*This post is in no way sponsored by Air Choice One. We wish it was :)*
Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized when you discover a new travel hack or an amazing deal that no one ever told you about before.
Today (well, two weeks ago by now) I am sitting in an small regional airport (that has much more generous wifi than Lambert, thankyouverymuch) in Iowa midway from St. Louis to Minneapolis to visit my sister & her adorable family.
My mom is up there already, and we’re planning to drive back together, so I just needed a one-way flight. Unfortunately, I was trying to book a flight only two weeks out, and the cheapest one-way option was almost $400. Wut. I looked into buses and trains and there was not a good way to get up there without redundantly driving my car….
…Until I found this little gem called Air Choice One. They are based in St. Louis, and access two major cities (Minneapolis and Chicago) and several other smaller cities (Ironwood, MI, Fort Dodge, IA, Burlington, IA, Mason City, IA, Decatur, IL, Jackson, TN, and Jonesburo, AR). Of course, the best part? Flying Air Choice One is so cheap.
Okay, so their website seems cheesy and possibly fake. I would definitely have advised my sixth graders that it is questionable to use as a reputable source, ha. But you can search for and purchase tickets to just about all of these places online, and the fact that I made it to Iowa proves that it works. You can also call their reservation line listed at the bottom of their website and book tickets that way.
Here are just a few of the one-way ticket prices listed online (including fees and everything), for a random day in March.
- St. Louis -> Decatur, IL -> Chicago: $98
- St. Louis -> Fort Dodge, IA -> Minneapolis: $99
- Minneapolis -> Mason City, IA -> Chicago: $135
- Chicago -> Burlington, IA -> St. Louis: $90
I talked to a desk agent for Air Choice One here in Fort Dodge, and she gave me additional advice for getting the best deals. I thought it was my duty to pass those tips along, as well as some I gathered while flying today:
- Always call the reservation line to book tickets; sometimes there are additional deals not listed online. (Wish I would have known this one!)
- Flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays can be about $20 cheaper than any other day of the week.
- Even if you’re not planning on listening to anything, bring earbuds (or earplugs) because the little propellor planes are loud.
- Don’t forget to use the bathroom before boarding.
- I felt a little colder than I normally do on flights, so keep that in mind when packing layers as well.
- Make sure to pack snacks, as there is none on board or in the smaller regional airports.
- Airports accessed:
- Burlington, IA: BRL
- Chicago, IL (O’Hare): ORD – Terminal 3, Gate L-11A
- Decatur, IL: DEC
- Fort Dodge, IA: FOD
- Ironwood, MI: IWD
- Jackson, TN: MKL
- Jonesboro, AR: JBR
- Mason City, IA: MCW
- Minneapolis, MN: MSP – Terminal 1, Gate B15
- St. Louis, MO: STL – Terminal 1, Gate C1
- According to my ticket, one personal item, one carry-on, and one checked back are included in the price of the ticket!
- I read on other blogs that flights can be delayed or canceled far more easily on Air Choice One (because their planes are tiny) so keep that in mind, especially in the winter.
Has anyone else have experience flying Air Choice One around the Midwest? If so, was your experience as positive as ours?