NaBloPoMo Day 14 : K-Town Traveling

Struggled to an 8-8 record with NFL picks. I did say the AFC West games could be a coin flip. Just chose the wrong side for those ones and it steamrolled from there. Eagles/Ravens/Bills horrible performances didn’t help either.

But my fantasy team won, which was a blowout. My QB is Aaron Rodgers and I already had the game won by Sunday night. Final score was 129-63 and I’m now tied for 1st overall at 7-2 with the NB Destroyers. This particular CBS Fantasy League was created by a fellow blogger in New Brunswick. The Canadian Sports Media blog.

Back from Toronto. Train ride was nice. Since I don’t have a car I usually hop on the Megabus from Kingston to Toronto. Bus station is near my place which makes it easy. Since you probably don’t know, Kingston is the one mandatory stop on the Toronto-Montreal bus route.

Every bus has to stop here for 20 minutes or so. I took the bus Saturday morning and we even had a separate one for Kingston-Toronto and didn’t have to hop on one that was coming from Montreal.

Hadn’t taken VIA Rail before and it seemed to be in between bus and a flight. Like a plane there is assigned seats, a ‘gate’ you go through to get to the train, person comes by with drinks/snacks. Now for a trip of less than 3 hours it didn’t seem that much different. Other than possible snacks you could purchase during the trip. One good part is no worries about traffic delays like taking the 401.

Traveling by bus you are all on the same boat. Business Class on the train from what I’ve read is a better bet for longer train rides. More room and meals included even with wine. Just hope the people on your train can handle their alcohol, that could end badly.

Cost wise bus is lower of course. Now only reason I took the train for once was finding a cheap rate through their website. Right now it doesn’t list what I saw since there is a 50% off sale.

That page when working had tickets for $33 instead of the usual price which was almost $100. Now the catch was it was only certain routes and certain times. Only Toronto-Kingston train was 6am or 12pm on the day I was looking at. Took the noon hour one which worked out well but if you needed a certain day/time it wouldn’t work out.

I can say prices in general have gone down on VIA. Last time I had checked was a few years ago and it was something like $170 or more for a train on the same route. When I can ride the bus for $30 it didn’t make sense. Especially when it’s economy class we’re talking about.

So at least they’re more reasonable than those days.

Price wise even that wasn’t as bad as trying to fly out of Kingston Airport. Hardly anyone around here uses Norman Rogers Airport. They either drive to Toronto or Ottawa and fly out. Prices for a short flight to those airports is crazy. Recently I just saw some ads on the local Kingston Transit buses trying to sell people on using the Airport. Good luck.

As an example: Kingston to Moncton, New Brunswick. Where I’m planning on going next year for a specific reason. [Again that will make sense later in the month when I give details] I will use the same date to compare. We’ll use January 13th Kingston to Moncton. With transfers in Toronto then Halifax, Montreal or Ottawa. First the ‘class’ of the seat then the price.

Tango, $364. Tango Plus, $429. Latitude, $846. Executive Class Lowest, $632. Executive Class Flexible, $1415.

That’s the price of one way. So double that. Now why does nobody fly out of Kingston? To compare, Toronto to Moncton.

Tango, $174. Tango Plus, $239. Latitude, $614. Executive Class Lowest, $504. Executive Class Flexible, $1324.

Or also Ottawa to Moncton.

Tango, $149. Tango Plus, $214. Latitude, $652. Executive Class Lowest, $506. Executive Class Flexible, $1339.

You did read that right. For adding a 60 minute flight out of Kington Airport it DOUBLES the price of what you pay for Tango. And almost double as well for Tango Plus. Towards the higher end the price of Business Class travelers is pretty similar. But I’m betting most of you readers are not looking at throwing down $2600 for a flight inside of Canada.

And that’s why everyone I know around here either get a ride, take a train or catch a bus to Pearson or Ottawa Airport then fly out. Doesn’t make any sense to pay double just for the luxury of flying out of here. And if it’s 2 people traveling, or a family of four? No way you are paying those prices.

I recalled this article in the Whig Standard from a few months ago about Kingston Airport. Seems they know people go elsewhere, but can’t deal with the reason why. Or put their head in the sand on what the reason is.

He cited the recent example of an American sports organization that was arranging to send a delegation of 17 people here in June to scout a site for a sporting event.

When the group learned the only flight to Kingston would go through Toronto, they declined and instead will fly into Ottawa and take a bus from there.

Toronto Pearson Airport, said Garrah, has become infamous for its delays.

“We need another terminal. We need to extend the runway. We need to offer travellers more choice,” he said.

Snow said a comprehensive business plan could point to expansion — or the status quo.

“I believe that with such an untapped market potential of 70% already flying, if we had the right-sized facility a good deal of those 70% would come back and begin and end their journey in Kingston,” he said.

Pointing out delays at Pearson made no sense. Whether you take a flight out of Kingston or not, you have to go through Pearson most of the time don’t you? So the same delay would affect you flying out of Norman Rogers.

Thankfully in the comments people point out the obvious reason ‘PRICES’. Whether the terminal is better doesn’t matter. Until the airlines make the prices reasonable they are not getting the business. Few people in comments even talk about driving to Syracuse when flying to the US to avoid those kind of charges.

Advertising is not working either since soon as you look at that sticker prices you will go elsewhere. Not there fault Air Canada puts the price that hight. And if the expansion doesn’t help lower the prices it is a waste of money.

Rant over for today.

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