Booking flights-How early do you?

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by gweninwb, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. gweninwb

    gweninwb Earning My Ears

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    Most likely going in late October. How early do you book your flights for the best price?
     
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  3. Srbright

    Srbright Mouseketeer

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    We are going the last week in September and I booked the outbound leg of our flights today. SW had Wanna Get Away for $115. When we went last summer I booked in June and paid $170 rt.

    Stacy
     
  4. mieuxmew

    mieuxmew DIS Veteran

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    We bought ours already for October. We like Saturday flights (am down and pm going back). Those flights can get expensive.

    Jet Blue from NJ for $255 round trip. Jet Blue includes a free checked bag, free seat selection, free carry on, free snacks, and each seat has a TV. We had a credit from last October for $22/person, so flight was $233.

    I would suggest buying now if you see a decent price and add trip insurance.
     
  5. jnfr2424

    jnfr2424 I'm Tink I got my Peter Pan and together we love t

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    For trips around holidays I book early - we have our outbound flights for Thanksgiving already $90 one way on United
    I try to book all flight before summer begins
     
  6. PrincesCJM

    PrincesCJM DIS Veteran

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    I search as soon as flights are released on each airline. I booked when I find a price that I am happy with. I know that prices might drop but at the same time, they can go up.
     
  7. MinnieLee

    MinnieLee DIS Veteran

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    As soon as SW opens up I will book at least the going down flight. We go to WDW for Halloween and this year SW opens up on 3/4 for travel until 11/1. We are leaving on 10/31 so I'll book when it opens. They seem to be the cheapest fares when it opens but I do watch to see if the price drops through DING and then change the flights and take the credit. At least I know that we are on the flight that we want and it helps with budgeting airfare also.
     
  8. afnaechiquita

    afnaechiquita DIS Veteran

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    I've heard flights are cheapest six weeks out, and in my experience this has been true. So, usually in that range.
     
  9. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

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    I booked early this time (we are going in August). When I saw flights under $300 pp out of JFK I grabbed them. And they've gone up since.

    I actually purchased my tix for May (also to Orlando) after the ones for August and got a great price, also under $300 pp.

    It helps if you can get an idea of what is a typical price for your area and then when you see a good deal, grab it!
     
  10. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    None of these old "rules" hold true any longer. If I had firm dates for October, I would buy my tickets as soon as I found a good price.
     
  11. Srbright

    Srbright Mouseketeer

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    I agree. The kids were younger last time so we worried about splitting up so we didn't fly SWA. We booked Delta for $240 per person in June (11 weeks out) and the price wasn't any cheaper anytime else regardless of carrier. The price on Delta did drop some but it was for a super economy fare where you got no seat assignment and had to agree in advance to be bumped if they oversold the flight.

    Stacy
     
  12. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

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    This is us too usually. I booked the day flights opened up for our late August trip (which was a few weeks ago). They've done nothing but climb since then so I am happy with that.
     
  13. kristenrice

    kristenrice DIS Veteran

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    Since 2008, I have always bought my airfare within days of the prices being released. (DISCLAIMER: I have flown only 5 times in that time period and it was AirTran exclusively) Every time, the prices NEVER went down between when I purchased and when I flew. They ALWAYS went up. So, now I try to book ASAP.

    DH and I are planning on going in November (7-12) for F&W and we're going to fly SWA for the first time. I just opened the SW Visa with the 50,000 bonus points offer so now I have to wait until those points post to my account. Fortunately, it sounds like it will be at least another month before those flights are released. The waiting is killing me:hyper:.
     
  14. afnaechiquita

    afnaechiquita DIS Veteran

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    I've flown at least four times in the past year where it was true.
     
  15. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    For our January 2012 trip, we purchased airfare in the first week of August 2011.

    For August 2012, we purchased in mid January.

    For December 2012, we purchased in early July.

    For August 2013, we purchased in early January.

    With each of the 2012 trips, prices only increased from the time of purchase (in most cases, VERY substantially) in all cases except for one (our sole Airtran flight). None of the others, all with Jetblue, went down. And believe me, I looked daily. Or even multiple times a day. In the case of the Airtran flight, they put the $20 pp difference in a travel bank for us that we used to upgrade to business class at the 24 hour mark.

    Our August 2013 flights have already increased since purchasing a little over a month ago. Considering the amount of time between now and our travel date, the plane is surprisingly full already :confused3 .

    If we had waited until six weeks out to book our flights for ANY of those 2012 trips as one of the PP's have suggested, we would have been paying a bundle for those tickets.

    I also like booking early to ensure we get the flights we want, the seating configuration we want (we all like the aisles.....DS and I across from each other, and DH behind DS), and the location within the plane we want.
     
  16. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

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    I also bought my Aug 2013 tix mid January, and have seen the same increase. I would say sooner is better.
     
  17. momto3gr8boys

    momto3gr8boys DIS Veteran

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    I am the above poster. Out of curiosity, I just went online to see just how much the tickets have increased.

    In May we are flying JetBlue (my preferred airline to Orlando). I bought the tix about 2-3 weeks ago and they've gone up $250 for the five of us.

    In August we are flying American Airlines (definitely not my first choice, but at the time they were several hundreds less than JB, even adding in the baggage fees). Those seats have gone up $424 for the five of us, and JetBlue has gone up $828!! I couldn't believe the difference in only a few weeks. So my advice would be to book early!

    These flights are from NY-MCO, all direct. I am picky in that I will generally pay a little more to fly out of JFK over LaGuardia, and always non-stop to MCO, but not substantially more.
     
  18. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

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    I primarily fly either JB or SW. If I have a trip in the works, and I know when I want to fly, then I book as soon as the booking window opens. That has been when I have found the lowest fares. It's when I decide to go somewhere and then have to book airfare weeks after the window opened that I end up paying more than I like to.
    I know what price I'll be happy with..anytime I can get a direct flight, from either Boston or Providence, to Florida, for $250 or less (r/t), I book it. I have gone as high as $300 but that's not often.
    When flying either SW or JB, I can usually get a credit applied if the fares go down.

    When booking with a legacy airline early on, you run the risk of having flights changed on you. And you can't make any changes without penelties!!! I seldom book with Delta or other legacys. Hate the many time changes/cancellations that occur with them. But, when booking that far out, it's inevitable that there will be changes.
    When booking with JB, yes, there can be changes. But they are easy to work with to get you what you need. And with SW? I have seldom have them change a flight once it's booked.
     
  19. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    We booked our flights on January 17th for August 23rd to 31st. One month and one day later, the same flights are $171 more than what we paid.
     

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