Non Region Specific Airport preferences based on convenience

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,945
Location
Tahoe
This is an interesting topic on a few different levels.

What makes airport travel convenient or inconvenient?

Example:
I used to live 40 minutes from Traverse City Michigan. I could get a flight a bit cheaper out of Detroit, but it was a 4 hr drive and likely a hotel stay, not to mention that Traverse City Airport was soooooo easy to navigate.

The inconvenience of flying out of Traverse City was that you always had some kind of connecting flight....that's where the complexity *may* come in.
Most of the time I had no issues out of TC.

The times I flew out of Detroit I found the layout of getting in with luggage, especially ski bags, was complex...Elevators, escalators, etc...with a ski bag!!!


I never minded flying through Detroit, but flying "out of" DTW was never a first choice.

Grand Rapids Michigan made some really nice additions to the flights that go in and out which made that attractive, but that only happened after I moved to Reno. I have flown in and out of there a few times since I moved west. :thumb:

Now...RNO...That is as easy and delightful as Traverse City but is slightly bigger with more flight options. However, when we have friends fly here, they often comment that the options of flights aren't convenient for time/money.

Most of the time we drive, but occasionally we need to book a flight (recently for Snowbound in Boston)

That begs the question:
What do you consider air travel convenience:
Cost
Nonstop flights
Location from home/destination
Airport layout for baggage (do you have to take large bags on escalators or elevators)
Options for departure/arrivial times
Airline rewards options?
Airline luggage fees
East of getting a rental car with ski travel luggage (edited addition)
Customer service

*I'll likely add a poll once I see some feedback.
 
Last edited:

SKI-3PO

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
1,088
Location
PA
Thinking of ski travel, because that’s really the only important kind...

If you need a rental car, ease of getting one while lugging skis. Denver? :nono:
 

scott43

So much better than a pro
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
10,118
Location
Great White North
First, Toronto airport is very convenient for me in terms of distance to get there. However, it's a terrible joke. Especially now. My flight attendant neighbour won't travel through there right now for personal trips it's so bad. Apparently 58% of flights were delayed more than an hour in the last month. Gad...

Otoh we can drive to Buffalo airport in about 1.5 to 2 hours. We do customs at the land border, nobody in the airport, no traffic, much cheaper flights to US destinations. Southwest flies from there. So that'sa calculation we do every flight.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Tricia

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,945
Location
Tahoe
Thinking of ski travel, because that’s really the only important kind...

If you need a rental car, ease of getting one while lugging skis. Denver? :nono:
I'll add that to the options.

And you're right!
 

tromano

Goin' the way they're pointed...
Skier
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Posts
1,940
Location
Layton, UT
Living in SLC means that Delta is our preferred airline. Much better flight times and more nonstops from SLC than any other. Less time wasted is key.
 

Sibhusky

Whitefish, MT
Skier
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Posts
3,951
Location
Whitefish, MT
It doesn't get much more convenient than Glacier (FCA). Just a handful of gates. Short walk to luggage, which comes out quickly. Short walk to parking. Home in 30 minutes. Under an hour from wheels down to opening the garage door.

Some might say, but the connections! And I say after a long day traveling, the last thing I want to do is drive for 3 to 4 hours to get fewer connecting flights. Not so bad on the way out, but when you're coming home, who wants to drive through horrible traffic or for hours? (I used to live in Jersey and my airport was Newark. Coming home to Newark and then driving in Jersey traffic was probably over half the reason we moved here. The difference was so jarring we realized we had to get out of that place.)

Cost - we definitely pay more coming and going
Nonstop flights - only if you want to go to Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Seattle, Salt Lake City, or Denver.
Location from home/destination -16 miles
Airport layout for baggage (do you have to take large bags on escalators or elevators) - no
Options for departure/arrival times - you get what you get.
Airline rewards options? - Do they have these for airports?
Airline luggage fees - Does this impact your airport?
Ease of getting a rental car with ski travel luggage (edited addition) - with the current state of rentals here, better to land elsewhere and drive here if you don't live here. People buy cars and sell them when they leave.

My new goal in life is always travel business class. I spent the first 70 years of my life suffering in economy. Done with that.
 

fatbob

Not responding
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,865
Right now in Europe and especially to/ from UK no air travel is convenient. Post Covid staff shortages and underinvestment have totally screwed the pooch. Bigger/ hub airports more chance of getting a reschedule/ alternate when your initial flight is screwed. But also more chancd of losing stuff in grinding baggage hell.

I live within an easy bus ride of a major airport so I'll always try to get flights from there if I can. I've even cycled there in the past when doing day trips.
 

Andy Mink

Upside down but trying harder
Moderator
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
9,785
Location
Reno
Reno is great, at least if all you're doing is picking people up or dropping them off. They call me when they get into the terminal if they have bags and I can get there to pick them up before their bags get on the carousel. I haven't actually flown anywhere in years. Too many bad stories of delayed flights, cancelled flights, lost/late/damaged luggage. We used to fly Reno Air direct to Seattle but they folded years ago. Getting to Seattle now is a one stop affair, usually going south before going north. I generally have time so I'll drive if the destination is within two days. No bags to worry about, I have my vehicle when I get there, and I can bring more stuff.
 

Jilly

Lead Cougar
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
5,181
Location
Belleville, Ontario,/ Mont Tremblant, Quebec
When I'm booking a flight the first thing is non stop flights. No layovers, less chance of losing luggage.
Second is cost vs seat selection, luggage costs etc.
Airport - as @scott43 mentions Pearson Toronto is basically a shit show. I saw this on a recent trip to Tampa. Got to the airport with lots of time. TSA security not long. Border Customs......Ah, they closed down security as there were too many people still in the security hall and not getting through customs. Not enough border agents for US border. There was a TSA agent keeping an eye on things, as is her job. Most people were good, but some were getting agitated as the line wasn't moving in the hall. While I was in the secondary hall they had to open, this agent came up to me and asked if I was alone. Yeah, "follow me". She told me to follow the wall, turn left and go to the first officer. Well I got there, it is the "crew" line. Ah, should I be here? Well the Border agent had a real chip on her shoulder and sent me back. The agent saw me coming back, told me to stop and come with her. So I did. Then there was a small meeting with TSA agents, and Border supervisor. I waited a few minutes and was through. I would have to agree with the TSA agent. There were 4 border agents for airline crew. But there were no air line crew in line. She wanted those officers to start taking regular people and get the line moving. While I was waiting to board, there were about 10 calls for people for a flight to Las Vegas. I'm sure they were still stuck in the customs line up. Our flight left 30 min late as there were 3 people still in the line. WestJet was really good about it. The deal was if they showed up before they (WJ) found their luggage, then they were on. Well they didn't make it.

I looking at a flight to the interior of BC for a conference in late September. There is only 1 direct flight at this time. It goes really early, but it might be worth it. Do a "park, sleep, fly" and get there in one piece. I'm taking carry on only anyways. But right now, that's the last flight for awhile.
 

Posaune

sliding
Skier
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Posts
1,663
Location
Bellingham, WA
BLI (Bellingham International) is incredibly convenient for us. It's less than a 15 minute drive and has direct flights to Las Vegas, Oakland, L.A., Palm Springs, Phoenix/Mesa, San Diego, and connects to other places through Sea/Tac. Easy access, lots of parking if we need it (but usually get a ride from a friend). It lost a lot of flights and some destinations (used to go to Honolulu) because of Covid, but they are coming back since it serves travelers from Vancouver who are showing up in near normal numbers again.

I like road trips and don't fly much. I've never flown to ski since there are plenty of destinations within a few hours drive.
 

Bill Miles

Old Man Groomer Zoomer
Skier
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Posts
923
Location
Hailey, Idaho
While our local airport, SUN, is near our house and most convenient, we seldom use it due to high cost and excessive connections. Usually drive to SLC or BOI instead, although haven't flown anywhere in a number of years.
 

graham418

Skiing the powder
Skier
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Posts
2,892
Location
Toronto
I am seriously wondering what flying is going to look like come ski season. As Scott and Jilly said, Pearson is a complete disaster right now. Officially the worst airport in the world. Hopefully between now and then things will get back to normal, but I am having a lot of doubt that will happen. Our ski club has a number of trips both domestic and international, I wouldn't want it to end up being a disaster. While I can go on a trip myself and leave from Buffalo, it isn't an option when you are booked through tour operators
 

David Chaus

<insert clever custom title>
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,615
Location
Stanwood, WA
There’s convenience as a departure, and convenience as a destination.

For departures, Paine field in Everett is super easy for me to get to, only a few gates, modern, etc. That said, with the pandemic a lot of routes were dropped, not long after the airport opened. United had a non-stop to Denver, and now no longer operate out of Everett.

That leaves Sea-Tac, which can be a PITA to get/from depending on traffic. However there are non-stop flights to just about anywhere, or decent connections. I have flown to Calgary, Steamboat/Hayden, Denver (with & w/o connecting to Aspen), SLC, Reno, etc. With recent improvements and expansions, it’s actually not bad to negotiate a large airport and with the number of airline and flights operating, it’s very convenient for me to get to most ski resorts to which I’m not driving.

Convenience for destinations: Hayden/Steamboat is super easy due to direct flights from Sea-Tac, same for Bozeman and both are 45 minutes to an hour to get to the ski resorts. SLC airport’s expansion will be easier to navigate when they complete the tunnels between the two terminals. The new baggage claim area is much nicer than it was, especially the oversize bag (ski bag) pickup. Calgary is super easy to get to from Seattle with several flights each day, though can be a long walk getting from gate to baggage claim to car rental pickup. Can’t beat the driving scenery to Banff and Lake Louise.

Denver has lots of flights in/out, and is beautiful but it is a huge facility and can be pain for connecting flights. Car rentals in/out of Denver are all off-airport.

For connecting to Aspen, It was a bit of a walk but at least in the same terminal when I flew United. Aspen is of course super easy to get to the 4 mountains, if you don’t rent a car you can take a taxi or Uber/Lyft, or take the public bus system to pretty much get anywhere.
 
Top