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


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When I lived on the west coast I always took trains back home to NY. And trains around the holidays that did the Boston-LA route were loaded with musicians, so it was really fun.

 

I flew on Delta, and I haven't flown since 2000. So I blew some extra money on 1st class and it really helped smooth things over. More room under the seats for my mini case & bag, attentive flight staff, comfortable seats, *big armrests* and priority boarding/baggage (also 3 free checked bags though I only needed one). Flight down was on big jets (half hour layover in Atlanta), very smooth. Flight back was on connection jets, maybe 70 seaters, and through a couple rain storms (big one we skirted in Iowa and a windy one over Milwaukee). A littly bumpy, but not bad at all.

 

For me it was mostly about time, the extra couple of days would've meant I couldn't attend.

 

I did get bumped to economy, and the 'bumper seat' to boot - the 70 seater has 3 1st class seats, 1 on the left and 2 on the right. Economy has 4 seats, 2 per side. So anyone moving through the cabin where the aisle shifts bumps the person in 4B (and also 3B in 1st class, avoid that seat). I go for 3A, window seat where the window lines up with the seat, baggage space (unlike row 1), and a single seat on small planes. Still need to call them, but I think all I'll get is a future upgrade and I rarely fly so probably nothing.

 

edited to add - the flight attendant on the flight I had to sit in economy was really nice; took my jacket, offered me a cocktail and let me snag stuff out of the 1st class snack basket. Every Delta employee I dealt (hah) with was above average.

Edited by CashWiley
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I flew, but I like flying as even when I goes bad its still better then the alternatives in my mind. Once I arrived I rented a truck and drove. The traffic was bad but I took the toll road and missed 90% of it for under $4. One thing that made the drive longer is the Texas interstate system is really weird. The exits like to lead to frontage roads that are parallel to the interstate and then you have to get on or off via those whenever you can.

 

On tone way back I took a taxi, was $45.

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I took JetBlue (middle of the day both ways) and had no problems.  They also let you check one bag for free.  I shared a taxi to the hotel for $35 plus tip.  To/from Reaper the one time I went was hitching a ride, as was the trip back to the airport.  It was actually one of the most stress-free trips I've ever had.

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I drove from the Detroit area.  Nice drive with no problems at all.  I hit some storms on the way back, but nothing too bad.  I missed the worse of the weather by leaving after the auction on Sunday.  If I had left earlier I probably would have been right in the middle of it all I suppose.

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If you are driving through downtown Dallas at all, I highly recommend a GPS or GPS app which will also tell you which lane is best.  There seem to be a few places around downtown Dallas where freeways combine and then split again shortly thereafter.  The signs don't give you enough notice that even though you came in on the left side, you'll want to be on the right side to continue.

 

For air travel, I heartily recommend consulting SeatGuru before booking.  SeatGuru has seat maps for many airlines sorted by airplane type.  The seat maps indicate which seats are particularly good or bad as well as seat pitch and width.  For short flights, not a big deal, but for longer flights, that extra 1" may be important to you.

 

Ron

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If you are driving through downtown Dallas at all, I highly recommend a GPS or GPS app which will also tell you which lane is best.  There seem to be a few places around downtown Dallas where freeways combine and then split again shortly thereafter.  The signs don't give you enough notice that even though you came in on the left side, you'll want to be on the right side to continue.

 

As a Dallasite, I can confirm. We aren't the best at civil engineering or city planning. Alternatively, you can hop in my car and not have ot worry about stressful driving!

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Just looked at Amtrak...sadly, it would add an additional five days to my trip, making it very difficult to consider. I like trains, and wish I had more opportunity to use them. I may look at it for Gencon one day...

 

 

Edit:...and not for Gencon, either. It's much cheaper than flying or driving (as I would have to rent a car), but is still a 21 hour trip that includes five hours on a bus after seven hours in a Chicago train station. And the bus allows no checked bags. How does Indianapolis not have a train station?! ...aaaaand that's a question that will propel me into Beekeepers, so we're done here (heading off a rant about the politics of American transit infrastructure...). Suffice to say, no con-by-train for me.

Edited by Sanael
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Just looked at Amtrak...sadly, it would add an additional five days to my trip, making it very difficult to consider. I like trains, and wish I had more opportunity to use them. I may look at it for Gencon one day...

I took a train up to New Jersey to rejoin my ship once; it would have been five hours by car, about $60 in gas and tolls (at the time). Train took eight, $120 for the ticket, plus I had to take a local and then a cab to get to the base. Haven't taken a train since.
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There's a lot about train travel that makes it appealing. If you have to rent a car, train is no more expensive from what I've seen, and much less if you're going very far. Definitely cheaper than flight.

 

Compared to car or plane, trains are (usually) more comfortable, in my experience. They take longer, but that's part of the appeal (if I have the time). I haven't tried, but I suspect I could paint on a train if I wanted to...maybe not contest entries, but sparmytop stuff, sure.

 

But it's very limited in destination availability...see the edit I made to.my post above...

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I flew to ReaperCon this year and the two years before it. There really isn't a viable alternative to get me there from New England in a timely manner. (Which saddens me - Car-pooling with other Reaper fans sounds like fun)

 

The only group I knew about that was coming from approximately that direction was TaleSpinner's group from Minnesota, and that would still require somebody to detour out of the way.

 

My flights were perfectly fine (JetBlue there, American back - don't ask). American did give me a bit of a scare, as their entire booking and ticketing system crashed and died right as I was getting in line to check my bags at DFW. :wacko: Thankfully, I had plenty of time to spare, and they were able to get things back up and running before too long.

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It's too bad our modern lives limit train travel, even if it's not the absolute cheapest form of travel. Because a train car full of forumites heading to Reapercon would be just as fun as the con itself was.

Seriously. The east coast caravan, done as a train car, would be awesome.
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