Post # 1
I’ll be getting on a plane at Christmas time for the first time ever this year. Not super excited about that fact. lol.
Long story short… my in laws live in Syracuse and we’re going to see them for Christmas (from Cleveland airport). Generally we go to my family’s for Christmas because they live close, and when my husband has gone in the past he went alone (and did not give any consideration to price. Boys!).
My question is… what is the cheapest/best way to do this? We are already going to fly from Cleveland rather than Columbus so we can get a direct flight because there is 0% chance I will deal with a layover during the holidays. I’m already worried about weather/crowds as it is.
We are very flexible about time. We want to be there about a week, and definitely be there ON the actual Christmas day… but we don’t care if we go early or late or whatever.
When is the best time to fly? A few days before/after the holiday? Or the day directly before/after? When is the cheapest time to purchase? Any tips appreciated!
Post # 3
A the further out from the Holiday on either side the cheaper the tickets. The highest demand and prices will be the day before and after, because thats when the most people will be traveling. As you back out further you should get better deals. Book the tickets as early as you can- prices will just keep going up the closer we get to the Holidays.
If you’re family is going to be planning things to do with you- parties etc, ask them not to plan anything within the first 24hrs of your arrival. This way if there is weather delays, you aren’t sitting in the airport flipping out because you are supposed to be at ______ and wont get there in time.
Another option might be train. Amtrak has a line that stops in cleveland and syracuse. I believe its about a 6hr train ride. Personally I love using the train when I can- the pros are no security lines, super easy checkin, way bigger seats/more comfy then plane, dining car for snacks, outlets so you can laptop, charge phone etc. It might be worth looking into.
Post # 4
I just booked my christmas flights so the earlier the better and I find that a few days pre/post actual holiday are cheaper. If you find something $50 more than you usually pay just book it.
I mean its crowded in the airports but its not THAT terrible. Just show up 30 minutes earlier than usual and be prepared for more crying babies on board than usual.
Post # 5
@nikkialys: There is a train in ohio?!?!??!?! I will totally be looking into this. I HATE FLYING (not due to fear– due to TSA and stupid people, generally). But… my husband tells me that driving from Ohio to Syracuse in the winter is too risky due to weather— boo.
Post # 6
Ok, so I was just in the Columbus airport recently (apparently its cheaper to fly into than ‘Nati and equi distance from my ILs) and it was EMPTY. So, I’m sure it will be busier during the holidays, but you won’t have to worry too much because it’s a pretty small airport.
I fly ALOT (I’ve banked at least 30k miles since Jan) and what I strongly reccomend you do is look at places like cheaptickets, etc. However, if you find a cheap price go directly to the airline site, search for the same flight, and buy directly from the airline! First of all, you can sign up and make sure you get miles for your ticket. But more importantly, if something goes wrong (I have a very long, Christmas trip from h#ll a few years ago where snow really messed up Darling Husband and I’s tickets separately from one another.. I’ll spare you) third party websites often will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help you out. Purchasing direct, however, the airline you’re supposed to fly on will try to rebook you, etc. if your flight is cancelled.
The day you fly – don’t wear anything metal that you don’t need to. No big jewelry, don’t carry change, etc. It will make it easier to go through security. Have your liquids ready, and you’ll be fine. You just don’t want to hold up the line so if you have a laptop, start taking it out while you’re in line, etc.
Post # 7
@Mrs.LemonDrop: Thanks for all the tips! I do loooooove Columbus airport so much but we won’t fly out of that for this (even though we live 6 minutes from it!) because there are literally 0 direct flights from Columbus to Syracuse. I don’t want to connect for this because 1) More possiblity of delay and 2) more possibility of getting stranded somewhere. If we get stranded in Cleveland that is fine because that is where my family is. If we get stranded in Syracuse find because that is where DH’s family is. But I don’t want to end up in freaking JFK airport for 2 days (we always connect through there from CMH to SYR). So yea. Sad columbus doesnt’ fly direct 🙁 But that is a good tip about booking through the airline– i’ll do that!
Post # 8
@CorgiTales: Sorry I totally read your original post incorrectly. I see that you’re flying out of Cleveland now (I must have read it backwards.) I think you’ll be fine. If there’s snow, just leave the house with plenty of time. It’s better to sit at the airport in cases like that than getting there late and stuck in security lines. (Although, I did fly on Chirstmas eve once and was generally really impressed at how fast everything went because they must have made every single person work that day.)
Post # 9
@nikkialys: Had to thank you again for this suggestion because— WE JUST BOOKED A TRAIN! I am super excited about this as I’ve never taken a train in the US before except for between baltimore/dc (which is like 40 min). It is under 6 hours, and we got a sleeper car for the return trip because it is overnight. And, including the sleeper car (which includes food), it is costing us less than HALF of what a flight would cost us. 🙂