Thanksgiving break


10-Year Member
Founding Member
Oct 10, 2007
Hello all,
Since I am famously CHEAP, I have been searching for cheap airfares for my twins for the Thanksgiving break. Willing to drive pretty far to save a buck (especially since the dollars saved are multiplied by two), I am still having trouble finding flights out of CoSpr or DEV which are cheap enough for my budget (or my twins') for the TG break. Are there any cadets who do not spend the huge amounts of money to fly home for the holiday, electing to stay on campus? Are there any cadets who just go to their sponsor family's for Thanksgiving, then return to The Hill for the remainder of the weekend? I will probably bite the bullet and pay the huge airfare, but I'll tell the truth, I am reluctant since just three weeks later, they'll fly home again.

Suggestions, advice, lamentations, and criticism welcome.
Suggestion - How far is it to drive to Baltimore? Did you try Southwest to Pittsburgh or Baltimore?

Advice - don't bother flying them home. Go to Denver instead.

Lamentations - Face the fact that you may not have them every Thanksgiving. Even kids in civilian colleges don't always go home for Thanksgiving. I have a college senior that hasn't been home in 3 years. It is an adjustment. Some years you can go see them and other years some or all can come see you - it's a part of "letting go". When everyone is together - it will be really really special. :wink:

Criticism - let them decide and book their own flights. give them permission NOT to travel.

Hope I wasn't too harsh - :biggrin:
I don't know where you have looked but I know that using I was able to save quite a bit and that was doing a multi-destination flight from San Antonio, TX to Chattanooga, TN and then to CoSprings. The whole flight cost me just over $200 so I am sure there is some guy somewhere in the chain holding kids for ransom but it seems to work.
Just-a-mom is dead on correct. The first year is tough, and parents are going to want to do everything they can to spend as much time as they can with their cadets. But get ready for it to change. Even my daughter; who is a Senior this year at a traditional university; barely comes home. And she goes to school IN-STATE. There are times where during thanksgiving or christmas we've had her home along with other students who couldn't make it home for the holiday. Including international students who might not even celebrate T-giving, Christmas, etc... Many don't go home for all 4-5 years. I am expecting that my son will bring someone home for Thanksgiving who either can't make it home or didn't want to.

Which is something that also needs to be realized. In a year or two, your son or daughter is going to say something like; "Me and some friends are thinking about going to aspen during thanksgiving to do some skiing". "Some of the guys and I are thinking of heading down to Mexico for Spring Break". Usually, you can GUILT them into coming home for Christmas. The first year isn't bad. After that, get ready for a lot of changes.

But to answer the original question; MANY of the cadets will spend time with their sponsors; go to a friend's house; stay on campus; etc... during the thanksgiving time off. Not everyone goes home. Definitely let the boys decide. You might decide that it's OK to bite the bullet this first year; (Considering the amount you didn't have to spend on their education); also knowing that they PROBABLY aren't going to come home every year. And, that they will come home less and less during the year. But, definitely talk to the boys. See how they feel. One thing they have; is each other. For 4 years, THEY HAVE FAMILY CLOSE BY.
You are all so wise, and of course, correct. I appreciate all your input. A lady who works at my local library sometimes gives me advice, too. Her son was USAFA class of 1979 (killed in a plane crash in the pacific some years ago) and they used to drive home from CoSpr, arriving just in time for dinner on TG, stay till lunch on Sat and drive back to CO. She said that one of the kids had a van, which she called a "sin bin" and that there were usually 8 or 10 of them at her house for those couple days. She said they used to keep a dozen sleeping bags in their linen closet and there could be cadets everywhere in their house.

I know this was a "whining" post. I just don't want to spend upwards of $1300 to fly them home for a couple days, and I don't want them to pay it either. I am going to check out "bluesuiter's" site though and see what I find.

If your kids can't come home for Thanksgiving, they will have a lot of company on the Hill. More this year than last, I would bet, with the high airfares. Many sponsor families take in multiple cadets, and there may be kids in their squads who will take them home, also. Even if they don't leave the base, they will have lots of company. There are lots of informal ski trips planned, also, so if they would be interested in that, have them ask around. Our son has had some of his most memorable times there hanging out with friends in COS instead of coming home. Even something as simple as going to the grocery store with some buddies and buying steaks to grill, all by themselves. (He still talks about how good those steaks tasted).

If you do choose to fly them home, look at having them leave on Wednesday morning instead of trying to get them on a flight Tuesday evening. In our experience, fares are cheaper then because they know everyone wants to leave Tuesday night. Our son flies out of COS at 0625 Wednesday, and even with a connection is still home by noon, at a cost half of what the 1800 flight Tuesday was. The biggest reason that he insists on coming home for Thanksgiving is that it is deer hunting season here, and he will not miss it.

Stealth, our deer season starts that Monday and I know they have it in their minds to spend some time in the woods that morning. Not too likely! Thanks for all the great tips! I'm still searching.
I'm sure this has been posted before but does anyone have suggestions for ground transport from AFA to DIA? (I'm too lazy to look too hard for it!)

There's a bus that runs to DIA from USAFA (with a bus returning at the end of the break) for around $40 through outdoor rec.
I believe Southwest airlines has some deals for that time period. They fly out of Denver. I'm taking a September flight out there. From Omaha to Denver is like $89 dollars, same with the ride back. Great deal. Where do you live? There is that same deal to West Coast cities.
Thanks all! I did some checking and ALMOST bought tickets today from DIA to Akron, about 100 miles from my home. S just told me to hold off, stand fast (I thought that was a term for the navy!)... he thinks they have a tournament that weekend and they won't be able to make it anyway!

I'll keep you posted! :eek:
Well, if they do decide to come home and the flight is around the same time as me at the same airport, I could always take them with me. I will be offering the same to my squad when I figure out my flight so people can help with gas! :)
Bought the tickets into Akron. Usually, we have tons of people in for Thanksgiving dinner, but I am tempted, this year, to limit it to the immediate family (no sharing!). I'll ask the boys which they'd prefer.

Now, I'll have to start shopping around for some tickets in December. They are not usually as difficult to come by as those at the Thanksgiving travel time.