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View Full Version : If you booked your own airfare.....


curlybop
03-20-2006, 12:49 PM
Did you find the best deals booking when the schedules were first published or waiting until it came closer to the month of your cruise?

Of course, I have lots of time until we get to that point! Checking with the co. I booked the cruise with, they wanted over $1200 (3 tickets from NC to MCO). I think that's a bit ridiculous. I am probably going to go w/ Southwest, since they have the lowest rates when I search during the '06 season. If I can snag some of the cheaper tickets, I'll be a happy camper, b/c that will put it over 50% off the quote I just received.

So, how did you find the best deals? Early planning or just sweating it out? :confused3

:teeth:

Castillo Mom
03-20-2006, 01:09 PM
I couldn't bear sweating it out, I'm too much of a planner. Basically I booked pretty much as soon as the rates came out. The price was decent, although if I waited or went with Southwest, I could've gotten our airfare a little cheaper. I liked having a choice of where to sit on the plane and choosing the itinerary I wanted.

Queen2
03-20-2006, 01:18 PM
I booked in October 2005, for our April cruise, coming out of Philly. There were no non stops avaibleat all. That cost me a night at POFG. Coming home It is a 2-1/2 flight at most. We fly to Atlanta & have a 2 hour layover. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: We don't catch our flight till about 1:00 something at MCO 2 hour layover we Get To Philly at 7:30 & just a short 30-45 minute ride home.

Book early :thumbsup2

TheWog
03-20-2006, 01:31 PM
I just hung in there and waited until I found a deal that I liked. We found $156.00 per person round trip from Manchester, NH to MCO on US Air with a stop in Charlotte. I am probably going to do Southwest this time for our WDW trip in November when the dates are released.

JerJan
03-20-2006, 01:37 PM
If you can fly out of Charlotte or Raleigh?Durham you should check out AirTran http://www.airtran.com/Home.aspx I have seen their fares as low as $39.00 per person one-way. Sign up for their email alerts! Good Luck and have a great trip!

OHJulie
03-20-2006, 01:40 PM
Generally you are going to find cheaper fares if you can wait till 40 or 50 days from departure. I however, do not have the patience for that - I booked our flights from Ohio to MCO awhile ago and paid $250/seat. I like to know that I am getting convenient, direct flights and that I can pick my seats toward the front of the plane.

I have also been watching the fares for my sister and her family. She does not have Compulsive Planning Disorder and actually wanted to wait till closer to trip time to book. Well, on Saturday I checked the fares and she got the same flights that we have for $150/ticket. This was 42 days before we are going on the cruise - I think that I probably would have driven my DH crazy waiting that long - but it is a great bargain if you have the courage to wait. You just never know what will be available if you wait.

Sue (mom of 3 boys!)
03-20-2006, 03:38 PM
I just hung in there and waited until I found a deal that I liked. We found $156.00 per person round trip from Manchester, NH to MCO on US Air with a stop in Charlotte. I am probably going to do Southwest this time for our WDW trip in November when the dates are released.

Does Southwest release dates a bit at a time? One month at a time? A few months at a time? We are looking for Southwest from MHT for our trip next Feb. school vacation week, which will in no way be cheap, I know... That being said, if I can find a reasonable rate with other airlines from MHT or Worcester, I plan to jump on them.

Kimmielee
03-20-2006, 07:07 PM
I bought in October for our April trip from Detroit to MCO. I panicked due to NW filing for BK and their flights being so "unstable"... one day it would say the ONLY seats available for the flight I wanted was first class... then the next it would disappear but prices would change drastically, etc.... it seemed like a game designed to drive me crazy! :crazy:

I went with Spirit, who was the least expensive that particular moment in time and paid $350 per person... OH MY GOSH... had I waited, I could have saved at least $200, but it was hard to "catch" that kind of deal. About 18 months ago, I paid $175 per person, but it wasn't a "holiday" time frame. :confused3 Today, the same flight is MORE expensive.... go figure.

I'm a "direct flight, no layover" kinda gal.... so my options were much more limited. I want to get there and start enjoying what I've paid for!!! :rotfl2:

tvguy
03-20-2006, 08:01 PM
It's a gamble, no doubt. I tend to be more concerned about getting the flights I need. You might watch fares for a few weeks but I'd book as soon as you can.
With fuel prices the way they are, I'm not holding my breath for lower fares, I'm more concerned about fuel surcharges.
Best advice is be an informed consumer, and DON'T assume Southwest has the best fares, shop around. I had to do a round trip from Sacramento to Houston, and America West had a promotional fare that was $200 a person lower than Southwest's cheapest fare.

TheWog
03-21-2006, 07:11 AM
Does Southwest release dates a bit at a time? One month at a time? A few months at a time? We are looking for Southwest from MHT for our trip next Feb. school vacation week, which will in no way be cheap, I know... That being said, if I can find a reasonable rate with other airlines from MHT or Worcester, I plan to jump on them.

Yes, they release them in blocks. About 5 months at a time right now. I think the next release will be in May, so it will probably show through October. They are only taking reservations through August 3 right now. Its hard to tell exactly when they will do it and how long they will release through. We are patiently waiting for November to also fly out of MHT.

If you go on the site and sign up for the Ding notifications, that will tell you as soon as they are released.

Not sure where in Mass. you live, but JetBlue also offers direct flights out of Logan for similar pricing. They also have tvs built right into the seats and assigned seating. If I didn't live about 15 mins from MHT that would be an option (who knows, maybe it still will be :) ).

mackymaddyconnorsmom
03-21-2006, 07:19 AM
I would wait it out. We flew Southwest from Philly. For 5 of us round trip the total cost (including taxes/sept 11 fee) was $522.00. You cant beat that

curlybop
03-21-2006, 07:42 AM
I would wait it out. We flew Southwest from Philly. For 5 of us round trip the total cost (including taxes/sept 11 fee) was $522.00. You cant beat that

That is a great price! I'm hoping for something similar for us. I think I'll check again around Christmas, and see what I can get. That should be 4 mos. before the trip, so hopefully better rates will be found!

Oh, I believe someone asked....we'll be leaving either Greensboro or Raleigh/Durham. Just depends on which airline gives me the best price. :)

PhotoLisa
03-21-2006, 10:01 AM
My family and I check the airfare rates often between North Carolina and New Orleans. In the last few weeks, the rates have skyrocketed!!! The same ticket that was costing between $170 - $268 is now well over $500 - $600 range (same day and plenty of advance time on the purchase).

The cost of your flights may be just a temporary insane price and hopefully will come down.

Now . . . in our case (before all this craziness started), we booked our tickets from New Orleans to Orlando through Delta and paid $168 per person for each of our 6 members travelling. Those fares were purchased about 9 months in advance (I think it was about that long). A day or two after we purchased our tickets, I checked the same flight just to see what the cost was . . . each ticket had gone up to $400-something. The month before we cruised, we ended up having to change one of our passengers . . .. her airfare was $1000!!!!

Airfare is calculated just like the cruise . . . first booked gets the cheapest rates. As space fills, prices go up.

Since you're 13 months out from your cruise, I'd start checking the fares each couple of weeks and get on mailing lists from the airlines for their sale announcements. When you see the price dip drastically, you'll know its time to purchase.

Good luck!

PhotoLisa
03-21-2006, 10:03 AM
My daughter told me this week that American is having a fare sale in/out of Raleigh . . . something like $160 from New Orleans. You might check American since you're looking at Raleigh and Greensboro.