Need a short notice ticket!

Jan 4th, 2005, 07:11 PM
  #1  
katybird
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Need a short notice ticket!

We will want to fly from Syracuse,NY to Dallas in a hurry when our grandson is born! I know I could use Hotwire or Priceline but wondering if there is there any other method to get a ticket on short notice?
 
Jan 5th, 2005, 02:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If issue is just getting a ticket - don't worry. Business travelers book tickets on very short notice all the time - sometimes same day, but certainly a day or 2 in advance. You just buy it as you would any other ticket.

Price on short notice is sometimes higher.
gail is online now  
Jan 5th, 2005, 04:42 AM
  #3  
katybird
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The issue is the price. Sorry, I did not make that clear.Yes, the ticket is higher. For example, today a ticket for tomorrow on Northwest is $1400+! Orbitz shows United for $460 for the lowest fare so there can be quite a range.
Just wondering if any of you that fly freqently would have some insight as how to find the least expensive ticket.
Thanks!
 
Jan 5th, 2005, 05:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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If you're flying tomorrow, you don't have much of a choice. Try Priceline or Hotwire, if you can fly any airline. Or fly a low-fare airline. Unfortunately, Jetblue doesn't fly to Dallas, and neither Southwest nor Airtran flies to Syracuse. So, your choices are limited.

Try using beta.itasoftware.com and see what itineraries you can find, and then book them through the airline or an agent.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 07:20 AM
  #5  
 
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Most of the deeply discounted tickets require at least a 14 day period between purchase and travel dates. However, some airlines offer specials such as buy Thursday, fly Friday or Saturday and return Monday. These never seem to fit my schedule so I've never bought them.

I would suggest you visit expedia, orbitz, and travelocity and keep visiting to see if they have any specials. I think Smarter Living at
http://www.smarterliving.com/
has a service where each week they email you specials.

I would suggest you find the airlines that cover this route and visit each of their websites to see what they offer. I know airlines offer bereavement rates, so I would call the appropriate airlines and explain your situation and ask what they can do for you.

Finally, I believe Delta has very recently restructured their fares and I seem to recall something about eliminating the "penalty" for last minute purchases; I didn't look too closely as Delta is not convenient for me, but you could look there and see what they have.

Finally, its not as quick, but I believe Amtrak has no penalty for last minute purchases. While the trip is longer, its much more pleasant to sit in a train than be jammed into a plane.

Good luck.
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Jan 5th, 2005, 08:57 AM
  #6  
 
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One other thing. Often you can get a last minute hotel+air package for less than just the air ticket. You don't have to use the hotel. So, check the packages on the major internet travel sites too.
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Jan 5th, 2005, 10:13 AM
  #7  
 
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Do you actually need to travel tomorrow or are you just checking for future reference? With Delta's new fare structure, domestic fares in the lower 48 are supposed to be capped at $499 in economy and $599 in first class ONE WAY for a last minute walk up fare. I haven't been able to access the DL website all morning to verify though. Do you have ff miles you can use? Last minute travel can often be a good use of miles, provided you can find available seats. Other than Hotwire/Priceline or choosing a low cost carrier (which doesn't seem to be an option for you), I don't know of another way to avoid paying the higher last minute fares. I'm not sure an airline would extend a medical emergency/bereavement fare for the birth of a grandchild (in many cases these fares are still over $1000).
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Jan 5th, 2005, 10:26 AM
  #8  
Sunnyboy
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This is a tough one. I have to agree with Patty and disagree with clevelandbrown - in my experience last minute travel to visit a new grandchild will not qualify for emergency/bereavement fares. I have elite status and have tried to do just that and failed numerous times - I guess the airlines feel that there is just too much joy in seeing a new grandchild for it to qualify as emergency travel. They other hints you've been given are the only way I know of to get reduced fares. Good luck and enjoy your new grandchild - they are wonderful to have.
 
Jan 5th, 2005, 10:40 AM
  #9  
 
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Out of curiosity, I checked site59.com SYR-DFW for departure on Jan 6 and return on Jan 9 and it came back with a package price including 3 nights hotel of $309pp for 2 people traveling or $364 for one person traveling. You can also choose your flights (some of the flight times may not be ideal but at least you know them in advance as opposed to Hotwire/Priceline). This seems to be a good option to consider. Like rkkwan said, you can just throw away the hotel.
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Jan 5th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #10  
 
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Another possibility is to book on Delta (if they fly that route) and since they just reduced itinerary change penalties, you could always change it. Some talk of other airlines matching Delta's policy.

Unless you are trying to catch the actual birth, care for siblings while Mom is in hospital, you may have to decide if price or being spontaneous is more important. Might it work just as well to book when Mom goes into labor and then fly 7 or 14 days later - not telling you what to do about the visit, just trying to come up with schemes to save you some money.
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Jan 5th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #11  
katybird
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Thanks for all the wonderful helpful replies!
We will not need tickets until April but I am getting prepared now! When the time comes we will probably be in such a state of excitement we will not know which end is up!
Site59 is great but it is for only 3 days as far as I can tell. I am going to bookmark it for future reference for short travel. I never knew it existed.Thank you for the information about it.
I will check out the other options mentioned and hope for the best.
 
Jan 5th, 2005, 01:34 PM
  #12  
 
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My cousin just did site59.com for the outbound and booked a return on Southwest with a 2 week advance purchase. She threw away the return on the site59 ticket.
I'll probably get flamed for that suggestion but she did the whole trip (PHX-DFW-PHX) for around 400, instead of 1200 and had a few nights at a Dallas hotel to boot.
Her return flight was purchased on the Southwest website for 99.
Worked great...
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jan 5th, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #13  
katybird
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Gail - yes, the 7 day advance purchase might work out. Right now it is less $$$ than the 14 day advance purchase. I will never understand the airline pricing. SYR to DFW always seems high. In Feb. we are using a discount coupon on NWA with a rate of $228 and think that is pretty good.
Now I have some strategies for when the time gets closer, thanks to all the great advice.
 
Jan 5th, 2005, 02:09 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi,

Don't know if thei would help or not..but, AirTran flies out of Rochester and goes to Dallas-Ft. Worth. you can get a flight tomorrow and return a week later for under $400.

SamH is offline  

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