Flight conundrum, non-stop vs connection, with a twist

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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Flight conundrum, non-stop vs connection, with a twist

    It's a "happy" conundrum. I'm going to Whistler in about 2 weeks.

    I can fly non-stop, with a once-a-day foreign airline (Cathy Pacific). Or a 1-stop with a "major" (Air Canada or Delta) which has a lot of flights daily.

    The direct flight has the advantage of... well, direct! No chance of miss connection or losing luggage during the connection. Normally, that's what I ALWAYS do. This flight also happen to have the best timing for my liking (leave after work, back in early morning in time to get to work)

    But, flying with an airline that only has one flight per day, if there's a weather event, my options are pretty limited.

    Granted, that same scenario also applies to the majors. If there's weather in the northeast, I'll just have to wait for the weather to pass. But Delta and Air Canada fly into multiple airports around NYC. So I can ask to jump on a flight at Newark when JFK is socked in, etc.

    In my many trips out west in the last 5-6 years, I've seen my share of weather delays. It's not something to disregard. "Keeping fingers cross" lose its meaning after the 3rd or 4th delay, even if it's over 5 years.

    Also, this being Whistler complicates thing a bit. I'm not renting a car. So I'm confined in Whistler. If I have to stay longer, I will also need to pay $100+/day for lift tickets on top of the additional lodging (whatever I can find at that point). Leaving early? I don't get a refund of the unused hotel either. So there's strong motivation to leave within 12 hr of my original ticket.

    (Prices are within $100 or each other, once bag fees are counted)

    Opinions welcome.


  2. #2
    I never fly with connections when I'm taking my ski equipment.

    I also would be a little concerned about the foreign airline's once a day flight

    I'm no help sorry...
    2019-2020


    Ski Visits in PA 38
    Ski Visits in VT 6
    Ski Visits in CO 4

    Total Ski Visits 48

    Ski Roundtop
    11/16, 11/17, 11/23, 12/20 (LR), 12/21, 12/22, 12/23, 12/26 (LR), 12/27 (LR), 12/28, 12/30 (LR), 12/31 (LR), 1/2 (LR), 1/3 (LR), 1/5, 1/17 (LR), 1/18, 1/20, 1/24 (LR), 1/26, 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/14 (LR), 2/15, 2/16, 2/28 (LR), 2/29, 3/1, 3/2 (LR), 3/5 (LR), 3/6 (LR), 3/7, 3/8, 3/13 (LR), 3/14
    Breckenridge 1/9,1/10
    Keystone 1/11
    Arapahoe Basin 1/12
    Montage Mountain 1/27, 1/28
    Stowe 2/7, 2/8, 2/9
    Killington 2/22
    Okemo 2/23, 2/24

    LR=Lunch Runs

  3. #3
    Edd's Avatar
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    I’d roll the dice on the direct flight. If there’s a legit bad delay, perhaps switch airlines and either get a refund or use the delayed flight value within a year.


    Sent from my iPad using AlpineZone

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmywilson69 View Post
    I never fly with connections when I'm taking my ski equipment.

    I also would be a little concerned about the foreign airline's once a day flight

    I'm no help sorry...
    Since I can't decide based on logic, I decide it's time to solicit thoughts processes on what others think. Even if their situation may not be the same, it may provide food for (my) thoughts.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    I’d roll the dice on the direct flight. If there’s a legit bad delay, perhaps switch airlines and either get a refund or use the delayed flight value within a year.
    I really "like" the idea. Though reality being, they don't fly to too many destinations within north America.

    But they do fly to Japan!

  6. #6
    i'd fly the major airline. Luggage can get delayed either way. Flying direct to Bozeman to ski Big SKy over 70 passenger's luggage didn't arrive at the other end. My Wife's bag being one of them. The only bright side was that the airline reimbursed a whole ski outfit for my son and a clothing for both of them, no questions asked. It probably took months to receive, but a check for close to $1200 covered everything.

    Not sure you'd get anything but an apology from the other airline. I'm looking at flights now to Jackson and since there are no directs, I plan on being f'd.

  7. #7
    Yeah I guess I did fly with connections to Jackson last year. I forgot...


    Small regional Jet > O'hare > Jackson

    I had no problems

    I did switch planes in Midway once on Southwest to meet up with my buddies who were flying from a different airport.

    That being said I prefer to fly direct, not just for skiing, all of the time.

    I'm still no help
    2019-2020


    Ski Visits in PA 38
    Ski Visits in VT 6
    Ski Visits in CO 4

    Total Ski Visits 48

    Ski Roundtop
    11/16, 11/17, 11/23, 12/20 (LR), 12/21, 12/22, 12/23, 12/26 (LR), 12/27 (LR), 12/28, 12/30 (LR), 12/31 (LR), 1/2 (LR), 1/3 (LR), 1/5, 1/17 (LR), 1/18, 1/20, 1/24 (LR), 1/26, 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/14 (LR), 2/15, 2/16, 2/28 (LR), 2/29, 3/1, 3/2 (LR), 3/5 (LR), 3/6 (LR), 3/7, 3/8, 3/13 (LR), 3/14
    Breckenridge 1/9,1/10
    Keystone 1/11
    Arapahoe Basin 1/12
    Montage Mountain 1/27, 1/28
    Stowe 2/7, 2/8, 2/9
    Killington 2/22
    Okemo 2/23, 2/24

    LR=Lunch Runs

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Hyde Park, NY...Hunter on Weekends in the Winter...
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    Direct flight!

  9. #9
    I fly out west a couple times each winter and lately to Europe once r twice a year as well.

    Winter travel can be a real crap shoot and it is best to keep your options open. I say go with an airline that will have more options than once a day direct. Only time in the past 10 years an airline has lost one of my bags they delivered it to our hotel at Big Sky before 5AM the next morning.

    I usually carry on my boots and mittens, goggles, etc. so if skis don't make it it's easy to rent for a day or so. Our current trip to Steamboat I actually checked my boots. Airline aps will actually let you know where your bags are so you can tell if they got loaded onto your connecting flights.
    form is a 4 letter word

  10. #10
    Speaking as a 200,000 miles a year flyer. Fly direct on Cathay. Its a great airline. Any winter flight risks weather issues with the majority being on the destination end (or the aircraft not being able to get to your airport of departure) and all the airlines will be affected. The Cathay aircraft will already be there, having come in early that morning. If by chance there is a mechanical issue on the Cathay flight you can have them "Rule 240" the ticket and they will book you on another carrier for no additional cost.
    And once you fly Cathay you will never want to fly a US legacy carrier again.

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