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Friday, August 18th 2017

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YHZ." - Chris Myden



2013
23
January
The Official Guide For Canadians Flying Out Of U.S. Airports (from Halifax & area)


This guide will attempt to organize everything someone living in the Halifax area might want to know about flying out of U.S. airports.

If you see anything in this guide that looks incorrect, out of date, or could just simply be improved with better info, please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll fix / update it.

Flying out of Bangor, Maine (BGR)

How long of a drive is it?

According to Google Maps, Bangor airport is just under a 7 hour drive from Halifax (741 km each way). map link

Don't forget to account for border-crossing times in each direction. You can find estimated wait times online.
estimated wait times at U.S. border
estimated wait times at Canadian border

Tips:

- If you travel to the States a lot you may wish to get a NEXUS card for $50 (US) for 5 years and eliminate the line ups at borders and airports. [Info on how to apply for NEXUS]

Are there good deals to be had?

3 airlines fly out of Bangor, and they are Allegiant Air, Delta, and US Airways.

strengths:

The most likely reason someone from Halifax might want to make the trek down to Bangor to fly somewhere is to get to Florida, typically using Allegiant Air. Allegiant is a low cost carrier with flights to Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Tampa (the only 3 destinations they fly to from Bangor). When comparing costs, be aware that Allegiant charges extra for absolutely everything, including even carry-on luggage now.

weaknesses:

Internationally, flights out of Bangor can certainly be cheaper, but usually involve routes that are at least as complicated or lengthy as flying out of YHZ. It's a smaller airport, and it's biggest strength is usually flights within the U.S. It doesn't hurt to check though, as Delta or US Airways can sometimes have flights that are significantly cheaper than flying out of Halifax.

How much would I have to save for it to be worth the drive?

This is a tricky question, because the answer is different for everyone, based on the variables involved. But costs you should consider factoring into your comparison (besides the roundtrip flight price) include:

- extra fuel costs (how fuel efficient is your vehicle?)
- baggage costs
- parking your vehicle at the airport
- cost of hotel if it requires an overnight stay
- how much your time is worth
- extra vehicle depreciation

I've created an Excel spreadsheet to help calculate what the true savings are when flying out of Bangor:
click here to download the spreadsheet in Excel format
or
try the U.S. Airports Savings Calculator via Google Docs

screenshot: (click to enlarge)

Go to the YHZ vs BGR worksheet and enter in a few variables to calculate what your true savings would be. Using common averages, I've found that if the flight from Bangor is about $500/person less than the flight from Halifax, the average person is only breaking even.

In my opinion, when the flight from Bangor is at least $600 less per person than the flight from Halifax, it becomes worth the drive. This is based on my calculations using average factors, and 2 people in a vehicle. You can see the example in the spreadsheet that was used to draw this conclusion.

How much is parking?

Parking is currently $8/day, according to the Bangor airport website.

Is there any public transportation from Halifax to Bangor airport?

There are no great options unfortunately.

Links

Bangor airport website

Flying out of Bar Harbor, Maine (BHB)

How long of a drive is it?

According to Google Maps, Bar Harbor airport is just over a 7 hour drive from Halifax (690 km each way). map link

Don't forget to account for border-crossing times in each direction. You can find estimated wait times online.
estimated wait times at U.S. border
estimated wait times at Canadian border

Tips:

- If you travel to the States a lot you may wish to get a NEXUS card for $50 (US) for 5 years and eliminate the line ups at borders and airports. [Info on how to apply for NEXUS]

Are there good deals to be had?

Cape Air and JetBlue have partnered up to offer flights out of Bar Harbor to a variety of cities across the United States.

There is also PenAir which offers flights to Boston and a variety of destinations in Alaska.

How much would I have to save for it to be worth the drive?

This is a tricky question, because the answer is different for everyone, based on the variables involved. But costs you should consider factoring into your comparison (besides the roundtrip flight price) include:

- extra fuel costs (how fuel efficient is your vehicle?)
- baggage costs
- parking your vehicle at the airport
- cost of hotel if it requires an overnight stay
- how much your time is worth
- extra vehicle depreciation

I've created an Excel spreadsheet to help calculate what the true savings are when flying out of Bangor:
click here to download the spreadsheet in Excel format
or
try the U.S. Airports Savings Calculator via Google Docs

screenshot: (click to enlarge)

If you've downloaded the Excel file, please note that you will need to switch to the YHZ vs BHB worksheet at the bottom of Excel.

Go to the YHZ vs BHB worksheet and enter in a few variables to calculate what your true savings would be. Using common averages, I've found that if the flight from Bar Harbor is about $500/person less than the flight from Halifax, the average person is only breaking even.

In my opinion, when the flight from Bar Harbor is at least $600 less per person than the flight from Halifax, it becomes worth the drive. This is based on my calculations using average factors, and 2 people in a vehicle. You can see the example in the spreadsheet that was used to draw this conclusion.

How much is parking?

Parking is currently free at Bar Harbor Airport.

Is there any public transportation from Halifax to Bar Harbor airport?

There are no great options unfortunately.

Links

Bar Harbor airport website



Flying out of Portland, Maine (PWM)

How long of a drive is it?

According to Google Maps, Portland airport is just under a 9 hour drive from Halifax (950 km each way). map link

Don't forget to account for border-crossing times in each direction. You can find estimated wait times online.
estimated wait times at U.S. border
estimated wait times at Canadian border

Tips:

- If you travel to the States a lot you may wish to get a NEXUS card for $50 (US) for 5 years and eliminate the line ups at borders and airports. [Info on how to apply for NEXUS]

Are there good deals to be had?

There are 6 airlines that fly out of Portland (PWM): Air Canada, AirTran, Delta, JetBlue, United Airlines, and US Airways.

With a variety of major airlines and low cost carriers, there are certainly cheap flight prices to be had out of Portland. The question is though, how much cheaper do they need to be than flying out of Halifax to justify the 9 hour drive?

How much would I have to save for it to be worth the drive?

This is a tricky question, because the answer is different for everyone, based on the variables involved. But costs you should consider factoring into your comparison (besides the roundtrip flight price) include:

- extra fuel costs (how fuel efficient is your vehicle?)
- baggage costs
- parking your vehicle at the airport
- cost of hotel if it requires an overnight stay
- how much your time is worth
- extra vehicle depreciation

I've created an Excel spreadsheet to help calculate what the true savings are when flying out of Portland:
click here to download the spreadsheet in Excel format
or
try the U.S. Airports Savings Calculator via Google Docs

screenshot: (click to enlarge)

If you've downloaded the Excel file, please note that you will need to switch to the YHZ vs PWM worksheet at the bottom of Excel.

Go to the YHZ vs PWM worksheet and enter in a few variables to calculate what your true savings would be. Using common averages, I've found that if the flight from Portland is about $675/person less than the flight from Halifax, the average person is only breaking even.

In my opinion, when the flight from Portland is at least $775 less per person than the flight from Halifax, it becomes worth the drive. This is based on my calculations using average factors, and 2 people in a vehicle. You can see the example in the spreadsheet that was used to draw this conclusion.

How much is parking?

Parking is currently around $12.00/day, at Portland Airport.

Is there any public transportation from Halifax to Portland airport?

There are no great options unfortunately.

Links

Portland Airport Website

Conclusion

There are cities in Canada where it can make sense to drive across the border to catch a flight for a cheaper holiday. Unfortunately, I don't think Halifax is one of them. The minimum 7 hour drive each way is the most prohibitive factor. To make any sense at all for a person to do it, I think at *least* one or more of the following would have to be true:

- you don't value your time as being worth much. The value of time is often overlooked by many people, since it's not as tangible a cost as say, the cost of fuel. But when you do put a realistic cost on the value of your time (let's say $25/hour), it becomes a significant cost.

- you consider the drive to the U.S. as having added value (perhaps as part of the vacation itself or a shopping trip).

- you have a minimum of 4 people in the car.

See Something Wrong?

If you see anything in this guide that looks incorrect, out of date, or could just simply be improved with better info, please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll fix / update it.









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