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Discount on Airport Parking and Airfare Cost Analysis

February 23rd, 2014 at 07:57 am

We are going to CA to visit my parents in a few weeks, but they also want us to come in May for my Dad's 81st birthday.

We can go two ways:
- direct from our city on a regional jet or
- the usual way - down to the Big City (Albuquerque) on Southwest

Southwest costs $948 for the three of us. My mother always gets us pre-boarding ($60 total). Airport parking is $12 for four days. The gas down there and back is about $14. It's an hour's drive. We'd leave Friday night due to flight times.
Total $1064

The regional jet is $1151 for the three of us. No need for pre-boarding or airport parking. The drive is ten minutes. We'd leave early Saturday.
Total $1151

Difference is $117. So, is it worth it?

While figuring out these costs, I visited the airport parking website and found that you get $1 a day off just for making reservations (no pre-payment or anything). They give you a coupon to print out. So that's good to know!! I reserved for our March trip.

5 Responses to “Discount on Airport Parking and Airfare Cost Analysis”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I might actually go with the regional jet...seems simpler and the cost is not prohibitive. You are closer to home and it just makes for a more relaxing trip.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    We always price 3 airports when we fly (& it is usually pretty random which one is cheapest). But, I can't say I would go through the hassle to fly out of another city for $117 savings. We usually do it because the savings is quite substantial.

    But I also think it is somewhat a personal decision. In some cases, sure the $117 would be worth it.

  3. snafu Says:

    Are these figures 'all in' including luggage and fuel surcharges? Do you use Kayak, Expedia or one of the on-line agencies who have cut rate prices? I find we're worn out by the hargy bargy of security and luggage retrieval at the end of a trip and the desire to return home is foremost. I'd choose regional just to eliminate the final hour's drive from Albuquerque.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    How're you getting 4 days for $12?! I park at Gibson/Yale for $4/day. For my current trip it'll cost $12, but that's because they only count full days. If you do the regional option, could you get someone to drop/ pick you up?

  5. Buendia Says:

    The regional flight is through American Eagle; they charge $50 per bag, but we do only carry-on, so no additional cost. So yes, the costs are all inclusive of all taxes and charges. I just looked at the direct websites; I get the same prices through Expedia.

    The $3 parking rate is for I-25 and Sunport (the yellow buses). It's normally $4/day for uncovered, but if you make a reservation on their website it's $1 off each day. And I forgot tipping the driver! Oops - add another $4. Yes, if we do the regional airport, we have tons of friends that could drop us off and pick us up.... so it really is much easier.

    I agree that it'd be worth it just to get home, and not to have to leave so early to get to the airport. It's what I'm leaning toward....

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