My route is ATL to NYC and Mer's is Charlotte to ATL to NYC. Homegirl's Charlotte flight lays-over in ATL and then we ride the same plane (to indulge her shutterbug urge to take inside plane-pics) . We fly in on a random weekday, go find the hotel, dump our luggage and take over the city.
We chose LaGuardia (LGA) arrival because it's closer to the neighborhood we're staying in (midtown Manhattan). One day, I'd like to see JFK (the other major NYC airport), but you can keep Newark (the step-child of NYC airports). It's soooo blah. I've been inside LaGuardia before, but the convenience thing is key here.
I follow airfare changes and subscribed to Yapta (heard about it from my longtime favorite hometown tightwad, Clark Howard) to follow flights from ATL to NYC for that day. We felt the time was right to go ahead and make the purchase because air fares have been steady for the past two weeks, and will probably increase. I hadn't seen much change in prices and wanted to beat the summer travel rush. So, we put our heads together, made the necessary mouse-clicks, and purchased. There may be some last minute deals we'll miss out on, but it's worth it. There's a certain security to having your flight booked in advance, no?
Why'd we decide on that time and airline? Mer explains it best, "We did our research and everything they had met out criteria. Plus, Delta doesn't charge a fee for baggage. It all came together." I second that emotion, holding my breath that they don't spring in a baggage fee until the summer travel-season has passed. Am I naive?
Ideally, I would have loved to hop a train and roll into Grand Central Station, arriving refreshed after having spent hours lazily napping, reading, and listening to music from a private sleeper-car on Amtrak. I can picture me and Mer popping out of the train-car, smart leather train cases in hand, sashaying down the platform, striking poses and spreading our fabulousness throughout the station. I do love the old-school glamour of train-travel.
But time, budget, and convenience all wrap on the door, and bring me back to a cool, but different reality. Modern ladies jet-set, flying in and out of metropolises with speed and grace. Except for our penchant for hopping into cars and making quick road trips down Southern highways to visit friends and family, plane travel fits me and Mer already. We've done it all our lives and have no time to waste. So, I'll keeping loving the idea of train glamour, while flying into NYC in a little over an hour.
Anyway, yay for flight-plans!