View Full Version : Help with booking flights and when to do it ?

11-27-2005, 06:57 AM
Hi all

I am going to orlando via manchester/sanford dec 6th 2006 for 2 weeks
booked a villa at crescent lakes and even though its a year away am really
looking forward to it...(first timers)

anyway mainly need advice about flights..

looking at prices for flights out this december they are quite cheap via first choice and thompsons

but then look at price for dec 2006 they go right up...so I guess you pay more to book well in advance yea ?

so when is the best sort of time to book and also avoid not getting good seats ect

4 adults 2 children BTW...... and anyone got any advice on first choice and thompson as airlines go ?

thanks for any help in advance


11-27-2005, 07:14 AM
That time in December you can always get good last minute deals on the charters it's just whether you are prepared to hold off that long on booking your flights (I know I can't and I work in a travel agents!). First Choice fly on a Friday and Thomson on a Saturday so if you have to go on a certain day of the week this will of course be a factor. First Choice's planes now all have seat back TV's and better legroom. I flew with Thomson last year and the plane was fairly cramped for such a long journey but if they have the best deal then you need to think about these things. Airtours also go on a Saturday. If you need to go midweek then I think you would have to be looking at Virgin.

11-27-2005, 08:43 AM
cool thanks for the info... I was wondering tho is this the usual for flights to be expensive a year ahead and then be cheap as cheaps a month before the date you want ??

if so I might play chase the cheap flight !!
but is the only risk the plane being full and not getting with your desired airline....?

I wonder how late some people leave it ..any comments


11-27-2005, 09:08 AM
In general flight prices start off at a middle level - if at any time the flight has a higher % booked than expected then the price will go up and if its below the % expected then they lower the price. Some arilines (like Easyjet) have sophisticated computer programs that monitor all flights all of the time Others just check daily/weekly.
Clearly by waiting you will be taking a gamble but you can minimise this by monitoring the prices yourself
It really depends on how many people want to fly on that day - at the moment not many for this Dec hence low prices - but if 20 people book then the prices will go up quite quickly

Asking when to book is a bit like asking when to buy dollars - if anyone could really tell you then they could make a fortune!

11-27-2005, 09:39 AM
It is usual for the time of year you are going. Early December holidays are always cheap last minute because it is not such a popular time for people to go on holiday because they are keeping their money for Christmas. The tour operators want to get as much money as possible in from the early bookers. There are a lot of times of year I would never risk waiting for a cheap last minute flight but I've been working in travel for 15 years now and early December ALWAYS has bargains.

Only thing is the charters from Manchester only tend to go on Friday and Saturday so you would need to be careful to get the right day of the week to fit in with the villa. If you check on Manchester Airport's website they normally have a timetable on there of which operators go on which days although it's probably too early for next winter. This year the operators were Airtours, Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook. I would normally say to start looking for late deals about 8 weeks before you want to go and then just keep your eye on them. It's difficult to say exactly just how late to leave it, you don't want to miss out on your dates by leaving it TOO late.

01-09-2006, 03:26 PM
Have gone often in December and January and flights usually get cheaper about three months before departure time.

01-11-2006, 04:28 PM
A word of warning - the three month rule is ok for December but maybe not busier times. I am searching for May and was going to wait - but Virgin are sold out for the trip back at half term! Also, I checked 3 months out (Easter) and prices are v high, so I will probably just book now.

I always seem to find the best deals on expedia.

01-14-2006, 02:01 AM
I rang my agent before the Virgin seats went on sale on-line on their website.

he told me that Virgin give the agents seats to sell before the go on sale on-line, maybe that's why the school hols sell out quickly.

I was looking for Oct half term dates. I rang around 21/10/06. he explained that the cheapest seats were X class (in economy and there were only a few of these allocated on certain dates.) I managed to get a flight out on the 13/10/06, at x class, when I booked there were only 5 seats left at this price level, as the seats sell then the price goes up.

The return flights hadn't gone on sale, but he put a note on our flight out that we wanted a return date of the 01/11/06. The day they went on sale, he phoned me and explained there were no X class seats on sale and could we come home a day later. that way we would pay the price quoted. 349 + tax 125. Or we would have to pay another 250.00 to fly back on 01/11/06. I took staying an extra day to save the extra 'sss.

I don't know if this x class business is correct, but it does explain why the price goes up. Even when I have tried to book on line with virgin, I have seen the price go up, during the same night whilst searching for seats.

Scottish -helen may know if this is how virgin operate.

01-14-2006, 05:07 AM
I am also going to Orlando in December and we booked flights with Virgin last week. The main reason for booking early was to get the flights we wanted- were lucky enough to get them at the base price and get regional connections for 10 pounds. We booked through Virgin holidays as they can sell fly drives in advance of virgin atlantic! Although we have booked a fly drive we will not be taking the car as we always arrange this ourselves!