1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Checking airfare AFTER booking

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Turtleman, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,257
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    101
    Most if not all airlines offer a full refund if a purchased ticket is cancelled within 24 hours (actually, midnight the following day), so it only makes sense to check and rebook if the price drops or if other changes are desired before then. However, once "locked in," I've seldom revisited except for possibly changing seat assignments. At least on Delta, flight change fees are certainly way more than any fare reductions; and besides, who needs buyer's remorse? (Yes, Southwest is much better in that regard.)

    Nonetheless, and mainly for future reference, I recently started checking to see how prices change as departure draws nearer. Fortunately, no buyer's remorse this time, as my fare increased right after booking last week. And while I've heard that the fare "sweet spot" is 54 days prior to departure, I've seen far too many exceptions to necessarily agree. As long as my dates are flexible, I've found it often pays to play the "wait and see game" unless something really attractive shows up within 3-4 weeks. It's "amusing" to watch fares for different flights even for the same day bounce around, while that that little "only 1 or 2 left at this price" notice seems to mean absolutely nothing!

    Anyway, I'm just curious who else watches fares after booking, especially when it's impractical to make changes.
     
  2. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    316
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    I live just northeast of San Antonio. I booked out October flights out of Austin. The fares were $50 cheaper each way than flying out of SAT. So in that regard, I keep an eye on the SAT fares to see if they'll drop, but they are steadily $40-$50 more than AUS. That would be $200 more RT for my wife and I. And that is with SW, so if I do find cheaper fares, I won't be charged for changing.
     
  3. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,075
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    A lot of people say "never look back" after you've booked a fare that can't be adjusted. If you're really interested in getting the best price in the future, I don't agree. Continuing to watch is the only way to determine a) what the best price you could have gotten was, and b) what the sweet spot really was for your specific itinerary.

    For me, getting the best price is part of the hunt, even if theoretically the time I spend doing it is worth more than the amount I end up saving. I can't pretend that the pricing variables are so predictable that you can do this one time and expect it to always hold for future trips.

    Any "sweet spot" you see in some web article is useless. It's an average of an average of an average. All that matters is the sweet spot on the specific itinerary you fly. I've never seen 54 days be anywhere near the sweet spot for BOS <-> LAS; it's always either many months in advance or somewhere inside 21 days.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  4. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    I actually just checked my SW flight for 4th of July weekend and my exact same flight is $85 cheaper right now without early bird ($55 with early bird). I'm debating whether it is worth it for me to re-book my flight to save the $85. I'm thinking I would forgo the early bird boarding because I probably wouldn't have that good of a boarding position at this late juncture. What would you do?
     
    Bonus Money to Burn
  5. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    316
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    The early bird will automatically transfer. And I believe it is non-refundable. We did this last year and it was automatically transferred to the new flight.
     
  6. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,526
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    I always fly Southwest so I check once a week or so. Many times I've had a fare go down and rebooked and used the savings on my next flight.
     
  7. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,075
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    How is this debatable, unless getting the extra RR points puts you over some threshold that gets you more than $85 in benefits?
     
  8. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,257
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    101
    My flights still cost more than when I booked a week ago; however, I now see acceptable flights a couple days later costing significantly less. If Delta didn't charge ridiculous fees to change, I would; so I guess I'll have to consider Southwest more seriously the next time. (When I booked, they cost nearly the same as Delta; which doesn't charge for seat selections. But as it stands at the moment, I have lousy seats anyway, and being able to change flights without paying through the nose would be a big plus! In addition, I'm tired of Delta trying to gouge on using FF miles. Does SW?)

    None of this approaches being a catastrophe,;but just like in the casinos, it's fun trying to win when playing the airfare game!
     
  9. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    I was concerned about losing my early bird boarding position. I didn't realize it would transfer to the rebooked flight. I just rebooked after some meetings at work, but only saved $42 because the price went up by $43 while I was in the meeting.

    Wish I had known the early bird would transfer this morning.
     
    Bonus Money to Burn
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    11,132
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Saving $85 is saving $85. No debate there. Even if you place in line for early boarding drops, you will still have EB. And, I could make an arguement that boarding too early is bad. If you board more towards the middle, you have the option to SELF SELECT your seatmates. Depends how many you are traveling with. As a couple, we look for a row with one smaller person already there.
     
  11. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,075
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Southwest did a couple of things in the last couple of years that caused a little bit of a stir, but I haven't noticed too many complaints since.

    1. For their basic fares, you get 6 points per $1 when buying, but they raised the normal number of points required when paying with points, from 60 points per $1 to 70 points. So that was an instant 17% devaluation.

    2. They said they were going to go to a variable point redemption structure, so some high-demand flights would cost more than 70 points per $1 when redeeming. I haven't run across this in any flights I've looked at, and I haven't heard much about it, on this board at least.

    I think SWA's overall FF program is good, but I don't fly that much. The free changes and cancellations are great. The "2 free bags" is great, although it's tending to get priced into their fares.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  12. Ty

    Ty ?

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,387
    Location:
    Mid Ga
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I've grown rather fond of SW, flew Delta prior. I can often find RT tickets for less than 20,000 Rapid Reward points. Usually afternoon flights out of ATL and early morning flights coming home.

    The parking at ATL kills me. I think our bill last time was $126 for economy parking.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  13. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    2,985
    Location:
    Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    I do unfortunately. This time the fare did drop ONCE about $40 less than what I paid, which isn't that big of a deal but there are 4 of us and not only was the price lower...they were offering the low price on the earlier flight times. That's what really pissed me off. I had paid for my flights, which was the best fare available at the time but it was only for the later evening flights. Tried to talk AA into changing our flight to the earlier ones since the price dropped and they don't do refunds. They said hell no, only if you pay $200 per person change fee. Damn airlines.
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  14. Lovegas95

    Lovegas95 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    East Side
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    One of the tricks for me is flying from other airports. I'm slowly weaning myself from as many annual trips to Vegas (3 this year), or at the very least, shorter trips. We're re-discovering other places. The resort fees, parking fees, 6/5, surge pricing, etc. helped with this decision. For whatever reason, tickets cost significantly less ($100 RT)from Reagan in DC and Hartsfield in Atlanta than from RDU. Higher volume there maybe. What Mrs. LV and I have begun to do is shorten the Vegas trip by a day or two to get the best price. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday tend to be cheaper. We will spend the extra day back in our time zone seeing other sights before we return to work.
     
    Must...Go...To...Vegas!!
  15. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,680
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    35
    I always check airlines prices after I book. Mostly because I want to see if I booked at the right time and to use it as future reference on how the airfare pricing "game" works.

    But then I usually do a lot of checking before booking my flight. I check prices but also check the number of seats available on flights, if there are a lot of seats available then I may wait to see if they will drop prices even more. After booking I also check seat availability, hopefully to get a better seat or a seat up in front but mostly to track flight bookings to see how fast the flight fills up.

    I would say that I booked at the right time about 9 out of 10 times. Flights from Hawaii are pretty stable, Hawaiian drops their rates every quarter, best to book at that time because the prices start to go up once the bookings start to increase. I even saw prices go up the next day as the flight started to fill up. In the past I did make mistakes, waiting too long to book so I had to pay a higher price but after years of price searching I kind of got it wired on when to book flights out of Hawaii.

    The other thing is to go elsewhere and then fly into Vegas. Usually prices from Honolulu to Oakland can be a few hundred dollars lower than a direct flight to vegas. In fact some times it is cheaper to fly into Oakland and then fly SW to vegas (esp with their $69 or under $100 specials). Unfortunately hotel prices in San Francisco are outrageous, dumps are over $100 a night, better hotels are much more so lately it isn't as cost effective to not take a direct flight to vegas anymore.
     
  16. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,787
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    I'll sometimes look back, mostly because if the price has gone down it's just a minor annoyance (I never book at a price that's more than I'd be willing to pay for a Vegas trip), and if it goes up I feel like I feel like I won money. I just hate how schizophrenic AA's pricing is out of NYC; I paid practically nothing for Super Bowl weekend, my late July trip was around $550, and if I go for July 4th weekend it's like $700 now for a decent flight.
     
  17. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,257
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    101
    False alarm! While I saw cheaper fares on Delta's Flexible Dates calendar, the "true story" wasn't revealed until I clicked around. That's when I saw that the return flights were at unacceptable times or involved a stop or change of planes.

    I think I'll switch to Southwest in the future (unless Delta comes through with some decent flights for FF miles) just to be able to make changes without getting screwed. Especially since I'm no longer a Medallion member or have access to the Sky Club, there's no particular reason for airline loyalty.