Labor Day Weekend Leave

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 7AM18, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. 7AM18

    7AM18 New Member

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    Ok, so I know that plebes can (usually) use a pass and leave West Point over Labor Day weekend. However I haven't found much on times and such for getting to the airports. I would like to come home (Michigan) from Newark Airport. Does anyone know what times buses depart from WP to the airport and how long that takes? Does anyone have any advice on what time I should look for a flight for on Saturday, August 30th? I have only ever flown once, so I'm not sure how much time to allot for security or anything else. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. hav2run21

    hav2run21 Member

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    If you live near Detroit area I would consider LaGuardia Airport over Newark as Delta operates plenty of non stop flights between LGA and Detroit.
     
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Weekend Trips....

    Your TAC will give you all the information.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  4. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    You'll need to be very conservative as you won't know your last class time.

    Your first Labor day is always harder to predict and the schedules are not posted yet. Always check the USMA parents page for the schedules.

    But there is a pattern and you can usually predict enough to book at least the return, and sometimes the outbound early.

    Here's the typical 3 day weekend+Monday pattern:
    There will be 2-3 buses between 1PM and 4 or 4:30 on the Friday before a 3 day weekend. And 2-3 between 10'ish and 4'ish on the Monday you are due back.

    Since you don't know your class schedule, you pretty much have to assume the last bus outbound as a plebe, then 4 hours for transit & airport checkin/security. Some go with less, but we allow for 4 and then go standby for earlier.

    On the return we shoot to land noon or 1 to make the 2nd bus easily. Not recommended to count on the 4'ish bus, if you have a flight delay you won't have a backup. Not worth risking, especially as a plebe on your first leave.

    It gets easier, and you'll see the patterns. Thanksgiving and spring break are easy, they will be based on the AY calendar. Winter leave outbound is always hard because you won't know your TEE schedule, and it's more than just time, the day can change.

    There are exceptions, with last year's Labor day being one due to a Friday football game. No one knew the outbound bus schedules till very late.

    In these cases you can go ahead and book the return early, but may have to wait on the outbound until you know more. I'd recommend doing this for Winter leave as well.

    It's also worth snagging the previous year's bus schedules from the parent page to keep on hand. They get deleted when the year starts, and they are handy to see typical schedules.

    I will say it's a balance, if you try to book too early you can get stuck with a change. Or worse, no leave due to several potential factors. We would book early (2-3 mths) for Thanksgiving as it's a peak travel period and easy to predict. Same for return on winter leave.

    For the others, we wait till we know the schedule from the bus schedule and the cadet's plans.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    One other "Gotcha", you have to check the football schedules along with the AY calendar. They can goof up 3 day weekends. Last year Labor Day was altered. This year it's one of the October 3 day weekends that has a game.

    You have to attend the game, and if it's on a Sat or Sun they can move the leave weekend to the next weekend. If it's a Friday Night game they typically have buses run 6AM on Sat.

    Just keep this in mind. But I think this year's labor day is clear.
     
  6. 845something

    845something Member

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    For Detroit, consider Stewart/Newburgh - should be a direct Delta flight and you can take a cab or find a ride (possibly even your sponsor).
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I would also keep in mind that if you only have that one pass the whole semester, it's a long time until Thanksgiving leave. My cadet was swamped with schoolwork so he stayed over Labor Day and came home for Columbus Day weekend. (Of course if there is a football game that weekend, that changes everything.)

    Remember as well, in order to have a pass approved, you have to be doing well in all aspects of your work---academic, military, and physical.
     
  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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  9. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    All good input. And Columbus day is easier to arrange travel for. Less of a travel peak and you usually have time to book after knowing your class schedule.

    But it's a game weekend this year so a bit moot. Looks like Labor day & Veteran's day are the only 3 day weekends without games.

    Remember most (Many?) plebes will likely get a performance pass each semester as well. Can't count on it, but it may present another option.
     
  10. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Pretty sure my cadet only had one.
     
  11. hav2run21

    hav2run21 Member

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    Are passes on valid for 3 day weekend " holidays". We live about 90min drive from WP and our DS may want to come home some other weekend!
     
  12. 7AM18

    7AM18 New Member

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    Thank you for all the input everyone! Here is the situation- my high school jazz band got accepted into a jazz festival in Detroit on Labor Day weekend. A stipulation of this event is that the original performing group be intact. Obviously this could be an exception, but I am going to try my best. I'm not too fond of the idea of using my (potentially) one pass, but it is what it is. All the help is greatly appreciated! :smile:
     
  13. bpu

    bpu Member

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    As stated earlier, getting an extra performance pass isn't always that tough. One year I believe cadets got them for just running in the Tunnels to Tower run. Heck, going back home for a special trip like this might even qualify for leave that doesn't cost you a pass, depending upon your TAC - although Labor Day for a plebe might be too early to get into a TAC's good graces.
    Other thing to remember on Labor Day passes is the "use it or lose it" strategy - hate to have someone save a pass until October only to have it not be able to use due to academic or other restrictions.
     

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