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Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

New Jersey
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Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

Looking to fly into Michigan from NYC/NJ area. We would like to visit Mackinac Island but don't want to pay a huge airfare bill to fly into Pellston (which i have read is closest). What are the other closest airports? We could then rent a car.

Thanks!

MelaniB

Chicago, IL
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1. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

You could try Traverse City, about 2.5 hours from Mackinac; Flint-3.5 hours or Detroit about 4.5 hours.

New Jersey
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2. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

Thanks so much. I called Mackinac Island Tourism and the girl there told me that Detroit was a 6 hour drive! She also said Pellston was the closest large airport...I had to rephrase telling her that it was a regional airport with few carriers.

new jersey
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3. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

Try Alpena or Sault Ste. Marie. I think Delta flies into these airports.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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4. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

Alpena and Sault Ste Marie are like flying into Pellston.

The best combination of flights, fares and drive times to the Straits of Mackinac are usually to Grand Rapids or Flint. Lansing, Traverse City and Saginaw (MBS) are easy drives, but have fewer and more expensive flights. Rental cars are usually expensive from Traverse City.

Detroit has the advantage of non-stop flights from most cities, but the disadvantage of the longest drive, plus Detroit area traffic.

Unless there is bumper to bumper traffic or consturction, it does not take 6 hours to get to the Straits from Detroit. It is under 300 miles and the speed limit is 70 Mph.

Pellston is a large airport when compared to the airports on the Island or St. Ignace:-)

Edited: 5:31 pm, July 22, 2011
Caro, Michigan
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5. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

You know, I've never checked the prices but before I drove all the way from Detroit just because it was cheapest... you might be just as close in Mackinaw to fly into Marquette, MI (Which could be a small regional with expensive prices), Green Bay, WI, Milwaukee, WI or maybe even Ohare... It will be a pretty drive through the UP, and as we are looking to go to OshKosh for the fly-in, the drive is faster through the UP then through Chicago.

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

I like to fly into Flint. It's what I call a small, large airport. I can be in my car less than 15 minutes after landing and the rental car lot is walking distance from the rental desk. Once I'm in the car, it's a straight shot north on I-75 and with a quick stop or two, I'm in Mackinaw City at the ferry dock in 4 hours. It's not a bad drive either. I often will stop in Frankenmuth for lunch at Zehnder's or in Gaylord for a meal at the Sugar Bowl.

Detroit is a typical large airport and thus takes more time for rental car return, getting to your gate, etc. Any airport north of Flint is likely to be more expensive, though I will say when I fly into Pellston, it eliminates the need for a rental car (shuttles available to the ferry docks in Mac City) and sometimes that can offset the cost of the higher ticket price.

I'd either fly to Flint, Detroit or Pellston. If you fly to Traverse City, the Sault, Alpena or others, you'll still need a rental car.

Hope that helps! Have a great trip!

Edited: 9:39 am, July 23, 2011
Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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7. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

I've done Green Bay. There are some pretty good fares there. With the 55 Mph speed limit, 2 lane roads, and vehicles pulling travel trailers, the drive to the Straits can be slow during the peak season.

Also did Escanaba once. When the plane boarded on the departure, there was just one other passenger getting on the plane.

The farthest I have done was Chiicago Midway.

Detroit, MI
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8. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

Pellston IS a large airport, by "Up North" standards.

Looks like Delta has Friday/Saturday flights from Laguardia to Traverse City and Saturday/Sunday returns. Only three flights a week each direction. This is the only non-stop I can see from the NY area to northern Michigan.

Anywhere else will require a stop, most likely in Detroit or Chicago. If you figure a two hour layover, 90 minute flight, drive another hour or more from a northern airport, etc - you are better off just flying to Detroit and driving. You can make it in just over four hours if you don't stop.

9. Re: Flights? Large airports close to Mackinac

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