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Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
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Airline tickets

For all you seasoned travelers (and bargain hunters)...whats the basic strategy to get the best (or close to best) price on airline tickets - I only fly 1-2 per year at most, and the prices seem to be all over the map....

Is there a general rule of thumb for the timing or strategy?

Today for example I priced tickets on a trip we are planning...$750 per ticket round trip...2 weeks ago they were $325...3 hours later they were $410....when you are buying 6 tickets you don't wan't to overpay for each one!

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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 05:29 PM   #2
 
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Re: Airline tickets

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
For all you seasoned travelers (and bargain hunters)...whats the basic strategy to get the best (or close to best) price on airline tickets - I only fly 1-2 per year at most, and the prices seem to be all over the map....

Is there a general rule of thumb for the timing or strategy?

Today for example I priced tickets on a trip we are planning...$750 per ticket round trip...2 weeks ago they were $325...3 hours later they were $410....when you are buying 6 tickets you don't wan't to overpay for each one!

Where are you pricing these tickets?
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Airline tickets

This particular flight was to the Bahamas from Florida...a 45 minute flight.

EDit: if you mean where am I getting the prices - continental.com, expedia.com and travelocity.com....checked again a few hours later and they are back down to close to normal...man, someones computers are really messed up (and its not mine!).
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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Re: Airline tickets

For me, I just check out www.mobissimo.com, and maybe travelocity.com or MSFT's equivalent -- whose name escapes me at the moment. Buy the cheapest one.

If you're willing to go through some more hassle, you can try Priceline.com or look into courier services, non-refundable tickets, travel consolidators, etc.

Don't have a good answer for you on timing. Probably sooner is better; if the price drops you can try calling the airline and requesting a refund of the difference (provided you bought a regular ticket from a major carrier.)

2Cor521
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Airline tickets

Kayak.com is where I tracked down our Jamaica tickets (whoo hooo leaving Thursday for 12 days!!!). I bought through American Airlines, but Kayak definitely searched better than Orbitz and the others I tried. I would recommend it.

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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-07-2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: Airline tickets

Someone on this forum has posted about farecompare.com before. Great site - user interface is a little hard to grasp at first, but a powerful tool that lets you find the cheapest fares to anywhere in the next year, including destination maps to/from anywhere in the world with prices listed by city.

I just checked them today for a coworker. Trips from Raleigh-Durham to Nassau were ~$320 round trip on a few major carriers. I imagine you'd be able to find cheaper (~200 ish) from FL.
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 01:22 AM   #7
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Re: Airline tickets

We have had good luck with cheaptickets.com in the past.

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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 03:42 AM   #8
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Re: Airline tickets

This could be part of the reason why:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/2...ces/index.html
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 06:06 AM   #9
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Re: Airline tickets

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
This could be part of the reason why:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/2...ces/index.html
Interesting article. I usually browse under the radar, but I have allowed Amazon's cookies. Next time I shop there I'll delete the cookies and see what if I get any differences in price. OT, I did notice this sad commentary on the average person's bargaining skills: And everyone knows that the "sticker" price on a car is not the typical purchase price. It serves, rather, as a starting point for further negotiation.
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 08:41 AM   #10
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Re: Airline tickets

According to an article I read:
make reservations 21 to 45 days ahead.
next jump occurs at the 14th day.
and final jump occurs at 7 days.
Unsold seat are discounted 3 days before departure.

The best time to book is between 12am and 1 am on Wed. At this time airline computer systems are flooded with unpaid reservations available at discount rates.
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 11:01 AM   #11
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Re: Airline tickets

I just recently used the Travel link on AOL.com for a very last minute trip and combined flight plus hotel to get better prices than I was receiving from the airlines own website, orbitz, travelocity, etc.*

My dad said he used AOL in the past for flight + hotel and I was skeptical at first, but I was pretty surprised by the results.* Im not sure if it was just a last minute deal or if AOL is consistently cheaper, but could be worth it to check out.*
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 01:03 PM   #12
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Re: Airline tickets

One of the things that I think happens is they are tracking the 'interest'... once, I was looking at taking a vacation at one of the everything included in Mexico... but my friend could not make up her mind when to go.. I kept checking prices to see the different locations... after checking a few times a day for a number of day I saw the price go up... I was getting a bit mad at my friend... and then said.. well, we will need to go somewhere else.. the price has gone up to much...

Well, I check a week later and it had gone down again... but, too late, made plans for Florida..
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 04:10 PM   #13
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Re: Airline tickets

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
The best time to book is between 12am and 1 am on Wed. At this time airline computer systems are flooded with unpaid reservations available at discount rates.
Which part of the world at 12AM, East Coast US, Pacific Coast US, Asia, or perhaps Europe?
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 04:38 PM   #14
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Re: Airline tickets

I believe it was eastern standard / savings time. I must confess though, I have never checked it personally.
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 04:52 PM   #15
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Re: Airline tickets

There's a new site (now in beta) that will predict the changes in airfares.

www.farecast.com
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Re: Airline tickets
Old 08-08-2006, 09:07 PM   #16
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Re: Airline tickets

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
There's a new site (now in beta) that will predict the changes in airfares.

www.farecast.com
Thanks wab, rough for me though since i want to head to Houston and they dont offer than. Must be like an alpha
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