When to book flight? And with who?

mshanson3121

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
We planned on flying Frontier for our September trip due to the cost (about $120 RT, less if we get a sale). However I'm reading a lot of really negative reviews about long delays, cancellations etc... They only offer one flight per day which has me worried.

So now I'm wondering who to book with (flying out of New England - Portland, ME ideally, but Portsmouth, NH, Manchester, NH, Boston, MA, or Providence RI are all options).

Looking at Delta, which right now regular price is $255 RT. I really can't afford to go any higher than that.

With that - which airlines do you recommend, and when should we book to get the best deals?
 

pooch

Still feeling special!!
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
I have regularly gotten non-stops out of Bradley in September for less than $100 each way on Southwest. Just another option.
 

kaytieeldr

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Boston. Delta fares are ridiculously cheap cheaper than from PWM, and flights are nonstop. Economy is $196 out of BOS vs $259 out of Portland. Comfort+ is about $150 more per person than the same category from Boston.
 
  • mshanson3121

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2015
    Boston. Delta fares are ridiculously cheap cheaper than from PWM, and flights are nonstop. Economy is $196 out of BOS vs $259 out of Portland. Comfort+ is about $150 more per person than the same category from Boston.
    The only thing is flight times. We were able to get a 12:50 out of PWM so we didn't need a hotel. Boston the cheap flights were all early morning which means we'll be spending about $200-250 for hotel rooms. But direct would be nice. I have been pleasantly surprised to see the fares so cheap though for such a major carrier!
     

    mshanson3121

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2015
    With Delta it says no seat selection for the cheapest fares, so does that mean until we get to the gate, or until check in (which I know we can do 24 hours in advance). Sitting with my kids is 1000% crucial.
     

    sam_gordon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2010
    With Delta it says no seat selection for the cheapest fares, so does that mean until we get to the gate, or until check in (which I know we can do 24 hours in advance). Sitting with my kids is 1000% crucial.
    I believe it's at check in, but the seats are assigned, you don't get to choose them. If you want to pick your seats, you need to choose at least the "normal" economy, not "basic".

    But just know, equipment changes, flight delays, etc means there are no guarantees when it comes to who you're sitting by.
     

    WishICouldSpeakWhale

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2016
    With Delta it says no seat selection for the cheapest fares, so does that mean until we get to the gate, or until check in (which I know we can do 24 hours in advance). Sitting with my kids is 1000% crucial.
    If sitting together is crucial, don't buy the cheapest fare. Buy the one that allows you to select seats in advance. I don't ever buy that cheapest fare - it seems too likely that my family of 4 will end up all over the plane in middle seats.

    Honestly, if you can live with the $255 out of Portland, I'd do it. Out of Philadelphia for June, I'm finding $350-$400 is the cheapest. That is almost what we paid to fly around Thanksgiving the last few years. I'd love to see $255. Is the $255 that stripped-down fare or one where you can select seats?
     
  • zoo2tycoon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2012
    With Delta it says no seat selection for the cheapest fares, so does that mean until we get to the gate, or until check in (which I know we can do 24 hours in advance). Sitting with my kids is 1000% crucial.
    If sitting with your children is important- do not buy tickets where YOU can’t choose your seats on your own! If you buy the type assigned at airport there is no guarantee you will be seated together! The seats they have left are those nobody chose (think middle seats scattered throughout the plane). They can’t make people who paid for seats move. Not is it fair to ask others to move.

    Sure some might get lucky getting seats together BUT is that a risk you’re willing to take? There is no regulation saying parents and kids can’t be separated. Also most flights to MCO are families —full flights .

    Sounds like you are really researching. No matter what airline buy the seats or on SE EBCI. Just factor into cost.

    Enjoy your trip
     

    mshanson3121

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2015
    If sitting together is crucial, don't buy the cheapest fare. Buy the one that allows you to select seats in advance. I don't ever buy that cheapest fare - it seems too likely that my family of 4 will end up all over the plane in middle seats.

    Honestly, if you can live with the $255 out of Portland, I'd do it. Out of Philadelphia for June, I'm finding $350-$400 is the cheapest. That is almost what we paid to fly around Thanksgiving the last few years. I'd love to see $255. Is the $255 that stripped-down fare or one where you can select seats?
    The $255 US was on Delta's website, and looking, yes, that was the stripped down fare. However, I have since found flights on Expedia.ca on American Airlines for $255 CDN (about $180 US). Again, that's stripped down. I checked this morning after the comments here and you can "upgrade" to include seat selection for $80, so $335 total (about $235 US).

    So, I'm torn. Frontier is a direct flight (these flights have one change), and including my fee to select seats, will only be about $140 US - potentially quite a bit cheaper if we can hit one of their sales. Is paying extra $100 each worth it to book with a major airline instead of the discount?

    No matter what airline buy the seats or on SE EBCI. Just factor into cost.

    Enjoy your trip
    I have no idea with the SE EBCI means :) lol
     
  • cruisin5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    Did you look at JetBlue?

    You will not find Southwest on any booking engine like Travelocity or Expedia; their flights are only on their website.

    EBCI is where Southwest automatically checks in for you and obtains your boarding position. It's open seating, so no seat is guaranteed. Purchasing EBCI allows for your family to sit together. (Some details about EBCI that we can help you with after it's an option for you). Two checked bags per person are included, EBCI usually is $25 / per person.
     

    mshanson3121

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2015
    Did you look at JetBlue?

    You will not find Southwest on any booking engine like Travelocity or Expedia; their flights are only on their website.

    EBCI is where Southwest automatically checks in for you and obtains your boarding position. It's open seating, so no seat is guaranteed. Purchasing EBCI allows for your family to sit together. (Some details about EBCI that we can help you with after it's an option for you). Two checked bags per person are included, EBCI usually is $25 / per person.
    Have you checked southwest or jet blue?
    Yes. Jet Blue is around the same as Delta/AA ($225 US). I couldn't tell if you can select seats with them or not? Southwest so far is the most expensive - $323 US. Allegiant was a waste. They only fly 2 days a week in Sept (and only one flight per day), and don't fly into MCO.
     

    WishICouldSpeakWhale

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2016
    To me, Delta and AA fares aren't $255 if you haven't paid for seat assignments and checked bags. Look at the next level fare on their website, that at least includes seat assignments. They probably much closer to the southwest fare, if not even more. Of course, with southwest, it's probably worth factoring in an extra $30 per ticket to get early bird check in and ensure an earlier boarding slot.

    We fly AA or Southwest because they have the most non stops out of Philadelphia. I don't even look at the basic AA fare and wish there was an option not to show it when I search. I'm not going to buy it, so it is irrelevant. (Just as I also don't want to see first class!).

    I've also stopped using Expedia because that cheap fare all they give me. I'd never book thru expedia anyway, but it used to be a handy way to get a sense of fares and stopovers vs nonstops for several airlines at once.

    Frontier might be ok. I won't fly them, I just don't trust their limited flights per day. But a friend flew them during a storm and the government shutdown and her experience was fine. You'll find many threads about frontier.
     

    mshanson3121

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2015
    To me, Delta and AA fares aren't $255 if you haven't paid for seat assignments and checked bags. Look at the next level fare on their website, that at least includes seat assignments. They probably much closer to the southwest fare, if not even more.
    Right on the Delta website, under Main category (which includes seat selection), it's only $255 round trip :) Basic (no seat selection) is only $195.
     

    princess927

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2005
    We are also from Maine and almost always fly out of Manchester on Southwest when flying to MCO. If we fly out of Boston we take Concord Trailways to and from airport, it’s cheaper than parking at the airport (kids are half price with paying adult) and with us not doing the driving we don’t mind the early flights as much.
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    Yes. Jet Blue is around the same as Delta/AA ($225 US). I couldn't tell if you can select seats with them or not? Southwest so far is the most expensive - $323 US. Allegiant was a waste. They only fly 2 days a week in Sept (and only one flight per day), and don't fly into MCO.
    Is that SW fare a round trip wanna get away fare? That's about what I'm seeing when I look at September...

    That being said SW used to offer 2 to 3 nonstops to Orlando a day from MHT and they're down to one and I don't think we've hit the sweet spot for their optimal fare prices. You could book and take the chance it lowers for a credit if you think you'll use the credit before it expires.

    Pick a maximum price point you're comfortable with and go from there.
     


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