Airfare Tanz/Kenya

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Aug 29th, 2005, 07:28 AM
  #1
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Airfare Tanz/Kenya

Hi
I noticed in another thread that Rocco said he would not have headed on his current trip now but would have waited another few weeks when airfares would have been "25%" lower.
We are planning a trip for Aug/Sep 2006. Cannot get pricings now but was wondering if anyone could give me any idea as to which time frame could possibly offer some good savings on airfares. We could roughly travel either between Aug 23rd until Sept 12th '06 or between Sept 3rd or 7th until Sept 27th '06.
Our destination is West coast USA to Tanz. For the earlier dates would probably want to go into NBO and out of DAR and that would be reversed for the later dates.
Our trip is generally to Rwanda for gorillas and to Southern Tanz. Order of events depends on dates of travel!
I know none of you can probably give me really concrete answers but the comment in Rocco's post just got me thinking and since I can't get any prices online for that time yet I was just wandering if anyone out there had any input.
Thanks in advance.
J
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Aug 29th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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Hello,

Since you are coming from the US, you will probably save money if you wait until September to leave. Airfares are determined by date of departure, and fares tend to drop once school has started since the airlines can no longer take advantage of school vacations.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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The September dates may produce a slightly lower fare but I don't know if it'll really vary by that much. I think the fares tend to follow the high/low season patterns in East Africa (i.e. cheaper Apr-Jun and late Oct-early Dec). I believe that Rocco is referring to his transatlantic air from LAX to LHR as he used ff miles to redeem his flight from LHR to JNB. The lowest transatlantic fares will be during the winter season from Nov-Mar. Jul/Aug are when transatlantic fares are at their peak and with high summer load factors that may also translate into higher East Africa fares as usually those flights route via Europe.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Hello,

I've found that high/low variations at the point of departure are what matters, because they determine demand for plane seats leaving from that airport -- for instance, fares out of the UK jump on July 15 because that's when the summer holidays start for the schools here, and drop when the kids go back to school in September. Rocco got caught out because his sister in law is a teacher, and they had to work around her schedule which meant flying during the high summer vacation season.

In the US, fares drop in September for the same reason they drop here. When I went to university (in the US) my airfare was always lower than my friends' because my school started late (end of September) which meant that the fares had dropped (I flew out of SFO), whereas people flying back to school at the end of August paid the high season fares.

Patty is right about Europe -- if you go via Europe, your European leg will be cheaper if you wait until September.

The usual rules apply as well -- flying midweek is cheaper than flying on the weekend.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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jules,
Not sure this is relevant, so FWIW, I've also noticed recently that KLM prices seem to drop over the weekend--when I check, say, on a Wednesday, they've been around 200-300 USD higher, SFO-JRO for next June/July.

This year (and who knows about next), flights to to NBO could be had for a relative song if traveling late Sept.-Oct. I think I started checking in March/April.

Takes nerves of steel!
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Thanks to each of you for your info. Leely when you say the fares on KLM tend to drop over the weekend do you mean to fly over the weekend or to buy them over the weekend? Just wanted to clarify. What is your definition of a "relative song"??!I know what you mean by nerves of steel!
Thanks J
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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So maybe the best strategy is to check on a weekend and fly midweek...

If you are a senior citizen and a member of AARP, you can get up to 25% off on Virgin flights. So you could fly Virgin to London and then KLM to JRO, and save 25% on the Virgin leg.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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Checking on a weekend the prices have been lower. In the past two weeks I've seen as low as 2100 and as high as 2565 on KLM/NWA website, all called "promotional fare," all the same midweek departure and return dates.

"Relative song": something like $1400 traveling via LHR.

Our of curiosity I e-mailed the consolidator I used last time because they were nice, and they responded that it's too early for sale fares and that if I could wait until January they would likely have deals.

Problem is I'm too anxious to do that. I just want to nail everything down and send a bunch of money to a bunch of people and get it over with!

Good luck.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Hi Leely,

I'm a bit confused by your comment about 'relative song' in your last post -- could you clarify?

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Never mind -- I get it now!

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Julian,

Yes, sorry. I meant that I was seeing prices from SFO to NBO with layover in London for the "bargain" price of $1400. For travel in late September through October, I believe. These were consolidator fares. Of course you never know if your dates are actually available until you try to book, which I wasn't doing.

If that's not a good fare I'd love for someone to enlighten me. I'm pretty horrible at shopping for airfare.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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Hello Leely,

You can get a flight from SFO-LHR on Virgin for about $500 around that time of year. So the other $900 must be the LHR-NBO leg, which looks about right to be honest (from London, a flight to NBO at that time of year is about £500, which is about $900). So I would say it's pretty good, unless you have access to deeper discounts (e.g. as a student).

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Leely,
I'd say $1400 is pretty good for west coast US to Nairobi. With the $700 fare difference, you could spend a few days in Kenya
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Aug 29th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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I would be pretty thrilled if I could get a ticket for US$1400! I will just be patient and wait until I can actually see prices for the time we are thinking of and take it from there.
Thanks
J
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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I think those low prices (for this fall, unfortunately) might have had something to do with a big BA sale. So, as Julian noted, the flight to London was probably marked down considerably.

Jules, will you fly to Kigali from Nairobi? How much are those, if you know?

Never hurts to plan way way way ahead.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:27 PM
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Jules - Just for a frame of reference - in a few weeks, we are flying American/BA from NYC to NBO (thru LHR) and back from DAR/LHR/JFK. Cost was about $1250 per person. I know that you are flying from West Coast but this is just to give you an idea. Also, we are leaving on a Friday evening in September, back on a Friday in October. We booked the tix back in late January.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:36 PM
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Leely,
IIRC I was quoted approx. $370pp for a roundtrip from NBO to KGL.
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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lorib1 -

Nine-months in advance is good.

We paid $1250 for JFK(AMS)JRO and NBO(AMS)EWR for this past end-May/begin-June and got those prices less then 2-months prior department. That's about the going price within $100+ for other times from the NY area.

jules39 -

You just have to keep watching and tracking prices. But your objective is to get seats and not be locked out. If you've got a figure in your mind... what's the most you want to pay... as soon as you see it - book it! There are rarely "deals" to East Africa (unlike to SA). And should you later see a lower price by a few dollars - don't let it weigh on you. It's not unlike souvenir shopping and working numbers and bargaining everywhere - your finally have the price you want, you buy - soon as you walk out the door, the guy down the street is selling it for $2 cheaper.

Unfortunately, except for my very first safari years ago, every flight out of Europe to NBO or JRO is full. You main concern is getting the seats. In the scheme of things and unless going on a budget/backpacking safari, I don't think an extra $100 is going to break the deal.
 
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Aug 29th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Hello,

For reference, the London-East Africa segment virtually never drops below £450 unless you are a student -- at the current exchange rate of $1.8/£1, that's $808. So if you take that into account and are routing through London, you can estimate how much the SFO-LHR leg is costing you.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Thanks again everyone. I agree with you Sandi in that once my flights are booked I won't look back and fret about it! My aim will be when looking at flights to get the best connections I can so I can maximize our time out doing the "fun" stuff and not overnighting in NBO to save a few dollars. But like us all I want to get the best value I can too! At the moment the thing I lack is patience! I just want to start tracking the costs now and of course they are not available so I will just have to wait! Always great to know the types of fares other folks are paying though so you have some sort of benchmark. We paid 1800 from LAX with AMS stoppovers in both directions this Fe05) so I have that to go by too.

Thanks again
J
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