Does the plane overnight at the aiport or does it fly in from the hub for the early flight??
I used to live near a small regional airport with two (yes, two!!) carrier choices. Each carrier had two flights out (one early and one mid-day) and two in (one mid-day and one late). The hubs each carrier served were equal and to get anywhere taking the early flight was usually a necessity. The difference was reliability. One carrier overnighted the plane at the regional airport while the other flew the plane up from the hub each morning for the early flight. It seems like the weather thresholds for taking off are a bit lower than landing so, as you would guess, often times the overnight plane would depart on schedule whereas the other carrier would have to cancel the flight because they could not land (usually snow or fog visibility). Being a preferred customer helped to get on this flight – which was often overbooked since all the locals knew which carrier to take in the winter.
Usually my biggest travel challenge is getting to the airport where key elements include four wheel drive, tire chains, and being alert enough to dodge elk, deer, antelope, cows, sheep, and wild horses on the highway. It will nice to be more effective once I actually get to the airport!!! I’m looking forward to the subway cast – it’s interesting to see how the other half lives and the variables they need to handle as the effectively manage along!!
Keep up the great work!
First, thanks for the insight on local airports. I tend to fly out of small airports at the end of the week to get back to New York and this is a great new variable to consider.
As for subways, they can be quite straightforward thanks to some recent technology. Here's how I do it in NYC:
First I need to determine how muc time I'll need once I reach my destination. This isn't walking time at street level, but rather subway station congestion, building security, elevator travel time (it can take a while to go up 70 stories) and any time needed to clean up (sometimes the air conditioning in the subway fails). I also add 10-15 minutes to account for missing a connection or train (they run every 6-15 minutes depending on the line).
Next I use Google Maps to plan my route. Google has partnered with several regional transit systems to include their schedules. When you're mapping a route that may be covered you'll have an option to go by "Public Transit" rather than go "By Car". This will account for street level walking. Use the "Advanced Options" section to mark the appropriate Arrive By time (as figured above). Then look at the 3 possible options. I try to pick either a familiar route or one that minimizes transfers. Transfers add variability to the timing. Finally, take note of the departing station address.
Next, using an application called Exit Strategy on my mobile phone I can see the layout of the destination station and see which subway car best aligns with my intended exit. In NYC this can be important as some stations are expansive spanning several blocks and going out the wrong exit can add 10+ minutes. Exit Strategy allows me to prewalk at my origin to get into the desired car for my destination. I'll now be aligned with the stairwell I want and beat the crowd (saving more time).
Hope that helps.
Mobile Google Maps
Google Maps on the iPhone and Android phones also offer Public Transit directions.
I've been using it to navigate the bus schedules in San Diego recently. I missed a transfer once and it was able to reroute me on different buses for the next available connections to my destination. Buses tend to run less frequently than subway.
Arrive By features are very useful.