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Bos - den

thebigo

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Starting to plan trip for next spring. Best I can determine JetBlue, frontier, united and southwest all fly direct. What experiences have people had? Frontier is cheap and there is some kids fly free gimmick but I get the feeling they wil killl you on bags and booze. Southwest let's you check two free bags and they count skis and a boot bag as one bag. It will be my wife plus 3 and 7 year old daughters.
 

Edd

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Southwest is best for skiers and baggage in my experience. Bos-Den is about as cheap as western flights get.


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abc

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I know nothing about Boston market. But as gar as airline goes, Southwest has one other big advantage which is you can change or even cancel your ticket without penalty. 2 season ago, when the terrible season in Colorado was evident, I was able to cancel the ticket altogether. Ended up using it to go to Colorado a year later (credit was good for 1 year)
 

Zand

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Not a big fan of Southwest...usually try to fly JetBlue or Delta and both go direct to Denver, usually around $200-250 RT unless it's a premium week. Bag fees are $25 for both and never had a problem with ski bags. I know Southwest is free for bags but I've read a few stories about them giving people issues (but doesn't sound like it happens often). I'd avoid Frontier as they nickel and dime you wherever they can to make up for the cheap airfare. Good enough for a short flight if you're going somewhere for the weekend but I would never try them for a ski trip.

Southwest only has dates through the first week of January right now so I played around with December for them and JetBlue. Cheapest Southwest RT was $232 and cheapest JetBlue RT was $250 (make it $300 if you include the bags). IMO that $68 is more than made up by the quality of a JetBlue flight compared to Southwest. If it was $100+ or I was doing it many times per year I could see taking the savings.

Forget Delta, they go nonstop to SLC but not Denver (from what I could find). Also saw American RT for $180 but I would never fly with them again. Take it as you may.
 
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BenedictGomez

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I can only speak for JetBlue out of Newark, but I would call their operational efficiency out of EWR, quality of airplanes, service, etc... every bit as solid as the majors (Delta, United, American, etc...).
 

abc

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I used to fly Jet Blue quite a bit. Even though their schedules don’t suit me the best, they were slightly cheaper than the “majors”.

Then one year, a snow storm hit, and I was stranded in Colorado for 3 days, while all the “majors” cleared their backlog in 24-36 hrs. At the time, my ski buddy out there happened to work at JB. I got the inside scoop of why. At the time, I was an hourly contractor. I lost 3 days pay. At least my buddy was able to fast track me for compensation of my hotel/rental SUV bill.

I also knew a friend got stranded at Jackson by Southwest for A FULL WEEK! Same scenario. I flew out only 1 day late on a “major”. He missed his second trip that was scheduled a week later because he couldn’t get back. No compensation.

Knowing what I know, I will only fly JB or SW when there’s a significant price difference. They’re not in the same class as the majors. I see little difference between the two.

Now Frontier, that’s a whole other level of risk!
 
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Jully

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I typically fly Jet Blue BOS-DEN and BOS-SLC. Experienced some major delays that bigger carriers can get around. The Jet Blue flights are typically shuttles and there are no planes anywhere nearby in SLC/DEN if something goes wrong. That said, the Jet Blue customer service is a bit better than what I've received on Southwest (and definitely Frontier). There tends to be a bit more flexibility and they do not take the "you paid for a cheap experience" type response that I've gotten on Southwest and definitely Frontier.

I'll choose the cheaper Jet Blue flight over a major carrier, and do prefer Jet Blue to Southwest, but likely a very arbitrary decision on my end. The biggest problem being delays, and any of the cheaper carriers are at a bigger risk for them.
 

Zand

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That's the one drawback with JetBlue, especially if there's a massive shut down in the winter. I've never experienced being stuck with them anywhere (yet, but I know it can happen). The worst delay I've had with them is 3 hours going from Chicago to Boston and they gave me a $75 (!!!) credit for a 3 hour delay (I'm not sure I even payed that much for the flight). Meanwhile I've been stuck an entire day with US Airways (good riddance) and with United and both pretty much told me to take a hike.

Flying in the winter with JetBlue definitely means you're taking a bigger chance with getting stuck than with some other carriers, but I'll take the free Wifi, bigger seats, more legroom, better onboard service, better booze selection, real TV channels and satellite radio, better rewards system, and more accountability when they do screw up. Also have a bit of a soft spot for them for offering low-price major-carrier flights out of Worcester for the first time in a long time. Once they found success, American and Delta showed up with flights to Philly and Detroit for (usually)…$400+. Tried looking up flights from Worcester to SLC and Denver via Delta (knowing they have layovers in Detroit and I try not to risk layovers when on ski trips) and everything is $800 round trip. That's gonna last.

Outside of the risk of getting stuck, a bit of a related problem for JetBlue to Denver and SLC is that it's just (I believe) once per day so you're stuck flying whatever schedule they have. Pretty sure for both they fly out in the evening and then return redeye. That made me fly Delta to SLC as I wanted to do the early morning flight and get a nearly full day of skiing in. I guess it's a little less important in Denver where you're 2 hours from skiing at the airport but you can still get a half day with a morning flight.
 

machski

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.

I also knew a friend got stranded at Jackson by Southwest for A FULL WEEK! Same scenario. I flew out only 1 day late on a “major”.

Now Frontier, that’s a whole other level of risk!

If we are talking Jackson, WY, this Southwest story of yours is a tall tale. The closest Southwest gets to Jackson is Boise, ID.

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jaytrem

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Can't believe you guys have 4 options for direct to den. We'll be down to just United from Newark soon. Sucks that Southwest is leaving. At least we have Alaska going to most west coast cities. They seem to on the ball every time I've flown them.
 

Zand

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Can't believe you guys have 4 options for direct to den. We'll be down to just United from Newark soon. Sucks that Southwest is leaving. At least we have Alaska going to most west coast cities. They seem to on the ball every time I've flown them.

If you're in Newark then how far are you from PHL (4 airlines) or the NY airports (4 airlines betwen JFK and LGA)? I'm an hour from BOS, BDL, and PVD so it's not really all that close for me either but Worcester is no good for going west other than Delta which is charging ridiculous rates so we're forced to drive from this area. Be easier if I lived closer to the city (which I would never do).
 

cdskier

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If you're in Newark then how far are you from PHL (4 airlines) or the NY airports (4 airlines betwen JFK and LGA)? I'm an hour from BOS, BDL, and PVD so it's not really all that close for me either but Worcester is no good for going west other than Delta which is charging ridiculous rates so we're forced to drive from this area. Be easier if I lived closer to the city (which I would never do).

I'm 15 from Newark. Philly would be 1.5-2 hours. Right now JFK is 1.5 hours and LGA is just over an hour according to Google maps... Leaving at 4am you could probably get to either JFK or LGA in about 40 minutes from my house though. Still that involves going into the city (which I avoid as much as possible). Plus there's the $15-20 you'll probably pay in tolls just crossing all the damn bridges to get to the NYC airports.
 

BenedictGomez

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Savvy travelers know that LGA is an absolute "no go" from January through March. Two snowflakes will shut down the entire airport.
 

cdskier

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Savvy travelers know that LGA is an absolute "no go" from January through March. Two snowflakes will shut down the entire airport.

LGA isn't a great option for western travel anyway due to the Port Authority rule not allowing non-stop flights from LGA to cities over 1500 miles away on any day other than Saturday. (Denver was the only city granted an exception to this rule).
 

Zand

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Savvy travelers know that LGA is an absolute "no go" from January through March. Two snowflakes will shut down the entire airport.

When I was younger it seemed like anytime we went anywhere there was a layover at JFK and I always thought it was hell on earth. Then at some point I had a layover at LGA and one later at Newark and somehow JFK is by far the nicest of the three NY airports. PHL sucks too. If I have to have a layover I try to make it Detroit or Charlotte. Nicest large aiports in the country.
 

Edd

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Flying Jet Blue direct from Boston to Steamboat this year was a delight. Hopefully they keep that going.


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