Airlines - The Dilemma of Who to Fly With
Earlier in this blog we talked about where we are going on our summer vacation, Washington D.C. and New York City. Living in San Diego, California provides a variety of options for flying to the East Coast. The number of airlines offering fares is limitless and the possibility of traveling from San Diego, Ontario, Orange County, or even Los Angeles keeps the rates fairly competitive. With all the options to choose from, a traveler needs to decide who they want to make the trip with and what flight is best for them to maximize their time.
Back in the 80's and 90's, the "Red Eye" was a popular choice enabling the traveler to sleep as they traveled across country to their destination. This flight options has become less frequent an option for domestic flights and is now usually reserved for the international flights exclusively. I am fine without the "Red Eye" as I never can fall asleep while traveling, I think this comes from my time abroad and needing to stay awake to keep an eye on my possessions.
Unfortunately going West to East results in that three hour loss and makes it a complete day of travel to get to your destination. Having lived in D.C. and traveled their often on business, I usually have two favorites to fly into for price and convenience. Two of the three main airports are outside of town, while the third is right in D.C. but a little limited. If you want a good deal and don't mind a 40 minute drive I highly suggest BWI (Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington International Airport). The airport is much smaller than IAD (Washington Dulles), making security and check-in easier and rental car rates more affordable.
Due to the above facts and the fact that the airline we chose doesn't fly into or out of DCA (Regan National), we went with BWI. Another factor in the decision it that we will be heading north upon arrival towards New York City. The Interstate 95 close location of BWI allows for easy acces both north and south.
As for the airline, American, Delta, and United are the cheapest for the flight, but cheap isn't always the cheapest. When just making an overnight trip these are good choices, but for a family trip or if their will be any length of stay, I have become a fan of Southwest Airlines. I used to hate them, but with the ability to change flights even for a better rate and no bag fees it is definitely cheaper for three people to fly on Southwest than one of the other airlines who will charge at minimum $25.00 per bag. So Southwest was the chosen carrier with one-stop going and non-stop coming home.
The above factors are what led us to make the choices we did for where and who to fly with. In our next post we will share our itinerary a bit more and what we doing for accommodations. We look forward to your comments, suggestions, and anything else you wish to share with us.