Old Aug 30th, 2002, 09:37 AM
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What are the cutoff times when looking for better fares? Is it 2 weeks ahead, three weeks, 16 days, or what? Thanks
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 12:23 PM
Question of the week!!!!
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The cutoff time is any second. Air fares change constantly. The fare you see one minute could change the next.

Purchase when you think you have the best price.

Question of the week!!!!
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 01:58 PM
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A lot of the lowest fares, for the most part, have a 14 day advance purchase. Fares can have 21, 14, 7 and 3 day advance on them. The longer the advance, the lower the fare as a rough rule of thumb.
However, not all markets have the 21 day advance.
The fares are subject to availability of the lower fare seats. You could still have enough time in advance, but the seats have already sold out. Another factor is the number of people traveling. You could have a fare of $200 for one person, but if you have 3 people traveling, the fare could change to $250/person since there aren't that many seats for the lower fare. Rates department also changes fares a few times a day. Not in all markets all at once though.
If you are shopping around and you get a fare you sorta like, hold it even if you think you can do better elsewhere.
If only I had a dollar for every time a person said "Oh no, I'll call right back" and for each person who gets upset because the fare was lower a few minutes ago or an hour ago.
If you purchase a ticket far enough in advance, keep checking back with reservations. Give them your reservation info and they can reprice it. If the fare is lower, they will reissue the ticket for the lower fare and issue travel certs for the difference in fare. The change fee won't apply to a downgrade.
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 02:12 PM
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I would normally agree with you about advance purchases. However this year, fares seem to be all over the place! There seems to be quite a bit of last minute discounting. I've booked 2 flights within one week of travel that were substantially less than when I priced them one month out. You are right about purchasing right away if you find a good deal. I had a $300+ LAX-BZE fare that I found disappear within an hour when I was ready to book.
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 07:45 PM
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Well of course I was speaking about normal fare rules. I do know that there are some fares with low advance purchases that are actually pretty good when you would think that they would be pretty high. I was going to mention that above, but had to run to dinner.
These fares are different and it's just as much a surprise to us when we find them as they are to you. Rates department doesn't tell us everything that they are doing so we have to stumble on it. Speaking for myself, I love it when I can find a good fare for a passenger and I hate it when I can't. It is funny though when you find a great fare for someone and then they gripe about how expensive it is.
Oh and some of the commuter flights within the same state and short distance have low fares with short notice, but then it's been like that.
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