FAQ: Flying Out of Buffalo OR Detroit

OntFamily

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
I see buffalo actually has 4 direct flights a day to Orlando up until about the end of August. Then I'm only seeing 2 per day for September.
I'm planning on going in September do u think they will add more flights? I've always gone in September and there have always been 4 a day, and I've always booked around April/may
I'm trying to book for March 2018, and I've noted a big decrease in the number of flights from BUF to Orlando on Southwest after Dec. Plus, no evening flights (on weekdays, the last direct flight of the day is mid afternoon). Last year, there were direct flights leaving until mid evening (and they were full, so I'm surprised there's not more scheduled).
 

flower_petals

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 2, 2016
I'm also wondering about the logistics of flying in to Detroit without a car, what's the best way to cross into Windsor & get Via?
Not sure if you still looking for this info, but Robert q has an Airbus service that leaves from Windsor to Metro. $50 per adult. https://reservation.robertq.com/airbus/Reservation/Trip/8d4cd0fae63071d

I'm in Windsor, but don't drive, so I'm trying to figure out the same. I'm not sure if it's best to train it to Toronto and fly, or go from here to Detroit ( which would only be 45 min away) I'm not going until September 2018 do I guess the dollar will determine that for me.

*Edit I read this wrong, you're coming into Windsor to get via in Windsor to go where?
 
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  • marisabuzz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    Has anyone parked at BUF over Christmas last year? We usually park in Hourly/Daily because we like the convenience (two kids, luggage, time of flights etc) and don't want to consider less expensive options and usually budget for this expense. How busy is it?
     

    marisabuzz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    The best we've gotten was round trip for $150ish USD pp (back in Aug 2014). We have been averaging about $200-$250 USD pp return lately, but we have also been going at peak times (March break and Christmas). And this price includes ECBI with Southwest. We have also been picky with when we depart/arrive and direct flights, so this can drive up cost. They day you leave can also drive up costs with weekends (Fri to Mon) tending to cost more.

    If you book with Southwest immediately when they release their schedules, it's usually the cheapest. For our recent Christmas trip, we tried to book on release day and for our family of four it cost about $1300 USD total. We ended up waiting and found prices just after Black Friday for non-stop, ECBI, decent flight times leaving Tuesday and returning two Fridays after, all for just over $900 USD.

    I was watching prices out of YYZ prior to Southwest releasing schedules for flights for our Christmas trip. And the days leading up to release day, Westjet had direct flights for $1200 CAD for our family of four. Had we had known at the time that we would be renting a car in Orlando for our vacay, I would have booked the flight out of YYZ instead. It would have saved on time to drive to BUF and parking. Flying out of BUF using Southwest or any of Disney's participating resort check-in airlines makes it worth the drive since you can check-in with bags for your flight at the hotel and take MDE. Otherwise, if the prices are the same for flights out of BUF and YYZ and you are renting a car, then I would fly out of YYZ instead.
     

    Memojo

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2018
    Thanks for the info.

    We generally need to go in the summer months (prime time for Disney), as my wife works in a school. Looking at the Southwest cost out of Buffalo, return flight to Toronto is quoted at $265 US vs a A/C best price of $611. As well the A/C flight doesn’t Arrive into Orlando until late afternoon. Easy decision here
     
  • ellbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    Just a little warning to those flying Southwest. If you make changes on your flights you may lose earlybird checkin if you've purchased it.

    Yesterday I made changes from a one stop flight to a non stop flight and it dropped my earlybird check in and after much struggle the agent said she couldn't fix it. I ended up speaking with a manager and they said that the only way to fix it is to refund the original and recharge it (I'm canadian so also lost money on the exchange). By doing this I also lost my place in line from when I originally bought our tickets with earlybird checkin. My flight is less than 2 months from now so I'm not even sure it was worth re -adding
     

    pigletto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2007
    Just a little warning to those flying Southwest. If you make changes on your flights you may lose earlybird checkin if you've purchased it.

    Yesterday I made changes from a one stop flight to a non stop flight and it dropped my earlybird check in and after much struggle the agent said she couldn't fix it. I ended up speaking with a manager and they said that the only way to fix it is to refund the original and recharge it (I'm canadian so also lost money on the exchange). By doing this I also lost my place in line from when I originally bought our tickets with earlybird checkin. My flight is less than 2 months from now so I'm not even sure it was worth re -adding
    It has always been that if you “changed” your flight it carried over, but if you “cancelled” and rebooked it does not. So you have to use the change feature when rebooking yourself (I’ve done it many times). The only time I ever had a problem was when I called in and had them make the changes for me. The agent cancelled and rebooked instead of just changing the reservation and lost my EBCI. Then I had to argue with them to get credited and like you, lost my place in line even though i had booked on opening day.
    So I would advise people to do it on their own on the website (making sure to “change” or “modify” the reservation and not cancel outright) or to explain the process to the agent because as you and I discovered the hard way.. they don’t all know how to do it.
    I’m sorry .. I know how frustrating that can be!
     

    ellbell

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    It has always been that if you “changed” your flight it carried over, but if you “cancelled” and rebooked it does not. So you have to use the change feature when rebooking yourself (I’ve done it many times). The only time I ever had a problem was when I called in and had them make the changes for me. The agent cancelled and rebooked instead of just changing the reservation and lost my EBCI. Then I had to argue with them to get credited and like you, lost my place in line even though i had booked on opening day.
    So I would advise people to do it on their own on the website (making sure to “change” or “modify” the reservation and not cancel outright) or to explain the process to the agent because as you and I discovered the hard way.. they don’t all know how to do it.
    I’m sorry .. I know how frustrating that can be!
    I tried the app first and kept getting an error. That is why I called in. They never said it would he removed and she seemed surprised when it happened. Their customer service is horrible in cases like this and they just keep daying there isn't anything they can do.
     

    marisabuzz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    Thanks for the info.

    We generally need to go in the summer months (prime time for Disney), as my wife works in a school. Looking at the Southwest cost out of Buffalo, return flight to Toronto is quoted at $265 US vs a A/C best price of $611. As well the A/C flight doesn’t Arrive into Orlando until late afternoon. Easy decision here
    We've been twice late August/early September. In 2014, we flew out of Toronto with WestJet as part of a package so not sure entirely how much the flight cost. In 2016, we flew SW out of Buffalo for $198 USD pp which included EBCI. Booked in Feb @ $250 USD pp, but prices dropped twice before our trip.

    Other things you have to factor include drive time and parking, as well as each passenger getting two free checked bags each and Resort Airline Check-in when returning (you don't get RAC when you fly on any Canadian carrier).
     
  • marisabuzz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    Just a little warning to those flying Southwest. If you make changes on your flights you may lose earlybird checkin if you've purchased it.

    Yesterday I made changes from a one stop flight to a non stop flight and it dropped my earlybird check in and after much struggle the agent said she couldn't fix it. I ended up speaking with a manager and they said that the only way to fix it is to refund the original and recharge it (I'm canadian so also lost money on the exchange). By doing this I also lost my place in line from when I originally bought our tickets with earlybird checkin. My flight is less than 2 months from now so I'm not even sure it was worth re -adding
    We've changed flights successfully with Southwest many times without losing ECBI (**knock on wood** hope I didn't jinx myself). I have heard good and bad scenarios of how the Southwest Customer Service teams have handled this.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Funny as I keep hearing how cheap Buffalo is, but when I look at prices Toronto to Miami vs Buffalo to Miami, there isn't much difference. However, Detroit to Miami seems to have savings. Not sure I'd want to take the risk driving to Detroit for a flight in March (as we have a cruise booked) but am looking at it for an option in August. Anyone done the drive? How is the airport, parking, etc? Also, am I missing some lookup for Buffalo flights? I've never seen it cheaper. Maybe it's only when flights are first released?
     

    marisabuzz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    Funny as I keep hearing how cheap Buffalo is, but when I look at prices Toronto to Miami vs Buffalo to Miami, there isn't much difference. However, Detroit to Miami seems to have savings. Not sure I'd want to take the risk driving to Detroit for a flight in March (as we have a cruise booked) but am looking at it for an option in August. Anyone done the drive? How is the airport, parking, etc? Also, am I missing some lookup for Buffalo flights? I've never seen it cheaper. Maybe it's only when flights are first released?
    Can't speak true for flights to Miami (FLL to be exact), but I have generally seen flights out of Buffalo cheaper the Toronto to Orlando. The exception was for our trip this past December when flights out of Toronto were cheaper than MCO 6+ months ahead of our dates. We should have booked then, but waited for Southwest to release their flight schedule for December and when that happened, flights out Toronto became more expensive with flights out of Buffalo just as expensive.

    Southwest is typically cheaper on release days and 1.5-2 months ahead of your travel dates for Orlando. If you are flying anywhere else, Toronto is often better as they have more routes and options.
     

    Average Joes

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2012
    Funny as I keep hearing how cheap Buffalo is, but when I look at prices Toronto to Miami vs Buffalo to Miami, there isn't much difference. However, Detroit to Miami seems to have savings. Not sure I'd want to take the risk driving to Detroit for a flight in March (as we have a cruise booked) but am looking at it for an option in August. Anyone done the drive? How is the airport, parking, etc? Also, am I missing some lookup for Buffalo flights? I've never seen it cheaper. Maybe it's only when flights are first released?
    The Detroit airport is about 45 minutes from the bridge. Highway driving. There is plenty of parking near the airport. They have shuttled us to the airport almost immediately. Recently we have taken really early flights and stay in a nearby hotel that includes parking. I would not stay in a cheap one.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    The Detroit airport is about 45 minutes from the bridge. Highway driving. There is plenty of parking near the airport. They have shuttled us to the airport almost immediately. Recently we have taken really early flights and stay in a nearby hotel that includes parking. I would not stay in a cheap one.
    Thanks. Was looking at booking a late afternoon flight to avoid the hotel stay and just park at the airport (think it's about 4.5 hrs from Toronto?). But if the flight was earlier, then we would want drive in night before and stay overnight.
     

    alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    Thanks. Was looking at booking a late afternoon flight to avoid the hotel stay and just park at the airport (think it's about 4.5 hrs from Toronto?). But if the flight was earlier, then we would want drive in night before and stay overnight.
    There are some pretty decent choices for hotels around the Detroit airport. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and you could see the airport from the hotel. Very convenient, clean and well run.
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    There are some pretty decent choices for hotels around the Detroit airport. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and you could see the airport from the hotel. Very convenient, clean and well run.
    Thanks so much for a good hotel name. I just checked and the price is decent (esp when it includes breakfast)
     

    Average Joes

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2012
    Thanks. Was looking at booking a late afternoon flight to avoid the hotel stay and just park at the airport (think it's about 4.5 hrs from Toronto?). But if the flight was earlier, then we would want drive in night before and stay overnight.
    Yes about 4.5 hours. The border is usually not bad for mid morning. We stayed at two different hotels. One was La Quinta and it was very reasonable and clean. Left too early for breakfast. It was maybe $50 more than parking on its own. Fairfield looks nicer, a bit more $. Another Days we went was an Inn that was outdated, not that clean and busy.
     

    alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    I chose the Fairfield because it is part of Marriott and I happened to have points. The parking lot for the off site parking was right there too so it was a win win for me. My impression was any hotel that was pretty close to the airport would have been ok, they all seemed decent from the outside and again, it isn’t inner city or sketchy at all. I liked the airport too, it was smaller than I thought it would be, clean and easy to navigate. If you decide to park right at the airport the parking structure is right beside it, you don’t have to worry about shuttles or anything. All in all our experience at the Detroit airport was a really good one. I would fly from there again.
     


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