I've been using Airtran to get to NYC every year since I got here (even when the ACPT was in Connecticut, nobody actually goes to Connecticut. How else would we get our Connecticut Limo horror stories?). So I'm trying to do some preliminary planning, on the assumption that Willz will only change the date once (which has already happened).
I'm pretty sure Airtran used to have a lot more flights than they do now; at least they're still the cheapest option I'm pretty sure ($62/72 each way, plus taxes). But there's only two flights a day each way now: I can leave here at 8 in the morning, and then think of something to do in NYC that day or leave at 6 in the evening and probably miss the Friday night stuff. And then the only possible flight home leaves at 7:30 pm. Delta doesn't even fly to New York from PHF any more; I'd either have to fly to Atlanta or drive to Norfolk and fly to JFK; that comes out to $168 (plus taxes).
I've done the train up to DC, and the Northeast still seems to have this idea that trains are good. Eight hours on a train each way isn't necessarily the fastest travel plan, but usually Amtrak isn't too bad. And if I could get both ways for $77, then that would not be that much worse than anything else. Unfortunately: 1) the return trip is $110, and 2) it leaves at 1pm, which means no lunch (although having a good reason to skip the generally over-priced and under-catered banquet may not be a bad thing). And I suppose 3) the 25%-off on the NPN-New York run expires December 28. I suppose someone would have to teach me how to use the NYC subway system to get from Penn Station to the hotel and back.