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[Grumble]Manchester, Nh Airport To Cozumel[/grumble]


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#1 mstevens

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:20 AM

Argh! I just got off the phone with booking site and airline, and it looks as if my options for getting to and from Cozumel have just worsened significantly.

 

I mostly live in New Hampshire, not at all far from Manchester airport (MHT), which has easy traffic, quick and inexpensive parking, is close enough for parents or friends to drop us off and pick us up, and is in every way preferable to using Logan airport (BOS) in Boston. I have an upcoming flight and just had a schedule change so I have 77 minutes to make a connection in Atlanta (ATL) on the way back from Cozumel. No problem at all - I have Global Entry and travel with only a small carry-on, so at ATL it's never taken me more than 40 minutes from wheels-down to being at my departure gate. The airline thinks it's physically impossible to make the connection in less than 85 minutes, so they want to have me stay overnight and take the same flight to MHT the following day. I think I've talked them into letting me take the (tiny) risk of missing the connection this time.

 

The really disappointing bit is that looking ahead on Google's ITA Matrix site, there aren't currently any "valid" itineraries that will get me from MHT to CZM and back. The only options involve leaving from BOS, flying in to CUN, or, worst of all, both. I actually don't mind flying in to CUN but I detest leaving from there.

 

Since airlines change their schedules constantly, this may very well change in the future but for now the compromises that people living in this part of the country will need to make to get to Cozumel have just increased.


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#2 Carey

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:59 AM

Have you tried booking your trip as multiple destination?  I've had good luck with that on many occasions when they wouldn't put me on the connections I wanted.

 

Just book it on one ticket but split it up yourself as a multiple destination trip -- CZM to ATL is the first leg and ATL to Manchester is the second leg for your return, por ejemplo.

 

Let us know if that works for you.  And yes, I agree  with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck and only a carry on, you can really whip through any airport as long as you know where you're going.

 

Good luck


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#3 mstevens

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

Yes, I can do the separate flights, but that means at least 3 separate flights, none of which are round-trip. That increases the total fare quite a lot.

 

I'll probably just have to suck it up and either do the bag drag through CUN or the people drag through BOS.


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#4 Coz2wonder

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:00 PM

From East cost, try US Air that flies out of Charlotte, directly into Coz,

My husband is flying back from Ca on Monday and has 4 stops.


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#5 captain ronald

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:49 PM

Yes, Charlotte and Atlanta are direct to Coz, but the problem is getting there when you are off the beaten path to a good airport.  Figure this:  We used Continental back when they were still continental and connected through Houston.  After missing our connecting flight 2 years in a row because of the fiasco getting through customs we switched to US Air through Charlotte.  That was a breeze but then they started going crazy with fares and we started shopping again.  From north central pa your choices are 2 1/2 to Buffalo, 4 hours to Philly or Pittsburgh.  In January we caught a deal on Orbitz for 8 days at Casa Del Mar with air out of Pittsburgh for $501.  So we grabbed that and had 8 days of beautiful weather with no rain.  Now, we have decided to go back in July and have 4 other people coming down with us.  For some reason I checked Cleveland and found air on Delta through Atlanta for $379 each.  We booked the air Monday and checking today it is 634 and 601 out of Pitt. In four days it has gone up over 200 bucks. Cleveland is only about 20 miles farther for us so off to Cleveland.  Our only concern was the layover time on the way home.  We only have 90 minutes.   I guess our safety net is there is another flight to Cleveland that leaves two hours later so we should be ok.  The Jan trip we just did was on Delta and we did customs in about a hour.  The wife and I have the Delta pre pass but the others don't.  Sometimes planning these trips can be fun and other times you want to tear your hair out, but after doing this for over 15 years a couple of times a year you just get used to it.  And, Coz2, sometimes a little whinning just makes you feel better.  Now, we need to start room shopping as they want to be closer to town.  Anybody know if room rates may come down after easter or stay the same?  Gotta post a couple of restaurant reviews when I get time.  Best breakfast and best dinner may surprise some.  Enjoy!


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#6 Carey

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:42 PM

Yes, I can do the separate flights, but that means at least 3 separate flights, none of which are round-trip. That increases the total fare quite a lot.

 

 

No.  It doesn't increase the price.  At least it never has for me.

 

Try it.  Multi destination itinerary, same day going both ways.  Costs the same. Most airlines let you choose round trip, one way or multi destination.  Price it out and you may be surprised.


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#7 mstevens

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:08 PM

From East cost, try US Air that flies out of Charlotte, directly into Coz

 

The problem, of course, is getting to Charlotte and getting from there back to New Hampshire. At the moment, flights to Manchester all seem to depart (CLT, ATL, or wherever) too early to make a connection with an incoming flight from CZM. Airlines always seem so shocked that I don't want to spend a full day at the airport...

 

Multi destination itinerary, same day going both ways.  

 

I don't really understand "same day going both ways". If you mean compare a round-trip price to just booking each leg separately on the same dates, that's not possible since no airlines or booking sites will even admit the connection is feasible.

 

I may just give up and start flying Southwest to Cancun when they start that in the fall. $189 from Manchester to Cancun!


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#8 Carey

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:20 PM

Multiple destination works like this.You have 3 choices. one way, round trip and multiple destination.

 

Choose the last one.

 

Plug in all legs of your trip seperately -- not Manchester to Cozumel -- Manchester to Atlanta then Atlanta to Cozumel then Cozumel to Atlanta and Atlanta to Manchester.  Select your schedule.  Prices will be the same as booking RT.And you are given schedule choices rather than having them chosen for you by the computer based on whatever algo they are using at the mo'

 

I do this all the time on RT's from CZM to California.  Don't need to do it on the way out but on the way back I don't want to take a red eye.  Want to break it up instead with a stopover in Houston or Dallas.


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#9 mstevens

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 11:52 AM

OK. I just spent a couple of hours with ITA Matrix and learned some interesting things.

 

At the moment, the biggest limiting factor is actually flights to and from CZM from US airports I can reasonably get to. For example, there are only flights between Atlanta, Charlotte or Houston and Cozumel on Saturdays during the time I looked. One reason I couldn't find any valid itineraries is that I like to leave the US on Friday. There are flights from Miami on more days, but I can't get to MIA non-stop.

 

For the one round-trip I could find in May that didn't involve any overnights in airports, booking all 4 legs separately was $41 *cheaper* than booking a round-trip. Booking just Cozumel to Atlanta (on the same return date for comparison) was $35 *more* than all 4 legs, and only $6 cheaper than the round-trip.

 

Airfares don't hardly make no sense a'tall.


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#10 Carey

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 12:22 PM

They discontinue a lot of direct flights to Cozumel usually on March 30 and then start them back up in November.

United flies in every day via IAH in high season and then I think it's 4 times per week the other half of the year.

American flies in every day via DFW in high season but, again, only 3 or so times per week  in low season.

 

That's all the info I have and I don't expect you want to go all the way to Texas to get to CZM but you might want to price it out, look at the schedules, etc.  The United flight leaves IAH at 9 AMish.  The American flight leaves DFW at 10:30 AM ish.  

 

As a side note, American is charging a pretty fair price for business/first seats on domestic runs that also include Cozumel.  Typically only adds $200-$400 to an economy class ticket.  Not worth it for the drinks and food.  Worth something for the better seats.  Worth something for 3 70-lb bags checked free if you want to haul a bunch of stuff down here.  Worth a little bit to get fast airport check in with all the bags and get to board early and get off plane first.

 

You may also have more options once the US Airways/American merger goes through.  (Why....I remember when US Airways was called Piedmont Airlines and flew out of a tiny little airport in Winston-Salem, NC.  Look at them now.)


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#11 mstevens

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 04:27 PM

I don't expect you want to go all the way to Texas to get to CZM The United flight leaves IAH at 9 AMish.  The American flight leaves DFW at 10:30 AM ish.  

 

As a side note, American is charging a pretty fair price for business/first seats on domestic runs that also include Cozumel.  Typically only adds $200-$400 to an economy class ticket.  Not worth it for the drinks and food.  Worth something for the better seats.  Worth something for 3 70-lb bags checked free if you want to haul a bunch of stuff down here.  Worth a little bit to get fast airport check in with all the bags and get to board early and get off plane first.

 

Well, I have to go somewhere to get to Cozumel, and Texas is nearly on the way. The problem is that those departure times guarantee I'd need to stay overnight.

 

My most recent few flights were business/first on American, and I was very happy to get them. I couldn't agree more with the small additional price being worth it for the better seat.


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#12 Carey

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 06:17 PM

That is always my problem flying back to Cozumel from the west coast.  Connection can't be made unless you take the red eye.  And we 're not taking any more of those except on flat bed seats -- the new ones, too, not those nasty fakes with the humps in the middle like I got on American last time I tried that with a business/first upgrade.

 

There are some perks to staying overnight:

 

-- You can leave in the early afternoon for your leg to DFW or IAH, for one thing, which is rather nice.  And the hotels near the airport all have shuttles which are a bore to wait for but good going back the next morning.  

 

--You can get there early enough to actually enjoy your hotel room and get a good rest--because travel is stressful under the best of conditions, in my opinion.

 

I always pack either home made sammies I've frozen solid the night before or prepared frozen entrees that can be heated up in the room microwave.  Also got a sweet travel flask from amazon so can have drinks before dinner provided I'm travelling with checked luggage.  (Otherwise either do without the booze for the night, get the hotel to take you to a local ABC store which they will do for free, or, if you're in IAH there's a booze store an easy walk from all the airport hotels.)

 

Because we didn't get in real late, we can kick back, use the wireless, have cocktails and picnic dinner and don't just use the room to crash in a state of total exhaustion, dreading the early flight the next morning..

 

American is better from the point of view of not having to get up so early to catch the Coz flight -- an extra 1.5 hours to sleep if you need it.

 

Now I know some people who are reading this are thinking "Are you crazy?  Why would I spend a night in a La Q in Dallas when I could somehow find a way to get to Cozumel faster -- no matter how exhausted when I got there.

 

I sympathize with that emotion and have been there most of my life re vacation travel.  But my conversation here is with a guy, like me, who comes down all the time and is, in fact, a part time resident.  Who might not mind arriving a little more rested if he has the luxury of time to do so.


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#13 mstevens

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:35 PM

Just for the record, CZM would be about a 4 1/2 hour flight from here if I could do it non-stop; CUN is 4 hours 5 minutes. Even with a connection, CZM is around 6 1/2 hours. If I leave early in the morning, I can be having lunch on the island that day.

 

My big beef is doing the overnight on the way home. Arrive late at night after a night at a hotel and show up bright and early for work the next day? Ugh.

 

I got very seriously spoiled when there were more flights. I do expect them to scale back during low season, but this is the most reduced schedule I've seen yet. I also got spoiled with those American business/first fares which I realized were to promote their new Miami flights, but still...


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#14 Carey

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

I feel your pain.

 

But re the American business/first, that pricing plan has been going on for at least the past 3 years on flights between CZM and San Jose CA and CZM Santa Ana, CA.  

 

AA is using a different model.  Don't sell 'economy plus' seats but then charge a much fairer mark up for Business/First.  It's not the cushy leather seats and your choice of 200 movies on your private viewer and a cart coming down the aisle making ice cream sundaes.  In fact my flight from CZM to DFW last month didn't even have television at all. But the leg room, seat width and tilt is there and that 3 bag allowance and go to the front of the line is all there.  Won't pay double for it or even 50% more myself.  But this biz model is hitting a sweet spot for me price to amenities.  Yeah, I'm getting ripped off.  But only a little bit. 


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