Case in point, I had to fly up to NJ last week as I had a sudden and unexpected death in the family. While I really did not have the time to drive all the way to NJ and back to get to the funeral on time and back in time for work on Monday, I may have been better off driving to Miami and flying out of there. Here is why…
1. Money. The plane ticket would have been much cheaper. Luckily I had sky miles so I practically flew for free. But has I not had these, the cheapest flight I found from Key West to Newark was nearly $1,000! OMG!
2. Delays. Thankfully my flight from Key West to Atlanta was not delayed, but if it was I would have faced a whole slew of problems trying to get to Newark. As it was, my flight from Atlanta to Newark was delayed. At least I was able to let my ride know that I was going to be 2 hours late on arrival.
3. Turbulence. While I really don’t mind flying, many people do. And I have to say that the flight from Atlanta to Newark was one of the most turbulent flights I have ever been on. Never in my 30+ years have I ever been on a flight where the FA’s were afraid to mill around the cabin and the seatbelt sign was never turned off.
4. Cancellations. On the flight home, I made it to Atlanta where my flight to Key West was cancelled (they said due to weather) and another flight to Key West was cancelled as well (apparently due to mechanical issues). The people on the flight with the mechanical issues were moved to flights on another airline for free. But since my flight, which was scheduled to depart shortly after this flight, was cancelled due to weather I was out of luck. I was put on standby for the next flight to Key West which was already overbooked so I ended up having to stay overnight in Atlanta. I could have flown out around 7pm to Miami, but at that point I was so tired that I did not relish the idea of renting a car and driving 3 hours home in the dark. So after all the careful planning on my part, I still was not able to make it to work on time on Monday morning. The airline did confirm me on the next flight out that morning which departed at 9am and I got in to Key West around 11am.
Am I trying to tell you not to fly to Key West? Not really. I just want to make people aware of the pitfalls of flying to a remote destination. If I had planned differently I would not have minded driving to Miami or even Ft. Lauderdale and flying to Newark from there, but I was going for convenience, which ended up not being all that convenient at all. The drive to Miami or Ft Lauderdale airports from Key West is normally only about a 3 hour drive. Its not that bad, especially if you have never driven it before. It is quite pretty. Moral of the story, know your options and don’t plan anything too stringently because you really need wiggle room when it comes to travel anywhere these days!