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Old 01-07-10, 11:35 AM   #1
Nigeyy
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How to get the cheapest airfare from one (known) airport to any other airport?

I live in the Boston, MA area. I don't have much money or time for touring, and I limit myself to 3-4 day tours. To satisfy this I've toured quite a lot in my immediate area -across Massachusetts (height and width several times, etc).

But I'm bored -though I enjoyed my last tour, I'm a little fed up with the New England area and really jonesin' for a change. Recently I've got it in my head to just find the cheapest airline flight I can and go somewhere -anywhere -for as little money as possible and stretching the tour to 5-6 days over a weekend. Particularly I like the idea of going to Canada -any place -in Canada or some more unknown place in the USA. I know it's not necessarily that easy of course -e.g. some smaller flights haven't got the space for a bicycle, and I also realize there are extra charges for a bicycle too. It's also probably easiest for me to fly out of Boston Logan International airport, though TF Green airport in Rhode Island is a possibility too.

So.... given the criteria that my flight must be a. cheap, b. not longer than 4-6 hours total travel time, and c. able to take a bicycle, are there any forum posters here who know how to obtain a listing of the cheapest flights out of a particular airport to another airport?

I've looked at all the usual travel sites, and the problem is that you need to know where you're going (not really a problem for me as my biggest criteria is price). It strikes me it would be wonderful to be able to see how cheaply you can go from your location to some other location -is there such a site? Anyone know how best to approach this?
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Old 01-07-10, 11:51 AM   #2
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Some thoughts:

I think that www.travelzoo.com might be what you're looking for.

www.yapta.com will track fares for you, but you have to set up destinations first. But once you've set it up, it will work on auto-pilot for you.

The problem with flying from anywhere in the US to anywhere in Canada and vice versa, is that because it's an international flight, there are a whole slew of fees and taxes which are mandated which don't exist for domestic tickets. These greatly increase the total cost despite the often short distance and duration of the flights.

I like www.kayak.com for searching for fares. Southwest Airlines doesn't permit its flights to be shown in kayak and similar sites. You have to search for their flights and fares directly on www.southwest.com. Southwest also has much lower bike fees than most airlines, as well as no fees on regular checked bags. It's easy enough to use their reservation tool to see where they fly from your area airports.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:54 AM   #3
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Look at flying Southwest ($50 each way for bikes) and fly on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
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Old 01-07-10, 12:31 PM   #4
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Any chance you can just ask a travel agent? Get them to do all the work!
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Old 01-07-10, 12:55 PM   #5
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+1 for Southwest. Florida in the winter. Miami to Key West and back.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:43 PM   #6
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Good question, I look forward to hearing the answer. You're looking for a round trip ticket, right?
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Old 01-07-10, 04:51 PM   #7
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It's hard to accomplish what you asked, but I would suggest checking Southwest's site and the Special Offers link. Also when I checked late last year United did not charge for bicycles, even though their website says otherwise. Call around - things change all the time, and some airlines show the International fee when they charge less for bikes in U.S. Just make sure you get correct info - I called United 3 times, talked to a supervisor and got free bike policy in writing via email.

Depending on what the bike requirements are on different trains you might consider Amtrak. Some trains allow you to just roll your bike into a baggage car and stow in a bike rack.

Syracuse, NY is a wonderful area to ride, whether you like somewhat flat, rolling or downright hilly. Finger lakes w/in less than a day ride. Flights and train should both be reasonable cost.

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Old 01-07-10, 05:18 PM   #8
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airfare

Also, check out http://www.airfarewatchdog.com
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Old 01-07-10, 05:27 PM   #9
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This is a list of airlines and their bicycle regulations. It may be that some of the information is out of date, because airlines change their regulations quite frequently, so you'd have to look up the airline in question to double check.

http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

And you might also check Expedia: http://www.expedia.com/
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Old 01-07-10, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
Any chance you can just ask a travel agent? Get them to do all the work!
OP doesn't have much money so a travel agent is out of the question. We charge a service fee since our commissions were eliminated years ago.
Sidestep.com is a great site to check as is Flyertalk.com.
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Old 01-08-10, 06:28 AM   #11
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Yes, roundtrip. From the links posted I found travelzoo has a section of deals which is the closest to what I want.

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Good question, I look forward to hearing the answer. You're looking for a round trip ticket, right?
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Old 01-08-10, 06:30 AM   #12
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I don't know. I drove that road some years back and I'm not sure I'd want to cycle it. Plus I should have added I prefer cooler climates rather than that hot Florida sun!


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+1 for Southwest. Florida in the winter. Miami to Key West and back.
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Old 01-08-10, 06:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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+1 for Southwest. Florida in the winter. Miami to Key West and back.
You mean Miami to Key West by Southwest Air.. It's not all that far . Why not just bike.. If it's got wide shoulders, sounds like a perfect ride.. What , it might take two days.?
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Old 01-08-10, 08:23 AM   #14
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I second airfare watchdog as it can do exactly what you want. You set it up to email you cheapest fare from city or cities you pick and it is all automatic from there
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Old 01-08-10, 08:47 AM   #15
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Does Iceland Air still fly to Boston?
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Old 09-12-12, 07:02 AM   #16
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As an option to flying you may want to check out Concord Coach, a commuter bus to Maine. The trip takes a couple of hours and only costs about $75 RT. You'll have to check, but it's my understanding that they have free roll-on service for bicycles.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:04 AM   #17
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It's going the opposite way, and I'm not bringing a bike, but I got a flight from Grand Junction, CO to Boston, MA for $350 rt on United. There are some great tour routes around western CO and southern UT, from a few days long to a few weeks long.

I met someone who just got on Amtrak here, bound for Boston (56 hrs) for $220. It was $10 to bring his bike. If you have time and want to see the country by train.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:23 AM   #18
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In addition to the good suggestions above, consider the following:

1) Take Amtrak train #67 from South Station (the overnight train to Washington and Virginia), and check your bike through as baggage to Alexandria, VA. Cost is $10 or $20, and the bike boxes are huge and easy to deal with. All you have to do is take off the pedals and turn the handlebars. The train leaves South Station around 9:25 pm, you arrive Alexandria, VA the next morning just before 8 a.m. Hook up with the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail (only a few miles from the Amtrak station) to get out of the metro area, and now you are in rural Virginia, and you have avoided lodging costs by taking the train overnight. The reverse schedule is similar from Alexandria. You also could take the same overnight train to Richmond. Or you could get off in DC and connect in DC to take a train to the Carolinas, WV, etc.

2) Take Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited (train #449) from Boston (leaves mid-day) to either upstate New York, or to the Midwest (which certainly is different than New England). Get off in Syracuse in the evening (as suggested above), or stay on the train overnight, and arrive in South Bend, IN or Chicago in the morning. Lots of options for travel out of either place. Again, the overnight ride saves you the cost of a place to stay.

Only some Amtrak stations do checked baggage, however, that's been the subject of other threads.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:27 AM   #19
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Locals charged a fee, the transcontinental one, not, specific: Eugene>SeaTac .. Horizon
SeaTac> AMS, via CPH on SAS, no
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Old 09-12-12, 11:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Syracuse, NY is a wonderful area to ride, whether you like somewhat flat, rolling or downright hilly. Finger lakes w/in less than a day ride. Flights and train should both be reasonable cost.
+1 My wife and I took a couple of wonderful trips that included Syracuse and the Finger Lakes, as well as some country outside of the Finger Lakes region.
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Old 09-12-12, 11:41 AM   #21
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I'd advise picking the carrier by their bicycle policy. Southwest, Frontier, and AirTran now that Southwest bought them are the ones I would look at if you decide to sty in the continental US. Not sure for Canada.
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Old 09-15-12, 02:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
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+1 My wife and I took a couple of wonderful trips that included Syracuse and the Finger Lakes, as well as some country outside of the Finger Lakes region.
+++
Actually I live in Syracuse, so if you decide to come this way I'll be glad to point out some routes. Might even have some hide-a-bed space and you can definitely pitch a tent in the yard if that's your pref.

I second/third the train suggestion. Some of the trains in Canada (Montreal to Toronto last I knew) get you there pretty fast - 100+km/hr. MUCH less hassle than flying, both for you and your bike. Keep in mind that when you fly you have to get to and from the airport, baggage handlers are not known for their delicate touch, and airports are typically in very unfriendly places for bicycles as well as not in very scenic areas. In addition you should add 2 hours in each direction for having to show up that long before your flight.
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