Best way to routinely travel to Amarillo?

2,127 Views | 22 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by Slocum on a mobile
TheOC16
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AG
I currently live in College Station, and a (positive) development for my business now will have me traveling to Amarillo on occasion. Right now I don't do a whole lot of travel for work so I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle this. For this first year it will probably just be 1-2 times a year (my first trip to the panhandle will be August 10th). However, I expect that to gradually increase to the point where in 4 years, I could see myself rotating between a week in College Station and a week in Amarillo for the months of March and April (possibly the start of June).

So what's the best way to navigate this distance? Is it as simple as Googling flights when I need one and just book through the cheapest airline? Or is there some sort of way to get any perks when you're flying back and forth between the same destinations?

Do I need to switch over to an airline miles credit card? I don't vacation out of state so I've never seen the use for an airline miles card. But now maybe? Should I switch my business card over?

Any thoughts/recommendations for lodging/transportation or anything else I may not have thought of would be greatly appreciated.
happyinBCS
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by morning up from San Antone
scd88
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AG
I take day trips to Amarillo for work about four times or more a year. I typically fly out of Easterwood, through Houston, and then back by bedtime. It has worked for me so far, although the evening flights can often get screwed up on the way back.

Edit to add - doing this exact trip on Wednesday.

Also, if you are concerned about that leg from Houston back to college station at night, then just book a round-trip out of Houston and make the one and a half hour Road trip there and back. It is not a bad drive at all.
doubledog
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I always flew American (eagle) CLL to AMA. 6:30 flight arrive by 9-10. gates are close together at DFW. Carry on is checked at gate. (con : smallish jet ERJ series)
ChessieHuntingAg
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AG
I used to make this trip half a dozen times a year or more. Best rout to drive is Waco, Fort Worth, then 287 to Amarillo. Takes 7-8 hrs.
EBrazosAg
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AG
Cirrus SR 22T
clinte234
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We've used the United direct flight IAH-AMA several times. I believe it is the o my airline that flies direct from Houston to Amarillo.

We also make the drive 3-5 times a year. Waco to FW and then up 287 as mentioned above is the way to go..,especially if you can avoid rush hour traffic in FW (although the new toll road on 35 has made that a lot better!)
Tailgate88
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AG
TheOC16 said:

I currently live in College Station, and a (positive) development for my business now will have me traveling to Amarillo on occasion. Right now I don't do a whole lot of travel for work so I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle this. For this first year it will probably just be 1-2 times a year (my first trip to the panhandle will be August 10th). However, I expect that to gradually increase to the point where in 4 years, I could see myself rotating between a week in College Station and a week in Amarillo for the months of March and April (possibly the start of June).

So what's the best way to navigate this distance? Is it as simple as Googling flights when I need one and just book through the cheapest airline? Or is there some sort of way to get any perks when you're flying back and forth between the same destinations?

Do I need to switch over to an airline miles credit card? I don't vacation out of state so I've never seen the use for an airline miles card. But now maybe? Should I switch my business card over?

Any thoughts/recommendations for lodging/transportation or anything else I may not have thought of would be greatly appreciated.


If you decide to fly United the Chase United card will give you 60000 or so (it varies depending on the current promotion) when you sign up then double miles on airline tickets purchases with the card.
scd88
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AG
Ok, well, update on my travels today. Leaving CLL and connecting at IAH was no problem. It never is.

However, this is the second time in a row that I've had an issue out of Amarillo (this time due to apparent weather in Houston- they call it a ground stop). I will miss my connection to CLL and my wife is going to come and get me.

So.moral of the story is to just drive to IAH. lol.
scd88
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Another update. Gate hold lifted in Houston. Sucked down my Jack and Diet and got on the plane. Miiiiiight juuuuust make it.

Well, the flight to CLL is delayed now because we are waiting on a crew.

All this to say one is tempting fate to relay on 4 airplanes in one day. Signing off.
Slocum on a mobile
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Been there many times.

Main reason why I quit flying out of CLL. I'll fly IAH or AUS.
DemolitionMan03
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I made that trip at least once a month for a couple years. Best solution I figured out was to fly directly from IAH to AMA and back to limit the number of flights that can potentially have the aforementioned problems, especially small planes and late in the day. I used Ground Shuttle to get to IAH and back most of the time, which was particularly nice on the way back late in the evening after a long few days.

It's a pain to get to/from, but I really enjoyed my time in Amarillo. Great people, the weather keeps you on your toes, lots of exciting work going on, great restaurants, etc. Good luck and safe travels!
Sailor
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Go get your pilot's license, buy a good used plane. Profit?
4xAgs
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If you going to spend 4-hours driving back and forth from CLL to Houston only to jump on a plane that is going to periodically be delayed - why not just point that hot rod north and make the 7-hour drive? On difficult trips like that where driving versus flying is close to break even I prefer to be in control of my schedule/destiny.
Slocum on a mobile
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In my case the corporate overlords would choke on that mileage bill. I drove to McAllen once, and they had a cow. They gotta drop a hundo every time I go to Houston. That was a house note.
EliteElectric
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4xAgs said:

If you going to spend 4-hours driving back and forth from CLL to Houston only to jump on a plane that is going to periodically be delayed - why not just point that hot rod north and make the 7-hour drive? On difficult trips like that where driving versus flying is close to break even I prefer to be in control of my schedule/destiny.
That's an "average" of 73 MPH through Waco and DFW traffic 512 miles to Amarillo.

Every time I have driven to Amarillo it has taken me at least 8-9 hours and I have gone several different ways.
Tailgate88
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4xAgs said:

If you going to spend 4-hours driving back and forth from CLL to Houston only to jump on a plane that is going to periodically be delayed - why not just point that hot rod north and make the 7-hour drive? On difficult trips like that where driving versus flying is close to break even I prefer to be in control of my schedule/destiny.
It's not the drive there that is so bad. It's the drive home, after working for a few days. I'll take airport bar -> short flight -> Ground Shuttle home every day of the week and twice on Sundays rather than making that drive, tired, ready to be home.
4xAgs
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500 miles CLL to Amarillo x.58 = $290 x 2= $580
Call it 8 hours each way (I easily average 62.5 mph) but I've got a heavy foot

184 miles round trip to IAH = $106 + $500 airline tic
1.5 hours to IAH, arrive hour early for parking, security, flight delayed .5 hours, 1.5 hours flight time, .5 hours to clear AMA airport.

Maybe 2-hours diff and I am not tied to an airline schedule nor do I have to drive into Houston or have to deal with all the a**holes in the airport.

I'm driving!! But I like driving so not for everyone.
happyinBCS
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I was hoping OP liked my directions but no word yet
war hymn aggie
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AG
NOT by Armadillo.
TheOC16
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happyinBCS said:

I was hoping OP liked my directions but no word yet
No, I don't see the benefit in adding 3 hours to my drive.

But I do appreciate all of the thoughts and opinions, it has been very helpful to have these different options to consider. I'll probably drive this first time and see how that goes.
happyinBCS
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I don't think OP likes George Strait
Slocum on a mobile
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AG
happyinBCS said:

I don't think OP likes George Strait
To be fair, I thought OP was more of a Clint Black fan.
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