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Old 01-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #1
Mistikbunny
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When is the best time frame to book a flight?

We are going to WDW in October 2013. When should I look to book the best prices on our flight? Or should we just book with the flights with Disney? Are there better prices out there if I buy them seperate?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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We are going to WDW in October 2013. When should I look to book the best prices on our flight? Or should we just book with the flights with Disney? Are there better prices out there if I buy them seperate?
Do *NOT* book through Disney (or Expedia, or Travelocity, or Orbitz). If you do, THEY will "control" your reservation. If there are any changes/problems you will have to contact them to get things resolved. Feel free to use them for price comparison, but book through the airline directly.

As far as "when to book"... despite what ANYONE says, there is no "magic" time (ie: 1 month out, 3 months out, 6 months out, etc). There have been reports that you might get better prices on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, but that's not always true either.

When you should book... when you find a price that fits your budget. If you're on a "legacy" airline (Delta, United, American), DO NOT LOOK AGAIN TO SEE IF THE PRICE DROPPED. If you do, you could be upset. If you're on a "refund/credit" airline (Jetblue, Southwest), continue to check. BUT, understand what the refund/credit rules are. I believe any credit you get from Southwest A) is assigned to person who's name is on the ticket (regardless of who purchases the ticket) and B) Has to be USED within one of when the ticket was purchased.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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I wouldn't book thru Disney. I am also going in Oct. (18-21) for a quick food and wine weekend. I've been watching prices on united from EWR since they were released, they started at $284 went to $290 and two days ago dropped to $224. I booked with the times I wanted so I'm happy. I say you book when you find a price you are happy with.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:39 AM   #4
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something I stumbled across. seems 49 days prior for domestic flights is the magic number, for whatever reason:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/when-i...181159230.html
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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something I stumbled across. seems 49 days prior for domestic flights is the magic number, for whatever reason:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/when-i...181159230.html
Just read that in the paper this morning as well. Not sure how true it is. I always book as soon as the booking window opens...usually fly either JB or SW. As soon as I know I'm traveling, I start looking. I know what I want to spend, so as soon as I see the right fare, I book it.
I refuse to use a middle man to book airfare. I always book directly with the airline. There is little to no need to use someone else.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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The Bing travel website has a place where you can enter your travel dates and it will "predict" whethere prices will go up or down, but it doesn't start until 180 days out from your travel time.
You can sign up on sites that will email you when the price changes for your travel dates (Booking Buddy is one), and I also agree that if you book on an airline that doesn't credit you for price drops, just don't look again...you will torture yourself!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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something I stumbled across. seems 49 days prior for domestic flights is the magic number, for whatever reason:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/when-i...181159230.html
I'm not buying it. The last times I've booked flights to Orlando, I booked ~300 days out, kept an eye on the prices (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment) and the prices never got that low again. I'm not saying you must book so far out, but there's bound to be exceptions to the rule and even the article says the "average" domestic flight. Which means, I'm guessing, there are others where waiting until 49 days out DOESN'T help.

I'm sure a lot of factors go into pricing... popularity of the destination, time of year, gas prices, etc.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
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In my experience, about 4-6 weeks out from your travel dates the flights go on the best sales. I've always traveled Southwest so this holds true for them I know.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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In my experience, about 4-6 weeks out from your travel dates the flights go on the best sales. I've always traveled Southwest so this holds true for them I know.
Does it hold true for all destinations? All originating airports? All times of year?
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:19 PM   #10
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There's lot of good advice in this thread. I'll add a few more thoughts.

There can be very good airfare sales around two months (or even one month) before the flight date IF THE AIRLINE EXPECTS SEATS TO GO EMPTY OTHERWISE. There are some gotchas in waiting that long.

You have to be flexible and possibly willing to travel at undesirable times. Let's suppose an airline has four flights to Orlando from your home airport (6 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 9 p.m. The 6 a.m. flight and the 9 p.m. flight on a Tuesday and a Wednesday flight might be included in the fare sale. But the flights that you would actually want might cost much more than they did a few months earlier because the cheap fare inventory has sold out.

There's also a chance that all cheap inventory has sold out because there's a convention in Orlando or simply that a lot of other people have already bought tickets. So you could pay much more than if you had booked sooner.

It's sort of like trying to predict the low and high stock price when investing.

For vacations, I tend to book around six months out. I wait until the fare looks decent. This way, I lock in something acceptable and I get the flight times I want. I might not get the best fare, but I won't find myself having to pay a high fare either. And we won't have to leave the house at 3:30 a.m. for a 6:00 a.m. departure.
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