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CK2017CK2017 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
How easy/cheap is it to get to UAlabama from NYC?

Replies to: Transportation

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,546 Senior Member
    Driving? Flying?

    @robotbldmom and @chardo are from Long Island, they may be able to best advise.
  • chris3499chris3499 Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    edited June 2015
    Flying, buses, and cabs only, It seems like I would need two flights to get to the school; is there any easier way?

    I could buy a car, but that would be expensive
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,546 Senior Member
    In the US these days, there are very few non-stops unless you're flying to an airline's hub.

    As soon as @robotbldmom sees this, she'll be a good source of info.

  • ChardoChardo Registered User Posts: 3,012 Senior Member
    Fact is that it's not that easy or cheap to get there from NYC. Flights almost always involve a connection, because the few direct flights to BHM will rarely work with your schedule. Two flights plus layover typically total about 5 hours depending on connection. Flights are typically around $150-$200 each way, Then it's an hour drive to campus from the airport. There is a shuttle bus at school break times ($50 r/t), otherwise ride board or private transport (~$80 each way). It sounds daunting, but students handle it easily. Those flights at break time have lots of Bama shirts walking off.

    Or you can drive there in about 17 hours.
  • chris3499chris3499 Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    @mom2collegekids thanks for the referrals
    @Chardo I see Tuscaloosa has an Amtrak station. Do any students take a flight into BHM and then a train to Tuscaloosa?
  • NoVADad99NoVADad99 Registered User Posts: 2,291 Senior Member
    The train runs once a day, so it's not practical. There's a Facebook rideshare group for UA students and families to coordinate rides, many of them to and from BHM. On any day, there are people who can provide rides between BHM and Tuscaloosa.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    Amtrak is an excellent way to get from NYC to Tuscaloosa. If the train ticket is booked in advance, the fares will be less expensive.I have travelled for as little as $118 each way. You can also purchase a student advantage card which will give you an additional 10% off the fare. This card will cost $20 per year. Your trip will be in a comfortable coach seat and take approximately 24 hours. There are several advantages to traveling by train.
    1.) Cost is usually much cheaper than flying
    2.) Cost to get to Amtrak is minimal, if you use public transportation.
    3.) You are not driving, so no wear & tear on your car or gas fill-ups.
    4.) You can get up and walk about the train, sleep, read, or just meet new folks.
    5.) It is very safe, just use general precautions, as when traveling anywhere.
    6.) You can take more luggage/boxes than flying for zero to minimal cost
    7.) You can check your luggage/boxes in at New York's Penn station and then have them carried out to you at Tuscaloosa. Do not check your carryon items (you will not have access to these while traveling).
    8.) Bring a small cooler of drink and food items, and store it in the overhead. You will save money by not having to make purchases on the train.
    9.) The cost of a cab from the Tuscaloosa train station to the university is minimal. (less than $10, when I took it last)

    If you are flying, you need to check all routes, all travel times, and all airlines to find the best prices. You can try and book during a sale, or well in advance to save the most money. Having an airlines' credit card will help to accrue points, get free baggage fees and usually give you other perks. Then you can use the accrued points for free or near free travel.

    In addition, there are very few direct flights to Birmingham (nearest airport), Always try to book one way flights, just in case you need to make a ticket change. This is easier and cheaper. Sometimes flights can be less expensive when booking roundtrip, so check both one way and R/T prices prior to booking. Always double check your travel dates to avoid costly mistakes. Don't forget to factor in the cost of getting from the airport to the university into your total travel budget.

  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,510 Senior Member
    I don't know if there are direct flights to BHM, you would probably have to stop in Atlanta or Charlotte. Then rent a car at BHM and drive.

    Otherwise, It would probably be about a 16hr drive depending on traffic, probably 2 days.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    There are some direct flights but they book very, very quickly. Delta flies direct from LaGuardia airport, but I believe that there is only one flight per day. I also find LaGuardia to be a very inconvenient airport to fly out of, and that the price for their direct flights is more that I want to pay.
  • laraleilaralei Registered User Posts: 576 Member
    @robotbldmom I am so happy you posted this about Amtrak. I looked at this once before and didn't get much positive feedback. We will be leaving from PA, but might look into this again. Thx.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    Glad you like the post, just make sure that the station you are leaving from accepts "checked" luggage/boxes, not all stations do but Tuscaloosa is a station that takes luggage/boxes off. Check the Amtrak website for more info on luggage and fees. IMO, Amtrak is much cheaper than checking in extra bags at the airport. when you exit the train at Tuscaloosa, you are only about a five to ten minute drive to campus and as I said before, cabs are cheap. Don't forget to tip your driver well, especially if he is schlepping your luggage. Make sure you have cash for the cab. You can call ahead and arrange to have a cab meet you at the Tuscaloosa Amtrak Station. Remember to tell them how many people, and how many pieces of luggage you have. You can get a price right on the phone.

    If you are boarding in Philly (30th Street Station), that station does accept checked luggage. Here is the link for baggage information:

    Each passenger may carry on two bags each not to exceed 50 lbs each
    Each passenger may check two bags (see dimensions) 50 lbs each
    Each passenger can check an additional two bags at $20 each
    That's a lot of luggage!
  • ohiovalley16ohiovalley16 Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    edited July 2015
    We're driveable (just), but if I had to fly I'd consider going into Atlanta or Memphis (depending on where your airline's best hub is) if a non-stop was available, renting a car and driving from there, rather than take a connecting flight into Birmingham and have to drive an hour anyway.

    I used to travel to Toledo for work from Rhode Island, and it was easier to fly non-stop into Detroit and drive down (1.5 hour or so) than to take a connecting flight into Toledo and have to drive 45 minutes from the airport to my destination on top of that.
  • robotbldmomrobotbldmom Registered User Posts: 2,697 Senior Member
    Yes, I have flown to/from Atlanta many times, and rented vehicles there. It is an easy drive from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa and don't forget that there is a huge IKEA in downtown Atlanta!
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