To check or not to check? That is the question.
When you are looking at purchasing your tickets my suggestions is to also look at the baggage policy for that airline going to your destination. For example with my trip to Columbia, I went on American Airlines site to verify how much I could take with me on my trip. If you clicked the link to American's site you will see what the fee's are for checking luggage. If you are flying domestic it is $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. I will be flying to South America so I will be allowed 2 free checked bags. This is very nice because it means American will be moving my luggage and not me. That means a free hand for Coffee! What else.
Seriously I really could not imagine what I could put in two bags for 1 week. But it is nice to know that I have a bit a room for whatever I might like to take. While you are on this page also verify what you are allowed
to pack and also carry on policies.
For Carry On you are allowed a small bag plus one personal item. Take note of the size for the carry on! Personal item include: purse, briefcase, backpack, etc. and must fit under the seat. You are also allowed to take your coat, book, food (careful of the liquids), pillow, etc.
NOTE: Take an empty water bottle and fill it up after security. You are allowed to take it on the plane and can refill at connecting airports.
The return flight
Yesterday we talked about the delimma of flying from a regional airport and I told you about my outbound flight and the complications of not living closer to a large airport. Sometimes it is very nice to be able to use a regional airport verses driving the 3 hours or taking a bus to a major airport.
When we went to Las Vegas in December there were 3 of us traveling. We drove down and parked at Preflight Airport Parking. Which I might add is totally amazing. When we landed they were there to pick us up and take us back to their garage and offered coffee and water for the road. So much better than walking to our car and for a fraction of the cost. I highly recommend them.
Sorry back on topic today the return options.
For the return flight back to Chicago, I would leave Bogota around 7 am. Remember with International flights you must be at the airport a minimum of two hours prior. That would mean being at the airport about 5 AM, give an hour for transfers and check out 3 AM. So up by 3 AM. The arrival time at O'Hare would be around 4 PM and then the drive back to Madison. So the estimated arrival time around 7 PM. I would clear customs in Miami.
3 AM! Hmmm what else is out there. The flight to Madison would leave at 1:34 AM arriving into Madison around 8 am. I would change planes in Dallas with customs there. So if we use the same thought process at the airport by 11:30 PM. That means departing approximately 10 PM and I would get to sleep from 1:30 AM to 6 AM when we land in Dallas. Much better don't you agree?
Keep in mind that when you depart from one airport and return to another you will have car issues. But the other factor is it saved driving time home.
In my case the airfare was actually less with the return to Madison than O'Hare, it saved time and I have the whole day to rest up.
Stay tuned for more,
For those that do not know my nearest airport would be Madison, WI. Which is about half an hour with good traffic. Here is the dilemma that small airport people have. Do you drive to the major airport (Chicago O'Hare) or spend a number of hours waiting around various airports changing planes.
For my outbound flight to Bucaramanga (pronounce exactly as spelled) I could leave Chicago O'Hare at 5:00 AM change planes in Miami and Bogota arriving at 4:55 PM with and hour transfer. Remember for an international flight you have to be at the airport a minimum of 2 hours prior plus the 3 hour ride. Or take the Madison flight at 7:00 AM changing planes in Denver and Bogota arriving 10:55 PM plus the 1 hour transfer.
You guessed it I opted for the drive to O'Hare. Coffee will be an essential item at Midnight when heading out. The other option would be to drive down earlier and stay in a hotel then head over to the airport at 4:30 AM.
What do you think?
Lauren and Kim Medelberg's life in travel. We will talk about our trips, thoughts, and experiences in the travel world.