AirVenture Questions from a Newbie

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by VWGhiaBob, Jan 14, 2020 at 9:37 AM.

  1. VWGhiaBob

    VWGhiaBob Line Up and Wait

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    Can’t believe it took me until now...65 years old...lifelong aviation addict...and going to AirVenture for first time this year. Two questions:

    1. I rented a cute little house about 7 miles away from the airport. What’s the traffic and parking situation? I am planning to fly commercial and rent a car. Is parking a nightmare?

    2. What commercial airports are a reasonable drive? I assume Green Bay...but any others? Appleton? Chicago? I wouldn’t want to drive more than a couple of hours.

    Excited! Thanks all!
     
  2. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Parking isn't bad if you get there early as most the airplane enthusiast do. If you wait until closer to airshow time when the general public starts arriving it can get congested. Overall traffic flows fairly well except for after the night airshow which is a total cluster.

    Can't speak to commercial airports as I have never taken that route.
     
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  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Parking is a nightmare. Use Uber's to get the show and live happy.

    Also, you can fly into Milwaukee and take a very inexpensive bus that drops you right at KOSH's FBO. Then rent a car there if you feel you must. You'll save big on the airport taxes. Book early... rental car rates spike during that week. If Green Bay is more convenient there is a guy that will deliver you to the show in a mini-van for a good rate. I found him with Google.
     
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  4. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    Bingo. Uber is absolutely the best way to get around, IMHO. We've been using it for several years, you just have to figure out the best places to have the Uber drop you off (not at the main entrance).
     
  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Milwaukee for airlines.

    Driving to parking can get congested.
     
  6. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Friar Tuck's. Then you walk through the gate and get the tram that takes you to the entrance between North 40 and Warbirds. Ticket booths, short lines, most excellent.

    Second choice is the FBO, but that's a longer tram ride for not much gain in Uber cost.
     
  7. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    If you look around, depending on where you're trying to get to on the field, there are some lesser-known, unadvertised gates that you can get dropped off at via the "pin drop" feature in the Uber app.
     
  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Make sure you already have the rental car. They book out early.

    Others have mentioned Uber. Haven’t done it but could see how it would be convenient sometimes.

    Traffic is what it is. Right before and after airshow time it’s busy. As you approach the weekend it goes up. But your real problem is trying to drive and look up all the time. :)

    It’s a small town that handles an onslaught of people fairly well. Certain roads off of the highway are made one-way during super busy times. The vast majority of the middle of the week it’s a no brainer and easy. You’ll spend more time hiking from parking than driving.

    Commercial, Green Bay is closest but lots of people bite the bullet and do a longish drive up from Chicago. Tons more flight options and rental cars available.

    Never done the drive up from Chicago but from the Madison area north, it’s a nice drive. Good roads and no stress.

    Make sure to watch here for some night activities and stick around after an airshow some night. The “city” on the airport doesn’t really shut down ever or follow the airshow schedule which is one of the neatest things about it all.

    You’re going to have a blast. Lots of walking. Good shoes. Sunscreen. Hat. Bug spray.

    The airport is a couple miles long and most folks will find they’ve hiked the length a few times throughout a week. You don’t always mean to, you just start looking at things and realize you’re a couple miles from your next place to be. :)

    I don’t even know if I can walk it myself now but long timers taught me to get a light folding chair that slings or backpacks well. Walk a while, find a spot near a flight line, stare at airplanes for a while from your chair, pick up and continue.

    My first year I just spent an entire week walking and looking at things. Well that was also the year we had to drive back and forth to Green Bay and also to points south multiple times. The drive was never bad. It just took away time I could have been gawking at airplanes.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As others point out, if you attempt to leave the grounds exactly at the end of the airshow, expect traffic. Hanging out for an hour or so results in no traffic. Parking isn't bad most years (when it's dry) and even in the wet years, they make progress at finding places to put people.

    Appleton is the closest place with actual air service (Oshkosh used to have a couple of United Express flights years ago, but those are long time). That's an easy transition to the field. There's a bus that takes you from the terminal to the main gate in short order. One year, I chatted up with a guy on the plane with me and he was getting a rental car, so I bartered a lift for directional assistance.

    Green Bay has service, but Milwaukee isn't much further away and has better connections in my experience.

    They have official Uber pickups. Drop off isn't much of a problem. Most of the drivers know their way around the field. I usually can get them to drop me on Knapp street near where the gate is (you have to come in from the south side to do this Waupan Rd/CR N).

    Night airshows aren't to be missed (Wednesday and Saturday). Jay Honeck has his party in the north 40 on Wednesday so that's a great low key (and away from the inane PA system) to watch the show.
     
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  10. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Another for MKE- much cheaper than ATW or GRB and easier to reserve a car. Make that car reservation NOW!

    I often park at the strip mall on the west side of the highway and take the bus from there to the show. Unless you have a helicopter, the traffic is horrendous regardless of the location. I usually stay late (EAA and other events) to avoid the mass traffic jam in the 4-6 pm slot..But then Wed and Sat are the night air shows, so the traffic jam goes late those days.

    Just part of the exerience.
     
  11. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Flying commercial to Chicago is cheaper as it’s a major hub, but it’s a 2.5 hour drive to Oshkosh.

    As others have stated, if driving to Oshkosh, early is the key. I got there around 7:00-7:30 each morning and there was already a line for parking. There are trams to get you to the main gate and back though.

    FWIW, I got an overpriced hotel in Green Bay and drove each day when I went. Definitely worthwhile to get something closer.
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    You live here with I-25 in this city, and called anything Wisconsin traffic related “horrendous”?

    LOL. :)

    Might be overstating it a bit.
     
  13. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-Flight

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    Check airline prices for Chicago, Milwaukee, Appleton, and Green Bay and book the cheapest. I doubt you could Uber from Chicago or Milwaukee, if that matters to you. Probably not from Green Bay, either. As someone said, Uber has the advantage of dropping you off at some little-used gate. Just be aware that those gates are at the far ends -- little-used for a reason. Besides, why would you want to avoid crowds at Oshkosh? That's like sitting alone at a class reunion!
     
  14. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Everything is relative. When you've got to hoof it to get the car at the museum, pick up folks at 3 different places and have reservations at Fratello's for 6pm....

    Of course 6 pm reservations means you'll get seated about 8 pm....
     
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  15. strangebird

    strangebird Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you fly in to MKE or ORD or even MDW it is not bad of a drive, MDW maybe 3 hours, MKE about 1 hour, ORD about 2 hours, all toll roads in IL bring more $$

    If you rent a car look for an off airport rental car like Enterprise,in a neighboring are of the airport, MDW has an Enterprise about a mile away and you can take the train then walk a few blocks, or take Uber and you will avoid the huge taxes and fees that lovely IL and Chicago will hit you for, like 33-40%, of the daily rental, and the rate will be less.overall.

    MKE will be tough rental car wise, as so many going to OSH fly in so rates will be higher. Just get the car off the airport to save $$

    Get to the parking lots at OSH real early, the lines are bad as in miles long some times
     
  16. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    Every description of how to get to Airventure seems like a nightmare. “Fly into Gary, Indiana. Take three buses to the methadone clinic and then call an ambulance and say you are having an overdose to get to the St Nobody Memorial Hospital. From there, sneak out the third floor window on the east side and climb down to the tracks. Jump onto a passing boxcar and ride until you get to the car rental lot. Hitchhike from there to the horse stables and get one of the farriers to lend you a horse. Ride to the subway station and catch the 2:42 express on the blue line. Sign up to drive for Uber and wait for someone to request a ride to the airport. Steal a parked Yugo and fill the ride request, then enlist in the Army and sign up for a one-way honor flight during Airventure. Arrive just after the Thursday air show.”

    Just fly in. It’s easier and much more fun!
     
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Parking is easy IME. Even if you arrive mid day. Some of the lots will fill up but there are lots of lots available. Doesn't matter if you park in a lot close to the gate or in one that's farther out. Its going to be a shuttle ride either way and shuttles run constantly. Getting through the gate can take a few minutes during busy times but nothing too terrible. If you're going to want a rental car, you'd better book now. If you wait until the week before to book a rental car, you're going to be out of luck.
     
  18. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I book the car as soon as I get home in August.
     
  19. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    While camping is an experience that is unique to OSH, you can get hotel rooms for reasonable cost if you are willing to drive about an hour away. I did that last year, and it wasn't too bad. Traffic moves on I-41 quite well, and I didn't have any issues with parking. Just make sure you mark your parking spot clearly on a GPS. I can only imagine the nightmare if you can't remember where you parked.
     
  20. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    I find the dorms acceptable and easy to get to/from Osh. Right price, too.
     
  21. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Okay, you have a small house locked up 7 miles away. In that case, the hard stuff is done, be flexible. A car is handy, but as posted, consider a ride to Friar Tucks, or some other access point.

    Unless you have others, could sublet any additional rooms?

    Have fun.
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've flown in 20 times (not counting extra arrivals because I was giving rides during the show), flew into FDL once, flew into Appleton twice, and drove in about five times (all the way from the east coast). None of them are very complex. None of them involved renting a car (though twice I bummed rides in other people's car). The one time I took the shuttle down from Appleton, it was probably a shorter walk than it was had I flew in myself. Appleton is a tiny airport and the bus waits right out front. If you can get from your place to a Delta-served airport, it's pretty easy. The Appleton flights come out of the old Northwest Ornament WorldHub in Detroit.
     
  23. VWGhiaBob

    VWGhiaBob Line Up and Wait

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    Already full...sorry!
     
  24. VWGhiaBob

    VWGhiaBob Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks all for the great suggestions! I read every one and will follow them. I’ve gotten conflicting info on Uber...some say it’s great...the lady I’m renting the house from says it’s not reliable. I’ll rent just in case.
     
  25. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    ATW and GRB are incredibly expensive for commercial airlines. MKE is the best bet, and it's an hour or so to OSH or the close house you've rented. Easier and cheaper to get a car, too. Reserve the car NOW, you can always cancel down the road.
     
  26. easik

    easik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I usually rent a car and pay the $10/day for parking. I wouldn't call it a nightmare if you get there early in the day
    Any commercial airport you use is still at least 30 mins drive to the event.