WDW Today Episode 721 – Dealing with higher airfare

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Episode 721 of WDW Today is now available for download here.

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Posted on May 17, 2010

11 Responses to “WDW Today Episode 721 – Dealing with higher airfare”

  • by Larry Scaglioni on May 17, 2010, at 3:54 pm EDT

    This was an issue for my family (2 adults 2 kids) on our trip in April. We’re in MA & went during school vacation week. So flights were outrageously expensive.

    We wound up driving to Philadelphia from MA. We then flew from Philadelphia. And on the way home, we stayed in Philadelphia for a couple of days.

    The flights from Philadelphia were $250 a person as opposed to close to $500 a person from either Boston, Manchester, NH, or Providence, RI.

    Doing this allowed us to enjoy an extra day at Disney, a couple of days in Philadelphia, and still save some money.

    • This is a great idea, Larry, especially if you live within a couple of hours of another airport with a low-cost carrier. I routinely make the 90-minute drive to Raleigh to fly Southwest, for example. Thanks!

    • by Josh Hendy on May 19, 2010, at 6:42 pm EDT

      Yeah I noticed last year when doing comparison shopping via expedia that PHI had at times the best air deals to Orlando of any airport that is within 1 day drive of eastern Ontario. We ended up finding a fairly good deal from Rochester which is around half the distance of PHI.

      Canadians have it the worst, if you’re not willing to drive to the US to catch a flight then the airlines are like, Come to Papa, And Give Me All Your Money! Next to Brits and Europeans of course.

      My own strategy is to check expedia for all the airports on my list every 3-4 days when it’s around 2-3 months before the vacation date. Patterns become visible in terms of which airports/airlines have the best deals, but they change every few days so it’s best to get a feel what’s going on before pulling the trigger.

      We won’t take the super-bargain flights (I think they were on things like Jet Blue not on expedia) because they always seemed to leave at 5am or something and had no guaranteed seats to keep our kids together with us.

      I’ve done the 2-1/2 day drive to and from Orlando twice, both times in the summer. It’s fun but a bit tiring and the driving can be stressful in the heavier traffic areas, especially I-95 between PHI and Richmond VA. Someone on the podcast suggested breaking up the trip with stops along the way. A couple that I can recommend are Myrtle Beach, the Shenandoah Skyline Drive, Ocean City, MD, and the zoo and museums in Washington DC.

  • by Amy from KC on May 17, 2010, at 5:15 pm EDT

    We live in KC. Last fall we used frequent flyer miles for our airfare, and then stayed for 8 nights. From my perspective, I think that since it is such a big cost, either in dollars or air miles, that we might as well stay for a good amount of days to make the costs worthwhile. This year we are planning on staying 9 mights to justify the airfare costs. Next year my husband gets an additional week of vacation, so we might end up driving.

    I have a friend that found good airfare on Southwest about a month before they left. They just flew down on Friday. I think that depending on where you live, you can still find some deals. I think the deals you are able to find depend upon where you live, what season you are travelling, and how flexible your travel dates are.

    Time of day matters, too. I’ve found cheaper fares for flights that will get me into MCO (Orlando) later in the day, and on the return trip leave earlier in the morning. I like to get to WDW ASAP, and leave as late as possible, which sometimes costs more. Travel schedule is sometimes a trade-off with fare amount. It just depends on your priorities.

    • Ah, another great point. You have to be able to amortize the cost over a long-enough time period for it to make sense. $500 for airfare for a two-week trip is one thing; it’s quite another for a long weekend.

  • by Brian Noble on May 18, 2010, at 5:56 am EDT

    Amortization is a big win. Our shortest trip down was a four night long weekend, but that was for only two of us, using FF miles. Otherwise, our minimum trip length is seven nights.

    Going “offseason” can help too—and it’s different for different markets. For example, flights to MCO from DTW in the summer are usually much less expensive than they are during the February-April period. And that makes sense, because summer is the one time of year when Michigan’s weather is better than Florida’s.

  • I think you have to buy in advance when possible. We fly SWA and we purchased our tickets for our September trip the day the dates opened up to book. We are paying $69 each way from St. Louis to MCO. We usually book a late Saturday flight, stay offsite at one of the hotel airports (our rate at the Springhill suites for 1 night is $67), head to our resort to check in first thing Sunday morning to try and maximize our WDW time.

  • After listening to the podcast, I hope someone will let Matt and Mike know that the price of crude oil has gone down significantly since the Deepwater Horizon accident, and that effect has begun to show up in slightly lower gasoline prices as well.
    There’s plenty of issues where we can take BP and the oil industry as a whole to task, so we don’t need to do it for things that haven’t happened.
    Are airfares up? Absolutely. Is it because of Deepwater Horizon? Not at all.

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  • I used the following site to get an idea of cost for driving.
    http://gasbuddy.com/Trip_Calculator.aspx
    With six people in our traveling group, driving and staying in to hotels and not having to use rental car it was must better cost savings to drive, especially since we have the time to do so.

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