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NOLA Airport from Austin

mullica hill, nj
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NOLA Airport from Austin

I just booked a trip to New Orleans with a side trip to Austin. I am afraid I messed up on the return to The Airport. Our flight is a 4:00 PM on a Monday in New Orleans but we will be in Austin on Sunday night. our plan was to leave very early and drive straight to the airport. I am not familiar with the traffic from Austin to New Orleans, or returning a car at the airport. I have always driven to New Orleans, so not familiar with airport at all. Has anyone made the trip, is it doable??? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. According to google it is 8 hours drive, but how about traffic and logistics at the airport. Thank you all!

College Station...
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for New Orleans
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1. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

We live 80 miles from Austin, towards New Orleans. Google maps is showing me 7 hr 16 min, but that is WITHOUT TRAFFIC or ANY OTHER STOPS. You need allow for traffic coming out of Austin, which depending on your Austin location could be horrific on a Monday between 6:30 and 9 AM. You will be going through or around Houston, which on a Monday can be horrific between 6:30 and 9:30 AM. The good news is that the New Orleans Airport is on the Austin side of New Orleans, which should not be to difficult to negotiate, and that you will likely be avoiding Baton Rouge during lunch time or afternoon rush hour. If you are ROLLING out of Austin right before 6:00 AM, you should miss the worst of the Austin traffic (depending on your departure point), and hit Greater Houston around 8, making the traffic almost bearable (if you use toll roads or HOV lanes).

PRESUMING you are departing from the NORTH part of Austin, on the way into Houston using Hwy 290,you will be able to use the HOV lane toll free after 8 AM if there are two or more passengers in the car. You can enter the HOV lane right after passing F.M. 1960; this will be a BIG help. The HOV lane will ultimately put you on IH 10 heading East towards New Orleans. See:

http://www.ridemetro.org/Services/HOV.aspx

http://www.ridemetro.org/Services/HOV.aspx

Unfortunately, before 8 AM there is toll for less than 3 in a vehicle. The problem with the toll, like many other Houston area tolls, is that it's only payable automatically, which requires registration; you do not want your rent car company being charged with the toll. So your first goal is to be on HWY 290 just Northwest of FM 1960 at 8 AM.

If you are wheels up (actually rolling and not still loading) in Austin BEFORE 6:00 AM, it should be doable, allowing you an hour and a half for traffic contingencies, an hour at the Airport and a total of 30 minutes for food, fuel and bathroom stops.

However, if you get lost going through or around Houston at rush hour you're toast. There is also a chance of highway mishaps or construction causing additional delays, but that would PROBABLY be covered by the traffic contingency. Finally, if you are departing from the Southern part of Austin, taking Hwy 71 to IH 10 might be preferable to taking the HWY 290 route to Houston; there are toll road/HOV options coming into Houston on that route, but I'm not as familiar with them; perhaps the Houston Forum; without the toll road/HOV assistance through or around Houston during rush hour, you won't make it.

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Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Louisiana
Southern
Southern
Louisiana
mullica hill, nj
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2. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

we are staying at the austin motel on south congress. looks to be kinda south according to the map... not really sure, but you certainly gave us a lot of great information ... sounds like it could be a very stressful day. maybe we should cut our austin visit short and drive Sunday to a closer location to airport. hate to loose a night in austin. do you think two nights is enough to experience the austin weirdness?? maybe leave Sunday afternoon and stay closer to Nola ...Baton Rouge? I thought leaving by 6am. would work, but hate to cut it close.. thank you again.. great info

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Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Louisiana
College Station...
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for New Orleans
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3. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

You're right, could be stressful on Monday. Absent Monday rush hour traffic it will be much easier. Although there are exceptions, not usually all that much going on in Austin Sunday night anyway. Maybe Sunday barbecue or Mexican lunch in Austin, dinner in Lafayette (Cajun Country), an early lunch in Lafayette, then on to the Airport in Kenner.

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Lafayette
Lafayette
Lafayette Parish, LA
Kenner
Kenner
Louisiana
College Station...
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4. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

I was suggesting you spend Sunday night in Lafayette; more interesting than Baton Rouge.

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Lafayette
Lafayette
Lafayette Parish, LA
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Louisiana
mullica hill, nj
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5. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

so it seems I need to cut austin short and get past Houston on Sunday. so now I guess I will post a question about where to spend Sunday night. I will look in to Lafayette ... thank you all for helping me avoid a potential nightmare!

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Lafayette
Lafayette
Lafayette Parish, LA
New Orleans...
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6. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

Southwest Airlines flies at 11am from Austin to New Orleans. Nonstop. Can you drop your car in Austin?

mullica hill, nj
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7. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

ill look into that ... never thought about flying.. wont have to worry about traffic:)

College Station...
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for New Orleans
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8. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

Good point JJ. I show a Southwest 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM Monday nonstop from Austin to New Orleans.

9. Re: NOLA Airport from Austin

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