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Old 03-26-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
Seabean
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Historically, is there a "best point" to buy Southwest tickets?

Over the years, we've noticed that if we price tickets on Southwest about 5-6 months out, they're on the high side. Then it seems when you get to about 3 months out, they get lower, then as the as the date approaches about one month or less, they go up again.

Does anyone else see this pattern? If so, what on average might be the best time to buy on Southwest? The 3 month point? 2 month? or what?


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Secondary question - if you buy tickets early and you find that they've later gone down in price, is it easy to cancel and rebook at the lower price? Or what should one do in that situation? Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:31 AM   #2
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I always buy opening morning. Seems to me that they mostly go up. I travel President's week from Mass. every year so prices start not too bad then go higher.
Once they did drop. It was very easy to get a credit. Did it all online.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:35 AM   #3
Seabean
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I always buy opening morning.

Could I ask what you mean by "opening morning"? Is that when a flight first goes on sale? How many months out is that usually?



Once they did drop. It was very easy to get a credit. Did it all online.

By credit, do you mean that if say you had booked a flight at $109 and it dropped to say, $99, they would return the difference of $10 to your credit card? Or do they give you a $10 credit to use in the future? (you don't actually get your money back)
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabean View Post
Over the years, we've noticed that if we price tickets on Southwest about 5-6 months out, they're on the high side. Then it seems when you get to about 3 months out, they get lower, then as the as the date approaches about one month or less, they go up again.

Does anyone else see this pattern? If so, what on average might be the best time to buy on Southwest? The 3 month point? 2 month? or what?


.

.

Secondary question - if you buy tickets early and you find that they've later gone down in price, is it easy to cancel and rebook at the lower price? Or what should one do in that situation? Thanks.
It really depends on the demand for the flight. If they sell alot of seats the first day, it may never go down, just up. If they have alot of open seats to sell, it can go down.

If you have a wanna get away fare, you can go in and modify to get the lower price (don't need to cancel & rebook). The credit will be in the form of a voucher for travel within 1 year of original purchase date. If you have an anytime fare, the credit will be refunded.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabean View Post
I always buy opening morning.

Could I ask what you mean by "opening morning"? Is that when a flight first goes on sale? How many months out is that usually?



Once they did drop. It was very easy to get a credit. Did it all online.

By credit, do you mean that if say you had booked a flight at $109 and it dropped to say, $99, they would return the difference of $10 to your credit card? Or do they give you a $10 credit to use in the future? (you don't actually get your money back)
Yes we book first thing in the morning when they go on sale. It is usually 6-8 months in advance. It changes every year.
One year the price went up 100$ per ticket by the end of the day.

Yes you get a credit towards a future flight.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
Seabean
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Thanks for the responses, much appreciated! Let me ask a hypothetical question regarding this:

for travel within 1 year of original purchase date.

Let's say:

Ticket purchase date: 3/1/13
Flight date: 6/1/13
Price of flight dropped and rebooked: 4/1/13

So... the voucher-credit happened on 4/1/13. Does that mean I have to purchase next years ticket by 3/1/14 (with a flight date months later) .... or I actually have to purchase a ticket and fly by 3/1/14?? Thanks again.

Edit: in other words, the original purchase date is 3/1/13. What must happen by 3/1/14: a purchase date or a flight date?
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabean View Post
Thanks for the responses, much appreciated! Let me ask a hypothetical question regarding this:

for travel within 1 year of original purchase date.

Let's say:

Ticket purchase date: 3/1/13
Flight date: 6/1/13
Price of flight dropped and rebooked: 4/1/13

So... the voucher-credit happened on 4/1/13. Does that mean I have to purchase next years ticket by 3/1/14 (with a flight date months later) .... or I actually have to purchase a ticket and fly by 3/1/14?? Thanks again.

Edit: in other words, the original purchase date is 3/1/13. What must happen by 3/1/14: a purchase date or a flight date?
As I understand from reading here, your FLIGHT must be completed by 3/1/14.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:32 PM   #8
Seabean
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As I understand from reading here, your FLIGHT must be completed by 3/1/14.

Thanks. I also just spoke with someone who faced that situation and they said the same thing.

It would be so much better if your next PURCHASE had to be completed by 3/1/14.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
As I understand from reading here, your FLIGHT must be completed by 3/1/14.
Yes Sam is correct your trip must be completed by 3-1. But if you are smart you would book two one way tickets. Use the credit to buy the outbound flight as long as it takes place before 3-1. Then use a credit card for the return flight so that your trip can end after 3-1.


Also keep in mind the ticket you purchase with the credit from SWA more than likely will require you to add additional funds to it in order to purchase the ticket. When you add money to that ticket, that new money you paid out of your pocket now takes on the expiration date of the credit amount you applied to the ticket. In your case March 1 2014


*** if a ticket drops in price you will get a travel voucher for the difference unless you have booked a refundable fare in which case the money would be credited back to the credit card.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:22 PM   #10
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I booked our Oct SW flights on March 3 as soon as they went on sale (from our room at AllStarMusic no less) and they've only gone up since then. I know what constitutes a good fare from several nearby airports and I jump on the first good offering as soon as I see it, different airports and airlines over the years.

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Old 03-26-2014, 02:37 PM   #11
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CT to FL in late Sept

my experience has been 2 1/3 to 3 months out is the best for me. I usually looks for sales right around 6/30 - 7/1 ish and have always gotten flights under $200 non-stop RT.

That having been said, I booked our Dec 2013 trip as soon as the fares came out ($91 each way) and they never went lower. I guess my suggestion is to look, every day, sometimes more than once a day! I actually had a flight in Dec 2012 that went down 3 weeks before the trip! Only paid $128 non-stop RT that time!!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:13 AM   #12
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I'm afraid I might've waited too late since rates seem to be going up, but I'm not 100% sure about my dates yet!
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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Our most recent trip (which was our first booking southwest directly through their website), we booked about 2 months out. The rate was pretty low ($121 from Louisville-non stop), but I kept checking. About 1 month before, the rates dropped to $109 for both ends. I will have around $100 refunded to my account. But, since that time, the rates have skyrockets. Our round trip is now coming in at $586. Hope that helps some!
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:01 PM   #14
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Would you recommend purchasing on the day of release for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving? Flights on other carriers are so high for this date. Last year I think I got a sale in the summer (June? July?) for our December trip. Thanks!
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