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View Full Version : Please Share Tips, Opinions: Jet Blue, Airtran, BUF-MCO, WDW NYE 2011


disneymath
07-07-2011, 11:35 PM
We are taking our "first trip home to BLT" over New Years.

We are a party of 8 and based on current rates will save well over $3000 by flying out of Buffalo instead of Pearson. We have a relatively early (9 AM) direct flight booked from BUF to MCO on Dec. 30 with Jet Blue and a midafternoon (2 PM) direct flight booked MCO to BUF on Jan. 6 with Airtran.

We've never flown out of Buffalo (though we visited the city frequently on summer vacations when I was a teenager) and have never flown with Jet Blue or Airtran. Any advice, etc. about either airline, the Buffalo airport, Stay/Park/Fly options, border crossing, etc. would be most appreciated.

For those with inquiring minds, the Airtran flight cost about $125 each (including taxes, and pre-selecting seats, but not baggage). The Jet Blue flight cost about $240 each (and includes a checked bag). For our dates, flights from our regional airport are over $700 each way and flights out of Pearson are over $400 each way, so I think we've done well pricewise. (We're hoping to get in some Boxing Day Sales shopping too!)

KINGBOBOFTHENORTH
07-08-2011, 06:43 PM
Check-in is very easy at BUF and the security lines move well too. Just allow plenty of time for the border crossing because you just never know what you're going to encounter. Crossing at the Peace Bridge is typically quicker however since it's morning rush hour and PB is at downtown Buffalo, it might be quicker to cross at Lewiston. You could consider spending the night before in a hotel near the airport should weather become a concern as the date grows near.

BobK/Orlando

disneymath
07-08-2011, 09:07 PM
Check-in is very easy at BUF and the security lines move well too. Just allow plenty of time for the border crossing because you just never know what you're going to encounter. Crossing at the Peace Bridge is typically quicker however since it's morning rush hour and PB is at downtown Buffalo, it might be quicker to cross at Lewiston. You could consider spending the night before in a hotel near the airport should weather become a concern as the date grows near.

BobK/Orlando

Thanks for the info ... we do plan on staying over in Buffalo the night before. It is an 8 hour drive (depending on stops and weather) for us to get to Toronto, then another 2 or so into Buffalo so it makes sense to just stay over and hopefully get a Stay/Park/Fly package.

I imagine we will cross at the PB as this is what my dad is used to.

dancin Disney style
07-09-2011, 09:08 AM
You will have no issues at all using either airline. We only use BUF now because the fares are much better than YYZ. We live in Oakville so the drive for us is about 1.5 hrs VS. 40 minutes to YYZ. So really not that much extra time. BUF airport is a dream to get through....rather small and a simple layout.

Do a little research on here about the sleep/park/fly hotels. Many Dis'ers use them. There is a site, I think called, sleepparkfly.com that will do a general search for you. You can also look on travelzoo....they often have a deal at the Millenium hotel. Another option is a cheap hotel and then parking at the airport.

Camilo
07-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Hi there,
we flew from Buffalo last year for the first time (with Southwest) and will be flying again this year (in November) with AirTran.

My advise is to review the thread I started (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2516918) as it has a LOT of information on border crossing, Buffalo airport and the great Buffalo Marriott hotel which can be had through Priceline for around 60.00 a night if you can use our strategy (book somewhere else with a cancellable reservation and wait until a couple of days prior to the trip to bid with Priceline).

Good luck!!!!

Camilo

disneymath
07-12-2011, 08:24 PM
Hi there,
we flew from Buffalo last year for the first time (with Southwest) and will be flying again this year (in November) with AirTran.

My advise is to review the thread I started (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2516918) as it has a LOT of information on border crossing, Buffalo airport and the great Buffalo Marriott hotel which can be had through Priceline for around 60.00 a night if you can use our strategy (book somewhere else with a cancellable reservation and wait until a couple of days prior to the trip to bid with Priceline).

Good luck!!!!

Camilo


Thanks for the link ... it DOES have some great info!

darwinsrule
07-13-2011, 07:38 AM
We used to use BUF all the time before kids and Disney (hello Vegas:cool1:). Went back to BUF in May for the first time since we had kids (Southwest) and will go back again in August when we go down for our cruise (Southwest down - Airtran back). BUF is a smooth operation and your border crossing will probably take longer than security at the airport. There is even a play area for the kids in the gate area (small but it occupied our girls for 45 mins).

Biggest challenge will be coming back. We got caught up in a mess a Queenston-Lewiston the may long weekend (hour plus delay crossing).

Honestly the drive down from up North will be the biggest challenge you should face.

disneymath
07-13-2011, 10:53 AM
We used to use BUF all the time before kids and Disney (hello Vegas:cool1:). Went back to BUF in May for the first time since we had kids (Southwest) and will go back again in August when we go down for our cruise (Southwest down - Airtran back). BUF is a smooth operation and your border crossing will probably take longer than security at the airport. There is even a play area for the kids in the gate area (small but it occupied our girls for 45 mins).

Biggest challenge will be coming back. We got caught up in a mess a Queenston-Lewiston the may long weekend (hour plus delay crossing).

Honestly the drive down from up North will be the biggest challenge you should face.

Thanks for the info ... we'll have three little guys with us, so anything that can help keep them occupied at the airport is great!

We're used to the drive from up North and will play things by ear ... if the forecast isn't great, we'll leave a day earlier than planned.

TinksApprentice
07-13-2011, 08:24 PM
We normally fly out of Pearson too. Because the cost savings for 4 of us was so significant we decided to give flying out of Buffalo a shot for our last trip in March. I was really skeptical about how easy/difficult it would be and what headaches etc we could encounter (you know that too good to be true saying).

To be safe, we booked a night at a Buffalo area hotel and took their shuttle to the airport in the morning. Our hotel stay included parking for our vehicle for the week. The border was a breeze to cross, airport processing was smooth and easier than the best day at Pearson, customer service was remarkably better. There was a delay with our flight due to mechanical issues, but they let us off the plane, kept us well informed, and we were given an amazing credit for our bother. Yes, we wasted a travel day in the airport, but it was one of those weird things that just happen. I know that had it been an Air Canada issue, it would have been a nightmare! So mechanical issue aside, flying out of Buffalo was fantastic. I would do it every time, even if the cost savings weren't as significant as they are.

On our return trip, we checked in at the hotel, hoped on DME and had no bags to fuss with at the airport! The flight back was smooth and uneventful. Upon arrival, we called for the shuttle, they drove us right to our vehicle. We got in our vehicle and drove home. Again, no difficulty at the border. Even with the extra 90 minutes of travel time it was such a smooth process I would recommend it to every one!

Regarding the mechanical issue and Jetblue, some things can't be helped. They were great about communicating with us throughout, they gave us a travel voucher for our aggrevation and some freebies on the flight. They were remarkably better with customer service than Air Canada ever has been when we encountered delays (which happens way too often).

For the cost savings, it's worth it. But it was super easy, super smooth, and I LOVED being able to do the airline check in AT the resort!

Good luck!

Penny

darwinsrule
07-16-2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks for the info ... we'll have three little guys with us, so anything that can help keep them occupied at the airport is great!

We're used to the drive from up North and will play things by ear ... if the forecast isn't great, we'll leave a day earlier than planned.

Amazing what you get used to. I have had family come down from my hometown outside North Bay and use us (technically our house) as a way stop on the way to the airport in BUF. The trick is balancing everything so you can make it work. Even with the 90 min drive we have we leave prepared (ipods, dvds, colouring books). We haven't done a trip North in a few years (actually 3 and a bit now). Finding it hard to remember what we did to entertain them now.

disneymath
07-16-2011, 10:45 PM
Amazing what you get used to. I have had family come down from my hometown outside North Bay and use us (technically our house) as a way stop on the way to the airport in BUF. The trick is balancing everything so you can make it work. Even with the 90 min drive we have we leave prepared (ipods, dvds, colouring books). We haven't done a trip North in a few years (actually 3 and a bit now). Finding it hard to remember what we did to entertain them now.


I went to university in North Bay ... we're actually about 4 hours FURTHER north! And that particular 4 hours is not the most exciting car trip ... the trees start to blend together after a while! :goodvibes

Fortunately, my sister's inlaws are from the Toronto area, so the boys have made the 8 hour trek quite a few times. DVDs for the car, snacks, pitstops (New Liskeard/North Bay/Orillia) and silly songs seem to do the trick. The boys travel well ... they'll even nap or just watch the scenery go by. (They're too young to be jaded about the trees I guess! :))