pretty good.

    I have heard bing recommended for this in the past. I am inclined to check it out, despite it being the only thing i have ever heard bing recommended for.

    7B14287.png
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    geekyglamorousgeekyglamorous Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    I flew up from Los Angeles last year and paid about $260 round trip airfare. Keep in mind PAX falls on Labor Day Weekend so there are a lot of folks traveling. My advice is NOT to fly in or out on the beginning/end of the holiday weekend since you'll be competing with lots of other travelers. Last year on Monday the hotel checkout line was crazy since everyone was leaving and scrambling to get to work Tuesday morning. If you can afford it, leave on Tuesday or at least later in the day on Monday. It will not only save you the hassle of the checkout line but also some $$$.

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    ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Why stand in line to check out of your hotel? Almost every hotel now automatically checks you out, you just need to be gone before house keeping gets to your room.

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    CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    Imsorad wrote: »
    Why stand in line to check out of your hotel? Almost every hotel now automatically checks you out, you just need to be gone before house keeping gets to your room.

    That. Unless you need to do something specific (change the credit card, etc), you should be able to just leave your keys on the nightstand and go on your merry way.

    xderwsaxganu.png
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    PocketJellyPocketJelly Fraser Valley, British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Anyone here travel from Vancouver? I always take the train but I'm wondering what other's experiences have been like!

    Me and a bunch of my friends are traveling from the Fraser Valley (B.C.). We have drove our own vehicle down for the past 2 years and plan to do the same this year. We enjoy doing it that way, though we haven't tried any other way yet since we wanted to save costs. Keep in mind that parking around there costs about $30-$40/day (unless there is cheaper that I haven't found yet).

    PocketJelly on
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    PocketJellyPocketJelly Fraser Valley, British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Anyone here travel from Vancouver? I always take the train but I'm wondering what other's experiences have been like!

    Me and a bunch of my friends are traveling from the Fraser Valley (B.C.). We have drove our own vehicle down for the past 2 years and plan to do the same this year. We enjoy doing it that way, though we haven't tried any other way yet since we wanted to save costs. Keep in mind that parking around there costs about $30-$40/day (unless there is cheaper that I haven't found yet).

    Hmm 30-40$ a day for one person would essentially cover the train ticket costs for 2 people. But I can see how carpooling can really save some money!

    Well the $30-40/day is for 1 vehicle. We fit 8 of us in one vehicle so it works well.

    EDIT: I misread your response, but yes that would be very pricey for 1 person to pay for parking!

    PocketJelly on
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    Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Right Here, Right Now Drives a BuickModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited April 2013
    Disco11 wrote: »
    4 of us driving down from Calgary. Get to experience the joy and wonder of the grand state of Montana again this year.

    Montana is the worst state and I hate it.

    Edit: on that note, I should mention, if anybody wants to help revive the Cross-Country Supertrip, I'm down to help with the logistics. Living in Seattle takes away from my ability to actually do it anymore, hence there not being one the last two years.

    Moe Fwacky on
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    byakuenbyakuen Somewhere in SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Looking for cheaper parking?
    Check out the Capitol Hill and SoDo areas. It's a bit further to walk, but it won't be a premium as it will be around Lower Queen Anne (EMP/Space Needle/Key Arena/Bumbershoot) or South Lake Union or Downtown.
    Also, if you have an ADA placard. City of Seattle has special exceptions for you.

    byakuen on
    ♥ Properly Pleased Participant of Past PAX PrimeWest: '10, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16
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    BaghdadBeanBaghdadBean Wrench Wench Scio-Lacomb, ORRegistered User regular
    byakuen wrote: »
    Looking for cheaper parking?

    Also, if you have an ADA placard. City of Seattle has special exceptions for you.

    Just a protip though: The "Public Parking" garages ARE NOT public parking, and do not honor free public parking for ADA permits. That's actually the name of the company, and they have a less than stellar history with certain blue zone parking folks at PAX. If you do park in their garage, be sure they actually give you a stub instead of just waving you into the parking spot, or else expect to pay the maximum fee they can inflict on you.

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    CazrinCazrin Registered User new member
    Does anyone have any tips for someone traveling from the UK? I haven't been to PAX before but I'd really like to go this year.

    If you know anything that may reduce cost (such as which are the best days to travel, reasonably priced hotels) it would be appreciated. I think I'd like to spend a few days in Seattle either side of PAX to make the cost of the trip more "worthwhile".

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    BadNews65BadNews65 Data Solutions Analyst ArkansasRegistered User regular
    Well cost of hotels will go down if you go to PAX. They have a service that goes up with badges that give a PAX discount from the hotels around PAX. Fly in to the airport (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ) and I believe that the light-rail is free? I am foggy on that because I didn't know about it last year. Any tips on travel from the airport are welcomed here as well.

    Best days to travel once you are in the States is as far in advance of the weekend as you can. That weekend is Memorial day weekend for us and travel picks up a bit in the air ports and what have you.

    Hope that is a little help at least.

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    BadNews65BadNews65 Data Solutions Analyst ArkansasRegistered User regular
    Oh and get very good walking shoes... I think last year I clocked in about 20 miles on my pedometer. (travel hint) sorry for double post.

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    PythagorisPythagoris Registered User regular
    BadNews65 wrote: »
    Well cost of hotels will go down if you go to PAX. They have a service that goes up with badges that give a PAX discount from the hotels around PAX. Fly in to the airport (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ) and I believe that the light-rail is free? I am foggy on that because I didn't know about it last year. Any tips on travel from the airport are welcomed here as well.

    Best days to travel once you are in the States is as far in advance of the weekend as you can. That weekend is Memorial day weekend for us and travel picks up a bit in the air ports and what have you.

    Hope that is a little help at least.

    The light rail isn't free but it is only $2.50 or so one way. The other problem is that, and this is solely based on research, not experience, the rail doesn't actually run to the airport. If someone can correct me on that point, I would be quite happy.

    Pax Prime 2013 Checklist: Time Off [X] Badge [X] Hotel [?] Flight [X]
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    CodeMonkey76CodeMonkey76 Software Developer Orem, UTRegistered User regular
    Pythagoris wrote: »
    The light rail isn't free but it is only $2.50 or so one way. The other problem is that, and this is solely based on research, not experience, the rail doesn't actually run to the airport. If someone can correct me on that point, I would be quite happy.
    No, it doesn't run you right into the terminal, but it does take you to just outside the parking garage. From there, there's a covered walkway through the parking garage to the terminal.

    http://goo.gl/maps/Zy76v

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    TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    Pythagoris wrote: »
    BadNews65 wrote: »
    Well cost of hotels will go down if you go to PAX. They have a service that goes up with badges that give a PAX discount from the hotels around PAX. Fly in to the airport (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ) and I believe that the light-rail is free? I am foggy on that because I didn't know about it last year. Any tips on travel from the airport are welcomed here as well.

    Best days to travel once you are in the States is as far in advance of the weekend as you can. That weekend is Memorial day weekend for us and travel picks up a bit in the air ports and what have you.

    Hope that is a little help at least.

    The light rail isn't free but it is only $2.50 or so one way. The other problem is that, and this is solely based on research, not experience, the rail doesn't actually run to the airport. If someone can correct me on that point, I would be quite happy.
    The light rail runs from the airport to downtown and back (only one line.)

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