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So how did people find travel to and from the con?


Pingo
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I find myself considering the logistics of travel to Texas. What were people's experiences and how did they pan out?

 

I am a rather poor traveler, prone to vertigo and epic motion sickness if I am not extra diligent. But I do love visiting places. I have not flown on a plane since September 3rd, 2001 (and I would rather not go into that at the moment, thanks), but I have discovered some wonderful and far-flung places via automobile and train and boat.

 

So how did people get There and Back Again, and how did it work out?

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Plan for traffic in the Dallas area. Might not be the same place each year, but there will be construction.

I drove from west Texas. Driving in/around Dallas isn't really different than any other large city. Well, except Seoul. There is nothing like driving in Seoul.

 

Edited to specify driving in Dallas isn't different

Edited by Sergeant_Crunch
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My friend and I flew from Buffalo (we live across the border in Canada) on United airlines.

 

The flight down was fine.  The flight back was a nightmare.  What should have been a five hour trip ended up taking 26 hours.  United connections were tight and the flights were overbooked.  When problems came up for us and over 30 other people on our flight, it was a crap shoot as to what was going to be done for you.  Some of us got booked the next day and were given hotel, shuttle and meal vouchers.  Others were booked the next day without any compensation whatsoever.  I just depended on who you spoke to and whether the flyer knew their rights.  After all, how can there be different resolutions for so many people on the same flight.

 

Flights will be missed/delayed.  However, I have never experienced the rudeness and lack of customer services from so many representatives from the same company.

 

Next year, we will be making a choice of a different airline who tries for customer service.

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My friend and I flew from Buffalo (we live across the border in Canada) on United airlines.

 

The flight down was fine. The flight back was a nightmare. What should have been a five hour trip ended up taking 26 hours. United connections were tight and the flights were overbooked. When problems came up for us and over 30 other people on our flight, it was a crap shoot as to what was going to be done for you. Some of us got booked the next day and were given hotel, shuttle and meal vouchers. Others were booked the next day without any compensation whatsoever. I just depended on who you spoke to and whether the flyer knew their rights. After all, how can there be different resolutions for so many people on the same flight.

 

Flights will be missed/delayed. However, I have never experienced the rudeness and lack of customer services from so many representatives from the same company.

 

Next year, we will be making a choice of a different airline who tries for customer service.

Back when we traveled by plane, after a while we pledged each other to never use United. We had too many outrageous experiences. Edited by Pingo
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I find myself considering the logistics of travel to Texas. 

 

As a related aside, some have been discussing an early arrival so that they can acclimate and relax before the Con. It many also help with transportation timing issues, should you have them. I'm local in Dallas and have no problem hosting house guests, so if you have any need to factor this into your travel plans, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

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We (mostly Bonwirn cuz he's an awesome caravan leader) drove down and back. It was about a 14 hour trip. We brought DVDs and books, but never really used them. We talked almost the entire way up and back. We covered pretty much everything about ourselves and con talk was excitement. Con talk took up most of the drive back. We left in the afternoon Sunday and got in Monday morning. At one point everyone was asleep while I drove but it was great. If you drive down though I recommend car pooling with other con goers because you will have so much to talk about that it makes the drive much more bearable. Also, I wouldn't recommend a drive like that by yourself....its a beast.

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We flew on American, which was fine, although we paid more for legroom which at least for me was a lifesaver. We rented a car in Dallas, but not from the airport--my wife found that we saved over a hundred dollars by taking a taxi to the Avis at the Vista mall. (You can still return it to the airport afterwards.)

 

The only real problem we had was when we drove to Oklahoma to see a friend, I hadn't found how to adjust the seat in our tiny rental car! So I hunched over for three hours driving and it wrecked my back the next day. That was unfortunately the day we were leaving for home, so my wife got stuck carrying the heavy stuff until I could find some icy hot. Oops.

 

We'd considered the carryon-only route but in the end, being able to check a larger bag was a lifesaver on the way back. (See: failed will saves)

 

We missed the meet and greet on the way in but stayed until Monday evening. It was nice to have a day to go explore--we recommend the botanical gardens, by the way!--but we really wanted to go home and paint, so I think we'll be getting in earlier and leaving earlier next year.

 

Not sure how much that applies to anyone else, but hopefully it helps someone.

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It's a 8-9 hour drive for us, straight down I-35 from Kansas to Dallas. Not really any issues there except trying to not fall asleep through KS or OK and a poor selection of fast food options for lunch.  The road goes ever onward. We have a large comfortable car that we selected for long road trips.  I would say if you have a small car or an older car to look into a weekly rental. We used to do that. The weekly rate is really cheap and we felt it was well worth it for the comfort and peace of mind. 

 

Air travel is a crapshoot.  If the weather is bad, like it was Sunday, there are going to be delays and canceled flights. Customer service can be so variable, all the airlines have jerks and idiots working for them.  I rarely complete a round trip without encountering them. If you get delayed, be polite but insistent. Often there really is nothing they can do for you while you're waiting, and if you're an elf they can bump you off the plane.  Sometimes how you get treated depends on how you look and what seat you purchased. If you're in a suit and holding a first class ticket you get better service everywhere than the guy in a t-shirt and flip flops with the cattle-class seat. 

 

I can bring much more in the car than on the plane. These days you get one 22x14x9 carryon plus a 'personal item' (laptop bag, backpack, tote, etc) for under the seat and any more than that and you pay $25-$100 per checked bag.  I know gamer folks don't have many issues with TSA, but hobby knives and liquids like paint make them uneasy and they can and will seize anything from baby bottles to frying pans if they think it is a threat. 

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Where are you located? There are other options for getting here. For example, my son lives in central Illinois and to save money I'll take Amtrak up there...

Amtrack is indeed foremost in my thoughts. I have had excellent experiences traveling by train. If anyone has the chance or necessity to take the train out of New York City and up the Hudson River Valley, I strongly recommend it. The views are stunning.

 

If I were to take the train to ReaperCon, it would probably be to a large degree the same route you have taken.

 

(I have to resist the temptation to dress up in vintage clothing on train trips, although I will usually play vintage music at some point.)

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I didn't go to Reapercon this year however I do make the trip from Chicago to Dallas every other year or so due to family living in that area. It's typically a 14 hour drive doing mild speeding. I did make the trip in 9 hour once though its not reccomended. Every time we go we do it in one trip and normally I drive all of it. I enjoy it then again I like road trips. NExt year I should be there...

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Well... There are two station stops in the area, one in Dallas and one in Fort Worth. The nice thing about both is that they are also stops for a local train called the Trinity Rail Express (TRE) that runs between the two cities. It has stops along the way and I'm sure someone could pick you up at one of them and drive you to the hotel. If you wanted to go the really roundabout way, you could do this:

 

Amtrak -> Dallas Union Station

Red or Blue DART light rail -> West End station (it's the very next stop after Union)

Green DART light rail -> North Carrollton/Frankford station

 

or

 

Amtrak -> Fort Worth

TRE -> Victory station (it'd be a long ride, essentially across the metroplex)

Green DART light rail -> North Carrollton/Frankford station

 

That last stop is just a few miles from the con hotel and barring scheduling issues, we could transport you to/from there.

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