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Southwest Airfare - Buy Now or Later

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by blackjacknut, Oct 6, 2013.

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  1. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    A bunch of us are going to Vegas from December 26th thru January 5th. I'm flying out of CLE on United because I have upgrades. A couple of friends are flying out of CLE on Southwest. They asked me today if they should buy their tickets now or wait....I have no clue as I don't fly SW. Can someone give me advice so that I can forward this advice onto my friends. They are thinking ticket prices may drop...I'm not familiar enough with SW to advise them.

    Thanks.
     
  2. g-didi

    g-didi Low-Roller

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    If they will fly SW again within a year they could book now and if the flight price drops they can refare their ticket and the difference in price will be held for a year so they can apply it to their next ticket. (make sure they check the terms at SW - its a year from booking date etc for the specific terms they will need to fufill) If they dont have plans to use SW in the next year then I guess its up to them if they want to wait. Travel around Christmas and New Year can get pricey with folks traveling for the holidays.

    Personally I look for a a fare I think is good and buy it. I have no idea what a competitive fare is for CLE. As much as it can go down it can also go up!
     
  3. win4me

    win4me Low-Roller

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    Ditto--I would give the same advice. I fly SWA several times a year, so if I find a decent fare I book it. If fares drop, I get the credit for the price difference (very easy to rebook the cheaper fare online @ SWA). SWA has no change fees.
     
  4. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Just make sure to tell them to book separate one way tickets. Each person, individually, one way. That way if only one direction price drops, you can change it. Also, if you get funds back, they have to be used by the same person. I personally would wait a little while, as their fares are high right now. They just finished a sale, so there should be another one in a few weeks.

    One good rule of thumb to follow with SW, is look at their monthly calendar for your months. If the price is the same, every day, wait. That is their high price, and 90% of the time they will come down for certain days, like Sat, Tues, Weds. That is when you should book. YMMV.
     
  5. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I attend a trade show at about the same time each year and start looking as soon as SWA opens their reservation system to cover both legs of my trip. I have developed a "feel" for what the price should be at that particular time and usually starts a bit higher than the best price. The previous advice is spot on, however, there are always exceptions and those who check everywhere and check often will testify to the fact that deals do pop up from time to time and you never know when or where.

    Besides the ability to change your flight without a penalty, Southwest has features like calenders with cheapest fares by the month. This year I took a late evening flight saving more than the cost of the hotel room for the extra night, and start rested the next morning. Usually I save on the early morning flight which is not the most popular,but saves on the fare and gives you a full first day of vacation. I also book each leg separately, and since I use EBCI if you change your flight instead of cancel and rebook using the same confirmation number, you don't lose the EBCI fee. Changing days or times can save you on your airfare but remember too that besides no penalty for changing flights or days, SWA does not charge for bags. I always check a second airport as well for savings but then you must take into consideration bus fare, time and convenience if it applies.

    Overall, there are a lot of flights to LV from everywhere so I have seen last minute deals and also have seen my flights double in price, so I would be comfortable with g-didi's advice as well.

    Jimbo338
     
  6. win4me

    win4me Low-Roller

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    I am not sure I understand the advice to book one way. I have always booked RT and have been able to change to the reduced fare when the rate drops on just the outbound or the return. On the SWA website, you select the flight (OB or return) you are making the change on.
     
  7. BTSyndrome

    BTSyndrome Low-Roller

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    The one thing I would watch for is if the flights you want sell out.
    This years March Madness trip to Vegas had all direct flights sold out 5 months in advance.
    (We had to use Delta and connect, :grrr:)

    We just booked for next years March trip.
    This will be our first time on Southwest.
    I did not want any connections!!!
     
  8. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Strange, I have never seen the ability to do this. Normally it reprices the entire itinerary. Maybe something new?
     
  9. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Unless you have a crystal ball, don't give advice on airfare ticket futures, it is a no win situation. Tell them if they want to go, buy a ticket within their budget.

    No good deed goes unpunished.
     
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Some damn good advice right there! You are gonna get the raw end of this deal if you or they guess wrong.


    If they buy now and price goes down - you are stupid.
    If they buy later and price goes up - you are stupid.


    I would suggest what others did though.

    Buy each leg separately. There is ZERO advantage to buying roundtrip. No discount. Nothing.

    And,if they do refund the tickets, they go to the flyer, not the purchaser. So, everbody buys their own.
     
  11. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    I dunno why people don't do this. Also, I'll buy different legs from different airlines if they price works out.
     
  12. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    Always look late Monday, early Tuesday, throughout Tuesday and Wednesday as those will be the times the prices come down.
     
  13. FXT

    FXT VIP Whale

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    I would buy now. I've been keeping tabs on Southwest prices (Dec 21st trip)for the last two months and the prices keep going up. I thought the prices would drop too and held off and instead of getting the tickets at $175 a piece, I ended up getting them at $210 a piece.
     
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