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Old 09-26-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
MarcyMouse
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Does SW ever drop prices for busy times?

I am always a buy-when-dates-are-released kind of girl, and have always gotten good prices for busy times of year. Well this time we booked an April trip, but are now trying to change it to another busy time of year, Presidents' Day week. The flights are like $300-$400 one way! Am I just screwed? Or will Southwest at some point lower some of these outrageous prices? Any advice?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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The ability of an airline to charge premium pricing for holiday flights allows the airline to offer deeply discounted pricing during less popular times.

Seats at lower fare buckets will be released if bookings are less then anticipated. Very popular flights, N/S at the right day/flight time may sell out at high fares. There are people willing to pay $$$ for the exact flights which maximize their limited vacation times.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
lost*in*cyberspace
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Why would they reduce prices for a time when they know they can easily sell seats? That doesn't make sense. Highly unlikely prices for a vacation period will be reduced. Supply and demand.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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Your best bet during a busy time would be to take the flight times that nobody wants, grab the flight with the ridiculously long layover, etc. Those are always the cheapest, holiday/busy time or not.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilseks View Post
Your best bet during a busy time would be to take the flight times that nobody wants, grab the flight with the ridiculously long layover, etc. Those are always the cheapest, holiday/busy time or not.
Actually, this isn't always true. When I look for flights on UA, often nonstop flights are cheaper and crazy routes with one or more stops are more expensive.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Yes, SW does drop prices if they have a lot of available seats. Last year, I booked our spring break tickets late (Oct). Fares were high and so I took 2 flights that had a stopover. By early December, they had dropped their prices and I was able to switch over to non stop flights and we added a day on to our trip.

You have to keep watching every day. Usually, I see the price drop about 8 weeks out, but for spring break, it was16+ weeks out. Once they dropped the fares in December they only went back up from there.

Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conniehar90 View Post
Yes, SW does drop prices if they have a lot of available seats. Last year, I booked our spring break tickets late (Oct). Fares were high and so I took 2 flights that had a stopover. By early December, they had dropped their prices and I was able to switch over to non stop flights and we added a day on to our trip.

You have to keep watching every day. Usually, I see the price drop about 8 weeks out, but for spring break, it was16+ weeks out. Once they dropped the fares in December they only went back up from there.

Good luck!
Thanks Connie for the information! I was looking for more of a response like this, with people's experiences, not necessarily the reasoning behind why the airlines charge high prices for busy times!
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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You heard what you wanted to hear but notice conniehar90 said, "if seats are available." You want to fly during President's Day weekend. Seats will probably not be available then.

Unfortunately you will probably not see a fare reduction and do need to be prepared for those crazy prices.

I have never seen a reduction for my April vacation dates since I've been looking in the past 10 years.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
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Our flight is next Thursday from Pittsburgh. We booked an hour after the fares were released at $109 each way but used points, 12,000 each leg. The total fare for those same flights is now $571, points are now north of 32,000. Four of the down flights are completely sold out, two coming back, and others no longer have the Wanna Get Away fares. Classic supply/demand example. Depends on the airport, time of week, time of year.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:32 PM   #10
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Last year we booked flights from Long island to fort Myers ..for 12/26 to 12/31 both flights had one stop in Orlando ...purchased the tickets the day those dates opened up...I don't remember the price but it was high....kept checking the flights and they did go,down at some point .sorry don't remember when and we each had a 100+ credit .....so they can go down...
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:28 PM   #11
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I have flown twice from New England to MCO over President's Week. First time I did not buy tickets right away but snagged flights in the price range I could live with over Labor Day weekend. I was later (Jan, I think) able to rebook to a nonstop with a cheaper price for the flight down. Last year I booked the day tickets went on sale. Prices dropped twice in Oct. and I got credits. I was very pleased with prices the first year I went. I lived with the prices last year. I am currently watching multiple times/day (if I can) as I missed the first day waiting to get my 50,0000 points posted to my account. Prices are simply awful this year. I have already upped my budgeted-I'll-buy-at-this-price twice and have a plan of what I am going to do. Bought DH's ticket already as he has less flexibility and his work will pay for it (over $600-painful). Here's hoping we both find something we can live with!
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
Actually, this isn't always true. When I look for flights on UA, often nonstop flights are cheaper and crazy routes with one or more stops are more expensive.
You're correct, not always true. But on SW, usually. I generally book w/ points on SW and the flights with long layover legs tend to be less points because those are the ones they're trying to fill. The early morning and late afternoon flights that everyone wants to get on are generally the most points. I've had some really good luck though getting low point flights at great times. Key word, luck.

Flights are just outrageous this year. I looked on the first day SW opened up flights for our date and I got our round trip flights from Milwaukee to Orlando for 11,000 points each. Those same flights are now 44,000 points.

Good luck with your search, OP. Just keep trying!
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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Prices dropped for the flight home I have been watching on President's week. Nonstop MCO to Manchester. I had been watching b/c I did not have enough credits to purchase and the prices dropped $41, enought to let me purchase 4 tickets on points and get a credit for my husband. Now, if only the flights down would drop enough for me to purchase! Paying cash for those...
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #14
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Good luck with Southwest. I've been pricing for flights at the end of October and they never have dropped. However SW is cheap compared to many airlines. If you want a potential laugh, you should check out Delta. They are crazy expensive.
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