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Old 02-27-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
adisneymama
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When to book airfare ?

I need help from all you airfare gurus! A dis friend and I are planning a surprise trip in November for our kids. Since it will be 2 moms with 6 kids ages 12 down to 2 we are flying! Hubby's will be staying home this trip. Our travel dates are DFW to MCO 11/22 and return to DFW 11/27. We will have 2 children in carseats on the plane so we definitely want a non stop fllight. Our choices are Spirit (which we are leary of) and American. When do you think we should book? Now or do the fares typically go down later? Help we have not flown in years. Usually the hubby's go with us so we drive.

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
lost*in*cyberspace
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You will be flying home the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest air travel days of the year. I would buy my tickets now. Not only will you not be finding any great fares, if you wait too long, you won't find very good ticket availability.

I would chose AA over Spirit, especially for a busy travel date. If something goes wrong on Spirit, such as mechanical problems, weather delays/cancellations, you will be rebooked on another flight much faster on AA.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
adisneymama
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
You will be flying home the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest air travel days of the year. I would buy my tickets now. Not only will you not be finding any great fares, if you wait too long, you won't find very good ticket availability.

I would chose AA over Spirit, especially for a busy travel date. If something goes wrong on Spirit, such as mechanical problems, weather delays/cancellations, you will be rebooked on another flight much faster on AA.
Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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Are airlines even booking for November yet? If they are I'd watch prices for a couple weeks to see how they prices go up and down.

I had read an article that the best time to buy tickets are 45 days before travel. Not sure if that applies to Thanksgiving time too or not.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
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Are airlines even booking for November yet? If they are I'd watch prices for a couple weeks to see how they prices go up and down.

I had read an article that the best time to buy tickets are 45 days before travel. Not sure if that applies to Thanksgiving time too or not.
"Traditional" airlines book ~330 days out. So you should be able to book into January right now.

There are too many variables to say with any certainty when is the best time to book. I booked back in July for our trip this coming June. Rates have almost doubled since then. Will they come down? I don't know. I don't care because I got them cheap. lol
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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At the moment, the ITA Matrix (http://matrix.itasoftware.com) is showing airfare on AA at $333, with only one departure flight at 6:30am for your party. Not sure if you think this is a good airfare or not, but this is a fairly large party size.

Bing Travel has an indicator that is pretty good that states Buy or Wait and a percentage of how likely the price is to go up or down. It starts working at the 6 month mark, though, and I think you can wait to see what it says.

As for flying with a car seat, if you use them on the plane for the kids to sit in, make sure they are FAA rated. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to use them.

Read the FAA website's rules on this:
http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/
and print them to bring with you. Many times, gate agents and flight attendants (mostly GA) don't know these rules and try to force you to gate check the car seat. You are legally permitted to bring it with you on the plane if FAA rated, and if it doesn't fit in the seat, the airline is required to accommodate the seat in a large space.

The actual ruling is here:
http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/m...%20120-87B.pdf
The Circular is only 14 pages, so please read through it and print it, as it may save some headache if you bring an approved car seat.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
lost*in*cyberspace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comeundone87 View Post
Are airlines even booking for November yet? If they are I'd watch prices for a couple weeks to see how they prices go up and down.

I had read an article that the best time to buy tickets are 45 days before travel. Not sure if that applies to Thanksgiving time too or not.
People should stop posting this misinformation. If it was ever true, it no longer is, especially when you are talking about holiday air travel. Why would the airlines discount tickets at a time when they can easily sell every seat on the plane?

All legacy airlines have released their schedules for November.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysword View Post
At the moment, the ITA Matrix (http://matrix.itasoftware.com) is showing airfare on AA at $333, with only one departure flight at 6:30am for your party. Not sure if you think this is a good airfare or not, but this is a fairly large party size.

Bing Travel has an indicator that is pretty good that states Buy or Wait and a percentage of how likely the price is to go up or down. It starts working at the 6 month mark, though, and I think you can wait to see what it says.

As for flying with a car seat, if you use them on the plane for the kids to sit in, make sure they are FAA rated. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to use them.

Read the FAA website's rules on this:
http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/
and print them to bring with you. Many times, gate agents and flight attendants (mostly GA) don't know these rules and try to force you to gate check the car seat. You are legally permitted to bring it with you on the plane if FAA rated, and if it doesn't fit in the seat, the airline is required to accommodate the seat in a large space.

The actual ruling is here:
http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/m...%20120-87B.pdf
The Circular is only 14 pages, so please read through it and print it, as it may save some headache if you bring an approved car seat.
I can book the AA flight directly via internet for $270 roundtrip. I viewed available seats and there are enough. Both the early flight leaving and the later flight returning work for us. Just wasn't sure if this was the best we could do or if it was a reasonable rate. Like I said haven't flown in years! LOL

Both car seats are FAA approved but thanks for the reminder! Shuttle service is already booked and will provide boosters for the drive to the airport for the older kids that no longer require harnessed car seats. So just the two little ones will need them on the plane.

Thanks for the info everyone!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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What about SWA out of Love field. I see they have a lot of flights that are stops but no plane change which means you don't get off the plane when they stop at the connecting city.

Their schedule for Nov is not out yet though.


You might also want to change your flight home to Tue because Wed flight will be very very expensive since it is the most heavily traveled day of the year.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly F - Ohio View Post
What about SWA [WN] out of Love field. I see they have a lot of flights that are stops but no plane change which means you don't get off the plane when they stop at the connecting city
This is what is called a direct flight.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:51 AM   #11
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SW is usually not any cheaper than the other airlines here. We really prefer non stop since we will have 6 kids between us and 2 of them being little. Changing to Tuesday return doesn't change the price as of right now. We are probably just going to go ahead and book the AA flights in the next few days. This way we guarantee we don't pay more and we know we have seats together so we can help each other.

Thanks everyone.
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