Thanksgiving Break

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by thederek, May 5, 2010.

  1. thederek

    thederek Member

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    Just had a few questions to clear up:

    -The six days of leave for Thanksgiving break apply to all 4 classes, correct? Meaning everyone gets to go home for the holiday?

    -And are the dates of this break posted anywhere?

    Thank you!
     
  2. btown13

    btown13 Member

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    LMD (last class) the tuesday before turkey day untill 710 the monday after
     
  3. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    and yes - it applies to all 4 classes
     
  4. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Do the airlines give you any type of breaks in price for being military? Also, are there shuttles to Denver. There are direct flights from Denver. Colorado Springs are all connecting flights and the trip takes forever to get to where we live.
     
  5. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

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    Observations & Suggestions from an Airline Pilot

    Colorado Springs airport (COS) is nice and convenient to the C.Springs area, but you'll find there are not as many direct destinations from there and the frequencies are low for those directs (1 or 2 per day to most/many, depending on time of year). Denver (DEN) is only about a 1 hour longer drive from AFA and the chance of finding more (and more frequent) directs to where you want to go is better. Oh, and the fares from DEN appear to be much lower than from COS in most cases. When making reservations I would caution you that Colorado weather can be unpredictable in the late Fall and Winter so plan carefully this far ahead. I plan to send my C4C back to DEN from Atlanta (ATL) on 01 Jan '11 at the end of Christmas break to be back in time for FMD 1900, 02 Jan '11. I'm also seeing fares on 01 Jan that are significantly lower than 02 Jan.

    PJ
     
  6. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

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    I've heard that there are busses that run to DEN (airport) and/or COS at least at the beginning of breaks. Don't know how it's arranged or how much the cost is. Maybe a current Cadet can fill us in.

    PJ
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My sons took the van once - was $25/one way. They got there safely though they described the driver as "sketch." haha

    It is my experience that there are NO good price deals on air flight at Thanksgiving. It's expensive. The USO in the Denver airport is great though, for kids who have rides that aren't well timed with their flights.

    The greatest thing that happened for my kids is when they were offered upgraded seats at no charge when the airlines had them available. Twice they got to fly first class! Once, my son got bumped up to 1st class and the man he sat next to was a USAFA grad, who then took him out for dinner and gave him a ride to COSpr!

    There are some kids who don't go home for the short breaks. My kids' sponsor family has hosted some of these kids over the years. Can't say enough good things about sponsors.
     
  8. bandit

    bandit Member

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    Things to keep in mind.

    Thanksgiving break - You won't know when LMD will be for a while. for the first two years my S was there, LMD was 3pm. Last year they changed it to 12pm. There are limitations for when flights can be booked. Meaning your cadets departure from Denver can be no sooner than 3.5 hours after LMD and COS is maybe 2 hours after LMD. These are examples as I forget the exact time limitation, but it is close to what I posted. Returning flights. Don't worry about the weather, as long as their flight was scheduled to arrive with time for them to return to the hill safely before 7pm, they will be fine.

    Xmas break - there is no way you can possibly book this flight now. Why? because there is no way to know when your cadet can leave. LMD is whenver their last final is. That can vary by several days. The first day of finals is on 12/11 and the last day is on 12/16. Some cadets will be done by 12/13 and some won't be done until 12/16. So I guess if you wanted to book it now, you could book it for 12/17 but know that your cadet won't be very happy sitting there waiting.

    there is always a shuttle that runs from USAFA to both airports. You will get info on the schedules as we get closer. My son has never used the shuttle in 3 years. Always seems to find a way, either with sponsor family or just scopes out the airport lookning for other cadets or rides with a friend. it isn't all that hard, but the shuttles are there if you rather be safe than sorry.

    One other thing to keep in mind. Cadets don't have to pay the baggage fees. At least my cadet has never had too. In most cases, they would waive it simply by showing his military id. On rare occassions they would ask to see his orders, but they have always waived it. There was one time that Southwest gave him a hard time because his bag was overweight, but they also ended up not charging him.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  9. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

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    More great info! Was planning to get S a one way ticket to DEN on 02JAN11 and let him employee pass ride home at his earliest opportunity after his last final. I'll be watching the loads for the home flight, but that soon before Christmas shouldn't be that challenging to get on a flight. All he needs is one seat!

    PJ
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    By all means, if you can get to Denver International Airport, you have a much better selection on flights and times. Having said that, for summer break, the wife and I are driving down to the academy to pick up my son. We'll be driving over to colorado springs airport and flying out to New Jersey to visit the grandparents and spend time on the beach. Because I couldn't get him, and then back to denver, to catch a 6-8am flight, we'll take a 1pm flight out of colorado springs. For us, it's more convenient. This will probably be the last time my son gets to go back east to visit the grandparents. They are going to try and come out here for graduation, but us going back east may not happen again for a long time. Therefor, we'll pay the extra money for a flight out of Colorado springs. Hopefully he won't have any problem being released from the academy by 9am-10am on a Saturday. mike.....
     
  11. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    One quick thought. Don't always assume that COS is going to be more expensive than flying out of Denver. Most of the time it is, but you should always check both. I have found a few times when it is cheaper by far (more than $200 less) to fly out of COS. It all depends on how the airlines have their pricing schemes set for that day.

    Stealth_81
     
  12. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

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    True! And the same for rental cars at COS and DEN. COS has been lower rental cost than DEN (at least for Parents W. E. and Navy @ AF)! :wink:
     
  13. ski_mom63

    ski_mom63 Member

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    This year, my son has rode the Academy shuttle bus roundtrip to the Denver Airport 2 times. It is $40 roundtrip and you can book the shuttle by calling. It is fast and convenient. They have even added shuttles based upon demand. My son needed a 5am shuttle during Christmas holiday and they added it.

    My son is making a quick trip home during Dead Week and will be relying on buddies to take him to and from the airport because the shuttles aren't running. Once your son/daughter makes friends with uppers, rides become easier.
     
  14. mom14

    mom14 Member

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    Well there's a new one! What is "Dead Week"?
     
  15. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    from what I understand, "dead week" is the time between their last final and summer prep training/graduation week. According to DS they can get a 96 hr pass. DS is flying home after his last final May 12 and then back on the 16th, but his was approved cause his brother is graduating college on the 13th.

    I've also found flights to be either cheaper or the same from COS rather than DEN, but just not as many flights to choose from. Funny one was looking at RT from DEN to DC area and it was more expensive than COS to DC, and the return flight to COS was direct to DEN and then onto COS. DS considered deplaning in DEN (and letting them know he was not getting back on and why) but wound up going all the way to COS.

    DS was also bumped up to first class twice last year out of COS & DEN.
     
  16. pjnavy82

    pjnavy82 Member

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    Does anyone know if 12N on Tuesday is going to be LMD this year for Thanksgiving?

    PJ
     
  17. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    If I recall they didn't state LMD til an Op Order sometime in September.
    I know you want the best price on tickets, but you really need to wait a bit. Get thru BCT before you try to make any plans. No one wishes anyone doesn't make it thru, but until BCT is over and those shoulder boards are on, you really can't plan that far ahead for the breaks. Unless you can get fully refundable tickets you really need to wait.
    And, don't assume they'll want to come home all the breaks. There were a number of cadets that stayed in CO for Thanksgiving. Some went skiing, some just stayed at AFA and studied. Our son didn't come home for Spring Break this year -- went to AZ for a triathlon and then to Luke AFB for tri training and got an F-16 ride.
     
  18. SAFJRider

    SAFJRider New Member

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    agreed - not as many choices but cost about the same and rental cars seem to be cheaper and the airport is really easy to get in/out of. The last time we caught a flight out of COS to DFW avoiding DEN completely but weather strikes COS as much as DEN so plan accordingly.
     

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