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Friday, March 18, 2011

Next stop, New York City

So, I signed up for Airfarewatchdog and, overall, the deals have been pretty amazing. But, I found this one today a little perplexing – Albany, NY to NYC (JFK) Roundtrip for $198.
Why, why, why would I pay $200 to fly to New York and how does this categorize as a great “unadvertised” deal? The reason it’s unadvertised is because it’s ridicules.
There are so many other ways to get down there: Megabus one-way for $1 (if you book at the right time), driving to Poughkeepsie in an hour and then taking the MTA Metro North commuter train to NYC for $31.50 roundtrip (at off-peak times, if the ticket is bought in the station and not on the train), Premiere Limo does a daily airport shuttle from Albany International to several New York City airports at a fare around $65, and there are other shuttles that can get the job done at around $25, or so I’ve seen advertised.
I just dropped off my sister this morning (very early this morning) at the Albany-Rensselaer Train Station so she could take Amtrak to Penn Station (around $80 round trip). On a side note: She’s going to Atlantic City with a friend who just got back from India to see the ECAC hockey championships. I’m very jealous.

Now back to Albany to New York City transit: And, aside from all these options, you could always drive. I’m pretty sure, depending on how long you’ll be staying, you could find a parking deal that would be better than the $200 airfare – but then parking and driving in the city sucks so that’s kinda travel-at-your-own risk. I’ve only driven and parked in Manhattan once (to go to a 7-Eleven while The Simpsons movie was out and I got a Squishee). The driving was not as bad as I expected but it was bad enough where I do not plan on doing that again.
My favorite way down, personally, is to drive to Poughkeepsie. Parking is free at the train station on weekends, the schedule is flexible with trains leaving every hour, and the fare is not bad.
But, if you have $200 to blow on airfare to a city just 2.5 hours away, by all means…


Blogger Cerwin D said...

As a New York City area native and as someone who lived in the Albany area (as you know), you are absolutely right: there is absolutely no reason to pay $200 to fly in btwn the two places, and I've driven and taken Amtrak.

Speaking of the train, there was talk a few years back about extending the Hudson Line (MTA Metro North) to go up to Albany. Just a side thing to maybe keep tabs on?

March 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM 

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