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Best time to buy airfare?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Bamalewie, May 23, 2016.

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  1. Bamalewie

    Bamalewie Tourist

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    How far out is generally the best time to get a plane ticket? It seems like prices are great right now.
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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  3. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    Wow! That is really interesting - thanks for sharing that Sonya. I've always thought the earlier the cheaper.
    I've booked up to 6 months in advance when SWA has had a sale. But it's good to know the frame to keep an eye on - it gives me one more excuse to plan a quick trip to Vegas.
     
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  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Sometimes booking way in advance is cheaper. But, not always. If they think they are going to fly with too many open seats, then will lower the price. An empty seat will return $0 to the airline. They have whole departments that continually monitor available seats and adjust pricing. Mostly computer driven stuff, but always making adjustments to get the most revenue from each flight.
     
  5. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    If you are going with Southwest book immediately. If the price goes down you can rebook and use 100% of the difference on a future flight (within a year from the date of your original booking). I love that, as we will always have another flight somewhere with a year. Unfortunately other airlines charge rebooking fees so then you have to be a lot more careful about when you book. Sonya's info above is very good.
     
  6. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    No advice for us people from Hawaii?

    just kidding.

    The best time to book travel from Hawaii to vegas -

    Hawaiian air offers quarterly price drop specials, if you travel on Hawaiian best to book at that time. Book quickly as the prices fluctuate and will rise as bookings increase, sometimes that day or the next day. Best to check regularly 12 to 15 weeks in advance, if prices drop below $550 then book quickly because lately you won't see that low price much.

    Other airlines: use Kayak or Skyscanner and search regularly for price drops. There is no real "rule" on when to book travel from Hawaii.


    JMHO, the problem with SW bookings is if prices drop you will only get a credit for future flights in the next year so if you aren't planning on flying the next year you are out of luck.
     
  7. KKB

    KKB VIP Whale

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    Interesting link, Sonya. I, too, book SWA as soon as I have a book on the docket. Best with points as those are fully refundable with no restrictions if there are price changes or I have to change my trip. But AT LEAST I can get a credit for travel within a year of original booking. We are 8 1/2 weeks out from our July trip; I want to check if 7 weeks is true! (although SWA tends to have a June sale so my info could be skewed!)
     
  8. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson Low-Roller

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    When y'all book on SWA, do you use the 'Wanna Get Away' fare or the 'regular' fares? For some reason I have it in my head that SWA wga fares have restrictions on them.
     
  9. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm Low-Roller

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    Last time I was checking rates for my upcoming june trip to vegas flying southwest, I decided to check the rates under senior instead of adult, most seniors get a discount...for my trip, senior was about $50 more each way
     
  10. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr Low-Roller

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    I would normally agree with this buy in advance thing, but my sister booked a trip to Vegas on the same dates as me for about $100 less. I booked 7 weeks out, she booked 2.5 weeks out. And, she leaves 11am vs my 730 am flight (and early am flights tend to be cheaper). Wish flights pricing wasn't so volatile.
     
  11. FuzzyDiceCraps

    FuzzyDiceCraps High-Roller

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    The only restriction is you cannot get a refund. You can rebook using the funds originally paid as a credit, and anything you save is then stored in your account for future travel. But you can never get the money back. With other fares you have that option (perhaps under additional restrictions).

    For our coming trip we originally booked SWA roundtrip. We then had the opportunity to fly to vegas only on Delta First Class for the same price (but from a different city), so we rebooked our SW trip as a one way return-only. What we had spent on the leg to LAS is now in my account as funds which I can apply to my next flight. Its kind of a pain, but not the end of the world.
     
  12. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I think if you find a good rate now, one that you are happy with, you should just book it.

    Yes, prices could drop but if you are familiar with the costs of flights from your airport you should have an idea that if they do how much they might go down by and then if its worth waiting and seeing what happens, IE: if you've seen flights as low as $200 in the past and right now they are $225... the potential savings of $25 per ticket really isn't worth the risk that they will more likely go up in the future for one to hold out and wait and see.
     
  13. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    Personally, it is "best" when the fare is comfortable to purchase.

    Am I comfortable purchasing a R/T for $500 - nope!
    Am I comfortable purchasing a R/T for $300 - yup!

    Airfares, like hotel rates, like car rental rates - do fluctuate. I don't think anyone can really put their finger on when the "best" fare will come out.
     
  14. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    The posts got me thinking about senior fares and since I just booked Thanksgiving flights yesterday, for the heck of it I checked the same flights as seniors. We're not, but I was curious. No difference in price, but, between yesterday and today our return flight went down $15 ea. Nothing staggering, but we'll use it on maybe our Christmas flight.
     
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  15. oldschoolvegas

    oldschoolvegas Tourist

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    Sometimes great last minute fares like a week from now out of Chicago to LV.Leave 5/31 return 6/3 non stops early am $238 rt on Southwest.
     
  16. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    You can book the discount fares or the FULL fare. Full fare is totally refundable. Others can cancel and get a credit. Pretty rare that folks book the full fare. No real reason to do that.
     
  17. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    When fares drop, you can rebook and get a credit for the difference.

    And of course, different times of the day are priced different. You could easily switch to her fare and time and have the difference for a future flight.
     
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  18. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr Low-Roller

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    Do I give you a fee for said savings :) Thank you!
     
  19. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

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    I use Kayak.com to give me flight price alerts, it sends me an email whenever there is a big sale. You can set it up for certain dates, or you can set it up for certain destinations like Vegas. Airfare Watchdog is another one I have used.

    Alaska Airlines will also give you a credit if the price drops after you book. It's only good for one re-booking. If the price for your flight drops you can request a credit from their website and use it on a future trip. You have to book your flight through Alaska's website, though, doesn't work for third party bookings like Expedia, Orbitz, etc.

    Also, in each market there is usually a low price that airfare never goes below to Vegas. In Seattle it's around $69-79 each way. If you can figure out what that average bottom price is in your market then you will know that if you see that price for the dates you want you better book it!
     
    Trip #12
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