How many of you plan on or have gone to graduation? It is a long distance for us , my husband has not flown since he was a teenager and I'm not sure I could get him on a plane anyway! We are from a small town so city traffic seems intimidating to me though my husband is a truck driver. (He HATES traffic,too) Our son doesn't go to boot camp until Feb 23 ( his 21st birthday!) but I am trying to work this whole thing out in my head. I have look at airfare/hotel/car pkgs and about choked!
We live in West Texas and use Southwest. They are wonderful about changing flights without a $150 a piece change fee -- should your date of departure change. I have had a son in the military for ten years, and it happens. American and Continental and most other major carriers will charge you that, plus you will have to pay approximately $25 a bag (which Southwest never charges for bags.)
There is a good site for other airlines called Booking Buddy. It is a great quick price reference and shows you which airlines go into which cities.
When you are flying into Chicago, remember there are two airports, O'Hare and Midway. Southwest does not go into O'Hare; however, I prefer to pay the extra cab fare... just to have the security of knowing if my plans change, with Southwest I may be looking a little fare increase (as you would any airline), but I won't have the added change fee and bag charge.
Try to always book a minimum of two weeks in advance -- fares are lower. Often Tuesdays and Thursday fares are better.
If you are coming from the East coast, Airtran is a value airline (which is in the process of merging with Southwest), and consistently offers good fares, Jet Blue is another.
Amtrak is wonderful -- I love it and have taken the family on a lot of Amtrak trips. The train station in Los Angelas and Chicago are both worth seeing. The rail fare is "cheap"; however, if you get a sleeper... you can fly for the same price. If you decide on a sleeper, you have three choices: the small two-passenger room, the deluxe room, upstairs (toilet and shower in room, or the family sleeper (sold out a lot) as it is a large room across the end of the car.
Hope this helps... San (from BUDS 283 site)
Southwest has the best prices BUT book soon as they are going up...
Not sure which is ur home airport?? So I did a bit of research 4U These prices were on Thurs morning
LAX ~ MKE (Milwaukee) Around $120 each way
LAX ~ MDW (Chicago Midway) Around $144 there and $185 back
ONT (Ontario) ~ MDW $129 ea way one stop OR to MKE onestop $119 / $144
SNA (Orange Co) ~ MDW nonstop but a bit higher $129 and $210 OR to MKE onestop $144 ea way
BUR ( Burbank) ~ MDW onestop from $139 and $174 OR to ~MKE onestop $119 and $144
Also look at JETBLUE as they fly out of LongBeach
Happy hunting !!
Good information, I will try that in the future!