Chicken or the egg... when to book flight for May 2019?

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by wilbret, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. wilbret

    wilbret Mouseketeer

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    Question for the pros. We are headed to Aulani in May 2019 for our 15th anniversary. We cannot book until October thru DVC.
    I've been eyeballing non-stop flights, and I'd love to snag the low fare, but I am paranoid about not being able to get the dates we expect, and ending up with expensive tickets and dates that don't match.

    Am I worrying too much about non-stop flight availability dwindling between now and October?
     
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  2. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    I think you have to decide which is more important - flight times/availability or resort availability. If you book your flights now because they are the time and price you like, then you'd have to be willing to possibly adjust your DVC room type, location, etc. to fit within the flight dates. If you can live with a potentially higher flight price and different times, but your DVC room type is non-negotiable, then wait until you secure your booking. I will say that it seems like most people book flights after the 7 month window has passed.

    For us, our dates were non-negotiable so we booked our flights at the 10 month mark before we rented our DVC points. But, we also booked a standard room as a cash reservation at Aulani as a back-up in case we could not secure a DVC rental. We ended up getting the DVC rental around the 9 month mark so it all worked out. But for us, we were willing to change up our room and reservation type to make the flights and dates work.
     
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  4. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    We fly to Hawaii yearly from the east coast. When I purchase airfare, I usually only have PART of my vacation booked as the rest will have to wait until later for the booking windows to open. And Aulani at 7 month window is a piece of that vacation puzzle about every 2-3 years.

    I have had NO problem at all booking what I want at Aulani at the 7 month window. Caveat: I book ocean view villas. The cheapest rooms book very quickly. So if you are looking for a standard view room for example, that might be tough. Only when I booked about 4 months out to stay before the DCL Hawaii cruise, did I have to waitlist.. And that w/l came through for me at a high demand time (it was for Sept, but due to the Wonder coming to Honolulu, Aulani was crazy busy!). I was able to book and OV GV at the 7 month mark with no issues at all either.

    If it was me, and I saw good airfare (or at least DECENT airfare) for a flight I really wanted, my advice is to book it. And then do NOT look back. IOW, don't look at airfare after you have purchased! :cutie: Nonstop flights tend to book quickly. We can't fly nonstop from FL, but Delta offers a nonstop to HNL from ATL. We are usually flying to another island for our trips, and we book AA's long nonstop from DFW on wide body jets and try to use miles to upgrade. Of course we have to fly from FL to get to that nonstop from Dallas! LOL! So not nonstop for us, but definitely our much preferred flight choice!

    Happy planning and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! pixiedust:
     
  5. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    We always have use airline miles. Many times, book the flights that work, and pad one end with a couple nights in Waikiki, or last trip, 3 nights extra (at the Marriott Ko Olina; we were there a month last summer so just added 3 nights cash as we were using our weeks).

    Sometimes it's totally worth the extra to get a few nights on either end, if the flights worked (for us, 4 first class in lie flat seats from the East Coast were worth an extra $1,000 in condo fees).
     
  6. wilbret

    wilbret Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the replies. I think we'll pull the trigger on the flight!
     
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  7. chicagodisneyguy

    chicagodisneyguy Mouseketeer

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    Where exactly are you flying from and what is the price you are currently seeing? May is a long way off airlines aren't as aggressive with fare sales so far out.

    Also, Southwest is entering the Hawaii market. I believe they are announcing routes sometime this fall with the hopes to start flying the routes by late 2018/early 2019. I expect there to be some serious fare sales in the next year so as this added capacity/new market participant comes in.

    I think if I was you I'd wait until I booked the DVC room and then book the flights. I think the risk of fares ballooning aren't high enough to where I'd risk having to pay change fees down the line.
     
  8. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    Oops, I forgot to add: since we typically book quite far out for our timeshare (the Marriott right by Aulani), we do that first. That's why it's worth it for us to explore adding days to either end sometimes.

    I'm all booked for next April, but only 5 nights in Waikiki then a week at Ko Olina. I booked it well over a month ago, as FF mile flights for the 2 of us (we're not taking the kids) worked for first class lie flat again from BWI. I refuse to fly that far in coach anymore, but if I had to, I'd do it going over in at very least economy comfort. Coming home I need a lie flat bed!

    If you find a fare you're comfortable with, that's great! I know SW is going to be flying to Hawaii, but from here, two long SW flights are just too much with no food options. I do love SW and fly them at least 8 times a year, but not for two 5 plus hour flights!
     
  9. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    I wholeheartedly agree! If I was only flying from a west coast gateway city, it wouldn't be bad. But I fly from FL, so SW will not be getting my Hawaii business in all likelihood. If they ever do inter-island flights as they hope to, THAT will be a different story for me.

    This is true. I've been watching the business releases and predictions on this for a very, very long time. Personally, I would not bank on SW being up and ready next year. It looks likely by end of 2019 they will finally be flying Hawaii, but they have already had numerous delays. No one knows whether there will be more delays. Or not. :cutie:
     
  10. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

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    We need late April/early May airfare.

    I’m reading credible info SWA is just waiting for testing to be completed before they announce the schedule. SW big wig stated it could be any day at travel forum in HNL this week

    I’m counting on a price war

    Only initially flying from one of four west coast cities. No issue for us, as no NS service to HNL from PIT anyway. Planning on two days heading out and hopefully one very long one back. They supposedly won’t be doing overnight flights back to mainland. We’ll be cruising on NCL, would love to see a preliminary schedule as to when the last flight out each day will depart.
     
  11. wilbret

    wilbret Mouseketeer

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    We would be flying from ATL. Prices are roughly $975. I'll be honest with you, I wouldn't fly SouthWest by choice if it was $400. I know some people like them, but it's not for me. I only fly when I have to for work due to routes they service.

     
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  12. chicagodisneyguy

    chicagodisneyguy Mouseketeer

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    My thought on Southwest was not so much suggesting to fly them as their entrance to the Hawaii market could spark a fare war to Hawaii...driving fares down across all carriers.

    Of course, non stop flights are have a different pricing dynamic. Airlines charge more for the non stop convience and people regularly pay it.

    I think if you are okay with a 1 stop flight you will be able to get a flight much cheaper than $975. If you are set on the nonstop I think you still can get it cheaper, but there is much more risk of it going higher.

    There's only 1 nonstop from Atlanta. If $975 works it's not a bad price. If you lock that in I wouldn't blame you.
     
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  13. wilbret

    wilbret Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to the trip!
     
  14. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    Yes. And it is with Delta. The prices on that flight can be very high. $975 RT sounds pretty good.
     
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  15. happymommy

    happymommy DIS Veteran

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    I've taken that flight a dozen or so times. It's the only one I'd do if I were coming from Atlanta!

    I'd pay more for first class at least on return, so you can sleep (I can't sleep in a chair, but the lie flat seats are okay).

    I'd say $975 round trip is decent; can't imagine that flight going for too much less, since it's the only nonstop carrier from ATL.
     
  16. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    Absolutely agree about upgrading for the return trip to the east coast from Hawaii! Since you are more familiar with that nonstop Delta flight from ATL, good to know you also think $975 is a decent price. :cutie: I've been watching that flight's prices, for months, both using miles and for $, as I have family in ATL looking to go to Hawaii next year. :D
     
  17. Franca16

    Franca16 Earning My Ears

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    I always book the hotel first. I need to make sure I have that settled before booking flights. I do this to make sure I have the room I want and because it's much easier to cancel the room and rebook than to cancel or change flights.
     
  18. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    I do this for MOST trips, but since I'm a DVC member, and have been to Aulani several times, and I can't book until 7 months out since I do not own at Aulani, I book before the 7 month window when I can book my villa. Since I have experience booking from several previous trips, I know I can get the villa I want at 7 months out. It is a little backwards from most trips I book, but owning a TS can change all that. :cutie:
     
  19. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

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    We book the villa then the flights. SW would not be an option for us, we book at least business class.
     
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  20. wilbret

    wilbret Mouseketeer

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    Boom. Booked Ocean View Villa and flights today. 7 nights. 7 months away, it's time to get into shape LOL.

    Will be looking for tips on this trip!
     
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  21. Glent59

    Glent59 DVC Member since 2009

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    Congrats on the anniversary! We are right behind you.. my 7 month window opens this coming Tuesday.. its our 35th anniversary and we have the family going! LOTS to do and plan for. ( will create a separate thread about anniversary shortly ) I booked PART of my air ( for 7, sigh ) back in July, knowing the dates. We are east coasters, and decided to go to San Diego for a couple days first ( the 10+ hr flight from NY is a killer ), then Hawaiian Air from San Diego to Oahu... ( Still waiting for Southwest to lower some prices to San Diego... out of Upstate NY, options are limited, and Southwest has the best options... and usually best prices... ). Hope to see you there!!!!
     
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