You know those commercials they ran a few years ago espousing the virtues of flying from Charlottetown rather than from Moncton or Halifax because of the savings in time, gas, bridge tolls, hassle, etc. It turns out they’re true.
I’m rendezvousing with Catherine and Oliver in Halifax next Monday – they’re flying in from Ottawa – and we’re flying on Condor to Germany.
Because we’re going away for 6 weeks, the usual “drive to the Airport hotel, park the car, get 14 days of free parking” plan doesn’t work this time, leaving me looking for alternatives ways to get to Halifax for a late evening departure. And then getting all three of us back to Charlottetown on August 26 in the late afternoon.
Here are our options:
- PEI Express Shuttle – Leaves Charlottetown at 11:15 a.m., presumably arriving around 3:00 p.m., so a 8-hour wait in the airport. Only returns to Charlottetown at 7:30 a.m., so would require an overnight stay in Halifax on the return journey. $230 for the shuttle plus $100 for hotel for a total of $330.
- Advanced Shuttle – Leaves Charlottetown at 7:45 a.m., arriving 11:30 a.m., so an 11 hour wait in the airport. Only returns to Charlottetown at 3:45 p.m., to early for us, so would require an overnight stay in Halifax on the return journey. $245 for the shuttle plus $100 for hotel for a total of $345.
- Acadian Lines – Leaves Charlottetown at 7:45 a.m., arrives at 12:30 p.m., so a 10-hour wait in the airport. Only returns to Charlottetown at 8:05 a.m., so would require an overnight stay in Halifax on the return journey. $228 for the shuttle plus $100 for hotel for a total of $328.
- Drive my own car and park at the Halifax Airport Hotel – I can leave and arrived whenever I want. $80 for gas, $50 for bridge toll, and $40/week for parking, for a total of $370. (Parking at Holiday Inn Express is the same $40/week; at the Hilton Garden Inn it appears to be $29.95/week, but their clerk seemed very confused at the question; the Inn on the Lake has a 2-week maximum).
- Drive my own car and park at the airport Park’N Fly. Rate is $361, plus $80 for gas and $50 for tolls for a total of $491.
- Air Canada, on Aeroplan points – Leaves Charlottetown 1:00 p.m., arriving 35 minutes later, so a 9 hours wait in the airport. 10,000 Aeroplan miles and $72 in taxes and fees on the way there. No availability for 3 people on August 26th, so we’d have to fly on the 27th and spend most of the day in a hotel. Return would be 30,000 Aeroplan miles and $238 in taxes and fees. So a total of $410 and 40,000 Aeroplan miles.
- Air Canada – flying without Aeroplan means a much more flexible schedule, leaving Charlottetown at 7:45 p.m. on the way there and leaving Halifax at 6:50 p.m. on the way back, so no need for a hotel. But convenience costs: total air fare $876.
- Renting a car and driving – Hertz is $149 one-way rental on the way there and $223 on the way back. Plus $80 in gasoline and $50 in bridge tolls for a total of $502.
- Driving to Sackville, NB, parking (somewhere) and taking VIA Rail to Halifax, then shuttle to airport – Leaves Sackville at 1:34 p.m., arriving Halifax at 5:10 p.m. Return requires an overnight stay, leaving Halifax at 12:15 p.m. Train fare is $129, shuttle from Halifax to Airport is $19.50 each. And then bridge tolls of $50, gasoline of $40 and hotel for a total of $297 plus whatever it would cost to park.
I’m welcome to other suggestions!