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AIRFARES?! Trying to go skiing from Atlanta!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So, we have been planning on going somewhere out west for a trip leaving December 18th and returning December 23rd from Atlanta.  Originally we planned on going to SLC but airfares have been $400 - $500 and for four of us it's just not do-able.  Recently we have been planning on Tahoe and got a great deal on a nice chalet but again, fares to Reno, Sacramento and San Fran have been upper 4's to lower 6's! 

Now we're looking at other places - Arizona, New Mexico, Lake Placid etc. and I am just stunned at how much the fares are.

I realize that our dates are less-than-ideal - my wife and I are both teachers and our last day is the 18th - nothing we can do about it. However last year we went to Denver the same exact week and paid less than $200.

We are willing to drive up to four hours either to an airport on this end or to a ski area on the other end.  Does anyone have any ideas for us?  If we don't come up with something soon then our trip is a wash.  

Maybe we're just too cheap hahaha..
post #2 of 18
What about to LA and drive to Mammoth, or San Fran, Oakland or Sacramento and drive to Tahoe?
post #3 of 18
Airtran Atlanta to Denver roundtrip, $345 each.
Its the only thing I found under 400.
post #4 of 18
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post

What about to LA and drive to Mammoth, or San Fran, Oakland or Sacramento and drive to Tahoe?

Don't they have an air shuttle from LA to Mammoth now, like 100 bucks?

I don't foresee ever taking my family of four on an airplane for a ski vacation.  First of all, now they rape you just to bring along a little gear.  I'd rather pile in the car and take a two day drive than lug gear through airports to pay $400 per person plus extra for gear to sit and wait then have the flightdelayed and still pay all that money to get there 10 hours sooner with half the stuff you wish you had AND NO CAR!  Burn two more vacation days, take the car, and screw the airlines.

Or, Alabama's "west" isn't it?
post #5 of 18
There are direct flights from Atlanta to Jackson Hole.

Why not ski here?
post #6 of 18

Atlanta to Jackson Hole (with a stop) is 485 -- but you don't need a car! That more than makes up the difference.  (Unfortunately non-stop is 800...)

post #7 of 18
A month ago you could have got them under $200,
I always consider ATL when I fly to Den but useally go out of New Orleans
I go 2 times a year and buy 5 0r 6 tickets so i have to get a good price.
year before last I drove to nashville (7 hrs ) to get $112 tickets non stop.
use "Booking Buddy" several times a day as prices change fast
also subscribe to "Airfare watchdog I have had good luck with them.
If you are Flexable that also helps,Flying Christmas day saved me $ 100 a ticket this year
good luck,hope you get to go
post #8 of 18
 Unfortuanetly, Atlanta is really the only option for you as far as cheap fares go although u may be able to find some thing in Birmingham. Have u looked in to flights into Colorado Springs? It makes your drive a little longer but still puts your driving in under 4hrs to get up to most of the resorts it might be a little over to get to Vail or Beaver Creek. Worse case scenerio you could drive to North Carolina there are several small ski resorts there. It won't be the same but personally I would rather ski somewhere than now where at all.

On a side note I know that ticket prices are really expensive and some of the fees seem outrageous but do keep in mind that they are trying to run bussiness and its not cheap to fly an airplane.   
post #9 of 18
Some resorts offer Kids Fly Free (KFF), typically 12 yrs and younger.  Steamboat, Jackson Hole this yr, and they both have direct flights.  Vail and Telluride previously.   Caveats exist, we've used Steamboats deals but they have a tues to thursday out, sun to thursday return requirement.  But with these deals you often get reduced lifts or as we've used, Kids Ski Free.   KFF tend to get really difficult even this early to find days that fit.  I will note, the KFF usually has a bit higher cost for the adult fare.

maybe others out there?

Crested Butte has a buy 2 get one free for air. 

if only for the fare, maybe a no name carrier with limited routes like Air Trans,  .. the friday departure is a hit for most travel but agencies often have bulk to work that cost out.

Have ya considered an East Coast trip.  I have no clue as towards Air, but believe they're often less costly given the number of flights, or perhaps hop a train up the coast.  Again, i'm clueless there but

of course, i'm presuming the 4 are you, wife and 2 kiddies...  maybe you and kids can leave mom a day or two early happily greeting her upon arrival for a better deal.
post #10 of 18
Aspen also has a nice direct from ATL, but it's expensive right now.  You might try a tour operator like Aspen Ski Tours.  They usually negotiate bulk fares in the summer. 
post #11 of 18
Another link for info to Jackson Hole:

JH Central Reservations

4th person fliers for free. 
post #12 of 18
We are flying the same time frame to Colorado from Cincinnati which is about the same distance as Atlanta. Our tickets were $275 to Colorado Springs. I never could find a decent fare to Denver. One good thing about COS is the rental cars are cheaper than at DEN.
I would suggest that you use the vacation package option on the search engines and combine your flight + hotel. Reno in particular has some good deals using this method. Also keep searching Sacramento and even San Francisco. I have done both and the drive is not too bad. If you use San Francisco, stay the last night in SF.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, folks - you are awesome!  Thanks so much for all the great replies.  I realize now that I didn't give you enough information.  First off, the "four of us" is actually my wife and I plus my brother and his wife.  Secondly, we went to Colorado last year - Loveland and Keystone to be exact and my wife had real problems with the altitude.  She skied but did not feel well most of the trip.  She woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night with a high fever that would break by morning.  She did all the right stuff - she doesn't drink alcohol and consumed more water than a fish while we were there.  She eats way better than I do and still had major problems so that area is definitely out, even though we did have a great time there.

Our problem may be solved though.  I found tickets to Salt Lake for about $450 which is over budget but I found an absolute STEAL on a 2BR/2BA condo near Powder Mountain that makes it OK.  So, looks like we will do that unless something better comes along in my searches this evening.  Jackson Hole looks very compelling since we have never been there and only heard great things about it.

Anyway, thanks again - I'll let you know what we decide on.
post #14 of 18
I think you will enjoy Power Mountain and Snowbasin is not to far - FYI the cottonwood canyons are less than 2 hrs although they are about 8,000 ft at the base (still 1,000 ft lower than summit co., Colorado).
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post

Another link for info to Jackson Hole:

JH Central Reservations

4th person fliers for free. 
Like SIJ said. I'm working with Zak( 307 733 7550 x 3026 at JH Central Reservations for our trip in January. They have a buy 3 the 4th flies free and he'll get you an airline quote. From Atlanta, he found an American Deal @ $365. JH also has discounts in lodging and lifts with buy 3 get 4th free. Check it out.
post #16 of 18
If you do SLC i'd second the idea of Snowbasin, great great place and well under rated from a use perspective. 

If you had any desire to hang in the city, making it a central location then I've always recommended considering the Little America for a bit of atmosphere. 

Last yr they maintained a Ski Package.  Here my wife and I stayed in their high rise in a 2 room (well a big one with a bedroom section and living room section separated by an archway) king (dual queens available too) with nice LCD TV.

the great thing was it included 2 lift tickets to most any of the nearby resorts for each night stayed.  The total then was around $210/night (check for the tax total though) and providing the lifts were in the $60 to $70 range, offset the room cost quite nicely.    Other hotels/condos offer similar deals which may be less costly, but we got a kick out the Little America, good location and has a indoor/outdoor pool.  Lower Level Rooms are a bit less.  There are discount tickets out there too via most of the rental stores - Canyons Sports?

I will say though, Jackson Hole does have my interest!

good luck
post #17 of 18
 We go through that every time we go.  Because ATL and SLC are both Delta hubs and no one else flys that route, the fares are always expensive.  Since AirTran goes to Denver, but AirTran and Delta have reasonable, sometimes downright cheap fares to Denver.  Problem is, Rental cars in Denver are outrageous compared to SLC and lift tickets for the Summit areas are also much higher, so you take your poison.  Still, if four are going, it always seems to work out cheaper for us to go to Colorado.
post #18 of 18
(What would Jack Kerouac do?)
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