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Airfare booking theory?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by jmwilson81, Mar 30, 2014.

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  1. jmwilson81

    jmwilson81 Tourist

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    After much research trying to decide when to book our flights to Vegas for September I am more confused than I was when I started. We flew to Vegas in January last year for $500 roundtrip total and now rates are over $170 more. We booked way in advance then and the price never dropped.

    The theory I get from research is that about two months out is the perfect time to book. However, I can check flight prices for May and June and they are the same as the prices for September. Does that mean I should book now?
     
  2. Username

    Username VIP Whale

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    Of course it depends on the airlines........IMHO flying SWA you cannot book to early since you can rebook over and over again with the extra saving put in the SWA bank account.

    Now with another airline or even buying a car.......the question is "are you comfortable" with the deal.....if so GO FOR IT......and then look forward to peace in Paradise....... :)
     
  3. pressitagain

    pressitagain Low-Roller

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    The average price has definitely increased year over year. It's all about timing.

    You have ample time to book. Airlines offer sales all the time.

    The one thing that I have noticed is the alternating sales. One month it's hotels, at a discounted rate. The next month the airline sale.

    Book things separately and you will get that price increase back. Don't panic just yet!!!
     
  4. jmwilson81

    jmwilson81 Tourist

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    Thanks for the input. Right now I'm getting the best rate from Delta plus it is a non-stop flight. I don't think Delta is known for having huge sales. Am I wrong?
     
  5. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    There really is no secret to guaranteed airfare. If you book SWA, book when you find a price your happy with and check back regularly because you can rebook at the lower price if the price does happen to drop.

    No, Delta doesn't have a lot of sales. I've found good airfare last year and then again this year for a February trip each year and booking 1 week in advance last year and 2 weeks in advance this year. Last year, it was $243 round trip and this year was $240 round trip. The best I've ever done for a summer trip, which September is still the tail end of, is like $360 round trip. That was back in 2009. Everything else has typically been between $450-$500. All these flights have been on Delta.
     
  6. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    :wave: hi neighbor, looks like we will be at MB at the same time.

    OP it is really hard to say. when we went to florida i booked as soon as it went up a bit thinking it wouldn't go back down. As far as i know it didn't, after a while i stopped checking.
     
  7. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    Jet Blue has the same policy - if the fare drops after you book, call up and they rebook the flight at the lower rate and refund the difference in your travel bank.

    I recently booked airfare for my upcoming trip. The airfare fluctuated several times in one day - you have to check often because flights do go up and down a lot. I saw my return flight go from $444 to $380 to $320 (which I grabbed just before it shot back up to $444, and with travel bank funds from previous flights, it actually ended up being $100 cheaper). Luckily my inbound flight was free with points!
     
  8. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    Yeah I always forget Jet Blue because they don't fly out of the airports I'm close to.
     
  9. DonnyC

    DonnyC VIP Whale

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    I'm flying Allegiant - out of GFK -as they are cheaper than flying out of WPG, and I live just 30 minute from the USA border.

    I was told that WestJet sometimes ahs sales...but my travel dates usually aren't too flexible.

    I know what I want to spend, and what the most is that I am willing to spend.

    If the price falls between those 2 parameters...then I book an don't ever look at the price again!
     
  10. dvandentop

    dvandentop VIP Whale

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    Rates are redic right now $500pp right now on memorial weekend from sodak.
     
  11. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Nothing is absolute when it comes to getting the best price. After 20 trips, 17 of them at about the same time of year I have a general idea of the average price. My cheapest was $217rt and my most expensive was $400rt. Most times it falls in the 250-280 range. When SWA extends their reservations past my flight dates I check several times a day. They are not the lowest when they first appear generally. Gone are the big sales but usually they drop prices here and there. I try for the cheap days, and then the cheap times if I have to for a good fare. Then I have my airfare and I can find my hotel and entertainment. Sometimes the price comes down but often I know the price just isn't going to get better so I watch for better travel times and change.

    Jimbo338
     
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Yes, if you can predict when to buy your tickets you should be a clairvoyant, lol. Seriously speaking, there are so many factors on pricing, time of year, conventions, summer vacation for the kids, day of the week when travelling, etc.

    There are some sites that give you some suggestions. Kayak tells you with a certain % confidence whether to book or wait. Airfarewatchdog also helps you a little but there is no guarantee that prices will drop as the sites predict.

    I'm looking at going to vegas the first week of June. I've been checking the air fares daily. Once a week I check the airlines web site to see if the seats are filling up. So far on my particular dates of travel the flights that I want have over 130+ seats open! More than 1/2 empty. You would think they would drop prices since it is 9 weeks away but I think it is all a game to them, they are betting that since it is a summer month the customer will cave and buy tickets at their higher rates, the customer waiting to see when they blink and drop their prices. The key is to watch prices regularly (daily). Some airlines like SW can drop their prices in a day, then raise it back up the next day, or sometimes within the day the rates could rise.
     
  13. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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  14. mdm4sfest

    mdm4sfest Low-Roller

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    I booked my next flight out to CLE to LAS via SWA from Aug 19-23. I booked about 120 days out and paid "ONLY" $311 with a nonstop early morning flight there and a 1 hour layover in Chicago on the back back with a early afternoon departure time. I didnt think I would see anything close to the $280-$300 range so I scooped it up while I could.
     
  15. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    One thing to remember when rebooking at a lower rate on SWA (JetBlue may work the same way, I don't know). You have to use your "credit" within one year of when you made the original reservation. In my case I booked in January for our May Vegas trip. The fares went down, I rebooked and now we have to use our credit before January 2015.
     
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Funny you should mention that. I checked the Hawaiian airlines site yesterday morning for flights the first week of june. Prices were high, over $700 for a r/t to vegas from Honolulu. I checked the site in the afternoon on a whim, they dropped the prices over $100! With my discounts I got the r/t for $575.

    Actually I counted how many days until my trip, it was around 64 days. Maybe I should have held out another week but since I wanted a window seat I decided to book the flight. We'll see if they drop the prices more but it will probably take a few days to see if customers will pay the rates or if HA drops their rates more to fill the plane (still over 100+ seats open).
     
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