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Old 03-31-2013, 09:54 AM   #31
Sue M
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Originally Posted by westcoastgal View Post
We are flying direct from Toronto to Orlando in late September. I refuse to go from Buffalo with little kids unless there was substantial savings and there aren't. Plus, once I factored in drive time, parking a car, and that when we come home, we just want to get home, and not through the border, it was a no brainer for us. I have a friend going to DW in November who disagrees and is going to fly from Buffalo but I honestly don't see the savings unless you are a large family, and then I would or even drive.
I have used Yapta and love it. I am so glad we bought our tickets when we did as they have been going up since. I purchased and then told my friend who's going with us, to buy as my research and hunch told me that prices would go up. She waited and ended up paying $40 more each ticket but since, they have gone up and up anyways. I paid $432 per person.
The deciding factor for me was flight times. I hate wasting full days on travel. I chose the morning flight there so that when we land, we still have a full day and our departure is 8:30pm at night, giving us a good portion of the day in Orlando before heading to the airport. Maybe I am wrong but from Buffalo, I was seeing indirect flights, or direct flights that were pricey, flight times I wouldn't want to do and baggage fees the same or higher than Canadian airlines.
Perhaps I should've waited closer to departure? My American friends say that with the current furloughs happening in the United States and cutbacks, they expect the airlines and transport employees to be affected, possibly resulting in higher airfares. Only time will tell but a few of them have already been affected directly at their jobs and have been cutback to try and balance the budget which Congress was unable to do. This gives me no faith in waiting to see if prices from Buffalo would go down super low. On the other hand, things surprise me all the time.
I agree, when you see a good fare, book it! I regret not doing that for our August 2013 trip, when I saw good fares back in Dec.
But I have booked for next Jan when I saw good fares! Even though its far ahead. I think some of the best fares are released early, and the better flights too.
For us flying out of Seattle does save us around $200 each, with factoring in hotel. It's low $300s flying out of Seattle (3hr drive) and $625 + flying out of Vancouver. I don't mind the hotel stay when we return, then head home the next morning fresh, with a stop at the Washington outlet mall

Who knows what's going to be happening at the borders and airports with security and customs, scary. They may start sched DME for a 5 hr Pre flight pick up!!!! Crazy
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:28 AM   #32
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We're flying AirTran in August out of Buffalo for $230/person. Both flights are direct. The flight down leaves at 8AM and arrives at 10:40AM. The flight back leaves at 6:35PM and arrives at 9:10PM.

For our family of four, even including an overnight hotel stay in Buffalo, we're saving around $600 over flying out of Toronto. The flight departure times are better too.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:28 PM   #33
westcoastgal
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Actually flight times are very similar from Toronto there's 6:30 am, 8:30am and 10:30am direct departures and returns are direct and start in the morning, there's afternoon 2 or 4pm and evening, 8:30pm which I chose.
I never considered Syracuse. Overall, I am still not convinced and may just have to try it.
I was born and raised in Vancouver and did a vacation from Bellingham to Las Vegas once and Seattle to Mexico. I abhorred the extra border crossing and getting home. I don't want to overnight in a cheap motel either. I think I am a) very lazy and b) very spoiled. However, I will try it one day and probably change my mind as Buffalo isn't Bellingham.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:28 PM   #34
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I flew direct from Toronto last November. It was convenient, true. However parking at the airport is ridiculously expensive. You also have to be there so early in case "crossing the border" at the airport has a long line. However, yes it was convenient that on our return we were already "almost home".
I'm going again in September, this time just me and DD, and we're flying out of Buffalo. Direct, great flight times, and because I booked with Southwest instead of AirTran, I get 2 checked bags free per person (even though the flight is operated by AirTran). I paid $220 per person. Saving $430 was totally worth it for me because that was the difference between 4 days and 6 days at the World (I had a fixed budget for this one).
If money wasn't an issue, I'd fly out of Toronto. But let's face it, money is always an issue because maybe I could spend that $400 on Character Dining, souvenirs, of the Disney Photo Album!
And of course, I like that they will now magically wisk my bags to my room from the airport and I can check in from my resort on the way back!
You gotta go with what is important to you: savings vs. convenience. I like savings, but that being said I don't think I will ever drive!
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:32 AM   #35
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We almost always fly out of Syracuse. We always get a park and fly hotel the night before or the night after our return - doesn't matter when our flight leaves. Last time (January of this year), it was $119.00 for the park and fly and our truck stayed safe and sound at the hotel and we took their free airport shuttle to and from. I get Best Western gift cards ($100) from airmiles so that helps with the cost.
We love flying from Syracuse because it's less than 2 hours from where we live. You cross the border and there's no other customs holdups at any airport with a domestic flight. You don't have to get there hours before your flight because Syracuse is a small airport and again - domestic flight.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:53 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by cslittle999 View Post
We're flying AirTran in August out of Buffalo for $230/person. Both flights are direct. The flight down leaves at 8AM and arrives at 10:40AM. The flight back leaves at 6:35PM and arrives at 9:10PM.

For our family of four, even including an overnight hotel stay in Buffalo, we're saving around $600 over flying out of Toronto. The flight departure times are better too.
We are also flying AirTran in August and October (yay, with cheap flights out of Buffalo, I can afford two trips ) with these exact departure times.

We love to stay overnight in Buffalo before our flight. We never consider it a pain or a waste of time. It's part of our vacation! We check in early, go shopping, grab a bite to eat and go for a swim or relax in the hot tub. Then we get up, have a quick (complimentary) breakfast and go across the street to the airport.

Direct flights, early departure down, late arrival back, August trip $199 pp rt,
October trip $220 pp rt. What's not to love?
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:57 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cslittle999 View Post
We're flying AirTran in August out of Buffalo for $230/person. Both flights are direct. The flight down leaves at 8AM and arrives at 10:40AM. The flight back leaves at 6:35PM and arrives at 9:10PM.

For our family of four, even including an overnight hotel stay in Buffalo, we're saving around $600 over flying out of Toronto. The flight departure times are better too.
We too are flying out of Buffalo leaving July 29 and returning August 5th with $230 RT per person for a family of four. What hotel are you staying at before? I have heard Quality Suites is good but since this is the first time we will be doing this, just checking around.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #38
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We are staying at the Days Hotel Buffalo Airport, 4345 Genesee St.
$159 per night with 14 days of parking
$119 per night with 7 days of parking
We stayed here last year and were very happy with their breakfast and shuttle service.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #39
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We too are flying out of Buffalo leaving July 29 and returning August 5th with $230 RT per person for a family of four. What hotel are you staying at before? I have heard Quality Suites is good but since this is the first time we will be doing this, just checking around.
We had a great experience at the Days Hotel Buffalo Airport in December . Excellent location (right across the road from the airport), great shuttle service, very clean rooms, free breakfast that starts at 4 am, large pool and hot tub, and super friendly staff. You can see pics from this location in my trip report (click on the link in my signature).
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:13 AM   #40
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Also found great prices flying AirTran via Buffalo. Gave up on Detroit and Delta, their prices have gone up to equivalent to Air Canada and Pearson.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #41
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I am reading that a lot of you found good fares on Air Tran and wonder is that before baggage fees? I also know they charge for seat selection, which is the norm. However, my cousin recently (January) flew from Buffalo to Orlando on Air Trans and didn't pay for seat selection. Her whole family of 4 was seated separately, including the 2 and half year old. Since most others had paid for their seat selection, the airline staff couldn't switch anyone's seats. NO ONE was willing to voluntarily move their seats and my cousin giving up her seat or switching didn't work as they needed 2 seats side by side. Her 2 year old sat with 2 strangers all the way there. They obviously paid and selected seats on the way home.
To be honest, I fly with my daughter an average of 4 return flights per year, so 8 flights. I rarely do advance seat selection and haven't been seated separately from my daughter, except once. At that time, my daughter was also 2 (she's almost 4 now) and Westjet was very apologetic and moved people so we could be together. Air Canada always seats us together. Mind you, I do go in and check in online 24 hours in advance and can see our seats.
Isn't there online check-in with Air Trans? I know of people being wary to fly Southwest but can't you just check in online the day before as well and then not worry too much about your seats?
The best airline seems to be Jet Blue? It is pricier too right?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastgal View Post
I am reading that a lot of you found good fares on Air Tran and wonder is that before baggage fees? I also know they charge for seat selection, which is the norm. However, my cousin recently (January) flew from Buffalo to Orlando on Air Trans and didn't pay for seat selection. Her whole family of 4 was seated separately, including the 2 and half year old. Since most others had paid for their seat selection, the airline staff couldn't switch anyone's seats. NO ONE was willing to voluntarily move their seats and my cousin giving up her seat or switching didn't work as they needed 2 seats side by side. Her 2 year old sat with 2 strangers all the way there. They obviously paid and selected seats on the way home.
To be honest, I fly with my daughter an average of 4 return flights per year, so 8 flights. I rarely do advance seat selection and haven't been seated separately from my daughter, except once. At that time, my daughter was also 2 (she's almost 4 now) and Westjet was very apologetic and moved people so we could be together. Air Canada always seats us together. Mind you, I do go in and check in online 24 hours in advance and can see our seats.
Isn't there online check-in with Air Trans? I know of people being wary to fly Southwest but can't you just check in online the day before as well and then not worry too much about your seats?
The best airline seems to be Jet Blue? It is pricier too right?
In my case I paid for seats for the 3 of the 4 of us, but instead they gave us 2 and 2 seats. When I asked why they said because other families were separated. My guess is those customers did NOT pay. Either way they credited me back, but that was my experience. Too bad about your sister.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:20 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastgal View Post
I am reading that a lot of you found good fares on Air Tran and wonder is that before baggage fees? I also know they charge for seat selection, which is the norm. However, my cousin recently (January) flew from Buffalo to Orlando on Air Trans and didn't pay for seat selection. Her whole family of 4 was seated separately, including the 2 and half year old. Since most others had paid for their seat selection, the airline staff couldn't switch anyone's seats. NO ONE was willing to voluntarily move their seats and my cousin giving up her seat or switching didn't work as they needed 2 seats side by side. Her 2 year old sat with 2 strangers all the way there. They obviously paid and selected seats on the way home.
To be honest, I fly with my daughter an average of 4 return flights per year, so 8 flights. I rarely do advance seat selection and haven't been seated separately from my daughter, except once. At that time, my daughter was also 2 (she's almost 4 now) and Westjet was very apologetic and moved people so we could be together. Air Canada always seats us together. Mind you, I do go in and check in online 24 hours in advance and can see our seats.
Isn't there online check-in with Air Trans? I know of people being wary to fly Southwest but can't you just check in online the day before as well and then not worry too much about your seats?
The best airline seems to be Jet Blue? It is pricier too right?
When we booked our August flight through AT at $199 per person rt we also paid $6 each for our seats. So that is $48 total. We also bring two pieces of luggage total for the four of us. That is another $100. The total with all extra fees for the four of us equals $944.

It would have cost us $1000 to book through SW for the same flights in August. However, we would be able to bring more luggage for free. But there would be no guarantee of sitting with your children. This is the deal breaker for us.

You just have to crunch the numbers and see what would work best for your family.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:43 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastgal View Post
I am reading that a lot of you found good fares on Air Tran and wonder is that before baggage fees? I also know they charge for seat selection, which is the norm. However, my cousin recently (January) flew from Buffalo to Orlando on Air Trans and didn't pay for seat selection. Her whole family of 4 was seated separately, including the 2 and half year old. Since most others had paid for their seat selection, the airline staff couldn't switch anyone's seats. NO ONE was willing to voluntarily move their seats and my cousin giving up her seat or switching didn't work as they needed 2 seats side by side. Her 2 year old sat with 2 strangers all the way there. They obviously paid and selected seats on the way home.
To be honest, I fly with my daughter an average of 4 return flights per year, so 8 flights. I rarely do advance seat selection and haven't been seated separately from my daughter, except once. At that time, my daughter was also 2 (she's almost 4 now) and Westjet was very apologetic and moved people so we could be together. Air Canada always seats us together. Mind you, I do go in and check in online 24 hours in advance and can see our seats.
Isn't there online check-in with Air Trans? I know of people being wary to fly Southwest but can't you just check in online the day before as well and then not worry too much about your seats?
The best airline seems to be Jet Blue? It is pricier too right?
We paid $700 USD for AirTran (3 people) including advance seat selection, only extra will be baggage fees. Still a better deal over Toronto IMHO.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:14 PM   #45
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We almost always fly out of Syracuse. We always get a park and fly hotel the night before or the night after our return - doesn't matter when our flight leaves. Last time (January of this year), it was $119.00 for the park and fly and our truck stayed safe and sound at the hotel and we took their free airport shuttle to and from. I get Best Western gift cards ($100) from airmiles so that helps with the cost.
We love flying from Syracuse because it's less than 2 hours from where we live. You cross the border and there's no other customs holdups at any airport with a domestic flight. You don't have to get there hours before your flight because Syracuse is a small airport and again - domestic flight.

Wanted to share that we booked flights from SYR to MCO today for $90 per person in November. This is our 5th Disney vacation in as many years and it will be our first Syracuse experience. I hear nothing but good things! We will be driving down and flying out on the same day so I think our only option for parking is at the airport for $8/day. Anyone know If the parking lot is secured?
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