Buying Tickets for Summer 2011

Sep 18th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Buying Tickets for Summer 2011

Taking another poll from travelers and experts on buying now versus waiting. The advice (including that from other posts in this forum) seems inconclusive at best. Prices now for June travel between the West Coast and Paris are in the range of $1500 EACH, which is unimaginable! For my family of 4, that's $6k just to get there and back. Our fear is that if we wait until the magical 3 month discount window (March), there won't be a great selection of seats and we'll be SOL. We're signed-up for every available fare alert, but prices aren't budging. A "price guarantee" from Orbitz et. al seems to be the best advice I've heard. Any other pearls of wisdom from readers?
formativegroup is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 524
I wish I had some pearls of wisdom for you, but I'm encountering the same sky-high prices for Summer 2011 from the East Coast.

I was planning to go to Croatia, but it's pricing at $1600 per ticket in coach class. For that price, I wondered how far I could go on the same amount of money, but every other destination that I priced, including Thailand, China, South Africa, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia, and was about the same price. Yikes!

The only reasonable tickets that I found were to Calgary, Vancouver, Reykjavik, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, and San Pedro Sula (Honduras), which were about $500 per person in coach class. If I have to make a decision now (and I do like to plan ahead), I guess it's going to be Honduras.
fluffnfold is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,052
I dunno... I'm seeing Icelandair RT Seattle - Paris for numerous dates in June at $1087 all in. Depends on your starting point and length of stay, I suppose.

I do think it's too early, though. There's a lot going on in the airline business at the moment - the United/Continental merger, the AA/BA/IB joint business venture, etc. - which IMO is going to result in some interesting competitive conditions after the new year. So I personally wouldn't rush to shell out $1500 per person.

You might also look at purchasing enough FF miles to "buy" one or two seats using that approach. Some of the airlines have "sales" where you can buy FF miles for 2 cents per mile or so; if a redemption flight costs 40,000 miles, the $800 you'd spend to buy those miles might actually end up saving you money.
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 19th, 2010, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 449
IMO, way too early to do anything other than secure FF reservations. Unless I got an AMAZING fare, wouldn't buy til Feb. at the earliest. Even then, east coast to Paris is gonna hover around $1000. Icelandair is often the cheapest.
usernameistaken is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,222
be creative! Our closest airport is PHL, but if we fly out of JFK, we save over $500/pp - for a family of 5 that pays for driving back and forth.

We have been looking at flying to Scandinavia - finnair is running out $800 rt from JFK - Helsinki/Stockholm, etc.

I wouldn't do it with a tight connection, but do you have flexibility to fly into NYC on Friday... spend the overnight in NYC and then fly from there to Europe ? And do the same thing back... I realize you are adding days, and you are taking the risk if a flight is delayed/cancelled, thus the extra day in case of flight problems.
surfmom is online now  
Sep 19th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,799
I do pretty much what u have been doing. Sign up for fare alerts. What I do is monitor the costs almost daily for a bit until I feel I know what the going rate is. Kayak or fare compare I think also have charts that will also show fares over a period of time. Once I know the range the fares are I will start looking and buy when it's on the lower side. Fares can go up or down on any given day and then change the next. It's a pain to follow, but worth the time I think. U can also hit an odd sale outside of the "normal" sale times. UA started a route to Madrid from DC last Fall and offered reat introductory fares, which I bought in the Fall for a May trip.

I've never understood the "magical" 3 month deal. I have never seen a fare I bought earlier than that, go down in the last 3 months. Generally they start going up, not down, but I know the conventional wisdom is that closer in u can get better fares.
yestravel is offline  

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