ABQ Sunport

Old Sep 17, 14, 11:28 am
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ABQ Sunport

I plan on relocating to NM, possibly forever, after living on Long Island all my life. What's it like flying in and out of a small regional airport? I go to Europe about once a year, and accustomed to being 15 minutes from JFK. I am particularly interested in hooking up with Turkish Airlines to get me to Istanbul, etc. They have flights out of Denver and Houston, right?

The lower COL of living makes the r/t connecting airfare no big deal, but what's it like for the flyer trying to get to Istanbul and other points east from a regional airport?
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Old Sep 17, 14, 12:09 pm
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ABQ is a bit more than a regional airport, so I don't think you'll have any major issues. IAH and DEN will probably end up being your international gateways, with ORD and LAX as backups depending on where you're headed.

Edit: Of the airports I mentioned above Turkish serves IAH, LAX, and ORD nonstop to IST, but not DEN according to FlightAware.

Last edited by Lost; Sep 17, 14 at 12:16 pm
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Old Sep 17, 14, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
ABQ is a bit more than a regional airport, so I don't think you'll have any major issues. IAH and DEN will probably end up being your international gateways, with ORD and LAX as backups depending on where you're headed.

Edit: Of the airports I mentioned above Turkish serves IAH, LAX, and ORD nonstop to IST, but not DEN according to FlightAware.
Thanks, Lost, I'm spoiled rotten being so close to a major hub. I read more than once that it's pretty easy flying west from ABQ, but east is a terrible hassle. JetBlue has a nonstop to JFK, but it's a redeye.

How bad is it really?
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Old Sep 17, 14, 1:10 pm
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I'm trying to think of an airport I could compare it to but I don't fly much on the east coast. On the west coast I would say it'd be like a SMF or OAK or PDX (without the Intl service). Probably half the traffic is 737 type aircraft, the other half RJs. WN has a decent presence there.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as long as you're OK with connecting on longer trips (east coast or international).

Nearly all of JetBlue's transcons eastbound are red eyes. I believe that's how they started as an airline (hence the name)
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Old Sep 17, 14, 1:43 pm
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According to Wikipedia (cause they're always right!) ABQ was the 57th busiest US airport in 2013, between JAX and ANC.

Here's the airport's Wikipedia page. It has a good overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albuque...tional_Sunport
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Old Sep 17, 14, 2:02 pm
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It's a lovely airport, but security can be surprisingly crowded in the early mornings. It also has, in my experience (3 out of 3) the worst TSA staffers I've ever encountered.
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Old Sep 17, 14, 2:07 pm
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It doesn't sound so bad, I guess. Part of being a successful traveler is learning how to adjust to new things, right?

I currently have access to LGA, too, JFK's tough ugly sister!

Must. Adjust.

ABQ sounds better by far than tiny Santa Fe airport that serves the state capital. It's cute, but...

Strange place, NM.
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Old Sep 18, 14, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by flamingpanties View Post
It doesn't sound so bad, I guess. Part of being a successful traveler is learning how to adjust to new things, right?

I currently have access to LGA, too, JFK's tough ugly sister!

Must. Adjust.

ABQ sounds better by far than tiny Santa Fe airport that serves the state capital. It's cute, but...

Strange place, NM.
A couple of years ago I needed to get from Sandia Crest, NM up to Taos to rejoin my wife. My friends dropped me off at ABQ and I took a cheap shuttle van directly to the condo we'd rented, with a stop at Santa Fe.

It would've been fun to take the light rail line to Santa Fe, but the shuttle was a lot more practical. I had to remind myself that the driver obviously knew the road really well, and was just a interested as I was in not running off the winding road into the canyon we followed. I enjoyed watching bald eagles fly over that canyon.
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Old Sep 18, 14, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Lost View Post
I'm trying to think of an airport I could compare it to but I don't fly much on the east coast. On the west coast I would say it'd be like a SMF or OAK or PDX (without the Intl service). Probably half the traffic is 737 type aircraft, the other half RJs. WN has a decent presence there.
On the east coast I'd say it's comparable to GSO or maybe RIC. No lounges at ABQ which is annoying but it's an easy flight to numerous gateways (IAH, DFW, PHX, LAX etc.) and a quick drive downtown.

The good news is that you're easy driving distance to some real beautiful areas...Taos, the Raton Area, Santa Fe etc. The desert is beautiful and for me at least who spent seven years in Phoenix, never gets old. I hope it's a great move for you
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Old Sep 24, 14, 2:59 pm
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For a trip you do once a year it isnt that big of a deal living in ABQ. You just have other options to search for fares out of LAX, DEN, DFW, IAH, ORD, as well as JFK and others and you just travel on a sseparate ticket from ABQ.

As for the lower COL it depends on where. ABQ is a very cheap cost of living compared to NYC.

ABQ is on my short list of places to retire.

As of now---from ABQ you have direct nonstop service to most other cities in the western US. Its large enough you generally dont have to do 2 change planes to fly elsewhere in the country.
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Old Sep 24, 14, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by djp98374 View Post
ABQ is on my short list of places to retire.
It is certainly on mine too:
  • Wonderful food
  • Nice climate with real seasons, but without (usually) the worst of any.
  • Lower COL
  • Easy proximity to either mountains or high desert wildnerss
  • Easy proximity to Taos/Santa Fe.
  • Good airline access.

The only thing I have noticed in the last 20 years is that the traffic has gotten really bad at certain times of the day. Otoh, "really bad" in Albuquerque is nothing like "really bad" in, say, the Bay Area.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by flamingpanties View Post
I go to Europe about once a year, and accustomed to being 15 minutes from JFK. I am particularly interested in hooking up with Turkish Airlines to get me to Istanbul, etc. They have flights out of Denver and Houston, right?

The lower COL of living makes the r/t connecting airfare no big deal, but what's it like for the flyer trying to get to Istanbul and other points east from a regional airport?
TK does not serve Denver but flies into IAH, SFO, and LAX, all of which can be reached nonstop from ABQ. So you're essentially one stop from Istanbul, and indeed one stop from most of the rest of the world using other airlines via those cities, ORD, or DEN.

One of the pleasures of a smaller airport is rapid entry and exit. You may find that not having to deal with the snarls and delays around JFK more than compensate for the few extra hours of flying.

Very few people in the world live 15 minutes from a JFK or LHR, with nonstops flights to most of the globe... welcome to the way most of the rest of us do it.

I too like ABQ by the way, and the whole area. I have a whole pantryful of Hatch chiles after my New Mexico indoctrination. Once you get into green chile stew, you never turn back.
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Old Oct 2, 14, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by flamingpanties View Post
ABQ sounds better by far than tiny Santa Fe airport that serves the state capital. It's cute, but...

Strange place, NM.
ABQ has plenty of flights, though almost none after 10 pm. So if late night departures were part of your routine, that will be no more. Agree with the poster above that early am security lines can be quite long. And finally, there has been some turnover in airlines serving ABQ in the last few years. F9 left, but AS and B6 have started service for the first time. The latter does fly n/s to JFK (only 1x for now) if that would be useful to you.

And yes, far better than SAF, which has <10 commercial departures/day.

Last edited by silverthief2; Oct 2, 14 at 1:25 pm
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Old Oct 5, 14, 8:39 am
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$3/day parking is nice too.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by silverthief2 View Post
And yes, far better than SAF, which has <10 commercial departures/day.
SAF is charming, though, if comparatively low-value -- a cool little Mission-style terminal building straight out of the 1930s. It looks as if it should have Ford Tri-Motors parked in front of it. Fun experience, but not much in the way of Plans B when cancellations or delays occur.
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