We've been looking for the cheapest way to get to New York City, and something came up yesterday that we jumped on. Kinda strange though...because the destination was to Philadelphia!
Let me give you some background.
Our Africa flight leaves from New York City's JFK airport on November 6. We will be in Nova Scotia visiting our daughter and her family prior to that. So somehow, we needed to make our way from Halifax to New York City before November 6.
There are three major airports servicing the New York City area. John F Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia, and Newark. We would have been happy flying into any one of these airports, so we had a lot of choice.
Having a lot of choice and being flexible are the keys to getting a cheap flight! Persistence is also a good quality!
First of all, we have enough "Air Miles" reward points saved up to cover this flight. However we would still be responsible for paying taxes and fees of $132 per person. And, the flights were not convenient because we would have to fly Halifax to Toronto or Montreal, then connect to a different plane to carry on the New York City. If you look at the map, you can see how stupid that is.
The red line is the direct flight from Halifax to New York.
Air Canada does not do a direct flight, and wants you to go through Montreal or Toronto, turning a two hour and twenty minute flight into six or seven hours!
United Airlines does a direct flight from Halifax to Newark, three times a day. But it's been listed at around $300 per person one way. This was the flight we wanted to be on, but I was waiting to see if the price dropped.
Remember when we told you about Google Flightsearch? I've been watching it two or three times per day for the last six weeks or so waiting to see if that flight came on sale. So yesterday morning, I checked it again. No change. Still going for $296. Then, I zoomed in to see if prices changed for surrounding airports and I saw that a flight from Halifax to Philadelphia was going for only $180!! That made no sense at all, so I clicked on it to see what the deal was.
Turns out, you flew from Halifax to Newark and then hopped on an Amtrak train from the Newark airport station to Philadelphia's 30th St. Rail Station. The rail station actually has an airport code due to United's codeshare agreement with Amtrak! So, you're actually on the $300 flight from Halifax to Newark, but you're only paying $180 for it! Some kind of weird glitch so I went to book it right away. It showed only three seats available at that price, so we're not sitting together. Who cares!
I checked it later that day, and it shows the flight as still being available, but now the price was back up to $270. Strange!! Today, it's showing at $275.
But we got our confirmation number, so we're happy campers. Oh, we have a couple of spare train tickets from Newark to Philadelphia. Anybody want them?? They're probably non-transferable but you can bet I'll check into the possibilities once we get to Newark. Maybe they have some value to them after the fact. I doubt it, but it'll be worth looking into.
So, all of our onward travel is booked up until next March!!! It's funny looking at the wide variance in deals that we got. Each one of the four flights was a great deal when compared to any other options, but some deals are better than others, that's for sure. Here's what we paid per person, taxes included...
Ottawa to Halifax $157.21 (594 miles 26.5 cents per mile)
Halifax to Newark $180.29 (602 miles 29.9 cents per mile)
New York JFK to Cancun $186.23 (1,546 miles 12.0 cents per mile)
Cancun to Guadalajara $ 43.01 (1,067 miles 4.0 cents per mile) This flight was 80% off!
So we went and did grocery shopping yesterday and ended up with some more great deals. The best one wasn't groceries. We were at a Giant Tiger discount store and they had a bunch of specials on the sidewalk outside the store. I saw some ladies fall jackets on the rack and I knew Ruth had mentioned wanting a new one. They were only $7 each!!
Ruth's new fall jacket. Brand new, only $7 plus 10% sales tax for a total of $7.70!