View Full Version : How far in advance should I have booked my flight?

02-15-2005, 06:12 PM
I am so frustrated! I picked out a flight from Chicago a few days ago (for May) and while I was trying to book it today the price went up in front of my eyes. It is already almost full, which is obviously why the price went up. I am so surprised to see a full flight 3 months out. When do most people book their flights to Orlando? It makes me want to scrap the whole trip because I do not want to schedule a 7 am flight and have to wake up the family at 4 am.

Deb in IA
02-15-2005, 06:50 PM
I have spoken to airline representatives, and they tell me tickets go on sale 330 days before the flight.

02-15-2005, 06:55 PM
I always book our flight 330 days out - which is the earliest possible. Choice of seats and oftentimes the best price. And...if we are using Free Sky Miles, this is a must to be sure of your flight.

02-15-2005, 07:13 PM
I booked our May flight in early December and more than half the seats were already taken.

02-15-2005, 07:40 PM
Depends on a lot of factors, including how many passengers fly the route out of your airport, how many flights there are, and how many airlines are competing on the route.

If you are wanting a non-stop flight, you generally need to book a bit earlier.
Also, if you are wanting to fly to a resort on a Friday and fly out of a resort on Sunday, you need to book further in advance. If you are wanting to go to a resort during a holiday period, you need to book further in advance.

If you are flying out of a major airport on a Tuesday, Wed., or Saturday in the off-season, about 6-8 weeks is usually the best bet, otherwise, book as soon as you can, or anytime there is a big sale on your route.

BTW, if getting a bargain is important, never "pick out" a flight meaning to come back later to buy it. If you are going to look at airfares at all, make sure you have your cc handy and the ability to check schedules immediately.

02-15-2005, 07:42 PM
Not suprising out all to expect that limited availability. Depending on the trip we book a 330 days to 6 months out. 330 days if its award tickets for sure! Usually always book though by 6 months at the latest. You live near anywere SWA flies? They start selling tickets for summer thursday.


Deb in IA
02-16-2005, 03:38 PM
330 days if its award tickets for sure!

I learned that lesson too!!! With the very limited Frequent Flyer award flights these days, you pretty much HAVE to book 330 days out, or you are not going to get any seats. I'd say it is the same for lower fare seats as well.

02-16-2005, 03:42 PM
As soon as you see a reasonable price BOOK IT. Prices only go up as you get closer to your date of travel.

02-16-2005, 03:58 PM
I always book as soon as I know for sure I'm going (and this is for any destination, not just Orlando).

Most (not all, but most) airlines will issue you a credit for future travel if the fare goes down in price after you purchase it. So if you buy a ticket for $250, and a month later the exact same flights are $200, they'll give you a voucher for $50, usually good for 1 year. This way, you can book your flights in advance and not worry you'll miss out on a sale.

Flights to Orlando from Chicago almost always sell out, especially on weekends. You really need to book as soon as possible just to ensure you get seats. Price comes second in this area, I'm affraid!

You may want to try TransMeridian out of Rockford (they fly to Sanford, FL) or Southwest out of Midway. Since SW doesn't release their flights for booking until about 3 or 4 months prior to travel, they may have some space left.