Flying Into NYC - The Cheap Backdoor Option

My friend and reader Dave Kleinman writes in about a secret method for flying into New York.  He just booked a one way ticket from Austin, Texas to New York as he travels onto to Boston for the marathon.  He will keep us up whether the method works or not. Good luck on the marathon Dave! (note: this is a slightly tricky method only good for a one-way ticket into New York.  Its not for a round trip ticket or flying one way out of New York).


I have some information that is Adam Kornfield blog ready. I was looking for a flight from Austin to NYC. The cheapest flight that I could find on orbitz was $160. I decided to try Philadelphia to see if I could get a better deal. I found the following flight Aus-->EWR-->ZFV

ZFV is continental's airport code for 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Continental has a partnership with Amtrak, and uses amtrak to transport customers between Philadelphia and Newark. The great deal about flying into ZFV, is that Philadelphia rates are substantially lower than rates into New York City. Continental gives you Philadelphia rates if you fly into ZFV.

This is a great deal because I will fly into Newark, and I will get my free amtrak ticket, but I won't use it. Amtrak tickets are good for a year, so I will save it for another time. Also, Amtrak does have a nice exchange policy. This method even works if you are checking in baggage, because you pick up your baggage in Newark and haul it onto the train.

This method may also work for flying out of Newark. The worry is that Continental would cancel your flight if you do not check in at the train station in Philadelphia. I think if you were to check in online prior to your flight and print your boarding pass for Newark you would be ok.