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angelaguptathomas

International Flight assistance needed please.

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I will be making an international flight in April.  I have a major international airport 3.5 hours away with 1 stop on my travels. I will have to pay $150 for parking. Or, I travel from a more local airport that is close to an hour away with 2 travel stops. A ride to and from the airport will be provided.  The cost is relatively the same and the total travel time is relatively the same if driving time is factored in. 

My fear is missing connecting flights.  Any sage advice from those who travel internationally more often than I please?

Thanks!

 

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You are worried about taking the flight from the closer airport and then all the connections?  How long are the connections in each location?  What airports are they?  

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Our motto when traveling internationally has been to keep it simple when it comes to flights because the fewer connections, the fewer places it can all go awry. We've also been stranded at the airport when our ride wasn't paying attention to the calendar, and oops, didn't come get us until we called. 3 hr drive from our place to Detroit International, so its a long wait down at baggage claim. Now we pay for parking. It's just easier.

So I vote for whatever is the easiest, simplest option.

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check out parking places near the airport - but aren't run by the airport.  they're usually cheaper.  the last one we used was staffed 24/7 with a shuttle to/from the airport.   

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I keep thinking that I when I get home from an international flight, the last thing I would want to do is to drive 3 more hours to get home.  I vote for local airport.

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16 minutes ago, DawnM said:

I keep thinking that I when I get home from an international flight, the last thing I would want to do is to drive 3 more hours to get home.  I vote for local airport.

Yes.  Have you considered what time your body will think it is when you arrive?  Will you need to plan on sleep (i.e., a hotel room) before driving home?

If you use the local airport, will you still have a ride home if your flight gets delayed by hours? ...  by a day?  

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If cost is a big factor for you, research parking options not too far from the airport.  Some of them may have shuttles to take you from the parking to the airport and back.  Another possible option is to park-and-ride on public transportation that has a stop at the airport.

If you decide to fly the extra stop, just give yourself a couple hours of leeway in case your flight gets delayed.  Worst case you may still have the option to drive to the international airport if your local flight gets canceled - though honestly, that has never happened to me.

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Some hotels near airports have free parking if you stay with them. I don't like either of your options but would go with the drive to the big airport. I would look into staying somewhere near the big airport that has free parking and going up a day early. 

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I vote for the close-in airport with 2 connections, BUT if and only IF, you meet the following:

(1) I would only do that if the entire trip (3 flights in each direction) is on one ticket. If something goes awry, they will (probably) help you.  If everything is not on one ticket, then if something goes wrong, it is your problem and you need to have your Credit Card available and with a lot of available credit.

(2) I would allow, especially on the origin from your home airport to the international destination, at least 2 and preferably 3 hours, between the scheduled arrival time and the scheduled departure time from each airport. That assumes the connections are on Domestic flights, within the USA.  On the return, if necessary cut that closer and if something goes awry on the return, it will work out, without ruining your vacation.

(3) I would want to be at the airport the International flight leaves from, 3 hours before scheduled departure and that may be a requirement of the airline involved. Check to see what their minimum check-in time is for an International flight to your destination overseas.  

ENJOY YOUR TRIP!

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1 hour ago, CAJinBE said:

Some hotels near airports have free parking if you stay with them. I don't like either of your options but would go with the drive to the big airport. I would look into staying somewhere near the big airport that has free parking and going up a day early. 

 

Yes.   I did that when I lived in Texas.  I would park my car in the parking lot of a motel near DFW Airport.  They had a shuttle van to/from the terminal buildings.  I would stay there, the night before the trip or the night after I returned, depending on which was appropriate for the flight times.  I believe they charged me for parking for each day, but it was far less than in a parking lot on the airport.

On one occasion, I returned from Mexico (?) and after I got back to the motel, when I looked at my car to see if it was OK, it looked like it had been vandalized.  Closer inspection indicated Hail damage.  When I went inside the motel again, someone at the Front Desk told me the motel had suffered quite a bit of damage.

One other experience with that.  I left my car at a motel near the airport in Pittsburgh PA.  I was planning to stay there after I returned from Mexico.  I misconnected in San Antonio and I remember the Mexicana Agent asking me where I was going after I told him I had misconnected. I told him Pittsburgh. He told me, "that's one of the worst places to get to from San Antonio".  They put me into a Courtyard by Marriott near the airport and I called the motel in Pittsburgh to tell them what happened. They told me not to worry about it.  After I got back to Pittsburgh, I went into the office. They would not allow me to pay for the parking.  Very nice experience. 

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