Hey! Welcome back.

You came back, just like you will after you fly out of town. I’ve already covered the airport options I go with most frequently, but there are couple of other locations I’ve made use of when I wanted to get away.

Let me share them with you…

My most recent trip was to Greece – and, yes, it was fabulous. When I booked the flights, I was pretty certain I could pay less if I opted to fly from Long Island, but I scored a nonstop flight from Montreal to Athens and didn’t mind paying a bit more for the convenience. I had done a little research, talked to a few people and learned that off-premise parking/hotel’s (motel?) packages in Montreal were very inexpensive.

I reserved online with the Comfort Inn and received 15 nights of parking, transportation to and from the airport in a cab at the hotel’s expense, a room with two queen beds and ass-kicking air conditioning and breakfast in the morning – make your own waffles, who can resist!? All that for the grand total of $200. American.

We hit some traffic on the way to the airport due to a construction project, but getting through the border took no time and the process of parking and getting a cab took 10 minutes at most.

Montreal’s airport is moderate in size and was easy enough to negotiate. Definitely think about flying out from here – particularly if you’re headed to Europe. It’s also not a bad place to transition back to North America, ease back into life on this continent, so to speak.

Once or twice, a very long time ago, I flew to the west coast from Syracuse and lived to tell about it. There was nothing remarkable about the experience other than my impression that the airport was small. Really small.

That may have changed since those days, (mid-90s maybe), but I get the vibe that it is very similar to Albany’s set up – compact, not necessarily open 24 hours a day, generally with higher priced fares than larger markets, but occasionally you might catch a good deal.

I’ll toss out my least favorite two together because they are located in close proximity to one another and, incidentally, both named after politicians, JFK and LaGuardia.

I have to be honest here – I have never flown from Laguardia, so my opinion about it is probably ignorant at best. But, I think it says more about LaGuardia than it does about me that, with the amount of recreational airline travel I do, I have never once booked tickets that involved LaGuardia. Who really goes there beyond middle aged software guys flying to Chicago?

So, LaGuardia is an unappealing and unexplored option for me, Maybe you’ve flown from there? Please share your experiences with a comment!

Now, it pains me to put JFK on the bottom of my preferred options, but there’s just so much involved with getting there, in my opinion. I’ve done it just about every which way – train to Penn, LIRR to somewhere in Queens and switching trains somehow, shuttle from Kingston to Port Authority to something, driving (both my car and a one-way rental), suckered people into driving me… whatever.

It has always been an arduous path and I’m just not into that kind of stress beginning or ending my trip. No, thanks.

Here’s my summary – Newark, Bradley and Logan for your standard budget-ish airlines, especially for Europe.

Albany and Newburgh (and Syracuse, I suppose) are best for domestic flights, particularly during off-season or non-holiday times of the year. JetBlue and Southwest can have some good offers if you’re flexible. Assuming things stabilize with Boeing, I would imagine flights being added if there’s a demand.

If you’d rather spend a little more time in your car and less time in the air, Montreal is a good pick. Extend your trip by adding a night on either end. We did ours on the return because our flight arrived in the evening + a 7 hour time difference. We were eager to get home otherwise, spending the morning in Montreal would have been a lovely thing to do.

As for the two spots on the Island, as upstaters, we don’t really have to go there too terribly often. We have enough options to take us away whenever we have the travel trifecta of time, funds and a destination. Safe travels, all.