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US Carriers and Airports


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 08:50 AM

I am trying to organise my flights to join Wetpixel's Shark trip in July with JASA out of West Palm Beach.

Last time I went I flew with Delta through Atlanta. Which was fine. I chose that option because it was the cheapest last time.

This year there are several other cheaper options. But not knowing anything about US carriers or airports - I wanted some opinions on preferences. I realise most people work their loyalty cards etc.

So what are Continental and US Airlines like?
Do either have unusual baggage policies (I'd love to take a film camera on this trip is luggage allows)?
What are Newark, Charlotte and JFK airports like?
How difficult is it to change terminals at Newark and JFK to catch connections?

I will be flying coach (I am underwater photographer and therefore poor) - so no need to tell me XX has amazing business class!

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#2 Drew

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:13 AM

But Alex, Virgin really does have an amazing Upper Class.:ninja:

Of the NYC airports, I've found EWR to be the most organized (with the train between terminals the shortest rides).
Posted Image

JFK is actually pretty good too but just big.

Posted Image

As for Continental, I think they have implemented a 50lbs limit on each piece of luggage. Anything more they charge like $25. And they nail you if you have empty tanks with your rebreather. It's $100 per tank.
USAir I know for a fact have that restriction (even for PPS members in Star Alliance :blush: ) for weight of no more than 45kg per bag going to the LGW.

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#3 Lionfish43

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:29 AM

I fly Continental quite a bit for my work and I don't have any problem with them. Newark is another story. It's an extremely busy airport and connecting flights are often delayed incoming because of traffic congestion. If your arriving on an international flight you'll probably have to change terminals as well.
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#4 cor

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:18 AM

Hi Alex, I suppose BA from London to Miami is too expensive? I fly that route twice a year and never have any problems.

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#5 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:23 AM

Hi Alex, I suppose BA from London to Miami is too expensive? I fly that route twice a year and never have any problems.


Actually it is about the same. But I don't know how to get from Miami to West Palm Beach!

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#6 loftus

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:31 AM

Continental is OK, but South Florida is really not their area. I would avoid Northeast airports altogether if I were you, especially in terms of losing luggage with transfers etc. From the UK your best flight I think is Virgin to Orlando if price is OK. I have had luggage temporarily lost (delayed) when I have flown into Miami then transferred to an Orlando flight. Delta or American are probably your two best US carriers at least as far as servicing the Southeast is concerned. West Palm is a 1.5 hour drive from Miami and 2.5 from Orlando. If I were you, unless you can fly directly into WPB, just end your flight at Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando and drive. This saves the hassle and risk of transferring your luggage etc. and total time will not be any longer.
BTW. if you fly into Orlando, and need a place for the night, you're welcome at my place.

Edited by loftus, 26 March 2007 - 10:34 AM.

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#7 Iggy

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:42 AM

Actually it is about the same. But I don't know how to get from Miami to West Palm Beach!

Alex, if the prices are acceptable to you fly into Miami and drive up to WPB. It's an easy drive and easy to get out of the airport to the highway and into WPB, about an hour and 15 minutes. If the prices are similar, and you have no other reason for the stops, I wouldn't even consider any of the connections you refrred to.

But just in case: In my opinion, outside of Frontier, Continental has become the best domestic carrier in the US. I haven't flown them international except to Quito, but that was not in coach class.

#8 loftus

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:01 AM

Just to add, I was implying direct flights only to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando obviously.
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#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:18 AM

Fly and drive would be preferable for me, certainly!

To ask a dumb question. You suggest renting a car at Miami airport and then leaving it at West Palm Beach airport?

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#10 loftus

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:26 AM

Any of the brand name rental companies will let you drop off at the airport if you pick it up in Miami or Orlando. If you can find a direct flight to Ft. Lauderdale you can probably just take a cab. You may be surprised if you look into rental costs though, to rent a car for a week or so and leave it at Abernathy's parking lot while you're on the trip. Especially if you can split it with some of the other guys coming in. Sometimes you can get a really good deal on a car rental and then you do not have to worry about cabbing it or anything.
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#11 cor

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:44 AM

Hi Alex, as you may know im also on the shark trip (only the second one), and im definitely going to fly into Miami and drive from there. Someone suggested to me that I can even just take a cab from MIA to Ft. Lauderdale. I havent checked that option yet but unless its prohibitively expensive that would seem like a good idea. Otherwise, i'll probably end up renting a car and go from there, either returning it in ft lauderdale or just leaving it parked, depending on price, time and hassle factors.

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#12 rickcavanaugh

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 02:32 PM

US Discount Carriers- most do not show up on internet price comparisions.



Southwest www.southwest.com they fly to West palm from Philadelphia-PHL, Baltimore-BWI, and Long Island- ISP and a bunch of other airports, None however of the list you mentioned.

Airtran www.airtran New York-LGA, Newark-EWR, Fly to Fort Lauderdale- FLL fairly short drive (shorter than Miami) to west palm beach



Full list of discount airlines
AirTran Airways
Allegiant Air
ATA Airlines
Frontier Airlines
go!
JetBlue Airways
Primaris Airlines
Skybus Airlines
SkyValue
Southwest Airlines
Spirit Airlines
Sun Country Airlines
Ted (subsidiary of United Airlines)
USA 3000 Airlines
US Airways
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#13 Ryan

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:12 PM

My issue w/ Continental is their 70# max baggage limit... Absolutely no bags over 70 are accepted.

The last time I caught a cab from MIA to Fort Lauderdale it was $55, but that doesn't even get you halfway there

I use supershuttle.com to get from my home in Lauderdale to MIA, and it is about $30 r/t.

I just called them, and they quoted $100 for 1 pax to Jimmy's Boat, and $174 for 4.

#14 DavidSD619

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 04:01 PM

There are shuttles that will take you from MIA to the other airports, (Ft Lauderdale and WPB) or possibly to a WBP address. You can get a taxi from FLL or WBP.

It probably easier then renting a car and getting around all the freeway construction around Miami (its been going on for years). Besides, we drive on the proper side of the road and that takes some getting used to. :blush:

David

#15 Simon Rogerson

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 05:31 AM

Alex - I had an easy journey from London Heathrow via Douglas, Charlotte in North Virginia and then on to West Palm Beach, all on American Airlines. I think it was about £365 all-in via one of the cheap flights websites, and the connections were fine. It's two hold bags of 23kg, plus normal hand luggage, all the way.

The customs agent at Douglas was a little over-zealous and seemed to think my photo kit constituted commercial goods under US laws. I simply told the truth - that I was on holiday. I think they were having a slow day.

Miami airport is tricky these days. You've got to clear immigration and customs and collect your bags, even if you're in transit to South America. Can't comment on the others...

The road trip from Miami to West Palm Beach is a three hour drive in heavy traffic. Only worth it if you can persuade three to share a big taxi...

Have a great time with Jim. It's still the best shark trip, I reckon.

All the best,

SimonR

#16 Drew

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 06:18 AM

Being a fan of not driving in Miami (if it's not a convertible and a V12 ie) I would suggest you take the Tri Rail direct from the airport (well you take a shuttle to the station from MIA) then it's direct to WPB and a taxi to the pier or hotel:

Posted Image

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#17 loftus

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:22 AM

Honestly guys, it's not a three hour drive, having done the trip a few hundred times.

Alex - I had an easy journey from London Heathrow via Douglas, Charlotte in North Virginia and then on to West Palm Beach, all on American Airlines. I think it was about £365 all-in via one of the cheap flights websites, and the connections were fine. It's two hold bags of 23kg, plus normal hand luggage, all the way.

The customs agent at Douglas was a little over-zealous and seemed to think my photo kit constituted commercial goods under US laws. I simply told the truth - that I was on holiday. I think they were having a slow day.

Miami airport is tricky these days. You've got to clear immigration and customs and collect your bags, even if you're in transit to South America. Can't comment on the others...

The road trip from Miami to West Palm Beach is a three hour drive in heavy traffic. Only worth it if you can persuade three to share a big taxi...

Have a great time with Jim. It's still the best shark trip, I reckon.

All the best,

SimonR


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#18 Drew

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:40 AM

Maybe they did it during the last weekend of spring break? ;)

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#19 loftus

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:30 AM

Just one more detail; Alex is going to have more than he wants I think; the boat is actually docked in Riviera Beach which is the next adjacent town North of West Palm, so there's probably a Tri-Rail station there just North of the one on Drew's map. Another thing, the Tri-Rail areas there are not the greatest parts of town, so just get a cab, don't wander off anywhere around there.
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#20 Phil Rudin

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 09:36 AM

As a retired (after thirty years) Wets Palm Beach Police officer, I can tell you the the tri-rail station in WPB is as safe as any in Florida. If Alex is in fear for his life I would be happy to meet him at the train station for a tour of our wounderful city. Riveria Beach however, is a diffrent story.

Regards

Phil Rudin

Edited by tropical1, 29 March 2007 - 09:40 AM.