Buffalo Airport – Examples of savings over Toronto (Up to $400 / person)

Tuesday 29th, January 2013 / 04:23 Written by
Buffalo Airport – Examples of savings over Toronto (Up to $400 / person)
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In this series, I will talk about how to use Buffalo as an alternate airport to Toronto.

Related Posts

In the previous post in this series, I talked about how to do the analysis to see whether it makes sense to use Buffalo Niagara Airport / BUF as an alternative to Toronto airport. In this post, I will go through a few examples to see when it might or might not make sense to use Buffalo Airport.

All of these examples assume that you live and work in the greater Toronto area and Toronto Pearson Airport / YYZ or Toronto City Centre Airport / YTZ would be your most natural airport choices. In the previous post, I showed the savings associated with 5 trips that could be made from Buffalo or Toronto. Obviously, there are other factors that decide which flights to take, beyond just the ticket price. Hopefully these examples will help to decide if and when it makes sense to fly from BUF or YYZ / YTZ.

Destination Dates Best Price (YYZ) Best Price (BUF) Savings / Person by using BUF
Houston 10/25 – 11/6 $709 $253 $456
Las Vegas 11/29 – 12/2 $530 $292 $238
Edmonton 11/13 – 11/18 $662 $507 $155
Hong Kong January 2013 $1116 $1141 -$25
New York 11/2 – 11/4 $302 $250 $52

Prices shown were available as of September 27, 2012

Example 1: Houston

Let’s say your family of 4 is interested in taking a cruise out of Galveston (Houston) TX from October 27 – Nov 3. There is some flexibility on dates and you want a few days in Houston to explore the city and spend time with friends who live there. You also don’t care which Houston airport you fly into.

Assuming you take the cheapest flight in each case we can see a pretty big savings of close to $450 / person for making the trip to Buffalo. Both are 1-stop options on major carriers. You would have to pay for bags for any of the carriers out of YYZ, but if you have a lot of bags, you can fly on Southwest from BUF and save even more there since they give 2 bags included in the fare. In this case, United Airlines flies a direct flight YYZ-IAH (Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport), whereas there are no direct flights from BUF to the Houston area. In the case of the direct flights from YYZ-IAH comes with a hefty price tag of $980 as the cheapest option for the dates we have chosen.

Example 2: Las Vegas

Your best friend is getting married and wants to have his bachelor party in Las Vegas the weekend after US Thanksgiving. There are 2 of you planning on going from the Toronto area. Everyone is going to be there November 30 – December 2, but you don’t mind getting there a day earlier or leaving a day later.

In this situation, you can save about $250/person by flying out of BUF. If I were in this situation, I would probably take the bus to BUF on Thursday and then take a direct flight back to YYZ since on the way back I would just want to get home. There are definitely savings to be had here.

Example 3: Edmonton

We have seen the savings by flying to mid range and long haul US destinations. Let’s say you wanted to go to Edmonton for 5 days for a fall wedding. You are already shelling out money for the wedding and your biggest concern is cost.  Most people think that for a domestic flight there’s no way BUF would even be an option.

Even for a Canadian destination, it looks like you can get some savings by flying out of BUF. Flying out of YYZ gets you the ability to take direct flights but if all you care about is saving the money, you can get over $150 savings per person flying from BUF on a 1-stop flight.

Example 4: Hong Kong

YYZ tends to be more competitive on international destinations. Let’s say you wanted to go to Hong Kong for a 2 week trip in February 2013. You can take your vacation any time the flights are cheaper.

In this case, it looks like there are no real differences in the fares. In fact the cheapest flight from YYZ ($1116) is actually better than the flights from BUF ($1141).

Example 5: New York

You want to go to New York for the weekend for a visit. You are on a pretty tight timeline and you don’t want to take more than Friday afternoon off and you have to be back at work on Monday.

This is one of those cases where it clearly isn’t going to make sense to fly out of BUF. Although there is a $240 trip from BUF for the times you want, your savings are likely not going to be substantial enough to make it worthwhile to do this. Also, since Porter flies from Toronto’s City Center Airport (YTZ) to New York, you may have an added convenience of flying from YTZ if you are already in downtown Toronto.

Recap

As with anything, you are going to have to do the analysis of what makes sense for you. In this post I showed a few examples to illustrate the savings to be had when flying from Buffalo. In future posts, I’ll comment on the best options for getting to Buffalo Airport by car and what to do with your car when you get there.

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