For a late June flight, buy now or wait?

Nov 6th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
For a late June flight, buy now or wait?

What stragegy are you employing? Since the flight in question is Chicago to Sao Paulo, I posted on the Latin America board. No responses.

But I think the same reasoning for a US-Africa flight would hold. So if you are going to Africa this summer (N. American summer) what are you doing about your flight, if you are not using miles or your flight is not part of your package?

Any suggestions welcome.


(I'm going back to the Pantanal.)
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
Lynn I researched this issue when buying my flight tickets for my recent trip to Africa. The "experts" suggested waiting until about 6-8 weeks prior to the flight departure.

I decided to follow this advice. At about 4-5 months prior to my departure, Bost-JNB airfares on Delta were at about $1800. At about 8 weeks they dropped to $1,500 and I booked. I checked about for several weeks after I booked and they did not drop further.

Would love to hear your thoughts on deciding to return to the Pantanal.
GreenDrake is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 08:50 PM
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Thanks GreenDrake for the insights. Were you afraid that 8 weeks out might mean you don't get a seat and they'd be all sold out? Or am I being paranoid?

Why returning to Pantanal: It is a wildlife rich area, like Africa, and I find that appealing. I really liked the Northern Pantanal, but want to see how it differs from the Southern.

I was especially intrigued by Caiman Lodge in the south and the vast area around it. PixelPower spent several days there about a year ago and really liked it. He had some great photos.

I'll be spending 7 nts there, then 3 at Refugio da Ilha, a couple hours away. Caiman does not have much of a river and the Ilha is located on an island in river, so the 2 places offer a nice contrast.

Compared to Africa, this is inexpensive and even the air is less.

I had a short window for travel in late June, the first month of the dry season in the Pantanal and an especially good time for the Hyacinth Macaws. I won't hit a full moon, which is a good to avoid for mammal viewing, especially at night.

I don't expect to see jaguars like I did along the Paraguay River, but other mammals and birds should be plentiful.

atravelynn is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
Lynn - For the major airlines you can just check every few days online and look at the seating on the flights you was interested in. I would have booked earlier if the flights looked like they were filling up, but that turned out not to be a problem and I was able to wait.

Thanks for your insight on locations, wildlife and relative costs on your return trip. I remember reading your first Pantanal report and viwing the photos and it did look like an intriguing destination.
GreenDrake is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 171
We have decided to wait to book our Africa flight for May. The SAA flights for March are under $1000 from IAD to JNB. I expect the same for May but will have to wait until they become available. Are you going with Focus Tours??
KIBOKO is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528

Wouldn't there be more flights/options to Sao Paulo compared to JNB, anyways? Unless you are looking at O'Hare specific........

If options are more- you may as well wait a bit.....
HariS is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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I will go with Focus in the future and am very impressed with their contacts with researchers and their ability to do a unique solo trip.

This next trip is with International Expeditions. I contacted them about a group trip they had scheduled. The poor economy resulted in that trip being cancelled and I could not go with the other 3 deparatures they had in June so I asked about a custom trip. The pricing was fine so I booked.

7 nights Caiman Lodge
3 nights Refugio da Ilha

atravelynn is offline  

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