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Frequent airline commuting??

Discussion in 'RD's Lounge' started by Buoy, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    I'll try to keep this brief...

    Do any airlines offer a contract price for a frequent commute??

    Situation is, my wife is considering a job in SLC. We don't want to sell our AZ house, don't really want to move, period. But...
    It's a 10 hr drive, so it's doable in a day, but...
    A flight is 1-1/2hr.

    My thought is she could set up a small apartment in SLC for weekdays/workdays and fly home (AZ) for the weekends.

    So, my ?? Is, has anyone ever done this and worked with an airline to negotiate a rate?
    This would be on our own dime.
     
  2. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    any chance she wants to become a pilot?
     
  3. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    I can tell you from others doing something similar, time away gets to be a bummer.

    Brian
     
  4. sirbob

    sirbob Well-Known Member

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    American used to have a plan they called airpass - not sure if they still do it but you could do that sort of thing if you paid them up front for a set of miles flown or something like that.

    The bigger issue with them is that they don not fly that route - so you would have to fly to Dallas every time and connect.

    I'm guessing that will be Delta or SW if you want direct - possibly others???
     
  5. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    Shit Brian, I don't need to go out buying a fuckin airplane:)
     
  6. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    Delta has a daily morning and evening route, so that could work.
     
  7. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    Just throwing that out there, a couple years of flying....you will be paying for one whether you like it or not.

    Small planes don't cost THAT much. As much as a high end car.

    Brian
     
  8. ka0tyk

    ka0tyk Well-Known Member

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    i was commuting for a while and it sucks. having to take redeyes so you dont waste a sunday flying because they want you working on monday. it gets old quick. whatever airline is most convenient for you, get a credit card from them so you are getting the most miles possible with your airline purchases, you get seat upgrades, etc. book em on your cards and expense it with your company rather than letting them book it. then apply those to spending quality time together on a trip. i racked up some serious miles with us airways when i had to go back and forth between la and austin/boston. its all about the points!
     
  9. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    True.
    But, much like a boat, I'm guessing the purchase price is only about 1/3 of the total ownership cost (maintenance, airstrip, hangar fees...)
    Plus, she could get work done while on a flight.

    I'm just kicking ideas around here...
     
  10. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    I don't think we could expense it to the Co.
    Possibly a tax write off though.
     
  11. lalhc

    lalhc Islander Trailer Trash

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    I know Southwest doesn't have anything like that but you rack up reward points pretty quick. Try US Airways - I know my boss fly's direct to SLC for Phoenix on a monthly basis.
     
  12. Activated

    Activated Deplorable

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    I travel frequently for work and use US Air for the most part and do travel to SLC from PHX.

    If I was paying for my own flights I would use SWA if their flight schedule worked for you. Faster free tickets, Companion pass (awesome benefit), upgrades to Business Select and get a Southwest credit card. I used to sell my frequent flier tickets on Craigslist if I wasn't going to use them, the extra cash was nice.

    Having said all that, I would love it if I didn't have to travel any more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  13. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Well-Known Member

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    How much does it cost to own an airplane?

    Everything you have.

    edit
    I wouldn't recommend General Aviation for this, mainly because in the winter you aren't going to get it done safely on a reliable timeline unless you spend some serious money. Like $300K+ for the airframe serious. And it is Winter a long time over the Wasatch and Rocky Mountains. That'll buy quite a few round trip tickets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  14. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Well-Known Member

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    Probably Southwest or USAir/American (post merger) is going to be the best bet, both have hubs in Phoenix. Delta maybe due to the hub in SLC.

    Salt Lake is just close enough that if you have to connect, overall travel time gets close to just driving, so straight-through or nothing.
     
  15. was thatguy

    was thatguy living in a cage of fear

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    We have a couple guys that fly that route 2-3 times a month.
    They both go SWA.
    I fly Sac to SLC on Delta.

    We Generally buy tickets on less than 24 hour notice and I know those guys pay around $300 one way.

    I don't know of any Pre pay package deals, but they get business class upgrades every time just on miles.
    That is a popular route, you could do a lot worse.
     
  16. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    Very good information in this thread.
    Thanks guys! And keep it coming.
    This whole deal is gonna be brutal, no matter how we go about it.
    We just don't want to lose the AZ house, and we have two dogs to "commute" which would require driving.
    I don't like the idea of my wife and I being apart for extended periods.
    Even after 10-13 yrs, we still like being together quite a bit:)
     
  17. Activated

    Activated Deplorable

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    One more...check constantly for airfare "sales" and when that happens, buy as many trips as you can at the discounted rate.
     
  18. was thatguy

    was thatguy living in a cage of fear

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    That's real good advice right there! If your/ hers work schedule is known in advance, and not subject to changes, you can effectively set up your own package pre-pay deal.

    BUT, if there is a change, one re-schedule can possibly wipe out the savings overall.
     
  19. Paul65k

    Paul65k Schiada Baby.......Yeah!!

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    Not to be contradictory but after being a pilot for more than 3 decades and having owned 5 different airplanes I can promise you that there is no way in hell that you can possibly justify/rationalize/hope to have it be cheaper to make that commute via a private plane as compared to buying airline tickets in advance at reduced prices.

    Airplanes are;
    1. Depreciating assets
    2. Require a high level of maintenance as a legal requirement

    • Engine
    • Avionics
    • GPS Databases
    • Satellite Radio Subscriptions for weather

    Additionally the insurance costs for a small plane, especially with a low time pilot would be very high and flying in and around the Rockies requires a more capable (read expensive) aircraft.

    Now if your time is very important to you, as it should be, then maybe you can rationalize owning and aircraft but then again for flights of that length commercial would be the absolute lowest cost mode of transportation on an hourly basis.

    Cheers!
     
  20. Faceaz

    Faceaz Well-Known Member

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    My wife flies out to NM every Tues morning & returns every Wed evening, been doing it about 4 years. She flies SW, no contract prices that I'm aware of. But, as mentioned above, the points do rack up quickly. 4 of us went to Puerto Rico for a week - flights, hotel & rental car all paid by her points & she still has enough to do the same trip again if we wanted.
     
  21. Roaddogg 4040

    Roaddogg 4040 Well-Known Member

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    After being married for 30 or 40 years you might re consider being apart a little more beneficial:D:D...
    Just kidding, but sometimes it actually has helps a relationship. My wife has traveled extensively for the last 18 years or so and having her gone does suck it sure is nice when she comes home.:thumbup::thumbup:

    Steve
     
  22. was thatguy

    was thatguy living in a cage of fear

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    Absolutley.

    I had the opportunity to buy a cubby years ago in Alaska.
    It was on tires, 100% restored, STOL, WITH floats sitting next to it. $35K from a widow.

    The cost of tie down at Lake Hood in Anchorage was insurmountable, so I tried to obtain a spot from a property owner on lower fire lake in Eagle River, within sight of my Moms house which is just off the shoreline. basically, he wanted his mortgage paid!

    Short version is the cost of the plane was the cheapest part of the whole deal.
    I passed it up and joined a flying club instead.

    Haven't flown in over 15 years now, I just ride 'em!

    Flying is a passion, IMO, at every level.
    From the guy with a duct taped Cubby to John Travolta with his 727.
    I liked it, but was not pasionate about it.

    It's like boating.:thumbsup
     
    wsuwrhr and Paul65k like this.
  23. Paul65k

    Paul65k Schiada Baby.......Yeah!!

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    It's funny sometimes talking to people who have never known the "Joy" of owning an airplane.....when you tell someone they can actually buy a LearJet for as little as $100K (these are very old and use lots of fuel) some would say......why doesn't everyone have one. A quick spreadsheet exercise would tell you that the reason an older LearJet can be had for so little is because it costs so much to fly it. It's like buying insurance when the dealer is showing an ace at the Black Jack table........if it was a good deal they wouldn't give it to you:rolleyes

    2 best days in a aircraft owners life is the day they buy it and the day they sell it........sound familiar?? ;)
     
  24. Buoy

    Buoy Cynical Sarcastic F-er

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    You guys are confirming my thoughts on a private aircraft.
    In addition, medically, I could never pass. For us, our life would require both of us to be licensed.

    Minnesota just jumped back into the game also with a FedEx envelope today, including an offer.

    Fucking tough decisions.
    And in the end, I still don't really want to leave AZ.

    I've moved over 30 times in my life.
    I was really hoping we were done...

    No changes are permanent, except for change.
     
  25. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    Aw man,

    There you go, I was trying to justify the cost to buy a toy. Planes aren't just for work.

    There is nothing cheap.

    Brian

     
  26. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Well-Known Member

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    Just to give you an idea, between mandated maintenance, tie-down, insurance, and payments my little 4 place, fixed gear airplane (think Cessna) is right around 6K a year. That is before I turn the prop once. People that don't own an airplane have no idea what kind of regulatory nightmare it is and the restrictions that come along with it. You can go experimental/amateur built (home built) and short circuit some of the costs, but then you have to figure what your time costs and parts are still expensive.

    To actually go fly at $6/gal is $60/Hr in fuel and I budget another $20/Hr for incidentals like oil and maintenance reserves for when things break. I'm on track to fly about 30 hours this year, maybe more if I end up taking a few longer flights. So that is $1800 a year in gasoline alone. I'm owning an airplane just about as "cheaply" as you can do it and it's still costing me about $8K a year. to me it's worth every penny, but this shit has to be in your blood. :D

    And not to use you as an example Brian, but it would be in the thousands of dollars to regain your medical after what you just went through, and then thousands more per year to keep it.
     
  27. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    I'll never fly again. I already know this. If anything happens to my current insurance, I am really in trouble.

    Some things, after you do them, are worth whatever it costs. Not everything in life has to have a price tag next to it. You can either spend what it costs to do it, or you cant. You know, like boating.

    It breaks my heart to never ride again, even if it cost me my life, but it isn't about just about me anymore.

    Brian

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  28. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Well-Known Member

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    I hear you...

    What I spend on the airplane is worth every penny. But your heart has to be in it. I've seen quite a few people like Bouy and his wife get into GA for the reasons stated in this thread. Most quickly exit with a bad taste, a few absolutely love it.
     
  29. wsuwrhr

    wsuwrhr The Masheenest

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    Crystal clear.

    Nothing like turning one upside down.

    Brian

     

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