How far in advance do YOU buy airline tickets?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Blue32, May 17, 2012.

  1. Blue32

    Blue32 DIS Veteran

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    We are planning a trip from the midwest to DLR this fall(week after T-GIVING) and I am wondering when the best times to buy airline tickets are. I check multiple websites quite a bit but I am looking for opinions on when others have found their best deals for airfare. Thanks so much.
     
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  3. subtchr

    subtchr DIS Veteran

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    It's such a game...the airlines have us where they want us!

    I usually start looking, as you do, as soon as I know I want to take a trip, up to a year out. Bing, Kayak, airfarewatchdog, all the sites have tools to try options and monitor prices.

    If I see a price that I think is good during those months, I grab it and don't look back. But my experience is that it's right about 6 weeks out that if there is a deal, it's going to happen; and if not, that's when I wouldn't want to wait any longer anyway.

    I know it doesn't help much, but that's my experience. Good luck!
     
  4. Isatricia

    Isatricia Mouseketeer

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    We usually buy several months out. We just bought tickets for the end of August (not for DLR). We usually fly Southwest since they often are the only ones that have non-stops to where we are going and if they lower their prices I can change it to the lower fare.
     
  5. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

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    Two months domestic, closer to three for international.
     
  6. PuppyPrincess

    PuppyPrincess Too far from the Golden Dome and the Castle!

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    I have mine already for October for WDW going from Phila to MCO. I paid 260 RT and got the times I wanted, leaving early and coming home late. The price right now for these flights is over 600. Of course I always check to see if I got deal or not. The flight returning only had 10 available seats out of about 100 so I knew that flight would not get any cheaper. In fact that flight along for one way is 452. It's usually a guessing game. I am also watching flights from Allentown, PA to WDW in Dec and right now am seeing RT for about 275, which isn't bad and will save me an hours ride, getting my preferred times. I could have gotten cheaper prices had I traveled at different times of days. Depends what you want.
     
  7. KittyKat1978

    KittyKat1978 DIS Veteran

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    I keep an eye on the prices and when they go down, I buy. I also already have my tickets for my Oct trip.
     
  8. Kittyskyfish

    Kittyskyfish Wee little ears...

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    Coincidence! I'm in the midwest too and also going the week after Thanksgiving! :)

    My technique is to purchase early, have a target budget amount per ticket and watch the fares. I'm flying from Cleveland and I'm happy with tickets below $300, so I purchased last week when United hit $291. They may go lower but usually it's not by that much more.

    I also like to purchase early because that helps me pay off the trip before I go. Like you, I have a trip within weeks of Christmas and it makes a huge financial difference to get these expenses out of the way by the end of summer and not have to spend thousands concurrently with other holiday travel, gift, and food expenses. (We charge and pay our cards off each month and I hate to see a billing statement go over $1,000.)
     
  9. brenda1966

    brenda1966 DIS Veteran

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    I just bought tickets for October as well. I saw a small price dip, and I really liked the flight times, so I booked.

    This last spring break I ended up waiting to book airfare and it was brutal waiting. The stress, watching flights I wanted start to fill up and the prices go up. So, I tend to book earlier rather than later.
     
  10. Mommy2PrincessAbby

    Mommy2PrincessAbby DIS Veteran

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    We have ours for December already... sometimes right at the 330 day mark (the earliest most airlines will sell tickets) it is the best deal you'll see... I used some miles this time--got the flights I wanted by booking so early, and the 3 of us are flying on alaska RT for $100 pp. Thats a better deal by about $18 pp I've ever gotten, even when they run the sales.
     
  11. sweethannah

    sweethannah Rebel Spy, 3 times in a row!

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    I'm going in late September and I booked a little over a month ago.

    I found a price I like, booked it and was able to hold it for a week. During that week I found a better price, into Orange Country instead with our preferred airline so I cancelled one and booked and paid for the other.

    I'm not comfortable waiting until 6 weeks before departure to book, I used to be a travel agent and airfares are so finicky... they might be cheaper then but there is just as much chance that they'll be more expensive or only have inconvenient flight times left available.

    Peace of mind counts for something !
     
  12. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    I couldn't agree with you more. Thats one of the areas that I have already taken care of for our trip in December. I'd much rather have the times I want at a good price than chance possibly have a slightly better price at times that just don't work for us.
     
  13. ZanderMan

    ZanderMan Mouseketeer

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    Did you know that you can actually shop too early for airline tickets?

    It turns out airlines don’t start releasing cheaper seats until 3-4 months before departure for domestic travel and conversely 4-5 months before international travel. Always check Tuesday after 3pm for cheapest fairs and Wednesday to Wednesday are usually cheapest travel times.

    I found 90 days in advance is perfect for purchashing tickets.
     
  14. todzwife

    todzwife <font color=darkorchid>There's nothing worse than

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    Southwest doesn't even have their schedule up for that week yet...I've been checking because we'll be there that week too!
     
  15. sweethannah

    sweethannah Rebel Spy, 3 times in a row!

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    That wasn't my particular experience but things change I suppose.

    With that said, I'm traveling with a tour company that offers a fare guarantee - if the package price for my trip is reduced outside of 21 days before departure I can cancel and rebook at the lower rate without penalty. I've been checking a couple of times a week to see if the price has dropped and so far it's gone up about $350.00 for our family.

    And I'm traveling a wed-wed :p
     
  16. ValpoCory

    ValpoCory DIS Veteran

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    This.
     
  17. ValpoCory

    ValpoCory DIS Veteran

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    June 4th is when Southwest Airlines releases new flights, IIRC.
     
  18. torene03

    torene03 Earning My Ears

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    I LOVE Southwest! I bought my tickets last year almost six months in advance...and then probably changed them six more times when the prices kept dropping :) Granted they just racked up points instead of money, but I'm pretty sure I'll use them towards another flight.
     
  19. canadian_ehngel

    canadian_ehngel Mouseketeer

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    We're going mid October, and just bought our airline tickets (and booked the hotel) yesterday. I would have done it earlier if I'd gotten my way lol.
     
  20. VanRy5

    VanRy5 Earning My Ears

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    We bought our tickets 3 weeks ago (we are going in September). I am glad we did, as one of the flights went up 20 dollars per ticket, which ends up being an extra 100 dollars for my family of 5. I also wanted to make sure we got in by the afternoon that first day so we had time to swim and relax. Last year when we went in May, I waited and ended up with times that I hated (we got in late and had to leave super early in the morning on the way home), so I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again this time. I am sooo excited to be going again!! Almost to the 100 day chain countdown!!
     
  21. canadian_ehngel

    canadian_ehngel Mouseketeer

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