Finding Your Best Airport
Living near an airport is one of the best and the worst things in my life. I live right by General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee Airport, Mitchell International, I think right now they’re talking about changing the name of it again.). Yes. An International airport, walking distance from my house. I used to work on the runway, when I worked for an airline. I grew up listening to the planes take off and land, watching them from my backyard. It’s a sound that I find peace in. A sound that puts me at ease.
Granted, I am not too far from a few airports: Milwaukee (2.1 miles), Dane County Regional Airport-Madison (81 miles), Chicago O’Hare (70 miles), Chicago Midway (98 miles), Rockford (97 miles), Appleton (110 miles), Straubel Internationl Airport -Aushwaubenon/Green Bay (125 miles).
With all these airports, how do I know which is best for me? For me, it’s all about the price, and where I’m going. Occassionally, it will be about convenience.
For example. Sure, I could fly out of Milwaukee to go to Hawaii, but I would have a layover somewhere. No big deal, honestly, it’s a long flight, I should get off and stretch my legs. Or I could get to Chicago O’Hare, have a non-stop get into Hawaii at a better time. Let’s say it’s only $100 more for the flight. No worries, I can handle $100. But how am I going to get O’Hare from Milwaukee? Will I take the Coach Bus (round trip $57), or do I want to drive and park (~$70/7 days roughly)? Or will I stay with my brother and/or friend, and take the train (~$20 gas, ~$3 tolls, $7 train). For me all of these are great options.
Or, I could take the flight that is $100 less. Do a three hour layover in Minneapolis, and get to Hawaii, 4.5 hours later than the flight out of Chicago.
My option at that point is save money or save time.
Sometimes we don’t have that option. What if we are doing something for a short amount of time, let’s say a 3 day weekend trip. Time is far more valuable than money in this instance, and I would spend the money to get to Chicago, if it meant I would get there 4.5 hours earlier.
Let’s say you live in a place not too close to airports. For example, let’s say you live in Wichita Falls, TX. Where it’s 1 hour and 56 minutes to Will Rogers-Oklahoma City Airport, and 1 hour and 51 minutes to Dallas/Fort Worth. Both are the same amount of time to the airport. Now, you’re going to want to look at the cost of the flights, the time of the flights, the length of layovers, and the cost of parking to see which would be your best airport.
Now keep in mind, these can change. I look at all my airport options before I buy a ticket. Sure, it can take longer. But if finding the best deal for you is important, so are all these steps.
Three Important Factors for Finding Your Best Airport
1. Cost of Ticket
2. Travel Time
3. Cost of getting to airport and/or parking.
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