Catching a flight for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by NCDSDad, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. NCDSDad

    NCDSDad DS in class of 2014

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    Does anyone know the latest time that our P/C would be able to leave campus on the Friday before the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks? The warning in the Regimental Calendar that “Leave begins for all classes at 1600 or after last scheduled class without exception (and with clearance with their respective Company Officer.)“ begs the question ‘How late could the last scheduled class go?’ Does this imply that the last ‘scheduled class’ could leave our P/C available to leave earlier than 1600, or does it mean that he needs to leave a few more hours of lead time before any flight out of town? Our P/C could catch a direct/non-stop flight out of JFK that leaves at 7:10pm. Will he make it?

    With his current class schedule, he has Friday afternoon open, but who knows what his schedule will be like next term.

    We are also concerned about the availability of cabs or shuttles from USMMA to JFK when all the Mids & P/Cs are trying to leave at approximately the same time. Hoping that our P/C can share a cab or something, and then find his way, going solo for his first time, through JFK and to the gate on his own and in time.

    Quoted from the 2010-2011 Regimental Calendar:
    FRIDAY 19 NOVEMBER --- Fall - Thanksgiving Leave begins for all classes at 1600 or after last scheduled class without exception. DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL PLANS IN CONFLICT WITH SCHEDULED AFTERNOON CLASSES. SPECIAL LIBERTY FOR EARLY DEPARTURE/LATE RETURN IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

    FRIDAY 17 DECEMBER --- Winter Leave begins for the Regiment at 1600, or after last scheduled afternoon class without exception and with clearance with their respective Company Officer.
    DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL PLANS IN CONFLICT WITH SCHEDULED AFTERNOON CLASSES. SPECIAL LIBERTY FOR EARLY DEPARTURE/ LATE RETURN IS NOT AUTHORIZED. Midshipmen are reminded that the Dormitories are closed for Semi-Annual Maintenance. No Food or Berthing will be available after 0800 on Saturday, December 18th
     
  2. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    This is where parents have to be the most flexable. I know it costs more to book late (trust me...we have been there) but you don't want to book early and then things "change".

    If it says " Friday after 1600", then I would book the flight later Friday evening. If PC doesn't have a Friday class, then PC needs to talk to his Chain of Command and verify that PC can leave on Thursday after PC's last class or after last assigned duty. If that doesn't work, book the Friday flight and if PC can leave early, PC can work with the airline to move the flight to an earlier slot.

    As for taxi service...most of the mids share rides to JFK and Laguardia. Sometime you can find an enterprising 1st class mid that will shuttle people to and fro for a "nominal fee". However the mode, there will not be a problem getting to the airports.
     
  3. NCDSDad

    NCDSDad DS in class of 2014

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    Thanks for the response wolfe834. That helps a lot. So, if our DS has a class that ends at 1600 on Friday, can we count on our DS being able to leave soon thereafter, with permission? :confused: What other obligations would keep him there later? :scratch:
     
  4. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    I miss read your post...sorry....I was thinking he didn't have a Friday class.

    There should be no reason for him not to be able to leave on that Friday afternoon. The only thing that would keep him from leaving early would be if he had a watch to stand or company/regimental duty to perform. The thing he needs to do is to verify, with his CO and teachers, when his last class will end on Friday and if there would be any duty he would be responsible for and relay that information to you.

    I would allow at least an hour drive time to the airports due to Friday afternoon/holiday leave traffic. Also, keep in mind the weather for that time of year.

    We also considered (and used on occasion) the first out Saturday am flight. Less hassle, most flights had extra seating so they could spread out and Ensign had use of the USO.

    For All Parents….encourage your Mid or PC to utilize the uniform to it’s fullest. I know of a trip where my Mid didn’t wear his uniform while another classmate wore his. The classmate was bumped to first class while mine sat in coach. Sometimes it will make a difference as to making an earlier flight, getting bumped to first class, or keeping you from missing a flight.

    Just Sayin….


    :tank:
     
  5. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    So if it were me - I'd make the early, cost effective reservation on the 7PM direct flight, sooner rather than later, especially given with what is going on lately with full/fuller flights and higher airfares.

    As wolfe says, I'd suggst mids wear their uniforms - that way if they get to the airport earlier and standsby for an earlier flight, etc. they may be given some consideration/courtesy/help. If he doesn't he'll just be looked at like any other clean cut, nice college student going home on break....
     
  6. kpmom2011

    kpmom2011 Member

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    I know of a parent who's son was in the Class of 2011 as a plebe. Around Parents Weekend (2007) this parent made flight reservations for the son to come home on all the major holidays because the early booking was such a deal, this parent paid around $800 for all the flights......

    Plebe failed calc and physics first trimester....took a setback to 2012.....moral of the story....don't book too far ahead :thumbdown: just saying............
     
  7. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    That goes for Amtrak as well. Our DS wanted to change his ticket to an earlier train, and I told him that when he arrived in Penn Station he would need to go to the general ticket line to have the ticket changed. When he arrived and got into the line, a ticket agent came over to him and escorted him to the (much shorter) Acela line to make the change.

    He's also had conductors on the LIRR who wouldn't collect his ticket.:thumb:
     
  8. baxted

    baxted Member

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    The uniform is their friend. Our DS often did not pay for LIRR or Amtrak or NJ Transit with the uniform. The first time he was in Penn Station standing in that awful cattle herding that is the Amtrak ticket lines, a conductor walked by, tapped him on the shoulder and said "Excuse me sir, you need to be in this line" and stuffed him in the nearly empty first class line!

    Please check too if your DD or DS has a sporting event. For Thanksgiving, our DS had a cross country meet in DC on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. As Wolf says, "Be flexible".
     
  9. usmmasoccermom

    usmmasoccermom Member

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  10. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    Do they have to be back on Monday the 29th or Sunday the 28th. Just trying to clarify
     
  11. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    Does Delta upgrade or put them on an earlier flight if they are in uniform like Airtran does? Problem with Airtran, the last plane flight for the 19th is 6:43 p.m. Don't know if this would be sufficient time for him to get to the airport on time or not. Delta offers a 7,8 & 9 p.m. flight. Cost difference is $9.
     
  12. Navy1981

    Navy1981 Member

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    Make sure your DS checks with his coach before you make reservations. I know last year the volleyball team had games and I do know that the swimmers have a meet and two practices during the break. Swimmers need to be back for a Monday morning practice.
     
  13. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    Thanks for the reminder about swimming practice. Also, if they get out on Friday but the last practice is Sunday, what do they do between Fri and Sun? And will they be able to stay there on campus and sleep there during this time?
     
  14. proudmomcolorado

    proudmomcolorado Member

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    weather and returning to KP

    Leave some wiggle room when your DM returns home from holidays. DS was to be back by 1800 Sunday on one of the holidays and weather did not cooperate. He was stuck in Chicago, all flights cancelled. I believe that a phone call would have bought him more time, but he was still in the mode of trying to fly under the radar and not call attention to any situation.
    He made it back with 1 1/2 hours to spare, but it was unneeded stress.

    Weather is one thing that you can never quite get right, especially for the kids that have a lengthy flight back and forth. We now get him back to KP a day early. Less stress, less mess, makes for a happier mid. :smile:
     
  15. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    The uniforms are magic. DS goes to the front of the security line. DS has yet to pay for food in LGA. Gate agents have not charged the change ticket fee for an earlier flight. When I see a military uniform in coach I tell the flight attendants to put the in any open 1st class seat.
     

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