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Last-minute baby trip

Old Jun 16th, 2006, 07:17 AM
  #1  
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Last-minute baby trip

I've just discovered that I'm going to become a grandmother in January, and I'd like to fly from PA to AZ soon after the birth of the new little person. But, since babies arrive on their own schedule, there's no predicting exactly when the arrival will occur. How to do this and still get a somewhat reasonable fare?
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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1. I like to use beta.itasoftware.com to search for airfares. You can also use Orbitz, kayak.com, mobissimo.com, etc. If you see a good fare on any of those, see if you can book through that airline's site directly.

2. Then, check fares on Southwest.com. They don't post fares on the other search engines, so you must do that seperately.

3. If fares are very high, you may want to get a package on site59.com. However, they are usually only for outbound Wed-Sat, and return Sun-Wed, and maximum stay is often only 3-4 nights. But it may makes sense sometimes. Throw away the hotel or rental if you don't need it.

4. Hotwire.com and Priceline.com. You don't get to choose your flights, but beggars can't be choosers, right? Get a price on Hotwire and bid a price that's lower on Priceline.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Its hard to get a low last minute fare on the legacy airlines, as most of the deep discount tickets have conditions, such as must be bought 14 or 30 days prior to the outbound flight, so they are not available if you want to fly this week, or even next.

For example, when I buy CLE/SAN tickets more than a month in advance, I can often get them for less than $300. I just did a search for that flight leaving next week, and the lowest tourist fare was $826, little less than a business class fare of $1126.

It seems strange to me, but I can often get a reward ticket at the last minute, but you need to have the miles to do that.

The discount airlines, such as Southwest, don't impose this structure, so they are usually a better deal for last minute tickets.

I would suggest you look in your local paper, and visit the web sites of any nearby airports, and find out which discount airlines fly where you want to go, then visit their web sites and see who offers a good deal. Often, using a secondary airport with a discount carrier can save you quite a bit. I normally fly out of CLE, but I see a lot of adds for very low fares from discount airlines that fly out of Akron, which is less than an hour's drive.

Southwest, Frontier, and AirTrans are some of the discount airlines that come to mind, but I'm sure there are more, and of course not all of them will cover the area you want to fly from and to.
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Old Jun 16th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Where in PA to where in AZ?
mrwunrfl is online now  
Old Jun 18th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Where in PA to where in AZ?


From State College to Flagstaff, unfortunately...two of the most limited airports around.

But, I can fly into Phoenix and then drive...and I can fly out of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or BWI.
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Old Jun 18th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Your best bet is going to be PHL-PHX. Looking elsewhere, IMHO, is a waste of time.*
8-)



*Although MHO has been wrong before
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Old Jun 18th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Sometimes it just takes work, and a little bit of luck.

For example, if you need to go tomorrow 6/19 and return 6/21. What fares would you find?

Southwest is full fare refundable only. $309 each way plus tax. About $650 total.

Most search engines will find you something about $500 on various airlines, but I see a $485 fare on NW on kayak.com BWI-PHX. I then went to nwa.com to do a search, and actually found roundtrip all-in for $320.

Not a bad last minute fare, and is half the price of Southwest.
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Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:31 PM
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it might be worth checking Harrisburg MDT
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