Not sure when to reserve airline tickets. Many of the hotels in the Great Lakes area offer free cancellation or change of dates. I do not think anything will happen but it never hurts to be prepared for the unexpected. I went ahead and reserved a hotel for Thurs-Sun. I am now wondering if anyone knows about the days the graduates will be able to visit family. I know for sure on Friday after graduation but, what about Saturday and Sunday. I do not want to leave too soon. Nor do I want to stay if he is not permitted to leave the ship. Please let me know if you know anything about this.Thanks :)
Try booking with Southwest Airlines into either Milwaukee (45 min drive to GL, no traffic, cheaper car rental) or Chicago Midway (hour+ to GL). No change fee charged if plans change, 2 bags check for free.
Hotels that are good are: Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Express. Call directly and ask for the Navy Graduation rate. They are about 4 miles from RTC, and near Sarge's MeetandGreet held the night before PIR.
If your sailor will NOT be staying in GL for A School, you can also stay at Navy Lodge. If your sailor will be staying in GL for A School, there is a chance that your sailor could not visit you at your hotel due to A School rules. So we don't suggest that.
Wow!! Thank you so much for the great info. This will really help with making my plans :)
We are driving in on Thursday and leaving on Sunday. My dad made reservations at the Sleep Inn. My son is staying in GL for A school. I sure hope he can visit us!!
I am at the Courtyard...I think it is I'm the same area just outside the base. The Courtyard has a graduation rate and free cancellation up until the day before check in. I will definitely look into into finding a flight with Southwest.
i am getting ready to book this friday and would love the info for the courtyard
if at all possible
I looked at a bunch of the internet travel sites and found that the Courtyard and the springHill had great reviews but, they charged more for a flexible cancellation. The lower price was good for a non refundable reservation.We are still early in the training and graduation dates can still change. I got a really helpful reply from diannep yesterday about airlines, airports and hotels..Anyhow that is how I found out about the graduation rate.I looked up the Courtyard and called them directly and asked them about the graduation rate ...It is basically an unrestricted reservation ( meaning you can cancel the reservation up until the night before with out fees ect ) at a restricted price. So it is a pretty good deal.Also, I found out Southwest airlines is just about the only airline that doesn't charge to change dates but they do not fly into O'hare airport you have to use Midway or Milwaukee airports but they are not too out of the way. Good luck with your plans.
We booked with Southwest as well. My brother, who travels constantly with his job advised us to book a month in advance as Southwest often sells out on flights. So we did and figured if something unexpected happened, we could change the date. We've also booked our room at Navy Lodge (our SR is flying out for A School. I still need to book rental car but will probably go ahead and do that later this week.
Did you book both Fri and Saturday? I was not sure about Saturday night .
Our Sailor daughter flew out to Pensacola, FL for her A school and her flight left Saturday morning at 11:00 am. My return flight did not leave till Saturday evening about 6:30 pm, so my other daughter and myself were able to go back the our hotel and rest till we needed to leave. We made arrangements with our hotel for a late check-out.
Usually Great Lakes A school sailors get all day Saturday and Sunday with their families.
On really rare occasions, a batch on sailors flying out do so on Sunday because airlines don't have enough seats to accommodate them all. The Navy wants all the ones going to the same A school to report at the same time~~