I Wanna Rock
December 31, 2008 8:33 PM   Subscribe

California to NYC turnaround for a concert : How do I get cheap plane tickets and is it feasible to go from the airport to the show and then back to the airport and then back to California? Has anyone done something like this before?

They're my favorite band (I've never seen them live) and I'm afraid I may run out of chances to see them if I don't just do it
posted by philad to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (11 answers total)
Honestly you're going the wrong way for a turnaround like that, if you were thinking that you'd hop a "redeye" right after the show. Flights going to the west coast from NYC don't depart at 1 or 2 AM. You'll have to wait until 6AM or so the next day to get the first flight out.

In terms of cheapest flight, I think you'll have to just stalk sites like farecast and kayak and hope the fares drop. Unless something radically changes I can't see a cross country flight being less than $300.
posted by cabingirl at 9:27 PM on December 31, 2008

Oh, and I failed to say that I've done similar trips before and they are totally doable as long as you know how you're getting back to the airport. This is especially true if you plan to use public transportation in the middle of the night - make sure it's running when you need it.
posted by cabingirl at 9:29 PM on December 31, 2008

You'd do better to fly into EWR and see the show in Hoboken (if I'm reading the schedule correctly.) Agreed that you're gonna have to wait it out until 6 AM to get a flight back west.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:06 PM on December 31, 2008

How good are you at sleeping in airports?

Where are you in California? I picked Oakland as an example to research. Kayak says you can do the round trip from Oakland to New York, flying out 3/14 and returning 3/15, for a little under $400.

And do you want to do the turnaround trip to save time (because you have to be back the next day for your job, or something) or to save money (by not paying for a hotel room)? If it's the latter, you might want to look into couch surfing as an alternative to camping out at the airport.

cabingirl is right about flight schedules. Kayak lets you use sliding controls to limit the time frame for takeoffs and landings of your flights. I can't find anything that takes off from New York later than 7:45 p.m. on the 14th or earlier than 6 a.m. on the 15th.
posted by Orinda at 10:26 PM on December 31, 2008

While not to NYC, I've done this a ZILLION times (SLC to Philly, many locations to LA, etc.). You can do it, but....MAKE SURE you can get to and from the venue and, depending on which airport, MAKE SURE it's not one that closes down early .....you'll wanna be able to sleep there.
posted by polexxia at 10:29 PM on December 31, 2008

Response by poster: I'm close to Ontario International Airport but would go just about anywhere if I could make it work. I'm planning on skipping work the next day.
posted by philad at 2:05 AM on January 1, 2009


Carmel Limo: arrange for them to get you at the airport when you land and to take you back at the end of the concert. Depending on the airport it will cost you between 35 and 60 bucks each way, plus toll. If you're springing for a plane ticket, this is a low price to pay for door to door at the highest speed and at any hour.

You can do this, but I recommend taking the next two days off.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:35 AM on January 1, 2009

I just looked up the bands history on Wikipedia and taking that into consideration -- you should totally see them while you can ... who knows the next time the lineup will change or they will go on another hiatus?

I will go pretty much anywhere to see a band I like, especially if I think it will be my only chance to see them. I've done the reverse of your trip a number of times (NY to California) and I don't regret it at all. I only regret the times I said I would catch a band on their next tour and the "next tour" never happened, thereby missing out on my chance to ever see them live.

So yes it is feasible, but it might be easier on you if you planned to fly back to California the day after the concert.
posted by Julnyes at 11:14 AM on January 1, 2009

Of course you can. But to make it easier, could you just stay out all night and get the first flight back? It seems silly to fly all the way to NYC and not see more at night than your concert. Even if you just stay out and take photos, you'll have a better time than if you try to crash out at the airport. Find a cool diner, walk around a funky neighborhood, see what it's like when the city "wakes up."

I've done this a few times in Berlin and Paris on one-night trips from other parts of Europe and it's brilliant - fly/train in (with no luggage!), perhaps have a pre-concert drink somewhere, zip over to concert, party party party post concert, fly/train (sleep!) home in the morning. A few tips:

• It's a good idea to wear a jacket with a few big pockets to hold a camera and your plane tickets and ID, as well as carrying a PDFed copy of your confirmation paperwork on a USB memory stick in another pocket, so if your jacket gets stolen at a club (speaking from experience!), you can print out a new copy if you're out and still get your flight home.

• Virgin America (which is AWESOME) has flights (#406 and #403) from LAX to JFK and back for $419, which isn't the cheapest out there, but the times are perfect for what you want to do: you'd leave LAX at 9:30 am and get to JFK at 6:30 pm, then fly out the next morning at 7:30 am and arrive back at LAX around 11:00 am. As you'd be leaving on a Saturday morning (assuming you went to the Saturday show), traffic from the Inland Empire to LAX wouldn't be too atrocious. The flights are non-stop.

• If things are more price-sensitive, there's a $273 flight from Orange County to LaGuardia on United which I found here, but the times don't line up as well, public transit to LaGuardia isn't as easy as the subway to JFK, and you'd have to change planes in Chicago.

Time Out New York is a great guide to what's on when and where, as well as things you can do all the time. Here's their visitor info section. It's in print as well, available at newsstands when you get there.

Have a great time!
posted by mdonley at 11:40 AM on January 1, 2009

Plan ahead for airport public transit if you're trying to keep the budget to a bare minimum. For the M60 bus from Laguardia, you'll need to bring the fare ($2 last I knew--but check that there hasn't been a fare hike) in exact change, no bills. Once you're in the subway system you can buy a Metrocard with enough money on it to get you through the rest of your trip, including return fare on the bus to the airport. (You may be able to get a Metrocard from one of the airport news stands, but I wouldn't count on that if I were you; it's better to bring eight quarters.)
posted by Orinda at 2:29 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Great advice and inspiration!
posted by philad at 12:57 PM on January 4, 2009

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