Does anyone have suggestions on flights from PDX to BHM. what may be the best airlines, airports and flyer program to use? I will be doing this trip every 21 days. I now use Delta Skymiles.
As you probably know, you will need to make a connection and it will also take most of the day, regardless of the airline, on the eastbound portion.
If you are at a point where you have a lot of Skymiles, I’d keep with Delta, even though they will be nickel-and-dime you to death.
You can take Southwest. They have a better on-time record. They also don’t charge you for the first two pieces of luggage. Additionally, their frequent flier plan is much similar. However, if you want to go someplace on a reward ticket that is not served by Southwest then you are out of luck.
With WN, your transfer will be either MDW or LAS and will take most of the day…good luck
Or PHX or BNA, depending on which direction you are going.
Southwest will take a couple of hours more than Delta.
One other thing you might want to think about. If you are buying nonrefundable tickets then you will need to pay any difference in fare PLUS a change fee while on Southwest all you pay is any difference in the fares. If the new fare on Southwest is less you have full use of the difference. Additionally, if you decide not to take a trip then you can use the full balance of the non-refundable fare for up to a year.
Check out www.itasoftware.com Click on Search airfares using QPX, log on as “guest” and it will give you all airlines that assign seats flight availability without any ads.
Note, east bound trips are generally shorter due to jet stream considerations.
If you click on the word duration after inputting your airports, you can sort the data from shortest to longest flights which will quickly confirm the above sentence.
If cost is not a factor, American can make it both ways in a very short 6 hours and 25 minutes with legal connections through DFW.
One thing you need to remember is that although the actual flight time will be shorter going east, what I call apparent time will be longer due to the time changes. When booking flights, this can sometimes be just as important as the actual flight times. In fact, whenever I have a change of more than 1 time zone, I just figure it’s going to be just about an all day affair, unless I’m leaving on a red eye.
Example: a 3 hour flight, a 45 minute connection, another 3 hour flight and taking into account the time zones change, actually looks like a 8:45 flight (flight time of 6 hours, 45 minutes connections, 2 hour time zone change).
So even though you leave PDX in the morning (say, 7:00 a.m.), you still spend most of the day traveling due to time zone changes.
dohop.com is another good site to compare flights. Unfortunately, it no longer includes Southwest. It is pretty good and easy to use.
kayak.com is another meta searcher of fares. I’m not too familiar with this site so I can’t give any advice on it.
I like the way itasoftware warns you of red eyes and long layovers.
Another word of advice: If you are paying for the trips yourself, use Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity to find the fares then go to the airline site itself to purchase the ticket so you don’t have to pay the booking fee. If your company is paying for it, they probably have a deal with someone and you have to buy the tickets through them, right?
I would say take American through Dallas or Delta through Atlanta. Those seems to be the quickest. However, American has devalued their FF program throught the last few months.
DL through ATL is good because if for some reason you miss your ATL-BHM flight due to delays on your first flight or if the second flight gets cancelled, it’s only about a 2.5 hour drive to Birmingham.
Southwest’s morning PHX connecting plan that leaves at 6:25 AM will get you to BHM at 3:30 PM CDT your layover in PHX is only scheduled for 70 minutes from (9:00 to 10:10 PHX time) the return trip is your tough one using WN. WN publishes there timetables online under the travel tools under schedules for whatever date you want. I’d also use the “Shortcut” to choose the best day of the week. But if you have DeltaSkyMiles, stay with DL would be my best advice as well.