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View Full Version : Do the Ding fares really exist??


kelscross
09-23-2005, 07:21 AM
Twice now there have been Ding fares for our travel dates from Columbus to Orlando..everytime I go to book the fares there is nothing available. Why does SWA post the fare when there is no availability on those planes during the time frame they are advertising??? There's seats available on those planes they told me just not at the Ding fare. I said well why publish the Ding fare then if you do not have those seats available?? :badpc:

So here we are with STILL no tickets and it's making me nervous...when should I panic and just buy the darn things at the higher price? We budgeted 250 round trip a person, so I think that was a decent budget but we may have to go over...way over budget now.

vicb
09-23-2005, 07:36 AM
Twice now there have been Ding fares for our travel dates from Columbus to Orlando..everytime I go to book the fares there is nothing available. Why does SWA post the fare when there is no availability on those planes during the time frame they are advertising??? There's seats available on those planes they told me just not at the Ding fare. I said well why publish the Ding fare then if you do not have those seats available?? :badpc:

So here we are with STILL no tickets and it's making me nervous...when should I panic and just buy the darn things at the higher price? We budgeted 250 round trip a person, so I think that was a decent budget but we may have to go over...way over budget now.


When are you traveling?

I know what you mean about having to go way over budget, it's depressing!

kelscross
09-23-2005, 07:42 AM
vicb...we are leaving xmas day and returning Dec 30th. I know that is holiday travel time, but all of the things I have been reading state it is less expensive to fly out on xmas day instead of the day before or after. Our dates are not flexible because 1. Disney had no check ins available with the AP on the 26th or 27th and 2. my husband is self employed and the business he is in the weeks before xmas is a very, very busy time for him.

vicb
09-23-2005, 08:07 AM
I looked on travelocity for you and the best I saw right now was $283 on NW. That is $33 over your budget per person for direct fights.... personally I'd be thrilled to get that price for my dates in Feb. but I know we all have budgets. My DH said last night maybe we should postpone for another year as we are already paying close to rack rate for our hotel in peak season (only got the 10% AAA discount) and with airfares so high this year! :earseek: I'm not giving up yet!

BTW, I used to fly on Thanksgiving Day a lot to save $ which is probably true about xmas but it can also be true that there are less flights scheduled on actual holidays to choose from.

Good luck!

kelscross
09-23-2005, 09:30 AM
Thanks for checking for me. Unfortunately my picky husband wants a direct flight only and those are more expensive. Looks like he's gonna have to make a choice...either go a little over budget for a flight that has a stop or pay WAY over budget for a direct. I think we're going to wait it out for a few more weeks..keep checking and checking and keep our fingers crossed.

Thanks again!

vicb
09-23-2005, 10:12 AM
I like to fly direct too especially in the winter. Got snowed in one time in cinncinnati, no fun! I think the NW flights for $283 were non stop, you'll have to check and be sure.

I've been working on airfare all morning, we may change our dates slightly and have the kids miss one day of school, would save us between $320 and $380 depending which flights we picked! Thats enough savings to make us think twice!

SB in KY
09-23-2005, 10:46 AM
I don't want to be a prophet of doom here....but since you have to travel on 2 of the 10 busiest air travel days of the year to a tourist destination that is in the middle of its busiest week of the year...I don't think you should plan on finding ANY bargains.....and if I was you I would book the cheapest thing I could find post haste....you are really handicapped by your dates....SW has lots of DING availability out of Columbus....but no one is going to sell seats on holidays at big discounts....that is kind of like holding off on booking a hotel room for New Years Eve in Times Square because you want to see if they are going to run any specials!!!

My best guess is seats will begin to disappear rapidly and what is available will go up in price very quickly!!

crazywig
09-23-2005, 11:13 AM
also, it's been my experience that if a SW fare says 'unavailable' it will never become available. that rate is either sold out or was never offered for that flight.

LittleDino
09-23-2005, 11:21 AM
If you can get a seat on Southwest, then buy it now. And if a lower ding fare comes out, you can cancel your current seat and grab the ding fare. There are 8 of us going from Columbus to Orlando in December as well. Because it's a busy time, we booked at a higher rate than normal, but were able to change one leg of our flight down to $37 when a ding fare came out.

Also... try reserving 1 person at a time with the Ding fare. When I put in multiple fliers, it can come up as "unavailable" but when I put in 1 person traveling it allowed me to book. Not sure why it was happening this way, but I was able to book multiple fliers using the "one at a time" method.

HTH!

kelscross
09-23-2005, 11:41 AM
Little Dino...what do you do if you don't get a seat for everyone? Or do you just book one at a time and then you might have to pay full fare for the others in your party. At least it's some savings. The Ding fare is now expired. The CM at SWA told me to keep checking and checking and the fare may come available..I don't know how to do that if the Ding fare is expired.

Thanks guys.

LittleDino
09-23-2005, 12:00 PM
Little Dino...what do you do if you don't get a seat for everyone? Or do you just book one at a time and then you might have to pay full fare for the others in your party....

I was working with 3 different reservations when I changed the fares. I booked the ding fare for myself and my husband first, then cancelled our higher priced flight. Then used our credit to purchase my sister and brother-in-laws ding fare flight... then cancelled their original ressie... same thing for the other 4 in our party. So it was semi-risky... I didn't know if the ding fare would suddenly become unavailable. That's why I booked it first then cancelled the original flight - just to ensure a seat on the plane and then the lower price.

I did see yesterday's ding for $55 - our return date was completely unavailable even when trying to book 1 person at a time. I guess it's just a "wait and see" type deal.

If it helps Delta is the other airline that does direct flights from Columbus to Orlando. Last I checked their prices weren't very good.. but those can change from week to week. Good luck!

2boyshere
09-23-2005, 02:03 PM
I think mostly with the ding fares they are trying to fill up those "Non busy" planes. Rarely do you see a prime travel day available on Ding fares. I have found also that even if it shows unavailable it MAY at some point become available. You have to check everyday at the regular SW site and keep watching dings! Good luck

QT Pooh
09-23-2005, 02:31 PM
We budgeted 250 round trip a person, so I think that was a decent budget but we may have to go over...way over budget now.

Sorry, I saw that you were going to Disney, getting a house and going on a cruise all within a year and thought it was cute you were worried about a budget. :earseek:

beccasmom
09-23-2005, 02:45 PM
I despaired of a DING fare as well, but found one for a time I wasn't planning to travel to WDW. I booked a trip just because the fare was so good and I knew the availability of SSR would be good in early November. But I believe there are times when finding a competitive fare is really tough. I am aware of the advice that Christmas Day is a slow day to travel, but perhaps the airlines don't follow their regular schedule either, which makes finding availability doubly tough. A few years back I gave up on finding a decent fare for a Spring Break trip and we traveled by Amtrak instead. They were at least offering a 2-for-the-price-of-one deal, which helped tremendously. However, we live on the East Coast, making Amtrak somewhat of a viable alternative. I donít know that we would do that again (the trip home was horrendous!). And SWA was not at PHL airport at that time. They have been keeping fares pretty competitive in our market, but when you cannot even find a decent fare through them, you know you might really have a problem.

I have also found that jumping on DING fares as soon as they are available is crucial. We got a great fare for November, but are leaving in late afternoon, not my favorite time (but at least the flight is non-stop, direct). And our return flight arrives back in PHL just in time for rush hour traffic in the evening. But you canít have everything. Except you can just about bank on the fact that once SWA offers such fares, USAirways is not usually far behind Ė and their schedule in PHL has many more flight options.

Lewisc
09-23-2005, 02:49 PM
Little Dino...what do you do if you don't get a seat for everyone? Or do you just book one at a time and then you might have to pay full fare for the others in your party. At least it's some savings. The Ding fare is now expired. The CM at SWA told me to keep checking and checking and the fare may come available..I don't know how to do that if the Ding fare is expired.

Thanks guys.

SW is telling you to keep checking for future Ding offers. You may be wasting your time. Most of the regular discounted fares aren't available for your dates. Wait long enough and the only fare left will be fully refundable.

kelscross
09-23-2005, 08:14 PM
Sorry, I saw that you were going to Disney, getting a house and going on a cruise all within a year and thought it was cute you were worried about a budget. :earseek:

Ha!! That's why we get to do all of those things in a year...budgeting. I budget everything. We don't go without by no means but I know how much I want to pay for a vacation, a cruise, house payments and that's how I do it. My income prior to my pending graduation make people faint on how we can even go on vacation but it's all about budgeting and we have never used credit cards for vacation. :earsboy:

riu girl
09-23-2005, 08:44 PM
Lewis : in your opinion, if a DING date/fare shows unavailabe time and time again (ex. BUF-TPA or Fort Myers the week between Christmas and New Years), will that date/fare ever be available during a systemwide sale ?
Thanks
Suzy V.

Lewisc
09-24-2005, 08:49 AM
Lewis : in your opinion, if a DING date/fare shows unavailabe time and time again (ex. BUF-TPA or Fort Myers the week between Christmas and New Years), will that date/fare ever be available during a systemwide sale ?
Thanks
Suzy V.

DING hasn't been out for a year so any answer anyone gives you is speculation. If SW has sold out the number of discounted seats they've allocated for a flight, particularly for a peak travel time it's very unlikely you'll see further discounts. Try to reserve 8 seats and see "how far to the right" the availability of discounted seats are. Compare SW maximum, fully refundable, fare to what you'd be paying if you flew from Canada or paid maximum fare with a legacy airline. Plenty of passengers will be willing to pay fares higher than what you're looking for.

I think once, maybe 5 years ago, I was able to book a discounted seat on a flight that previously didn't have any of the good discounts available but it wasn't holiday season.

I hope you've already made your reservations. At this point I think you'll have to change your dates if you want better fares.

riu girl
09-24-2005, 08:59 AM
Lewis, Than you for the info. Yes, we have already booked our flights as soon as became available Aug 18 and then rebooked our outbound segment with a great DING early Sept.

On the other hand, my mom is looking for one way BUF-TPA or BUF-Fort Myers Dec 27 or 28 (I just found out she wanted this a few days ago) and right now the only fares available are the very expensive fare buckets. I have watched DING for these destinations/dates and DING is always showing unavailable. So I assume if a systemwide or Florida sale appears, these dates/flights will probably show up as unavailable also?

Thanks
Suzy V.

erikthewise
09-24-2005, 09:30 AM
Hey, drive over to Dayton and fly Airtran nonstop!
Unfortunately they just ended a very good sale -- we got $157 RT for Dec -- but even at regular price it's a little under $250. ($109 each way + fees)

Lewisc
09-24-2005, 09:41 AM
Lewis, Than you for the info. Yes, we have already booked our flights as soon as became available Aug 18 and then rebooked our outbound segment with a great DING early Sept.

On the other hand, my mom is looking for one way BUF-TPA or BUF-Fort Myers Dec 27 or 28 (I just found out she wanted this a few days ago) and right now the only fares available are the very expensive fare buckets. I have watched DING for these destinations/dates and DING is always showing unavailable. So I assume if a systemwide or Florida sale appears, these dates/flights will probably show up as unavailable also?

Thanks
Suzy V.

Suzy, BOOK NOW 12/27 is showing as unavailable for EVERY fare to Fort Meyers The flights are either booked or overbooked. 12/28 only has fully refundable fare for one flight.

Tampa isn't much better. Discounted seats NO, I wouldn't count on being able to book at all if you wait. What will the fare from Canada be? The difference between a Canadian fare and SW full fare might be your savings.

riu girl
09-24-2005, 09:44 AM
Thanks Lewis, I will. We have a SWA credit due to DING so even if I have to book a high end fare (which I obviously will have to) the SWA credit will cover a large portion of it.

Thanks again
Suzy V.

kelscross
09-24-2005, 07:15 PM
Hey, drive over to Dayton and fly Airtran nonstop!
Unfortunately they just ended a very good sale -- we got $157 RT for Dec -- but even at regular price it's a little under $250. ($109 each way + fees)

We actually live in Dayton but for our dates on airtran it is 215 for the way down and 169 for the way back. I'm going to check again in case the fare just went down but as of yesterday that was the price for our travel dates.

erikthewise
09-24-2005, 07:30 PM
As you don't say what your dates are it's hard to be sure, but you may have waited a little too long to book, or are trying for popular dates. If you haven't already, I suggest you look at flying out of Indianapolis. They usually have better rates than Dayton and it's only a 2 to 2.5 hour drive.

kelscross
09-24-2005, 10:15 PM
Ericthewise..

We are flying out on xmas day (ouch) and coming back on Dec 30th. Even though that is peak flying time everything I read was it was better to fly on xmas day than the day before (which I wanted to have xmas morning at home) and the day after. Our dates aren't that flexible because my husband is self employed and the week before xmas is one of the busiest times of the year. We tried to go last year a week before xmas and although we eventually made it we were unable to leave on the planned day and it was a nightmare changing the flights the day before departure. I think we may have waited too long, but he wanted to "wait it out" for some deals. I told him today that he can book the airlines himself because if we end up paying the prices that they are now then it's on him and not my fault..ha! I suggested even driving down. Between two adults it shouldn't be that bad, but then again that would put us in the car on xmas eve and Disney had no check ins available for the 26th on with the AP rate.

Even though we will probably pay more for the airline tickets, we got a great deal on the hotel so it will even out I'm sure. We flew out of Indy last December and we got a great deal but the picky spouse didn't like the drive. I didn't mind driving 2 hours to pay 69 bucks each way. So that's where we're at. I'm laying it in his lap and he'll have to take the responsibility.

Thanks again.