View Full Version : help please w/ flight advice in PA

05-06-2004, 05:58 PM
I really could use some help on booking flights from philly to orlando. We were looking at vacation express out of w-b PA - but their prices keep going up.

We are traveling from dec 6- dec 12. I guess my question is- when does everyone usually get airfare. Does it pay to wait, and if so- how long.

Any other advice on us air or sw or any $ saving tip would be helpful. I feel really lost. Thanks

05-06-2004, 07:12 PM
We're leaving out of BWI with Southwest in Aug. first started looking at rates 6 months ahead they were approx. $110 each way. We waited it out a few months and tickets droped to $79 and we booked. Now some people have been getting $49 fares! It seems like airfare and car rentals, it pays to procrastinate. We were afraid to wait much longer since my husband requested his vacation and couldn't switch days. Plus we were afraid of seats selling out. It's a fine line you walk!

05-06-2004, 08:29 PM
I think you should be able to find an affordable fare since Southwest came to Phila. I know USAirways is matching the fares.

When you find a good fare I would book it I don't know how long they will be having the fare wars in Phila.

05-06-2004, 10:44 PM

I am also watching the Philly fares. We live in East central Jersey so I can fly out of EWR,ACY,PHL or even JFK if I need to. Airfares seem kind of high right now for the week I want (dec2-10) even leaving midweek, so I'm watching them all I think they will drop I cant find anything under 250.00 RT and no way am I paying that

05-07-2004, 01:05 AM
I usually start looking at about 6 months out. I booked our August vacation in March and got USAIR for $176/person with all taxes. Southwest had some fares for $49 but the times were either too earlier in the morning (6:30) or too late at night. Some of the "cheap" flights also had one or two stops.
My sister lives in the Scranton area and has flown out of the Lehigh Valley Airport in Allentown. Delta Express and Southeast Airlines fly out of there to Orlando. Southeast does not fly to Orlando International but to Sanford Airport which is about 30-45 minutes north of Orlando.
All I can say, is if you find a fare you can live with book it. Sometimes waiting pays off and a lot of times it doesn't.

Bill From PA
05-07-2004, 08:24 AM
I've been monitoring prices at VacationExpress for the same week as yours as a guide to what I might expect to pay next March. Prices do tend to go up as a flight get filled. You're not going to do much better than the $218 VA is charging if you need to fly out of AVP. We paid $278 on Delta in March. ABE has a number of flights on United and Delta in the low $200's. Philly might get you below 200, but how far would you have to drive, how much more to park? I'm less than 10 miles from AVP so I'll pay more to avoid the aggravation of going to a larger airport. Consider looking at Harrisburg if your're from that neck of the woods.

Generally, flights are announced a little less than a year in advance and are priced high. As one gets down to the 4 month range, prices will gradually drop IF the flight has many vacant seats. This window of lower prices lasts only until the plane starts to fill. After a certain point, prices go through the roof, doubling and even tripling. My strategy is to start watching prices from several carriers at several airports early on, I'm already doing so for a March 2005 trip. Most airlines have a diagram on their web site showing the airplane for each flight and which seats are taken and which remain. Using this I can see when a flight is starting to fill at which time I decide to lock on the rate or look elsewhere. The last 4 trips to WDW I reserved at the absolute lowest price charged for the flight I wanted to book. It's all part of the game, enjoy it!

Bill From PA

05-07-2004, 09:58 AM
Try checking out www.travelzoo.com or register on the southwest and us air websites-then they will send you specials---we just booked a flight from Philly to orlando for $98 round trip for our May trip---it was sorta last minute but a good rate.

05-07-2004, 12:17 PM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think I may just bite the bullet and pay the $218 for VExp. out of Avoca.
Bill- we live in Dallas- not too far from W-B, so I know once we have a direct flight w/o driving to Philly or Allentown- I'll feel better... until I see 4 months from now USAir dropping their rates...ugggg!

guess there is no sure thing. thanks again everybody.

Bill From PA
05-07-2004, 01:05 PM

I wouldn't worry about USAir dropping below $218. We used to fly them all the time based on price out of AVP, but in the last year they haven't been able to compete with Delta let alone VA.

BTW, I work in Dallas at Miseri. Small world, but I'd hate to have to paint it.

Bill From PA

05-07-2004, 01:30 PM
dbal & bill from pa:

While I never have actually flown out of Avoca, I know the area very well (both parents & I were born W-B). Some of my family that lives in Kingston take flights out of Lehigh Valley to St. Pete. My aunt, who is in her last year of teaching at Dallas High School (30 yrs), flys to St Pete alot to visit her sister & mom. i don't know if they are direct flights though.

Since i live just outside of Philly, I always fly from there. Airtrain and US Air have had good flights for me in the past. I got a great rate on 4/2 on USAir for 116.70 r/t Philly to Orlando (MCO) for June 9 - 16. These two will be competing with South West for this business. The flights are direct. If you drive down the night before & stay at a hotel, you can leave your car there for free. I did this is 2002 when I went to Las Vegas. I stayed at Fairfield Inn on Bartram Ave for about $60 or so. I actually paid a little less to just park my car at an offsite secure lot later that year.

PS: said aunt is a grad of Misery (class of '69 I think), and my dad's youngest brother graduated in 1980. I wish I could post his graduation photo, as he has super curly hair, and had a "fro at the time and the mortar board is precariously perched on his head full of hair!
Definately a small world, pal!

05-07-2004, 08:50 PM
We've always flown Usair from AVP to MCO. We'll be flying VE for our trip in August at a cost of $172 a person. AVP is 20 minutes from door to door and you can't beat it for ease of use. Crowds are not a problem!!:D I'll let you know how VE does.

Bill from PA - Love the new picture from the R&C!:wave:

05-07-2004, 11:21 PM
I would keep checking us air. We booked 2 adults for $293.50.
With southwest keeping prices low.........I think US air will drop prices again.

05-08-2004, 07:43 AM
If you are interested in flying out of Philly it is cheaper than flights out of AVP. I have friends who have stayed at the Embassy suites the night before and they have 24 hr transportation to the airport and they keep your car for free. Between the free breakfast and parking it more than covers the cost of the hotel room and you get to take advantage of the cheaper fares.

We are doing that for a trip this summer so I'll let you know how it goes.

Bill From PA
05-09-2004, 09:13 AM

I'm flirting with the idea of driving to Philly late Wed. night for a Thurs. flight. Free parking might just be the deciding factor. You do have quite a few ties to my home range. Dallas High School is almost within sight of my college. I love working in this area and right now I'm writing this from my humble cottage in Sullivan Co., WAY out in the boonies.


Thanks, the previous one was from 2001 so I was due for an update. This one just captures me on my favorote WDW 'ride'.

Bill From PA

05-09-2004, 03:44 PM
have friends who have stayed at the Embassy suites the night before

We just went to a seminar there april 22 and that hotel is nice. We drove I95 north to get there, and it's the first hotel on the right, just after you turn onto Bartram Ave. The sign was kind of small, and I ended up missing it.

Yes, Bill from PA, the back mtn. is beautiful, esp. at this time of year. My great-grandparents used to own a farm up in Carverton on Bodle road; my dad & his 2 brothers went to Dallas H.S. - his youngest brother (who I mentioned in my previous post) actually had my aunt (Maureen is married to my mom's older brother, I mentioned her in my previous post too) as an English teacher!

Stare out that window once for me! My mom's middle brother lives up in Glen Summit (mountain top area), and I don't get up there enough!

05-10-2004, 02:26 PM
doombuggy & bill from PA ... this is soooo weird. I know exactly who your aunt is that teaches English. I had her! She's wonderful. I've been in dallas for 30 yrs. my mom taught at Miseri. - and I can see the college from my front door and dallas hs from my back door. Hello neighbors.

05-12-2004, 06:21 PM
EEK! dbal, I sent you a pm!!:D :cool: :)

05-13-2004, 10:04 AM
We always fly out of Philly because Allentown and Reading can't even come close. I would definitely keep an eye out on Southwest and USAir, because they are already starting to duke it out! I would wait until late summer to book airfare for a December trip, until Southwest opens up their booking for those dates. Then USAir should match it so you will have two airlines to choose from.

For all you considering staying at PHL the night before, it is the way to go! We have done this 4 times now and really enjoy it. It makes the start of your vacation that much less stressful. The free parking more than pays for the nights stay (just make sure that you verify with your hotel that it is free because some of the hotels do charge you). We have stayed at the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn and Ramada. The Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn were nice, but the Ramada was disgusting and we wouldn't stay there again if it was free.

05-14-2004, 06:43 PM
Alright- I was already to watch and wait a few months to see if prices go down, Now I see a rate of $158 RT from PHL.- USAir

So.... what would you guys do? Grab it or wait. (trips in Dec.)


05-14-2004, 09:42 PM
Neighbor in NJ here!! Don't know much about the areas you are all talking about :D , but I was wondering what you think about airline prices and the high price of gas right now?


05-15-2004, 08:31 AM
that's what my husband is really worried about. I saw another post about the rise in oil prices affecting plane tickets awhile back. :rolleyes: that - I think is one of my gut feelings saying 'get em now, get it over with & get em now!'